The Lamb and Coriander Dumplings at Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings

Selected by Maxwell Robbins, Longman & Eagle

“Dumplings are literally the name of the game at this place, where they serve an extensive menu of jiaozi, which are very similar to xiao long bao, or soup dumplings. My go-to is the lamb and coriander. I love the rich lamb flavor paired with floral and citrusy notes from the coriander.”

The Steak Burrito at Mi Tocaya Antojería

Selected by Zoe Schor, Split-Rail

“Mi Tocaya is doing some of the best food in Chicago, but nothing beats their steak burrito. The flavors are spot on, the build is perfect, and their hot sauce is fire. The romaine lettuce brings the perfect freshness, and the steak is so tender. I’ll use up the entire side of their hot sauce, drizzling it over as I go.”

The Asada Pambazo at El Habanero

Selected by Edward Kim, Mott Street and Mini Mott

“The bread is the star of this sandwich: It’s drenched in a guajillo chile and herb sauce, then it’s toasted so it has crisped edges that lock in an incredible depth of flavor. The carne asada has a good char, and the fresh Cotija cheese just melds it all together.”

The Catfish at Virtue Restaurant

Selected by Maya-Camille Broussard, Justice of the Pies

“When the plate is set in front of me, I think: Should my first bite be the flaky catfish, the barbecued carrots, the Carolina gold rice, or the carrot purée? Then I just take a little bit of each. The heat of the blackened spices on the fish meeting the sweetness of the purée makes each bite complex and satisfying. It’s contemporary Southern at its apex.”

The S.K.Y. Fried Chicken at S.K.Y.

Selected by Carlos Gaytán, Tzuco

“It’s tender and juicy with just the right amount of crispiness to the skin, and it comes with a creamy, buttery sauce that’s the perfect complement. It’s also spicy, and the heat cuts through the richness. Combined, these elements make you want to just keep eating.”