Price Point: $16 for lobster roll at Luke's Lobster
Seriously, what is going on in the Loop? Though never short on restaurants, downtown's eateries usually ranged in quality from serviceable to questionable. But today you can get good barbecue (Blackwood BBQ) and, now, a legitimately great lobster roll at Luke's Lobster (134 N. Lasalle St., 312-982-2977; lukeslobster.com).
What makes the recently opened spot's specialty stand out? The sandwich starts with heaps of cold, plump lobster claw meat—not shredded, manhandled stuff cooked days before. The lobster tastes clean and slightly sweet, so the worst thing the restaurant could do is smother it in a pool of mayonnaise. Fortunately, the bun gets just a bare swipe of mayo, a drizzle of lemon butter, and a sprinkle of spices. Consider it lobster minimalism in the best possible way.
The only drawback is that you'll have to pay for the pleasure. The lobster roll comes in at a hefty $16, which makes this more of a special occasion lunch. But it's one you shouldn't worry about enjoying.