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.

Steamy summer weather has hit Chicago as the calendar flips to July. And with that more hotspots are opening around the city, including some intriguing independently-owned restaurants along with more from Chicago’s largest groups. The July Heatmap update features three new entries: many acclaimed food options under one roof at Wells St. Market, an authentic New Orleans-style experience in Wicker Park at Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods, and the intriguing modern Indian flavors at Tikkawala. Meanwhile, Lonesome Rose, Bar Biscay, and The Warbler come off as their heat dies down. Happy eating.


The newest from Lettuce Entertain You — Chicago’s largest restaurant group — lives on a gorgeously-adorned rooftop in the perpetually under-construction Fulton Market district. Aba, from chef CJ Jacobson of sister restaurant Ema, doles out summery Mediterranean cuisine including char-grilled lamb chops with burnt oregano and freekah, and red beet tzatzki with horseradish, dill, and finger limes. Wash it down with cocktails from star bartender Liz Pearce. The space, adorned with plants, French street lamps, skylights and fire pits, is also LEYE’s largest event space.