According to the Chinese zodiac, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, but in Chicago it’s shaping up to be the year of the hot pot. High-tech chains such as the X Pot and Shoo Loong Kan have recently opened Chicago locations, bringing glamour to this homey communal meal with their beautiful artwork, premium ingredients like wagyu beef, and robot servers. Our fave, in the heart of Chinatown, is more modest in its design and ingredients, but it delivers dishes with a wallop of flavor. Yao Yao specializes in suan cai yu — a soulful combination of large-mouth bass fillets and pickled mustard greens bobbing in a spicy chile broth — which arrives as a centerpiece dish rather than an unending feast like other hot pot experiences. Start there, then outfit the meal with an array of delightful small plates like smashed cucumbers, sesame fried shrimp, and noodle dishes. 230 W. Cermak Rd.