Subway: Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Randolph(312) 240-5000 mezcalina.com41.885405 -87.617641 333 E Benton Pl, suite 100 (between Columbus Dr and Field Blvd) Loop, Chicago
DinnerAverage main course: $25
Little details distinguish this Oaxacan spot (hidden on the ground level of Lakeshore East) from other Mexican spots: Meals start with three different salsas, none of which is very shy; guacamole is topped with crunchy, crumbled grasshoppers; the barbacoa is presented as an entire lamb shank, from which meat is easily pulled. Still, most dishes (punchy ceviche, a massive pork chop with mole) read as typical, if well-executed, upscale Mexican fare. For a surprise, have a drink—as the name suggests, mescal is at the forefront, and the spirit lends an unexpected smokiness to margaritas and other cocktails.