At this time last year in Chicago, Don Thompson was CEO of McDonalds, Chi-Raq was just a portmanteau, and the Cubs' Kris Bryant was just a hot prospect. Twelve months later, a lot has changed—and Chicago magazine has been there to cover it all. Here are the most popular stories that the magazine ran this year.

The Best New Restaurants in Chicago

After eating hundreds of meals at scores of rookie spots, Chicago's dining critics crowned the 10 standouts.

The Best Bars in Chicago…

Where to seal a deal, spark a romance, wow a guest, bring a kid, imbibe at 5 a.m…and master 13 other drinking situations.

The Real Story of Sandra Bland

Five months after Sandra Bland was found hanging in a Texas jail cell, her family still searches for resolution. An intimate look at a life interrupted.

Spike Lee Sounds Off on Chi-Raq, Gun Violence, and Rahm

In his first in-depth interview for his upcoming film, the outspoken director discusses Chicago and how the mayor tried—and failed—to “bully” him.

The Last Years of Ernie Banks

Cubs fans remember him for his pervasive optimism. But he was a far more complicated man than it appeared. And toward the end, he was a lonely man, too—one tormented by his demons.

After the Spire

It was supposed to be the second-tallest building in the world. Instead, it’s the city’s biggest crater. Chicago architects offer six out-of-the-box ideas for the site of the Spire that never was.

It's Good to Be Jimmy Butler

All-star status. Fat new contract. Celebrity pals. Life is a dream these days for the Bulls’ breakout star. But that wasn’t always the case.

Chicago's Best Pizza

From cracker crust to deep dish and everything in between: the 38 greatest pizzas in the greatest pizza city on earth.

These Suburban Preppers Are Ready for Anything

They’re rich, armed, and ready for the end of days—and they just might live in the McMansion down your street.

The Company Man

Don Thompson was one of the most powerful executives in the nation. Now he’s cleaning out his desk. The remarkable rise and fall of McDonald’s CEO.

Holy Cow, Home Alone is 25!

Remember Winnetka’s most famous big-screen family, the McCallisters—especially the resourceful son who got left behind? An oral history of one of the most beloved Christmas comedies ever made. (Keep the change, ya filthy animal!)

Special Report: New Tricks

One year after we reported that the Chicago Police Department was undercounting the city’s murders, the problem persists—and top brass are up to some.