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What’s Hot in Chicago


The Real Chicago asked some of its resident experts for what’s impressed them lately on the Chicago scene. Here are their answers.


Chicago Avenue has done it again. When BK Park left Arami, I was devastated that I would never be able to go in and order the chef’s special again. Then a couple of months later, the best thing to happen to sushi in Chicago came to my attention: Kai Zan (2557 W. Chicago Ave.). The chef’s special is always innovative and different, and the fish is incredibly fresh. The chefs/owners are a friendly pair of twin brothers, Carlo & Melvin Vizconde, and sharing a shot of sake with them at the bar is guaranteed to make your meal a memorable one.

— Darcy Horath


I have heard great things about the new place called American Junkie at State and Illinois. Apparently, it’s incredible with a retractable roof and massive TVs. And almost a carbon copy of Paris Club and Studio Paris. Identical setup and similar crowd.

— MT


Xocoatl (3755 W. Armitage) is much better than just the normal churro stand. They have Mexican hot chocolate, atole in various flavors and varieties of ice creams. It’s delish and cheap.

Brew and Grow (19 S. Morgan and 3625 N. Kedzie). It’s not only a gardener’s paradise, but very friendly to new craft beer brewers and wine makers. They have a class the first Sunday of every month, where you can learn how to brew a basic batch, then an open bar afterwards and 20 percent off anything in the store.

— Samantha Allababidi


I have had a great dinner at the Tortoise Club (350 N. State). I love the 1920s-30s vibe, the live music, the excellent service and the food. They also have a room that is all red! This adds a nice bit of pizzazz.


I had a great burger at The Grid (351 W. Hubbard) recently. The fireplace booths are a real cozy way to watch a game or socialize with friends.


iAY CHIWOWA! (311 W. Chicago), a new Rockit Ranch restaurant, has an interesting concept. The space is a little tight, but I can see some great parties happening there.


They have some amazing margaritas at the new Taco Joint (158 W. Ontario). Their beef tacos have a nice kick to them.




Article courtesy of The Real Chicago Magazine