Three Can’t-Miss Restaurants
The city’s vibrant dining culture gets a new injection of talent with debuts from young-gun chefs—as well as new projects from Chicago legends.
1. MI TOCAYA ANTOJERíA
Chicago native Diana Dávila earned her culinary chops both in the kitchen and in the field: she grew up helping at her family’s taqueria and studied at Susana Trilling’s famed Oaxaca cooking school. The menu at her colorful Logan Square hangout— which earned her a Best New Chef nod from Food
& Wine this year—turns a fresh eye to the many iterations of Mexican cuisine, with dishes like
mole amarillo topped with bright fiddlehead ferns and the Sunday dinner special of fried chicken and churros. mitocaya.com; mains US$10–$26.
2. PACIFIC STANDARD TIME
Chef Erling Wu-Bower cut his teeth under the legendary Paul Kahan at Chicago talent incubators the Publican and Nico Osteria. Now he’s struck out on his own as head chef and co-owner of a restaurant with business partner Joshua Tilden. PST’s West Coast– inspired menu skips the clichés of California cuisine in favor of hearth-fired pitas with creative toppings, standout vegetable dishes, and plenty of seafood. pstchicago.com; mains US$15–$35.
The team behind Sepia— one of the city’s many Michelin-starred institutions—decided to let down its hair with a new project next door. Sepia’s Andrew Zimmerman does double duty as Proxi’s executive chef, creating a lively menu of globally inspired small plates. Fire is the uniting force: pumpkin is smoked for a savory paratha, and mussels are coal-roasted and drowned in ’nduja butter. proxichicago.com; mains US$12–$45.
Mi Tocaya Antojería.