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The Hot List

For March 2020

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

1Outside Voices

What:Lots and lots of natural wines, plus charcuterie, from the Scofflaw folks
Why:Geekery without the snobbery — they’ve put wine pronunciations on the menu.
Browse photos of our visit to the Logan Square wine bar.
Where:3204 W. Armitage Ave., Logan Square Website
Outside Voices Photo: Dave Rentauskas

2Osito’s Tap

What:A Latin speakeasy behind Moreno’s Liquors
Why:The store is a destination for mezcal; now people are staying for the cocktails.
Check out pics of this Little Village speakeasy.
Where:2553 S. Ridgeway Ave., Little Village Website
Osito’s Tap Photo: Osito’s Tap
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3Starbucks Reserve Roastery

What:A five-story wonderland of coffee flights and cocktails
Why:Catch the buzz of your choice, no matter the time of day.
Take a look around the towering coffee spot on Michigan Avenue.
Where:646 N. Michigan Ave., Near North Side Website
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Photo: Matthew Glac

4Moody Tongue

What:The inventive brewpub is back in bigger, fancier digs.
Why:The tasting menu pairs truffle squab with truffle Pilsner — it’s the ultimate spot for beer snobs.
Where:2515 S. Wabash Ave., Bronzeville Website
Moody Tongue Photo: Jordan Balderas
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5Time Out Market

What:A sprawling food hall from the quarterly mag
Why:It’s one tasty stall after another, including dishes from Split-Rail and HaiSous’s Thai Dang.
Where:916 W. Fulton Market, West Loop Website
Time Out Market Photo: Sandy Noto

6Lao Peng You

What:Two brothers who worked at Pilsen restaurants get back to their Chinese roots.
Why:Their noodles and dumplings are made with love — that is, inspired by Grandma.
Where:2020 W. Chicago Ave., Ukrainian Village Website
Lao Peng You Photo: Lao Peng You
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7Giambotta Pizza Co.

What:A serious Neapolitan pizza and natural wine joint establishes a beachhead in Plainfield.
Why:The wine list, packed with unexpected bottles, is drawing all the city somms.
Where:24136 W. Lockport St. Website
Giambotta Pizza Co. Photo: Dario Rovito


What:Spanish-Portuguese seafood from the Beatnik team
Why:With tinned seafood and lush plants, this is a breezy taste of summer even when there’s dirty slush on the ground.
Where:1600 W. Chicago Ave., East Ukrainian Village Website
Porto Photo: Porto


What:A River North outpost of the Greek taverna
Why:With the fig-topped saganaki and bottles of crisp assyrtiko, you’d swear you were in Mykonos.
Where:702 N. Wells St. Website
Avli Photo: Barry Brecheisen


What:Tapas and vermouth cocktails from an East Coast import
Why:Start with the jamón, finish with the Nutella churro.
Where:807 W. Fulton Market, West Loop Website
Boqueria Photo: Rey Lopez
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