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June - August 2019

The 20 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Summer 2019

  1. Passerotto

Chef/owner Jennifer Kim is free to express herself through a thoughtful rotating menu that includes cured fish, kalbi, and Korean-style rice cakes in an Italian-style lamb neck ragu.

5420 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

(708) 607-2102

  1. Big Jones

The Andersonville restaurant is serene at dinner, serves a booming brunch and is a neighborhood lunch staple. The most popular dishes include the crawfish etoufee circa 1930, the unique pickle platter, and what many believe is the best fried chicken in town.

5347 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

(773) 275-5725

  1. Band of Bohemia

Creative beer selections are brewed on-site, which, combined with a beautiful Victorian-inspired space, make Band of Bohemia a one-of-a-kind operation in the entire country.

4710 N Ravenswood Ave
Chicago, IL 60640

(773) 271-4710

  1. Smoque BBQ

With two smokers to prep meaty St. Louis-style ribs, tender brisket, apple-and-oak-smoked pulled pork and more, this ‘cue joint in the Northwest Side neighborhood of Irving Park stands up to any within a thousand miles.

3800 N Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60641

(773) 545-7427

  1. Parachute

Korean-American restaurant in Avondale is one of the most critically acclaimed, original, hardest to get into, and best restaurants in America in some time.

3500 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

(773) 654-1460

  1. Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Honey Butter Fried Chicken has been making swaths of Chicagoans feel like kids again when they dip their birds in that addictive honey butter.

3361 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

(773) 478-4000

  1. Cellar Door Provisions

Cellar Door Provisions serves pastries, a popular quiche, and lamb meatballs in the mornings and the afternoons.

3025 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

(773) 697-8337

  1. Fat Rice

Brave long lines and one of the toughest reservations in Chicago to sit at communal tables or a diner-esque counter and try the namesake large-format celebratory “Fat Rice,” the Chicago/Macanese pork chop sandwich, and the piri piri chicken while old-school hip hop music plays.

2957 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

(773) 661-9170

  1. Gene & Jude’s

This venerable stand, in operation since 1946, has been hailed as one of the country’s best for its Chicago-style variant, the “Depression Dog.” Each bun features a Vienna Beef frank topped with onions, relish, mustard, sport peppers, and a heap of French fries.

2720 N River Rd
River Grove, IL 60171

(708) 452-7634

  1. Mi Tocaya Antojería

Few chefs share the talent and drive that Diana Dávila exhibits while showcasing a dazzling display of small Mexican dishes in Logan Square.

2800 W Logan Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647

(872) 315-3947

  1. Lula Café

More than a decade on, it’s easy to see why people flock for its creative dinner menu, line-inducing Sunday brunch and Monday night farm dinners. Dishes change seasonally and sometimes daily, with stars that include standout local produce and meats prepared in unexpected ways.

2537 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

(773) 489-9554

  1. Pequod’s Pizza

Pequod’s pizzas are technically of the pan variety, a deep doughy pizza with lauded crispy caramelized crust made from baking cheese on the outside to give it a look that may appear burnt, yet is a textural addition with crunch that sets it apart from many competitors.

2207 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

(773) 327-1512

  1. Giant

Along with great service and drinks inside a relaxed come-as-you-are space, the pastas, crab and waffle fries, and fried uni shooter are staples.

3209 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

(773) 252-0997

  1. Alinea

It clocked in at No. 37 on the most recent World’s 50 Best List in 2019 and was among Eater National’s best restaurants in America.

1723 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614

(312) 867-0110

  1. Pizzeria Bebu

It’s a narrow and modern space, with ovens churning out some of the best pizzas in the city.

1521 N Fremont St
Chicago, IL 60642

(312) 280-6000

  1. Johnnie’s Beef

The best example of Chicago’s iconic Italian beef sandwiches exists outside of the city at the two suburban locations of Johnnie’s Beef.

7500 W North Ave
Elmwood Park, IL 60707

(708) 452-6000

  1. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

The best steakhouse in America’s meatiest city.

1028 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611

(312) 266-8999

  1. Spiaggia

The gorgeous main restaurant offers splurge-worthy fine-dining interpretations of modern Italian fare in both a la carte and tasting menus, while Cafe Spiaggia is a more relaxed and affordable option. The 700-bottle wine list is renowned.

980 N Michigan Ave 2nd Floor, Suite 1
Chicago, IL 60611

(312) 280-2750

  1. S.K.Y.

It’s fine dining with good value and without pretension — the menu features flavors from Japan (crispy swordfish katsu), Korea (crackling beef short rib), and the Mediterranean in both affordable tasting menus and a la carte options. The weekend dim sum-style brunch’s lobster dumplings may be the city’s best.

1239 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608

(312) 846-1077

  1. Dolo Restaurant and Bar

Chinatown Cantonese favorite Dolo specializes in made-to-order dim sum, so diners won’t find carts. The food is fresh and inventive with dishes like a beef shank appetizer and lamb chops that come prepared in a few different ways and served like lollipops. Seafood also stars with Cajun-style boils and a can’t-miss lobster.

2222 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

(312) 877-5117