Chicago magazine's August issue hits newsstands Thursday, July 12th. To schedule an interview with one of our writers or editors, please contact Allison Roche at

Best of Chicago (Cover Story) – Our crack team of city experts have once again scoured the streets to bring you the absolute best of everything Chicago has to offer. The 14th annual Best of Chicago list includes 124 superlative finds, including Chicago’s most delicious dishes, stellar drinking and nightlife, crazy good stuff for kids, health and beauty knockouts, culture greats, and much more. Whether you’re looking for a new class to shake up your workout routine, birthday party venues that will make you the coolest parent in town, or a hostess gift that will guarantee oohs and aahs, you’ll find everything you need to be one savvy Chicagoan. Plus: the best spots to get daily essentials in six neighborhoods, the results of our first-ever readers’ choice poll to determine crowd favorites in 15 categories, and how to get your dog named “best in show” in a future issue.

…And How to Make Chicago Even Better – Seven visionary Chicagoans share fresh, creative fixes to six big-picture problems facing our great city, from how to ease Chicago’s traffic congestion for both the 99 percent (specialized bike and bus lanes on Lake Shore Drive) and the 1 percent (the return of downtown helicopter service), to how to fight teenage obesity with later school start times, to how to reduce Illinois’ overwhelming budget deficit with a state-run bank.

Under the Gun – Police superintendent Garry McCarthy was the man of the hour after the success of NATO, but will the early-summer spike in violent crime diminish the rise of his star in Chicago? This in-depth analysis of McCarthy’s first year in office probes why his crime-fighting strategies may not translate to the challenges of the city’s entrenched gang population—or survive the Windy City’s political pressures.

Chicago-style BBQ search – BBQ pit master Hecky Powell led our writer through the South Side to discover the most outstanding Chicago BBQ, while laying out ten rules—a side of white bread and fries is a must, eat-in seating is not—for how to find the most authentic, lip-smacking rib joints on your own.

Lollapalooza: A Primer – Lollapalooza hits Grant Park August 3 to 5; get the inside scoop on the hot acts to see, the Lolla lingo to toss around, and the concert alternative to catch if a 200,000-plus crowd isn’t your scene.