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The Hot List

For May 2019

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


What:Three siblings team up for one epic Filipino restaurant.
Why:Their pork skewer may be the most beautiful assemblage of meat in the entire city right now.
Where:2211 W. North Ave., Wicker Park Website
Cebu Photo: Ryan Beshel


What:A restaurant-slash-flower-shop
Why:The menu features “smash-and-sip” cocktails — as in, you take a tiny hammer to a translucent sheet of sugar to get at your beverage and to get out your rage.
Check out this video of our visit to the Wicker Park bar.
Where:1846 W. Division St., Wicker Park Website
Machine Photo: Sophia Mathias
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3Le Colonial

What:A French-Vietnamese Gold Coast institution
Why:A move around the corner means a spiffed-up spot to see and be seen with a plate of crispy spring rolls.
Where:57 E. Oak St., Gold Coast Website
Le Colonial Photo: Neil Burger


What:Kind of a restaurant, kind of a club, always busy
Why:Cinnamon-roll pancakes by day, dance floor by night
Where:316 W Erie St., River North Website
Clutch Photo: Courtesy of Clutch
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5JoJo’s Milk Bar

What:The most excessive desserts anywhere
Why:Each candy-adorned shake provides enough sugar to keep at least 20 preschoolers hyper for an afternoon.
Watch a video of our day at the dessert bar.
Where:23 W. Hubbard St., Near North Side Website
JoJo’s Milk Bar Photo: Marcin Cymmer

6Lost Larson Vinbar

What:A darling bakery stays up late®.
Why:The cardamom buns aren’t just for breakfast anymore — and you can get them with booze now.
Where:5318 N. Clark St., Andersonville Website
Lost Larson Vinbar Photo: Courtesy of Lost Larson Vinbar
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7The Soul Shack

What:Soul food for the community
Why:The pay-it-forward mission: The few bucks you opt to add to your bill will be used to cover the cost of a meal for someone who can’t afford it.
Where:1368 E. 53rd St., Hyde Park Website
The Soul Shack Photo: Yazmine Fowler

8The Chicago House of ’Za

What:Vegan deep dish
Why:How has nobody else thought to do this before?
Where:1939 W. Byron St., North Center Website
The Chicago House of ’Za Photo: Courtesy of the Chicago House of ’Za

9Arigato Market

What:Like if your tacos studied abroad in Japan
Why:Chef Brett Suzuki’s partner in this former brewery pop-up? A South Bend–based cattle farmer.
Where:1407 W. Grand Ave., West Town Website
Arigato Market Photo: Zoe Krey


What:Yet another omakase menu
Why:What makes this super-luxe sushi spot unlike the others that have recently opened? This one has chef B.K. Park, late of Juno.
Where:731 W. Lake St., West Town Website
Mako Photo: Brad Danner
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