Recommended by : Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Owner, Barbuto), Chris Cosentino (Winner, Top Chef Masters), Jamie Rosen (Beauty Director, Town and Country), Erin Heatherton (Model)

Cuisine:Mediterranean. Price: $$$. Location: .

The rustic menu at this wine-focused restaurant delivers James Beard Award winning Midwestern takes on Mediterranean classics. The menu is comprised of small and large plates, and an accessible wine list featuring many small producers of southwestern Europe. The tiny spot’s communal seating adds to its lively, social atmosphere.

“Every time I go to Chicago I get stuck in the Paul Kahan vortex. Whether it’s Publican, Blackbird or Avec, Paul’s just doing great things in Chicago.” – Chris Cosentino (Top Chef Masters)

“In Chicago, my husband and I plan our day around eating a late lunch at Avec when they open. It’s just how I want to eat all the time – deceptively simple things like shrimp and za’atar pizza, labne and apricots with falafel, and roast chicken with grains and vegetables.” – Jamie Rosen (Beauty Director, Town and Country)