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The Hot List

For January 2019

10 places everyone’s talking about and dining at
(in order of heat)


What:Haute Japanese hot spot
Why:Because you know you’re curious to see what’s replaced Grace.
Read more about this contemporary Japanese restaurant.
Where:652 W. Randolph St., West Loop Website
Yūgen Photo: Anthony Tahlier


What:Soigné soul food
Why:For once, Hyde Park has true destination dining.
Where:1462 E. 53rd St., Hyde Park Website
Virtue Photo: Courtesy of Virtue
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3Luella’s Gospel Bird

What:Chicken, chicken, and more chicken
Why:The only gospel preached here is Darnell Reed’s tangy-spicy sauce.
Where:2009 N. Damen Ave., Bucktown Website
Luella’s Gospel Bird Photo: Courtesy of Luella’s Gospel Bird


What:A four-year-old West Loop Japanese stalwart where you still can’t get a table
Why:The new face in the kitchen is a familiar one — the beloved Gene Kato (Sumi Robata Bar).
Where:820 W. Lake St., West Loop Website
Momotaro Photo: Huge Galdones
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5Tinker to Evers

What:A speakeasy beneath a pizzeria
Why:What better way to hide from the Wrigleyville hordes than by slipping underground for a rye and Cynar cocktail?
Browse photos of this underground bar.
Where:3473 N. Clark St., Lake View Website
Tinker to Evers Photo: Courtesy of Robin Subar

6Avli Taverna

What:Oh-so-chic Greek
Why:Gather five of your closest friends and feast like kings on a whole roasted leg of lamb.
Where:1335 W. Wrightwood Ave., Lincoln Park Website
Avli Taverna Photo: Kailley Lindman
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7Peach’s at Currency Exchange Cafe

What:An all-day breakfast café
Why:Oatmeal topped with peaches and bourbon will ruin you for plain old Quaker Oats.
Where:305 E. Garfield Ave., Washington Park Website
Peach’s at Currency Exchange Cafe Photo: Courtesy of Peach’s at Currency Exchange Cafe

8Diner Grill

What:A fried-egg institution
Why:After a 2016 fire, this 24-hour diner has risen from the ashes.
Where:1635 W. Irving Park Rd., North Center Website
Diner Grill Photo: Louisa Chu/Chicago Tribune

9Taureaux Tavern

What:Splurging à la française
Why:Downing escargot is a great way to kill time while you wait for the Metra.
Where:155 W. Van Buren St., Loop Website
Taureaux Tavern Photo: Meghan Leigh


What:An L.A. restaurant group’s big Chicago debut
Why:Crab cakes, lamb chops, caviar dip, and other fare for power diners.
Where:613 N. Wells St., River North Website
Mason Photo: Anthony Tahlier
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