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11. Elina’s

Red sauce joints have been opening left and right in Chicago, and there are exactly zero questions why. After the two years we’ve had, who doesn’t need to face-plant into a bowl of rigatoni with vodka sauce or inhale a massive chicken Parm? Elina’s, a sliver of a storefront on an old-school Italian stretch in … Read more

12. Mama Delia

The drama begins with a bright pink exterior and fern-bedecked patio and extends into the striking marble bar that’s curved around the wine-and-conservas-loaded shelves of a 112-year-old pharmacy shipped over from Belgium. Whew! Bonhomme Group’s tapas bar is, with all due respect, a little bit extra. The vibe is undoubtedly over the top, but the … Read more

13. Tengoku Aburiya

The tiny sushi bar Omakase Yume is good for a splurge, but its sister restaurant next door is the one you’ll want to put into regular rotation. If you’ve heard the term “izakaya” bandied about, this is the real deal. First, you drink, perhaps a fizzy, lightly sweetened Japanese cocktail such as chuhai or a … Read more

14. Taqueria Chingón

This project from a trio of friends with upscale dining credentials is like an experimental taco development lab. Thick housemade tortillas cradle everything from blood sausage, pickled red onions, and apples to honey-glazed delicata squash with goat cheese crema and salsa macha. The daily specials really run the gamut, with such creations as a banh … Read more

1. Kasama

When Kasama, a Filipino all-day café, opened in July 2020, diners lost their minds over Genie Kwon’s sweet-savory ham and cheese Danish topped with melted raclette, Serrano ham, and black-pepper-infused caramel. Snagging one earned you bragging rights on Instagram. The next dish to take off was Tim Flores’s brilliant breakfast sandwich: a griddled longanisa sausage … Read more

2. Ever

A whiteboard in the kitchen here displays a number: a countdown to the number of services left before the team thinks the Michelin Guide may come out and a reminder to everyone on staff of what they’re working toward. Chef Curtis Duffy and his partner, Michael Muser, earned three stars at their previous restaurant, Grace, … Read more

3. Dear Margaret

If you stop into this bistro looking to re-create a trip to Quebec with a meal of tourtière, poutine, and thick pea soup, you could be confused. “What makes it French Canadian?” you may ask executive chef Ryan Brosseau. “I’m French Canadian,” he’d answer laconically. Brosseau is cooking from the heart, and in a way … Read more