Anybody who loves restaurants has an opinion on which ones will land on Michelin’s list. To make it interesting, I challenged my dining-critic colleagues to a bet. Phil Vettel (Chicago Tribune), Pat Bruno (Chicago Sun-Times), David Tamarkin (Time Out Chicago), Mike Sula (The Reader), Mike Nagrant (New City and Chicago Social), Ron Kaplan (, Steve Dolinsky (ABC 7), and I (Chicago magazine) all stepped up to the plate with predictions. We decided to focus on the two- and three-star categories; the tiebreaker is predicting the total number of Chicago restaurants that will get one, two, and three stars.

As a point of reference, Michelin’s new San Francisco guide gave 39 restaurants one star, three 2 stars, and two 3 stars. In New York, 42 restaurants got one star, ten got 2 stars, and five got 3 stars.

Whichever of the above journalists picks the most right for Chicago wins this.

Our predictions are below. Remember: These are not our opinions, but rather what we believe Michelin will reveal on Wednesday. And if this sketchy post on Yelp is to be believed, it’s all moot.

As you can see, we all agree that Alinea is a shoo-in for 3 stars—Grant Achatz’s latest revealing tweet didn’t hurt—but beyond that the big money seems to be on Avenues. (Interestingly, neither Vettel nor Bruno picked Avenues to get even 2 stars.) Sula, who produced the most eclectic list, has Les Nomades pegged at 3 stars, and some of us, yours truly included, did not have it on our roster at all. Then there are Tamarkin’s predictions, grim and slim. Maybe he knows something the rest of us don’t.

Yes, this is what food writers do in their spare time.

PAT BRUNO, Chicago Sun-Times
3 stars: Alinea, Tru, Topolobampo
2 stars: Blackbird, Carlos’, Charlie Trotter’s, Everest, Les Nomades, NoMI, North Pond
Tiebreaker: 38

3 stars: Alinea, Avenues, Charlie Trotter’s L2O, Spiaggia
2 stars: Arun’s, Blackbird, Les Nomades, NoMI, North Pond, Schwa, Seasons, Topolobampo, Tru
Tiebreaker: 47

3 stars: Alinea, Avenues
2 stars: Blackbird, Charlie Trotter’s, Everest, Graham Elliot, Les Nomades, L2O, Moto, Tru
Tiebreaker: 51

3 stars: Alinea, Avenues
2 stars: Blackbird, Charlie Trotter’s, Les Nomades, L2O, NoMI, Topolobampo, Tru
Tiebreaker: 37

JEFF RUBY, Chicago magazine
3 stars: Alinea, Charlie Trotter’s
2 stars: Avenues, Blackbird, L2O, North Pond, Schwa, Spiaggia, Topolobampo, Tru
Tiebreaker: 49

MIKE SULA, The Reader
3 stars: Alinea, Avenues, Les Nomades
2 stars: Blackbird, Charlie Trotter’s, Everest, L2O, Moto, NoMI, Ria, Sixteen, Spiaggia, Vie
Tiebreaker: 53

DAVID TAMARKIN, Time Out Chicago
3 stars: Alinea
2 stars: Charlie Trotter’s, L2O
Tiebreaker: 25

PHIL VETTEL, Chicago Tribune
3 stars: Alinea
2 stars: Blackbird, Charlie Trotter’s, L2O, Topolobampo
Tiebreaker: 31