Chicago voted 'Best Big City' in the U.S. for unprecedented 6th straight year

For the sixth straight year, readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine have voted Chicago the best big city in the United States.

The magazine announced Tuesday its readers once again voted Chicago as their favorite American city. The designation has been bestowed on the Windy City every year since 2017. No other city has been voted Best Big City in the U.S. more than three straight times in the 35-year history of the magazine's Readers' Choice Awards, Conde Nast said in a statement.

Conde Nast calls Chicago a "world-class destination" and highlights the architecture, museums, massive brewing scene, and 77 neighborhoods to explore.

"I'd have to agree because I've been here forever. I get out and sightsee Chicago like I'm a tourist and I've been here all my life," said Joyce Ewing, as she visited the lakefront.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the recognition is a testament to Chicago's enduring status an exciting, welcoming and world-class travel destination.


"There are so many reasons why Chicago is the Best Big City in the U.S. – we have world-class restaurants, top-tier hotels and meeting spaces, cultural institutions and entertainment venues that can rival the best in the world and vibrant, diverse neighborhoods that make sure there is something for every visitor," Lightfoot said in a statement. "Most importantly, our city is full of people and organizations that care deeply and work tirelessly to make Chicago the most welcoming and inviting city in the world."

(Jason Lesniewicz / Choose Chicago)

"Condé Nast readers know what Chicagoans have always known…our city is the best in the nation," Governor J.B. Pritzker in a statement. "Chicago has everything: picturesque lakefronts, extraordinary architecture, world-class museums, the kindest people you’ll ever meet—and yes, the best pizza, too. Here’s to six years strong and many more to come."

Conde Nast also mentions the "brilliant chefs" – which lures Alex Lopez back for multiple servings.

"The cuisine we have here in Chicago is one of the best cuisines I have tried," he said.

Another reason travelers like us is that we’re so likable. Conde Nast says Chicago has some of the most pleasant people you'll find anywhere.

"It's not just our residents that are hospitable. It's our hospitality industry. We have a phenomenal hospitality industry here that really want to showcase our city that treat people well. And that's recognized by our travelers," said Osmond.

This summer, Chicago hotel demand exceeded 3 million room nights, approaching pre-pandemic levels, the magazine said.

"It is an incredible honor to once again be voted the Best Big City in the U.S.," said Lynn Osmond, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. "This recognition does not happen by accident – it is a testament to the hard-working people that make Chicago an inviting and welcoming city. Winning this award for six straight years combined with the successful summer of travel we just wrapped up make it clear that the past, present and future of tourism in Chicago is a bright one."

Readers voted Honolulu and San Diego, as the number two and three choices.

Best Big Cities in the U.S.

  1. Chicago
  2. Honolulu
  3. San Diego
  4. Nashville
  5. New York City
  6. Boston
  7. San Francisco
  8. New Orleans
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Seattle