The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Summer 2018

by Daniel Gerzina and Eater Staff  Updated Jul 10, 2018, 10:15am CDT

It’s time to update the Eater 38, the answer 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 restaurant needs. Every few months, pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months) or have stepped up their game will be added. This list is presented in geographical order from north to south and is not ranked.

For the summer 2018 edition, legendary Mexican pork specialist Carnitas Uruapan, creative Vietnamese stalwart HaiSous, and Boka Restaurant Group’s Japanese icon Momotaro come aboard the 38. Meanwhile, Boeufhaus and The Duck Inn come off to make room, while the original Boka is removed due to Eater’s rule of one restaurant per group on the 38. Have tips or suggestions for the Eater 38? Send them to the Chicago tipline.

Piccolo Sogno

464 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60642

(312) 421-0077

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Even if diners can’t sit on perhaps the city’s best patio all year, the pizzas, house-made pastas and grilled meats make a trip to what may be Chicago’s best Italian restaurant worth it even in the dead of winter. It’s a modernized but still cozy version of a traditional Italian restaurant in River West with a vibe and decor that work for nearly everyone, from family dinners to romantic dates.

Elizabeth Bowers