Chicago’s 10 hottest restaurants right now – Chicago magazine

Photography: Huge Galdones Photography

1 Alla Vita

What:Boka Restaurant Group and Chef Lee Wolen bring their interpretation of classic family-style Italian dishes to the former Bellemore space.
Why:Order wood-fired pizzas topped with mushrooms and black truffles, as well as homemade pasta and the restaurant’s signature dish: chicken parm with roasted tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella.
Or:564 W. Randolph Street, West Loop Website

Photography: Zoé Schor

2 Split-Rail

What:The West Town favorite is reinventing his space with the help of the Martin Gallery.
Why:Admire the works of emerging artists while tasting chili maple butter fried chicken.
Or:2500 W. Chicago Ave., West Town Website

Mona Bella caterer
Photography: Abriana Johnson

3 Mona Bella caterer

What:Cambodian take-out dishes from veteran chef Mona Sang
Why:Order a feast of crispy shrimp rolls, beef larb and fried bananas with ginger syrup.
Or:Order at

Photography: Kristen Mendiola Photography

4 City-history

What:A new bar and restaurant inspired by the New Orleans red light district in the early 20th century
Why:Go wild with a frozen Ramos gin fizz, seafood okra and mini andouilles po’boys.
Or:712 N. Clark St., North River Website

Photography: Ussanee Sanmueangchin

5 Habrae

What:Thai goodies and more land in downtown Forest Park.
Why:Go for some crispy fried chicken rice and leave room for desserts like milk pudding with cantaloupe.
Or:7230 Madison Street, Forest Park Website

Shang noodles
Photography: @chowbus

6 Shang noodles

What:Evanston’s Chinese mainstay debuts in two cities.
Why:Order chilled mandarin duck to start, then any hand-pulled noodles you can eat.
Or:215 E. Grand Ave., Streeterville; 1101 S. Wabash Avenue, South Loop Website

Sweet bean
Photography: Jordyn Belli

7 Sweet bean

What:An all-day Japanese-Taiwanese cafe offers pastries, coffee, and lunch.
Why:With xiao long bao, avocado toast and pineapple buns, there’s something for everyone.
Or:1152 S. Wabash Avenue, South Loop Website

Brunch and burgers
Photography: Erica McGhee

8 Brunch and burgers

What:Erica McGhee serves up fresh dishes on – you guessed it – brunches and burgers.
Why:Try oatmeal with granola or a turkey burger with brie and caramelized apple and onion jam.
Or:2255 W. Taylor Street, Tri-Taylor Website

Bitter pops
Photography: Nick Gil

9 Bitter pops

What:The Bottle Shop opens a new tasting room with fun bites.
Why:Order a local beer, cider, or kombucha and nibble on fried pickled green beans and giant blonde mustard pretzels.
Or: 3357 N. Lincoln Ave., lake view Website

Overflow coffee
Photography: Jeanette Jain

ten Overflow cafe

What:A community-driven twin cafe at the Rogers Park Common Cup
Why:Work on a Nutella mocha and Justice of the Pies quiche, then stick around for the live music.
Or:1449 S. Michigan Ave., South Loop Website

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