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Updated: The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, April '12

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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. Every few 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. And keep in mind, this list is presented in no particular order.

It's time to make some changes. Because they're either really difficult to get into or are a little too spendy to really qualify as "everyday" dining, Girl & The Goat, Maude's Liquor Bar and Bonsoiree are coming off. Vincent and Chicago Cut have undergone changes, either with the chef or menu, so they're also off. And Ceres Table is still a solid spot, but it's just time for a change. And we listened to your calls for more South Side representation, so welcome aboard Pleasant House Bakery, Three Aces, Han 202 and Calumet Fisheries. Also coming on: Taxim for authentic regional Greek fare and wine and Chilapan (in Logan Square since the Ravenswood spot is too new to qualify for the list) for rustic, incredibly flavorful Mexican food.

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.

The Bristol

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Urban Belly

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Kuma's Corner

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Lao Sze Chuan

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GT Fish & Oyster

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Nightwood Restaurant

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Anteprima

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Purple Pig

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Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar

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Smoque BBQ

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Longman and Eagle

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Piccolo Sogno

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DMK Burger Bar

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Lula Cafe

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HB Home Bistro

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Hemas Kitchen

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Demera Ethiopian

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Sun Wah Bar-B-Que

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Pho Xe Tang/Tank Noodle

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Coalfire

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The Publican

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Big Star

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Davanti Enoteca

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Big Jones

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Franks 'N' Dawgs

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Chizakaya

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Tac Quick

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Lillie's Q

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Three Aces

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Pleasant House Bakery

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Chilapan

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Han 202

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Calumet Fisheries

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