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The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, Winter 2019

Gene & Jude’s iconic hot dogs

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.

For the winter 2019 edition, Eater Chicago’s reigning Restaurant of the Year Pacific Standard Time, hot dog icon Gene & Jude’s, and Italian beef icon Johnnie’s Beef make their grand entrances to the 38. Meanwhile, Portillo’s comes off to make room for separate hot dog and Italian beef spots, Bad Hunter is removed as it’s temporarily closed by a fire, and Mott St comes off after a very long stint on the map. Have tips or suggestions for the Eater 38? Send them to the Chicago tipline. And head here for a map of the hottest new restaurants in Chicago.

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