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The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, July '11

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It's time to update the Eater 38, your answer and ours to any question that begins, “Can you recommend a restaurant?” This highly elite group covers the entire city, spans myriad cuisines and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs, save for those occasions when you absolutely must spend half a paycheck. Every couple of months, we'll add pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months) or have stepped up their game.

This turn, we're making a few changes. We'd love to keep Kith & Kin on the list, but sadly the spot closed abruptly in late May. After having been on the list since it launched, we've had some complaints about Chickpea not living up to its glowing reputation, so we want to give them a little break. And now that its sister restaurant is eligible, we're going to curb Gilt Bar, which really has no reflection on their fab cocktail program or menu. Coming aboard are Maude's Liquor Bar, where chef Jeff Pikus continues to kill it, and Lillie's Q, where award-winning chef, Charlie McKenna, pays homage to his grandmother and carries on the tradition of his pit master dad. Finally, we're once again hooked on The Publican's pork and shellfish offerings. Sure, it's a little pricier, but you deserve to treat yourself.

For those of you readying the pitchforks because your favorite restaurant isn't on the list, wouldn't it just be more productive to nominate it for inclusion? State your cases for (or against) restaurants in the comments or in the tipline.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Anteprima

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5316 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 506-9990
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2. avec

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615 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 377-2002
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3. Urban Belly

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3053 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 583-0500
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4. Hot Doug's

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3324 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 279-9550
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5. Kuma's Corner

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2900 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 604-8769
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6. Irazu

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1865 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-5687
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7. The Bristol

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2152 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 862-5555
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8. Lao Sze Chuan

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2172 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 326-5040

9. Purple Pig

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500 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 464-1744
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10. Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar

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954 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 292-1616
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11. Smoque BBQ

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3800 N Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 545-7427
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12. Ceres' Table

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4882 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 878-4882
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13. HB Home Bistro

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3404 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 661-0299
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14. DMK Burger Bar

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2954 N Sheffield Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 360-8686
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15. Longman and Eagle

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2657 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 276-7110
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16. Bonsoiree

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2728 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 486-7511
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17. Nightwood Restaurant

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2119 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 526-3385
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18. Girl & The Goat

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809 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 492-6262
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19. XOCO

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449 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 334-3688
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20. Piccolo Sogno

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464 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 421-0077
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21. Hemas Kitchen

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2439 W Devon Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
(312) 338-1627
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22. Ruxbin

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851 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 624-8509
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23. Demera Ethiopian

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4801 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 334-8787
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24. Sun Wah Bar-B-Que

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5039 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 769-1254
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25. Pho Xe Tang/Tank Noodle

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4952 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 878-2253

26. Lula Cafe

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2537 N Kedzie Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 489-9554
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27. De Cero Restaurant

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814 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 455-8114
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28. Glenn's Diner

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1820 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 506-1720
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29. Coalfire

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1321 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 226-2625
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30. Big Star

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1531 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 235-4039
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31. Jam

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937 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 489-0302
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32. Tac Quick

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3930 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 327-5253
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33. Davanti Enoteca

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1359 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 226-5550
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34. Arami

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1829 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 243-1535
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35. Chizakaya

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3056 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 477-6400
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36. The Publican

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837 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-9555
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37. Lillie's Q

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1856 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 772-5500
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38. Maude's Liquor Bar

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840 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 243-9712
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1. Anteprima

5316 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
5316 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

2. avec

615 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661
615 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661

3. Urban Belly

3053 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
3053 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

4. Hot Doug's

3324 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
3324 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

5. Kuma's Corner

2900 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
2900 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

6. Irazu

1865 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
1865 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

7. The Bristol

2152 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
2152 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

8. Lao Sze Chuan

2172 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
2172 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

9. Purple Pig

500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
500 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

10. Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar

954 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
954 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

11. Smoque BBQ

3800 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60641