Chicago magazine's August issue hits newsstands Thursday, July 18. To schedule an interview with one of our writers or editors, please contact Allison Roche at

Best of Chicago  In a metro area teeming with options for how to spend your time and money, you want to sift out the remarkable from the ‘meh,’ the incredible from the ‘OK’—in other words, you want the very tops. Best of Chicago, our exhaustively reported annual list, gives you just that: the absolute best things the city and suburbs have to offer right this minute. Superlative finds in nightlife, food, shopping, culture, and events will keep your calendar—and stomach—full for the next year, including the best picks for dancing, yoga studios, first-date destination, fried chicken, comedy open-mike night, book by a local author, burgers, boutiques, and neighborhood grub in seven city ‘hoods, to name only a few. Plus: Eleven reader-selected favorites.

The Last Hike of David Gimelfarb  Costa Rica is the ecotourism capital of the world, but there is a darker side to this tropical paradise. In the last four years, at least eight foreigners have gone missing in the popular Central American destination, and 19 U.S. citizens have been murdered there since 2011. For 28-year-old David Gimelfarb, his 2009 trip to Costa Rica was supposed to be one last adventure before returning to graduate school, but he vanished soon after his arrival. Despite the persistent efforts of his parents and friends, his disappearance remains a mystery. This August, the Gimelfarbs will return to Costa Rica on the anniversary of their son’s disappearance for their annual trip to reenergize the search for David.

But Is It Medicine? – Northwestern Memorial was one of the first U.S. hospitals to combine conventional medicine with alternative treatments like acupuncture, Reiki, and Chinese herbal remedies. In response to patient demand, a growing number of hospitals in Chicago and across the country are offering such services, but questions remain about their legitimacy. Most have not been scientifically proven to work, which also means they aren’t covered by insurance. Should patients be shelling out of pocket for alternative treatments? And what solution can conventional medicine provide?

Competition BBQ – We accompany Charlie McKenna, chef at Lillie’s Q in Bucktown, to the annual world barbecue championship in Memphis for a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to battle 249 other teams for ultimate barbecue glory at the Super Bowl of Swine. Plus: Eight tips from McKenna about how to smoke meat at home to finger-lickin’ perfection.

Frank Lloyd Wright Homes for Sale – The sale of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home is more common—and less expensive—than you might think. Dennis Rodkin, our resident real estate expert, looks at four recent Wright homes for sale in the Chicago area.