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SPONSORED: Ted Allen’s Picks for Bold Flavors in Chicago

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For Ted Allen, host of Food Network's Chopped and All-Star Academy, heartburn is an occupational hazard. But as a PEPCID® product user, he certainly doesn't let heartburn get in the way of enjoying some of the city's best restaurants.

The PEPCID® Brand curated a list of restaurants that focus on bold flavors, and Ted - the former senior editor for Chicago Magazine - has picked his some of his favorite hotspots, both places he's visited or he's hoping to try. Consider a visit to the restaurants below and don't let heartburn stop you from enjoying a great culinary experience.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Publican

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837 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-9555
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Ted's Pick! Part of Paul Kahan's massive Chicago empire, The Publican is his ode to all things seafood, pork, and beer. Aside from the must-order pork rinds, it's terribly difficult to decide what to fill your stomach with. So you might want to let the kitchen decide — for just $65.

2. Topolobampo

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445 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 661-1434
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Ted's Pick! After 25 years in business, Rick Bayless' Michelin-starred Topolobampo is still innovative, continually redefining what Mexican cuisine is and can be. The menu isn't divided by courses, but by categories like “soulful,” “vibrant” and “luxurious.” Topolobampo is a true Chicago experience that should be tried more than "once-in-a-lifetime."

3. Au Cheval

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800 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 929-4580
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If you are looking for the best cheeseburger in America, look no further than three-year-old Au Cheval. They stick American cheese in between and on top of each patty, toast the bun, and add Dijon. Of course, you can add things like foie gras, an egg or bacon. To avoid the wait, go for a quick lunch or after hours.

4. Little Goat

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820 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 888-3455
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Ted's Pick! Just down the street from Au Cheval is Stephanie Izard's homage to the great American diner, Little Goat. But there is sophisticated cooking going on behind those griddles. Don't let the large menu overwhelm you. Go for the diner classics like sandwiches or breakfast classics — which is served all day — and let the flavors surprise you.

5. Intro Chicago

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2300 N. Lincoln Park West
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 868-0002
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We're very excited to be hosting our PEPCID® Tastemakers event at Intro, especially because its latest guest chef is Erik Anderson. Chef Anderson, whose Chicago tenure will be a brief pitstop, made his name at Catbird Seat in Nashville before moving up to Minneapolis to begin work on his own restaurant Brut. For his concept at Intro, Anderson is looking to go French. We're already excited.

6. Cemitas Puebla

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817 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 455-9200
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Cemitas Puebla is the perfect no frills dining scenario. At the original Humboldt Park location, you can grab out-of-this-world cemitas — authentic poblano sandwiches stuffed with various fillings made on sesame seed rolls and slathered with avocado and chipotle adobo — as well as other classic Mexican street food from the Puebla region. Their use of fresh ingredients and a respect to traditional flavors make this one of the best Mexican joints in the city.

7. Dove's Luncheonette

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1545 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 645-4060
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Ted's Pick! Another Paul Kahan outfit, Dove's Luncheonette fills Chicago's need for a solid Tex-Mex joint. Inspired by an excursion around the Texas-Mexico border, Dove's menu offers border mainstays like chile rellenos, tamales and enchiladas as well as a collection of 70+ different types of tequila.

8. Nico Osteria

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1015 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 994-7100
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Esquire recently named Nico Osteria one of the Best New Restaurants in America — and rightfully so. The kitchen, run by former Eater Young Gun and recent James Beard nominee Erling Wu-Bower, produces some of the finest house-made pastas and fresh seafood dishes in Chicago. You cannot go wrong here.

9. Yusho

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1301 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 288-1010
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Ted's Pick! Run by Matthias Merges — a veteran chef who spent 14 years as the Executive Chef of Charlie Trotter’s — this Japanese yakitori was inspired by the hustle and bustle of the Tokyo fish markets. Get the crispy chicken skin, quail eggs and sweetbreads. And, of course, the ramen.

10. Trenchermen

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2039 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 661-1540
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Pat Sheerin's take on modern American fare is nothing short of delicious. Set in an old bathhouse, settle in with a nice cocktail and some small plates for a perfect evening.

1. The Publican

837 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
Ted's Pick! Part of Paul Kahan's massive Chicago empire, The Publican is his ode to all things seafood, pork, and beer. Aside from the must-order pork rinds, it's terribly difficult to decide what to fill your stomach with. So you might want to let the kitchen decide — for just $65.
837 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

2. Topolobampo

445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Ted's Pick! After 25 years in business, Rick Bayless' Michelin-starred Topolobampo is still innovative, continually redefining what Mexican cuisine is and can be. The menu isn't divided by courses, but by categories like “soulful,” “vibrant” and “luxurious.” Topolobampo is a true Chicago experience that should be tried more than "once-in-a-lifetime."
445 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654

3. Au Cheval

800 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
If you are looking for the best cheeseburger in America, look no further than three-year-old Au Cheval. They stick American cheese in between and on top of each patty, toast the bun, and add Dijon. Of course, you can add things like foie gras, an egg or bacon. To avoid the wait, go for a quick lunch or after hours.
800 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

4. Little Goat

820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Ted's Pick! Just down the street from Au Cheval is Stephanie Izard's homage to the great American diner, Little Goat. But there is sophisticated cooking going on behind those griddles. Don't let the large menu overwhelm you. Go for the diner classics like sandwiches or breakfast classics — which is served all day — and let the flavors surprise you.
820 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

5. Intro Chicago

2300 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL 60614
We're very excited to be hosting our PEPCID® Tastemakers event at Intro, especially because its latest guest chef is Erik Anderson. Chef Anderson, whose Chicago tenure will be a brief pitstop, made his name at Catbird Seat in Nashville before moving up to Minneapolis to begin work on his own restaurant Brut. For his concept at Intro, Anderson is looking to go French. We're already excited.
2300 N. Lincoln Park West
Chicago, IL 60614

6. Cemitas Puebla

817 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
Cemitas Puebla is the perfect no frills dining scenario. At the original Humboldt Park location, you can grab out-of-this-world cemitas — authentic poblano sandwiches stuffed with various fillings made on sesame seed rolls and slathered with avocado and chipotle adobo — as well as other classic Mexican street food from the Puebla region. Their use of fresh ingredients and a respect to traditional flavors make this one of the best Mexican joints in the city.
817 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

7. Dove's Luncheonette

1545 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Ted's Pick! Another Paul Kahan outfit, Dove's Luncheonette fills Chicago's need for a solid Tex-Mex joint. Inspired by an excursion around the Texas-Mexico border, Dove's menu offers border mainstays like chile rellenos, tamales and enchiladas as well as a collection of 70+ different types of tequila.
1545 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

8. Nico Osteria

1015 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611
Esquire recently named Nico Osteria one of the Best New Restaurants in America — and rightfully so. The kitchen, run by former Eater Young Gun and recent James Beard nominee Erling Wu-Bower, produces some of the finest house-made pastas and fresh seafood dishes in Chicago. You cannot go wrong here.
1015 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611

9. Yusho

1301 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615
Ted's Pick! Run by Matthias Merges — a veteran chef who spent 14 years as the Executive Chef of Charlie Trotter’s — this Japanese yakitori was inspired by the hustle and bustle of the Tokyo fish markets. Get the crispy chicken skin, quail eggs and sweetbreads. And, of course, the ramen.
1301 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615

10. Trenchermen

2039 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Pat Sheerin's take on modern American fare is nothing short of delicious. Set in an old bathhouse, settle in with a nice cocktail and some small plates for a perfect evening.
2039 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

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