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Updated: The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, July '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.

This time around, because we feel the Eater 38 has gotten to a really solid point, we're only making a couple of changes. Both Arami and Chizakaya are coming off the list because both spots have recently lost their chefs. B.K. Park, Arami's acclaimed sushi chef, abruptly left recently due to personal reasons and Chizakaya's Harold Jurado will be moving on to work at the forthcoming Jellyfish.

Both restaurants are still great, but as they go through changes we're bringing on two more spots: Vera, Mark and Liz Mendez's Spanish-focused wine bar; and Logan Square's Telegraph, where the teaming of chef Johnny Anderes and sommelier Jeremy Quinn have made this a super hot spot since its opening a year ago.

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. avec

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615 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 377-2002
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2. The Bristol

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2152 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 862-5555
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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. Kuma's Corner

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

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1865 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-5687
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6. Telegraph Wine Bar

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2601 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

7. Lao Sze Chuan

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

8. GT Fish & Oyster

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531 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654

9. Vera Chicago

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1023 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607

10. Nightwood Restaurant

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2119 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 526-3385
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11. Anteprima

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5316 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 506-9990
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12. Purple Pig

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

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

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3800 N Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 545-7427
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15. Ruxbin

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851 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 624-8509
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16. Longman and Eagle

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2657 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 276-7110
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17. Piccolo Sogno

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464 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 421-0077
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18. DMK Burger Bar

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2954 N Sheffield Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 360-8686
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19. Lula Cafe

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2537 N Kedzie Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 489-9554
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20. HB Home Bistro

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3404 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 661-0299
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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. Demera Ethiopian

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4801 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 334-8787
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23. Chilapan

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2459 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

24. Sun Wah Bar-B-Que

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5039 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 769-1254
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25. Taxim

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1558 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

26. Pho Xe Tang/Tank Noodle

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

27. Coalfire

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1321 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 226-2625
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28. The Publican

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837 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-9555
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29. Big Star

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1531 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 235-4039
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30. Pleasant House Bakery

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964 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60608

31. Davanti Enoteca

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1359 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 226-5550
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32. Lillie's Q

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1856 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 772-5500
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33. Three Aces

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1321 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607

34. Big Jones

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5347 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

35. Franks 'N' Dawgs

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1863 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

36. Tac Quick

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3930 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 327-5253
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37. Han 202

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605 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60616

38. Calumet Fisheries

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3259 E 95th St
Chicago, IL 60617

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1. avec

615 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661

615 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661

2. The Bristol

2152 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

2152 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

3. Urban Belly

3053 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

3053 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

4. Kuma's Corner

2900 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

2900 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

5. Irazu

1865 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

1865 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

6. Telegraph Wine Bar

2601 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

2601 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

7. Lao Sze Chuan

2172 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

2172 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

8. GT Fish & Oyster

531 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654

531 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654

9. Vera Chicago

1023 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607

1023 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607

10. Nightwood Restaurant

2119 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608

2119 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608

11. Anteprima

5316 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640