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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.


08/02/12: Added: RM Champagne Salon, The J. Parker, Kai Zan, Piccolo Sogno Due

09/06/12: Added: BellyQ, The Savoy, Bavette's Bar & Boeuf, Bonsoiree

10/04/12: Added: Carriage House, Embeya, Elizabeth, Jellyfish

11/01/12: Added: La Sirena Clandestina, Baume & Brix, Senza, Merlo's

12/06/12 Added: Fat Rice, Reno, Bar Pastoral

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

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

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Grace

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652 W. Randolph
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 234-9494
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Since first inkling hit about Curtis Duffy's Grace, it became one of the most talked-about concepts of the past year. Now that it's here, from Flora to Fauna, it's not disappointing. Zagat even named it one of the 10 hottest restaurants in the world.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Found

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1631 Chicago Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201

Word of mouth continues to grow for Amy Morton and Nicole Pederson's Evanston gem. The combination of French and Midwestern influences on small plates, proteins and stews, combined with Jan Henrichsen's additions to the beverage program, are drawing stares up north.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Kabocha

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952 W Lake St
Chicago, Il 60607

Kabocha, the first "Japanese brasserie" concept in Chicago, has people talking. They're especially talking about the "shellfish aquarium," an actual aquarium filled with five types of seafood, seaweed variations, and "edible coral" that's emptied tableside.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Endgrain

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1851 W Addison
Chicago, IL 60613

Enoch Simpson has finally brought his cult-favorite doughnuts to Roscoe Village. The all-day dining menu also features biscuit sandwiches, fried chicken, and small plates in a cozy and rustic environment.

11. 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."

12. 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.

13. Mott Street

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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.

14. 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.

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1. Grace

652 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL 60661

Since first inkling hit about Curtis Duffy's Grace, it became one of the most talked-about concepts of the past year. Now that it's here, from Flora to Fauna, it's not disappointing. Zagat even named it one of the 10 hottest restaurants in the world.

652 W. Randolph
Chicago, IL 60661

2. 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

3. 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

4. Found

1631 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL 60201

Word of mouth continues to grow for Amy Morton and Nicole Pederson's Evanston gem. The combination of French and Midwestern influences on small plates, proteins and stews, combined with Jan Henrichsen's additions to the beverage program, are drawing stares up north.

1631 Chicago Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201

5. 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

6. 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

7. Kabocha

952 W Lake St, Chicago, Il 60607

Kabocha, the first "Japanese brasserie" concept in Chicago, has people talking. They're especially talking about the "shellfish aquarium," an actual aquarium filled with five types of seafood, seaweed variations, and "edible coral" that's emptied tableside.

952 W Lake St
Chicago, Il 60607

8. 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

9. 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

10. Endgrain

1851 W Addison, Chicago, IL 60613

Enoch Simpson has finally brought his cult-favorite doughnuts to Roscoe Village. The all-day dining menu also features biscuit sandwiches, fried chicken, and small plates in a cozy and rustic environment.

1851 W Addison
Chicago, IL 60613

11. 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

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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

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