EATER CHICAGO: THE HOTTEST RESTAURANTS IN CHICAGO RIGHT NOW

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends, and family of Eater have one question: Where should one eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, which favorite chef just launched a sophomore effort. And while the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the "it" places of the moment. Thus, the staff offers the Eater Heatmap, which will change on a regular basis to always highlight where the crowds are flocking to at the moment.

Another frigid winter has hit Chicago as the calendar flips to 2018. And although restaurants are closing at an alarming clip, hotspots also continue to open around the city. The January Heatmap update features three new entries: The Piccolo Sogno guys' bustling burger bar, Lettuce Entertain You's foray into late-night sushi, and Graham Elliot and Matthias Merges' small-plate-and-cocktail spot. Meanwhile, someone has to come off to make room, so two of 2017's top new restaurants (Proxi and HaiSous) come off after extremely long runs, and Katana Chicago exits as well. Happy eating.

9. Maillard Tavern

494 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60654

(312) 766-2727

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The folks behind one of Chicago's most-beloved Italian restaurants can make some serious burgers too. Maillard Tavern, the new spot across the street from Piccolo Sogno, serves classic and creative double-stacked burgers and duck-fat fries, as well as ice cream, doughnuts, cocktails and beer at lunch and dinner. It's a cozy spot for walk-ins only.

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Elizabeth Bowers