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Ultrahaute tasting menus in dressed-down environs. Veggie-centric dining in the heart of a red-meat district. A food court stall transformed into an after-hours Korean feast. As this year’s picks prove, with great risk can come even greater reward.

How did we choose?

How did we choose?

No. 1


West Loop • Contemporary

$190 prix fixe menu

Noah Sandoval Chef-partner

No. 2


Logan Square • American

$25 to $35

Jason Vincent and Ben Lustbader

No. 3


West Loop • American

$85, $135, and $195 prix fixe menus

John Shields Executive chef–partner

No. 4


Logan Square • Mexican

$25 to $35

Dan Salls Chef–partner

No. 5


West Loop • American Contemporary

$60 to $95

Andrew Brochu Executive chef

No. 6


North Center • Japanese

$35 to $45

Justin Behlke Chef

No. 7


Westmont • Korean

$6 to $11 lunch; $75 tasting menu

David Park Chef-partner

No. 8

Leña Brava

West Loop • Mexican

$60 to $65

Rick Bayless Executive chef and owner

No. 9

The Barn

Evanston • American

$50 to $60

Nicole Pederson Executive chef and partner

No. 10

Bad Hunter

West Loop • Vegetable-centered

$35 to $45

Dan Snowden Executive chef

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