Hottest Restaurants in Chicago

Hip hoagies and a tree house–inspired lounge
February 15, 2018
by Zagat Staff

Although the temps are still cold, the dining scene continues to heat up this winter. To keep tabs on all the action, here are the city's 10 hottest restaurants right now.

Logan Square · $

Sweet and savory New American fare for breakfast, brunch and lunch distinguishes this relocated Logan Square spot with artisanal coffee and tea drinks, fresh-squeezed juice and a small kids’ selection rounding out the creative menu. The laid-back setting has an industrial vibe with high ceilings, concrete tables and plastic chairs, plus a waiting area that was lacking in the former location.
The Warbler
Ravenswood · $$

The Gather team hatched this New American neighborhood spot in Lincoln Square where hearty entrees, housemade pastas (many vegetarian), flatbreads, salads and creative starters and sides populate the menu. Bird-themed cocktails and draft beers issue from the bar in a stylized diner setting with neutral tones and booths, an open kitchen and a spacious seasonal patio.
Fort Willow
Gastropub · Pulaski Park · $$

From the DMK crew, this craft cocktail lounge and spicy small-plates purveyor on the fringe of Lincoln Park features a treehouse theme highlighted by a central wood tree sculpture, a swinging bench and a booth in a tent. Additional seating in the funky, lantern-lit space includes communal tables and a bar, which offers both happy hour and late-night drinks with free snacks.
Taylor Gourmet
The Loop · $

This Washington, D.C., deli import is known for its creative, seasonal hoagies on signature sesame seed bread, plus cheesesteaks, soups and salads. Patrons at the Loop location order at the counter in a high-ceilinged, modern space with an industrial vibe and massive graphic murals.
Sushi · River North · $$

Lettuce Entertain You is behind this stylish River North sashimi house with a long sushi bar, low lighting and creative cocktails served in soda cans. High-top tables populate a modern Asian dining room with an open kitchen preparing grilled and other hot Japanese fare.
Maillard Tavern
Burger · West Loop · $

The Piccolo Sogno team puts griddled burgers and sandwiches on the menu at this River West haunt named for the browning reaction of certain foods. Beer, specialty cocktails and milkshakes highlight the beverage menu in a cozy, casual-chic space with 40 seats (booths, tables and barstools).
Booth One
American · Gold Coast · $$$

Lettuce Entertain You has updated the famed former Pump Room in the Gold Coast’s Ambassador Chicago hotel, modernizing the supper-club space with nods to the past including the photo wall of fame, a Frank Sinatra booth and a rotary phone. Upscale New American cuisine, steaks and daily specials pair with a full bar amid swanky environs with globe lighting, numerous booths and a sociable cocktail lounge.
American · Pilsen · $$$

This artsy Pilsen spot puts out New American cuisine with global influences in à la carte and tasting menus (wine pairings available). The rustic-industrial space contrasts concrete, brick and ductwork with plush upholstered stools and dining chairs, while a chef’s counter and a lounge provide additional seating options.
American · West Loop · $$$

From the team behind Boka, Girl & The Goat and Momotaro, this grand dining room in the West Loop provides elegant New American fare and desserts, as well as elaborate craft cocktails. The soaring space boasts large circular booths, a marble bar and whimsical accents in the form of stuffed and painted birds.
Lonesome Rose
Mexican · Logan Square · $$

Creative Mexican and Tex-Mex tacos, nachos, tostadas and more are served all day with coffee and craft cocktails at this casual-chic Logan Square outpost from the folks behind Longman & Eagle and Lost Lake. The stylized warehouse setting is accented with skylights and windows, modern art and two bars (the main bar and another clandestine one in the basement).