2075 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-525-2522
This neighborhood bistro pleases all kinds of palates, thanks to chef Jason Paskewitz's brand of American cuisine with a touch of Mediterranean flavor.
52 W. Elm St. 312-573-4000
Chef Art Smith—famous for cooking for Oprah, Lady Gaga and audiences on "Top Chef Masters"—puts a gourmet twist on Southern comfort food at this quaint Gold Coast restaurant.
50 E. Walton St. 312-573-1600
The West Coast bakery that made gourmet cupcakes a countrywide trend peddles its signature dot-topped sweets at this Gold Coast shop. There's a cupcake vending machine out front to satisfy your late-night sugar cravings after the storefront has closed.
1665 W. Fullerton Ave. 773-665-1110
Look for the bottle cap-shaped sign hanging outside a nondescript brick building to find this clubby bar, which draws hipsters and yuppies alike for cheap drinking and dancing. It's just the right mix of loud, dark and fun.
Dawali Mediterranean Kitchen
1625 N. Halsted St. 312-944-5800
This sit-down sibling to Albany Park's counter-service original serves a reliable lineup of Middle Eastern eats such as shawarma, falafel and kebabs.
110 E. Pearson St. 312-266-3110
Eat and drink like the Italians do at Spiaggia chef Tony Mantuano's Gold Coast restaurant, located just a few steps off the Mag Mile. That could mean espresso and biscotti at the stand-up coffee counter, a traditional spritz cocktail at the bar or a prosciutto- topped pie in front of the pizza oven.
1160 N. Dearborn St. 312-642-1160
Chef/partner Lee Ann Whippen earned plenty of accolades as a pitmaster on the barbecue competition circuit. Now, she serves the same tender smoked meats at this white-washed plantation-style dining room in the Gold Coast.
1417 W. Fullerton Ave. 773-348-0706
"Top Chef" favorite Dale Levitski made a name for this Lincoln Park restaurant as executive chef; now, chef de cuisine John Hagedorn carries on with a menu of seasonal American dishes with a Mediterranean accent.
Old Town Social
455 W. North Ave. 312-266-2277
During lunch and dinner, chef Jared Van Camp charms foodies with housemade charcuterie, Midwestern cheeses and hearty burgers; after dark, craft beers and cocktails keep the party going.
2660 N. Halsted St. 773-348-1010
Fill up on traditional curry dishes or clay-oven specialties such as baked lamb chops at this Indian eatery.
1633 N. Halsted St. 312-867-3888
Chris Pandel of Bucktown favorite The Bristol channels the simplicity of Italian cooking with roasted meats, wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas.
Franks 'n' Dawgs
1863 N. Clybourn Ave. 312-281-5187
Hot dogs get a fine-dining twist at this Clybourn corridor snack shop, which serves loaded up sausages such as a brunch dog with a fried egg, smoked bacon and maple mayo on top.
2239 N. Clybourn Ave. 773-880-8012
The Chan brothers (executive chef Macku and sushi chefs Kaze and Hari) have earned their place in the local sushi scene by serving both traditional sushi and their signature sashimi and nigiri with seasonal toppings.
Annette's Homemade Italian Ice
2009 N. Bissell St. 773-868-9000
On a warm day, it's worth the wait at the walk-up window for a taste of Italian ice in fruity flavors such as lemon, coconut, lychee and watermelon.