The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Johnson Awards honor restaurants for cleanliness

June 4, 2019 - Eleven Oak Park restaurants received awards from the Oak Park Department of Public Health and Board of Health in recognition for having the highest two-year average inspection scores.

Each of the restaurants' food service sanitation efforts earned them a Johnson Award, named for Oak Park's first lunchroom operated in the 1890s at 124 Lake St. The award is presented to the 10 top-scoring restaurants, and this year there was a tie for 10th place.

The 2019 Johnson Award winners are:

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill, 1128 Lake St.
  • Boss Burrito, 1110 W. Westgate St.
  • Sagano Sushi, 731 Lake St.
  • Lou Malnati's Pizzeria, 1038 Lake St.
  • New Pot, 727 Lake St.
  • Penny's Noodle Shop, 1130 Chicago Ave.
  • Buzz Cafe, 905 Lombard Ave.
  • Na Siam Thai, 6851 North Ave.
  • Munch, 104 N. Marion St.
  • Maya Del Sol, 144 S. Oak Park Ave.
  • Sen Sushi, 814 S. Oak Park Ave.

This is the 33rd time the Johnson Restaurant Awards have been presented. Recipients receive a door decal and a recognition certificate from the Health Department.

This year's Johnson Award winners were chosen from 85 eligible restaurants. This marks the sixth straight time Buzz Cafe earned recognition, making it the longest running Johnson Award honoree.

Boss Burrito, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Lou Malnati's Pizzeria, Na Siam Thai, New Pot, Penny's Noodle Shop and Sagano Sushi, were also honored in 2018.

The awards are based on scores from a 45-point inspection survey and averaged over a two-year period. These restaurants are responsible for some of the most complex aspects of food service and meal preparation including cooking, cooling, reheating and serving. Each of these processes must be carried out to the exacting standards mandated by the Illinois State Food Service Sanitation Code.

All licensed food establishments in Oak Park receive detailed inspections and education from the Health Department, as the Village works with all commercial food handlers to help make sure they meet state safety standards.

The Health Department inspects more than 200 food service establishments in the Village every year, from day care centers to senior living facilities and traditional restaurants to cafes. These businesses are divided into three broad categories based on the complexity of their operations.

The Johnson Award winners are all restaurants that have fairly complex food service processes and are required to maintain competent management and continuous supervision of every step of their food service operations.

For more information about the awards, call 708.358.5480 or email