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The Hot List

For December 2019

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

1Bárbaro Taqueria y Cantina

What:Regional tacos from La Haciendita Taqueria’s team
Why:Missing Mexico City? Don’t worry, it’s coming to you, in the form of meaty tacos campechanos.
Where:2525 W. North Ave., Humboldt Park Website
Bárbaro Taqueria y Cantina Photo: Courtesy of Bárbaro Taqueria y Cantina

2D Cuisine

What:Dim sum and Guangdong specialties by a MingHin veteran in the heart of Lincoln Park
Why:Taste the evolution of dim sum: bacon cheese potato rolls.
Where:2723 N. Clark St. Website
D Cuisine Photo: Chicago Tribune
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3Wazwan Supper Club

What:A pop-up that plays fast and loose with South Asian cuisine
Why:So you can say you devoured the Tandoori honey fried chicken sandwich before all your friends.
Where:Follow @wazwanchicago on Instagram for updates. Website
Wazwan Supper Club Photo: Marina Paul

4Hanabusa Café

What:A Toronto import proffering Japanese soufflé pancakes
Why:No maple syrup here — these puffy, fluffy pancakes are drizzled with Earl Grey salted caramel.
Where:29 E. Madison St., Loop Website
Hanabusa Café Photo: Michael Zajakowski
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What:Sweet and savory Mexican pastries from lauded chef Carlos Gaytan
Why:Little cakes coated with apricot jam and sprinkles? We’ll take a dozen.
Where:720 N. State St., Near North Side Website
Panango! Photo: Max Depatie

6Fat Rice

What:The Macanese darling, now with a deeper café menu and expanded hours
Why:New dishes, like a smoked salmon everything bun, give you another excuse to visit.
Where:2957 W. Diversey Ave., Logan Square Website
Chicago restaurant Fat Rice Photo: Courtesy of Fat Rice
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What:The Midwestern fine dining pioneer, reinvigorated
Why:With a new executive chef and wine director, Blackbird promises to soar higher than ever.
Where:619 W. Randolph St., West Loop Website
Blackbird Photo: Sandy Noto


What:An arty 25-seat bar from a former photographer
Why:All the hipster date-night essentials: cocktails, charcuterie, and vinyl-spinning DJs
Where:4716 N. Kedzie Ave., Albany Park Website
Bokeh Photo: Peter Ravenstel

9Papa Cenar

What:A Logan Square café inspired by Ernest Hemingway
Why:A moveable feast of whole fish and lamb ribs
Where:2445 N. Milwaukee Ave. Website
Papa Cenar Photo: Margaret Rajic


What:Paul Virant returns to city limits with nine types of okonomiyaki, savory Japanese pancakes.
Why:Go for bacon and egg okonomiyaki, stay for the towering shaved ice desserts.
Where:950 W. Lake St., West Loop Website
Gaijin Photo: Jeff Marini
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