1. Spicy Caesar Salad


In this colorful version, chef Zoe Schor coats Little Gem leaves with a Calabrian chile–laced dressing for some heat. She adorns them with pickled red onions and roasted tomatoes, then showers it all with grated pecorino and garlicky breadcrumbs. It’s a total flavor bomb with loads of texture. $14. 2500 W. Chicago Ave., Humboldt Park

2. Nori Caesar

Pizza Lobo

The ideal accompaniment to the slices at this Logan Square pizzeria is chef Dan Snowden’s umami-filled bowl of Little Gem and romaine, nori dressing, and a crispy “chicharrón” made with nori, kale, rice, and polenta. Nubs of kohlrabi tossed in bright Champagne vinegar finish things off. $13. 3000 W. Fullerton Ave., Logan Square

3. Truffled Caesar


Chef Soo Ahn gives the Caesar a glam makeover by tossing Little Gem and baby red romaine leaves with a dressing loaded with black garlic, yuzu, and truffles, then cracking pink peppercorns and zesting lime over the top. Crunch comes courtesy of baked truffle and Parm pasta squares, and the salad is finished with yet more truffles, shaved freshly tableside. $17. 912 N. State St., Near North Side

4. Broccoli Caesar

The Moonlighter

The Logan Square sports bar eschews lettuce entirely in this salad, which subs in charred broccoli for a heartier offering. The Caesar-dressed stalks come with chopped white anchovies, grated pecorino, and brown butter almonds, which add crunch. $8. 3204 W. Armitage Ave., Logan Square

5. Caesar Salad

Adorn Bar & Restaurant

Chef Jonathon Sawyer goes deep on garlic by slicking romaine with a dressing made with raw, roasted, and fermented black garlic along with barrel-aged fish sauce. The crispy fried parsley, breadcrumbs, and Parm add textural and flavor balance. In all, it’s funky without being overwhelming. $16 at lunch; $20 at dinner. 120 E. Delaware Pl., Gold Coast