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The Eater Chicago Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, which favorite chef just launched a sophomore effort.

And while the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the 'it' places of the moment. Thus, we offer the Eater Heatmap, which will change on a regular basis to always highlight where the foodie crowds are flocking to at the moment. And keep in mind, this list is presented in no particular order.


01/03/13 Added: Grace, Little Goat, The Boarding House

02/07/13 Added: Sumi Robata Bar, Little Market Brasserie

03/07/13 Added: Found, Milt's Barbecue for the Perplexed, Oiistar

04/04/13 Added: Takito Kitchen, Rickshaw Republic, Earth + Ocean

05/02/13 Added: Brindille, Kabocha

06/06/13 Added: Parson's Chicken and Fish, Juno Restaurant, endgrain

07/11/13 Added: Lao 18, Mott Street, Homestead on the Roof, OON

08/01/13 Added: County Barbecue, Restaurant Beatrix

09/05/13 Added: Tanta, Dillman's, Burke's Bacon Bar

Have any suggestions? Any vital omissions? Leave 'em in the comments or the tipline.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Fat Rice

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2957 W Diversey Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 661-9170
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Fat Rice, with an open kitchen and counter seating, features cuisine inspired by the travails of colonial Portuguese throughout Southeast Asia over the last 500 years. That means curries, noodles and wood-grilled meats with a beverage program pulled together by Craig Perman.

2. Sumi Robata Bar

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702 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Chef Gene Kato's "lifelong dream" is finally a reality. The former Japonais chef's first solo venture is two-floor traditional Japanese robata bar first, with the exclusive 11-seat Charcoal Bar underneath. Find juicy grilled meats and intricate cocktails either place.

3. Takito Kitchen

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2013 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 687-9620
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Takito Kitchen opened with a splash, bringing "modern tacos" to the Division Street bar strip. Chef David Dworshak is rolling out redfish tacos, chicken tinga tacos and lamb chorizo tacos, ceviche and yucatan chicken soup in a stunning interior and exterior.

4. Brindille

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534 N Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Carrie Nahabedian's second restaurant is finally here. The concept has all the grace and taste of her first, Naha, but with a slightly more approachable vibe and a Parisian-centric theme.

5. Parson's Chicken & Fish

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2952 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL
US, IL 60647
(773) 384-3333
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The latest Land and Sea Dept. project was kept quiet for months and opened unannounced. Now that it's open, however, diners are flocking for the fried chicken, fish, Negroni slushies, and the '77 El Camino.

6. Juno Restaurant

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2638 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(872) 206-8662
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Jason Chan and B.K. Park had abrupt endings with their former restaurants and joined forces to open Juno. The "contemporary Japanese" cuisine is delicately plated inside the former Merlo space that's made over with Japanese pop art.

7. Homestead on the Roof

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1924 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 645-4949
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Homestead on the Roof reopened for the summer with beefed-up staff. New executive chef Chris Curren (Blue 13) and beverage director Ben Schiller (BOKA) have the people talking about the food, cocktails, and rooftop garden at the "literal farm-to-table restaurant."

8. Lao 18

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18 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 955-8018
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The "Mayor of Chinatown's" (Tony Hu) empire has finally reached downtown. Lao 18, the crown jewel thus far, features the best of all his restaurants, elegant atmosphere, and a trendy neighborhood rolled into one.

9. Mott Street

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1401 N Ashland
Chicago, IL
(773) 687-9977
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The heralded team behind Ruxbin Kitchen has expanded north to that red building on Ashland. The night market-themed menu features "everything wings," crab brain fried rice, and kimchi and Oaxaca spring rolls with chimichurri creme fraiche.

10. OON Restaurant

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802 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 929-2555
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Matt Eversman's Southeast Asian restaurant, nearly two years in the making, is finally open on restaurant row. The anticipation has foodie crowds flocking to get a taste.

11. County Barbeque

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1352 W Taylor
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 929-2528
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The latest from the DMK empire features David Morton and Michael Kornick throwing their hat into the blossoming BBQ scene. The brisket, bacon bar, and St. Louis ribs have diners coming back.

12. Tanta

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118 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654
Since opening in mid-August, Gaston Acurio's first foray into the Midwest has drawn rave reviews and buzz from diners and media. It's no wonder he's one of the most renowned chefs in the world.

13. Dillman's

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354 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 988-0078
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Despite early hiccups with the "delicatessan" name and expectations of food offerings, most diners have agreed that the food is delicious and the decor is stunning at Brendan Sodikoff's latest.

14. Burke's Bacon Bar

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610 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 660-6000
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Renowned chefs David Burke and Rick Gresh are supplying an array of bacon-themed "handwiches," bacon desserts, and bacon retail items inside a tiny storefront next to David Burke's Primehouse. Grab a seat if you can or take them to go for a downtown jaunt.

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1. Fat Rice

2957 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60647
Fat Rice, with an open kitchen and counter seating, features cuisine inspired by the travails of colonial Portuguese throughout Southeast Asia over the last 500 years. That means curries, noodles and wood-grilled meats with a beverage program pulled together by Craig Perman.
2957 W Diversey Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60647

2. Sumi Robata Bar

702 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60654
Chef Gene Kato's "lifelong dream" is finally a reality. The former Japonais chef's first solo venture is two-floor traditional Japanese robata bar first, with the exclusive 11-seat Charcoal Bar underneath. Find juicy grilled meats and intricate cocktails either place.
702 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60654

3. Takito Kitchen

2013 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622
Takito Kitchen opened with a splash, bringing "modern tacos" to the Division Street bar strip. Chef David Dworshak is rolling out redfish tacos, chicken tinga tacos and lamb chorizo tacos, ceviche and yucatan chicken soup in a stunning interior and exterior.
2013 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622

4. Brindille

534 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60610
Carrie Nahabedian's second restaurant is finally here. The concept has all the grace and taste of her first, Naha, but with a slightly more approachable vibe and a Parisian-centric theme.
534 N Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60610

5. Parson's Chicken & Fish

2952 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL, US, IL 60647
The latest Land and Sea Dept. project was kept quiet for months and opened unannounced. Now that it's open, however, diners are flocking for the fried chicken, fish, Negroni slushies, and the '77 El Camino.
2952 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL
US, IL 60647

6. Juno Restaurant

2638 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Jason Chan and B.K. Park had abrupt endings with their former restaurants and joined forces to open Juno. The "contemporary Japanese" cuisine is delicately plated inside the former Merlo space that's made over with Japanese pop art.
2638 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

7. Homestead on the Roof

1924 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Homestead on the Roof reopened for the summer with beefed-up staff. New executive chef Chris Curren (Blue 13) and beverage director Ben Schiller (BOKA) have the people talking about the food, cocktails, and rooftop garden at the "literal farm-to-table restaurant."
1924 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

8. Lao 18

18 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
The "Mayor of Chinatown's" (Tony Hu) empire has finally reached downtown. Lao 18, the crown jewel thus far, features the best of all his restaurants, elegant atmosphere, and a trendy neighborhood rolled into one.
18 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654

9. Mott Street

1401 N Ashland, Chicago, IL
The heralded team behind Ruxbin Kitchen has expanded north to that red building on Ashland. The night market-themed menu features "everything wings," crab brain fried rice, and kimchi and Oaxaca spring rolls with chimichurri creme fraiche.
1401 N Ashland
Chicago, IL

10. OON Restaurant

802 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Matt Eversman's Southeast Asian restaurant, nearly two years in the making, is finally open on restaurant row. The anticipation has foodie crowds flocking to get a taste.
802 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

11. County Barbeque

1352 W Taylor, Chicago, IL 60607
The latest from the DMK empire features David Morton and Michael Kornick throwing their hat into the blossoming BBQ scene. The brisket, bacon bar, and St. Louis ribs have diners coming back.
1352 W Taylor
Chicago, IL 60607

12. Tanta

118 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
Since opening in mid-August, Gaston Acurio's first foray into the Midwest has drawn rave reviews and buzz from diners and media. It's no wonder he's one of the most renowned chefs in the world.
118 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654

13. Dillman's

354 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
Despite early hiccups with the "delicatessan" name and expectations of food offerings, most diners have agreed that the food is delicious and the decor is stunning at Brendan Sodikoff's latest.
354 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654

14. Burke's Bacon Bar

610 North Rush Street, Chicago, IL 60611
Renowned chefs David Burke and Rick Gresh are supplying an array of bacon-themed "handwiches," bacon desserts, and bacon retail items inside a tiny storefront next to David Burke's Primehouse. Grab a seat if you can or take them to go for a downtown jaunt.
610 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL 60611

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