The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017
Big Jones is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

1. Big Jones

8.9
5347 N Clark St (btwn W Summerdale Ave & W Balmoral Ave), Chicago, IL
Southern / Soul Food Restaurant · Andersonville · 127 tips and reviews

EaterEater: This spot has been around a while, but its new Boarding House lunch (with juicy fried chicken) hearty brunch platters and dishes culled from decades and centuries-old recipes has given it new life. Read more.

Hopleaf Bar is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

2. Hopleaf Bar

9.3
5148 N Clark St (at W Foster Ave), Chicago, IL
Beer Bar · Andersonville · 315 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Hopleaf is well known for its huge beer selection—which is well deserved—yet the interesting takes on Belgian food is also a main reason crowds continue to pack the Andersonville spot. Read more.

Tank Noodle is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

3. Tank Noodle

9.0
4953 N Broadway St (at Argyle St), Chicago, IL
Vietnamese Restaurant · Uptown · 136 tips and reviews

EaterEater: The longtime family-owned spot serves Chicago's best bowl of pho, but there are a seemingly unlimited amount of finds on the 200-item menu full of soups, noodle dishes, rice, banh mi, and much more. Read more.

Demera Ethiopian Restaurant is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

4. Demera Ethiopian Restaurant

8.7
4801 N Broadway St (at Lawrence Ave.), Chicago, IL
Ethiopian Restaurant · Uptown · 41 tips and reviews

EaterEater: When we want to eat with our hands and sop up spicy Ethiopian sauces and tender doro wat and vegetables we head north to Uptown. Tip: they roast their own coffee, too. Read more.

Spacca Napoli Pizzeria is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

5. Spacca Napoli Pizzeria

9.3
1769 W Sunnyside Ave (at Ravenswood Ave), Chicago, IL
Pizza Place · Ravenswood · 90 tips and reviews

EaterEater: The trendier Neapolitan pizza gets, the more you're reminded who does it best in Chicago. Come for Jonathan Goldsmith's perfectly charred pies from his custom-built oven. Read more.

Smoque BBQ is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

6. Smoque BBQ

9.4
3800 N Pulaski Rd (at Grace St), Chicago, IL
BBQ Joint · Old Irving Park · 219 tips and reviews

EaterEater: With two smokers to prep meaty St. Louis-style ribs, tender brisket, apple-and-oak-smoked pulled pork and more, this 'cue joint ain't no joke. Read more.

Parachute is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

7. Parachute

9.0
3500 N Elston Ave (Troy), Chicago, IL
Korean Restaurant · Northwest Side · 51 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Beverly Kim and John Clark's Korean-American restaurant in Avondale is one of the most critically-acclaimed, original, and best-done restaurants in some time. Read more.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

8. Honey Butter Fried Chicken

9.2
3361 N Elston Ave (at W Roscoe St), Chicago, IL
Fried Chicken Joint · Northwest Side · 121 tips and reviews

EaterEater: It may not serve your momma's fried chicken—with bones, skin, et al—but Honey Butter has been making swaths of Chicagoans feel like kids again when they dip their birds in that honey butter. Read more.

Fat Rice is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

9. Fat Rice

9.1
2957 W Diversey Ave (at N Sacramento Ave), Chicago, IL
Asian Restaurant · Logan Square · 81 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Former underground chef Abraham Conlon has reached the big time with his creative take on Macau cuisine. Try the pickle assortments and namesake "fat rice." Read more.

Owen & Engine is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

10. Owen & Engine

9.2
2700 N Western Ave (at W Schubert Ave), Chicago, IL
Gastropub · Northwest Side · 139 tips and reviews

EaterEater: This cult favorite British-inspired gastropub has a much better beer selection and the fish and chips are nearly as good as across the pond, and the burger is easily one of the best in Chicago. Read more.

Pequod's Pizzeria is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

11. Pequod's Pizzeria

9.2
2207 N Clybourn Ave (btwn W Webster Ave & N Greenview Ave), Chicago, IL
Pizza Place · North Side · 247 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Pequod's pies are of the pan variety, a deep doughy pizza that includes an addictive and lauded crispy caramelized crust made from baking cheese on the outside to give it a look that may appear burnt. Read more.

Lula Café is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

12. Lula Café

9.5
2537 N Kedzie Blvd (btwn Linden & Logan Sq.), Chicago, IL
Café · Logan Square · 229 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Before Logan Square had Longman & Eagle, it had Lula Café. More than a decade on, it's easy to see why people flock for its locally sourced menu, Sunday brunch and Monday night farm dinners. Read more.

Mindy's Hot Chocolate is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

13. Mindy's Hot Chocolate

9.1
1747 N Damen Ave (at W Willow St), Chicago, IL
Dessert Shop · Bucktown · 192 tips and reviews

EaterEater: While the savory food and the drinks are very good, the sweets and the hot chocolates are predictably not to be missed from an owner with a James Beard award for best pastry chef. Read more.

Boka is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

14. Boka

8.9
1729 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · Lincoln Park · 87 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Now a decade old, the Boka Group's flagship restaurant is better than ever following a reboot that added chef Lee Wolen and a stunning remodel. Read more.

Alinea is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

15. Alinea

9.3
1723 N Halsted St (btwn W North Ave & W Willow St), Chicago, IL
Molecular Gastronomy Restaurant · Lincoln Park · 124 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Food obsessives make pilgrimages from around the globe to the 10-year-old Lincoln Park restaurant to experience Achatz's emotional, interactive and expensive tasting menus. Read more.

Dove's Luncheonette is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

16. Dove's Luncheonette

9.4
1545 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL
Diner · Wicker Park · 76 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Paul Kahan and co. bring Tex-Mex comfort food to a traditional diner environment, adding a standout mezcal selection and soul music wafting from a turntable. Try the fried chicken and torta ahogada. Read more.

Mott Street is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

17. Mott Street

8.9
1401 N Ashland Ave (Blackhawk), Chicago, IL
Asian Restaurant · Noble Square · 66 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Creative, eclectic, delicious takes on Asian street food, cocktails, and a lively patio. Don't miss the everything wings, General Tso's lamb sweetbreads, and the Korean-style stuffed cabbage. Read more.

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

18. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

9.2
1028 N Rush St (at E Bellevue Pl), Chicago, IL
Steakhouse · Gold Coast · 235 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Chicago's steakhouse tradition may be best experienced at Gibson's, the swanky Gold Coast institution that Eater readers voted the best steakhouse in America's meatiest city. Read more.

Boeufhaus is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

19. Boeufhaus

8.9
1012 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL
Steakhouse · Humboldt Park · 15 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Boeufhaus is sort of the anti-steakhouse, serving delicious food such as short rib beignets, a standout wine list and a deli and meat counter during the day, all in a hip space. Read more.

Piccolo Sogno is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

20. Piccolo Sogno

9.4
464 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL
Italian Restaurant · Fulton River District · 97 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Even if you can't sit on the city's best patio all year, chef Tony Priolo's pizzas, housemade pastas and grilled meats make a trip worth it even in the dead of winter. Read more.

Portillo's is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

21. Portillo's

9.2
100 W Ontario St (at N Clark St), Chicago, IL
Hot Dog Joint · River North · 567 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Whether you're looking for hot dogs or Italian beef, very few places offer up that kind of greasy iconic Chicago-style street food better than the classic food hall-esque Portillo's on Ontario Street. Read more.

Bohemian House is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

22. Bohemian House

9.0
11 W Illinois St (at N State St), Chicago, IL
Eastern European Restaurant · Near North Side · 45 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Under the direction of chef Jimmy Papadopolous, Boho honors Chicago's extensive Eastern European heritage with some of the most creative and tasty versions of that region's dishes in a gorgeous space. Read more.

The Purple Pig is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

23. The Purple Pig

9.3
500 N Michigan Ave (at W Illinois St.), Chicago, IL
Mediterranean Restaurant · Streeterville · 568 tips and reviews

EaterEater: The father-and-son Bannos duo's restaurant is a torch bearer for mediterranean small plates and charcuterie, and perhaps the best restaurant on the touristy Magnificent Mile. Be prepared for a wait. Read more.

Frontera Grill is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

24. Frontera Grill

9.2
445 N Clark St (btwn Illinois St & Hubbard St), Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · Near North Side · 245 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Rick Bayless' Mexican haven, including Xoco on the corner, is a Chicago institution spawning spinoffs around the globe of south of the border fare from street food to high end. Read more.

La Sirena Clandestina is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

25. La Sirena Clandestina

9.1
954 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL
Latin American Restaurant · Fulton Market · 61 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Chef/owner John Manion continues to crank out empanadas and other chef-driven Latin fare among the big boys on Fulton Market. A fresh remodeling and inventive cocktails complete the experience. Read more.

The Publican is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

26. The Publican

9.3
837 W Fulton Market (at N Green St), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · Fulton Market · 344 tips and reviews

EaterEater: A few years in, Paul Kahan's temple to pork and shellfish remains strong, with chef Cosmo Goss taking over for Brian Huston in the kitchen. Read more.

Grace is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

27. Grace

9.3
652 W Randolph St (at W Couch Pl), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · West Loop · 42 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Duffy and his kitchen's tasting menus exude nearly unparalleled precision and refinement, while partner Michael Muser's wine and service are equally destination-worthy. Read more.

Au Cheval is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

28. Au Cheval

9.4
800 W Randolph St (at S Halsted St), Chicago, IL
Diner · Fulton Market · 377 tips and reviews

EaterEater: The quality of food—crispy potato hash with duck heart gravy; foie gras, scrambled eggs and toast; and those damn tasty griddled burgers—puts this spot in a new category. Read more.

Sepia is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

29. Sepia

8.5
123 N Jefferson St (btwn Washington & Randolph), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · West Loop · 59 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Sepia continues to be one of the most consistent restaurants in Chicago. Andrew Zimmerman's menus paired with a cutting-edge beverage program makes it a complete experience. Read more.

Monteverde is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

30. Monteverde

9.0
1020 West Madison Street (Carpenter Street), Chicago, IL
Italian Restaurant · Near West Side · 25 tips and reviews

EaterEater: The pastas are the stars, such as cannelloni saltimbocca with merguez, manchego cheese, peas, harissa, and balsamico, many of which are made on a small demonstration stage of sorts behind the bar. Read more.

Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

31. Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen

9.2
1141 S Jefferson St (at Roosevelt Rd.), Chicago, IL
Sandwich Place · South Loop · 103 tips and reviews

EaterEater: The torchbearer for a dying breed of Jewish delis and diners in Chicago, Manny's has endured for more than a half-century in the South Loop thanks to massive and delicious pastrami sandwiches. Read more.

EL Ideas is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

32. EL Ideas

8.7
2419 W 14th St (at Western Ave), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · Douglas Park · 26 tips and reviews

EaterEater: One of America's most innovative fine-dining restaurants, where 13-15 courses can include "culinary cocaine," a solid "White Russian" topped with caviar, and more mind-blowing delights. Read more.

Acadia is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

33. Acadia

8.9
1639 S Wabash Ave (btwn E 16th St & E 18th St), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · South Loop · 50 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Tackle one of the best burgers in town at the bar, embark on a journey through a decadent eight-course menu, or satisfy a sweets craving with a creative dessert tasting menu. Read more.

Dusek's is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

34. Dusek's

9.2
1227 W 18th St (at S Allport St), Chicago, IL
Bar · Pilsen · 84 tips and reviews

EaterEater: A landmark Bohemian building in Pilsen turned into a creative beer-themed restaurant, a basement punch-focused bar and a concert hall. Don't miss the "Juicy Lucy" and the General Tso's sweetbreads. Read more.

MingHin Cuisine is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

35. MingHin Cuisine

8.5
2168 S Archer Ave (at S Princeton Ave), Chicago, IL
Dim Sum Restaurant · Armour Square · 101 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Head to this massive complex in Chinatown square for perhaps the best dim sum in Chicago. There's also a new location in Lakeshore East. Read more.

The Duck Inn is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

36. The Duck Inn

8.5
2701 S Eleanor St, Chicago, IL
Gastropub · Bridgeport · 35 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Kevin Hickey's personal passion project has garnered local and national accolades even the chef/owner didn't foresee. Don't miss the duck fat hot dog, the rotisserie duck, or the cocktails. Read more.

Birrieria Zaragoza is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

37. Birrieria Zaragoza

8.7
4852 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · Archer Heights · 18 tips and reviews

EaterEater: Consistently lauded as some of the best tacos in the country, venture to the southwest side for some of the best goat and other standout dishes like consomme at this small father-and-son standout. Read more.

Calumet Fisheries is one of The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2017.

38. Calumet Fisheries

8.9
3259 E 95th St (at Calumet River), Chicago, IL
Fish Market · 50 tips and reviews

EaterEater: When you need your fried seafood or smoked fish fix, hit this James Beard-recognized, Anthony Bourdain-endorsed classic Chicago fish house on the Far South Side. Read more.