New restaurants are always popping up all over the city, but which neighborhoods shine the brightest? We asked Chicago’s dining experts to tell us their favorite neighborhoods of the year.
Michael Gebert, Fooditor: By now, saying “Chinatown” is a holiday tradition for me, but it’s so true right now—so many new trendy places opening from (apparently) younger Chinese, and boy do the crowds follow them. The other night I walked past QXY Dumplings, which was jam packed, and the waitresses at the place next door were sitting at a table in their empty restaurant, heads in their hands. Edward Hopper couldn’t have painted it better.
Matt Kirouac, What Should We Do: I feel like West Town had a great year (Bar Biscay, Funkenhausen, Beatnik, etc.), and it’s exciting to see things spread along Chicago Avenue.
Chandra Ram, Plate: Still a fan of West Armitage, whatever you call Giant/Dos Urban/Osteria Langhe/Parson’s-land
Mike Sula, Chicago Reader: There’s a North Side park that harbors a dead tree trunk that sprouts several shelves of chicken of the woods every summer. Full of goose eggs in spring. Abundant crayfish after a heavy rain. Expansive. Soothing ambiance. Self service. BYOB. That is all.
Audarshia Townsend, managing editor for Restaurant Inc. magazine; regular contributor for WGN Morning News: West Loop. It’s easy to navigate, you can easily bar hop and there’s just so much diversity in cuisine.
Michael Nagrant, michaelnagrant.com: Logan Square
Ariel Cheung, CS Magazine: West Town has a lot going on, and I don’t expect it to slow down in 2019, either.
Titus Ruscitti, ChiBBQKing: Chinatown
Morgan Olsen, Time Out Chicago: West Loop continues to boom (how?), but I’m keeping an eye on Hyde Park.