Sean Cooley
Sean Cooley
Sean Cooley
Bohemian House
Mercadito Fish
Tamale Station
Facebook/RiverRoastChi
Red Lion
Qulinarnia
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1. Husky Hog BBQ 335 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60616

What used to be only a food truck, this Bridgeport meatery dishes out the same splendid fare (and more) that originated from their truck, including their famous juicy ribs and pulled pork, as well as deep-fried Oreos and smoked corn on the cob so good, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered eating corn any other way.

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2. Bohemian House 11 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

This River North spot is an ode to Bohemian culture in all its manifestations, with rustic-meets-glam décor and eclectic fare that’s rooted in Central Europe. The menu, created and executed by Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos, features small plates like salt and vinegar chips and knackwurst in a blanket, large plates like spatzel and skirt steak, and unforgettable sweets like caramelized plum kolacky and an inventive take on coffee and donuts with hazelnut brittle.

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3. Qulinarnia 1730 W Golf Rd, Mount Prospect, IL 60056

Though surprisingly short on lions, witches, and wardrobes, Qulinarnia is full of modern interpretations of traditional Polish dishes like beef tenderloin tartare, cream of pickles soup, and lamb chops with beets.

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4. River Roast 315 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

On the north bank of the Chicago River is River Roast, an upscale tavern that combines traditional British roasts with new American ingredients. The menu revolves around roasted proteins -- fish, beef, chicken, pork -- that are carved table-side for two. There are also a variety of small plates and vegetables to share. The large space includes two bars and an expansive riverside patio.

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5. The Promontory 5311 S Lake Park West, Chicago, IL 60615 (Near South Side)

The Michelin-lauded team behind Longman & Eagle started this South Side gem, which's an innovative restaurant, bar, and performance space across two floors. Wood-burning hearths scorch spreads of meat, seafood, and virtually everything else on the menu.

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6. Mercadito Fish 10 E Delaware Pl, Chicago, IL 60611 (Gold Coast)

This lauded seafood & spirits house in the Gold Coast is one of the best spots for fresh, juicy seafood and strong 'tails.

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7. Tamale Station 1341 N Damen, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

This Wicker Park taqueria is the only one inspired by lucha libre, and its brick-and-mortar (following the success of its insane Spaceship truck) has got some of the most authentic Mexican eats around.

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8. Emporium Logan Square 2363 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Emporium’s added a new location in Logan Square that's even bigger than the original and full of video games, an indoor food truck, plus vintage pinball, bubble hockey, and pool.

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9. Red Lion 4749 N Rockwell St, Chicago, IL 60625 (Lincoln Square)

After “ironing out a few kinks”, it’s all-systems-/taps-go at the fully rebuilt Red Lion Pub. The interior is something straight off the streets of London, complete with dark, exposed beams, three stone fireplaces, bookshelf-lined walls, and strategically placed British photographs and artwork from the WWII era. The menu echoes the space, and includes traditional pub fare like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and a variety of British brews.