Best Evanston Restaurant: Bat 17

Joseph Diebold, Managing Editor

1709 Benson Ave., 847-733-7117,

In the only category to return from last year, the defending champion has retained its crown. Call Bat 17 the Miami Heat of Best of Evanston — it’s definitely a deserving two-time champ. What sets the restaurant apart is its consistency across the board, with solid-to-great options in its chicken, beef, pork, and vegetarian sections of the menu, as well as beer sizes ranging from glass to tower. And it didn’t rest on its laurels after last year’s win either, adding an expansion with the largest picture of Pat Fitzgerald any of us have ever seen and a comfortable bar that won’t remind anyone of The Keg but is a fun, late-night hangout spot. There wasn’t much drama here; tune in next year as Bat goes for the three-peat.

— Joseph Diebold