Tim Flores and Genie Kwon's Chicago City Guide

The 2022 F&W Best New Chefs’s best bites and sips in Chicago include an iconic Italian Beef, a Szechuan peppercorn cocktail, and the best tacos in the city.

Tim Flores and Genie Kwon
Photo: Aubrie Pick; Bjarte Rettedal / Getty Images

Learn more about 2022 Food & Wine Best New Chefs Tim Flores and Genie Kwon.

Monday Morning Ritual

"We go to La Casa Del Pueblo in Pilsen almost every Monday. It is one of the best meals you can get in the city across the board. We get the same thing every time. Genie: chilaquiles en salsa verde. Tim: res en chile de árbol and chicharron en salsa verde with rice and beans."

Caffeination Station

"Dark Matter is our neighborhood coffee shop, and we love their espresso so much that we decided to use it exclusively at Kasama. They also made a custom Kasama blend for our coffee."

Sip It

"Nine Bar, by Lily Wang and Joe Briglio, is our go-to spot for a Paper Dragon cocktail (with Lunazul blanco, Salers, passion fruit, Szechuan peppercorn, and citrus). It's located behind Moon Palace Express, which is a family business that has been operating since '95. With the addition of Nine Bar, it is now the first cocktail bar in Chinatown. "

Weekend Hit List

"312 Fish Market, Triple Crown, and JJ Thai Street Food are our regular spots we hit on our weekends."

Chicago Combo

"Johnny's Beef is our go-to spot for an Italian beef. We like to make it a combo, which means they put an Italian sausage in the sandwich along with the shaved beef. We pay homage to the iconic Chicago dish with our Kasama combo sandwich. We do shaved pork adobo and housemade longanisa with hot giardiniera, and the sandwich is dipped in our pork adobo jus."

Mom-and-Pop Shop

"Freddy's Pizza is right outside of the city in Cicero, [Tim's] hometown. It's a small Italian grocery store that sells everything from imported Italian ingredients to housemade pasta. They also sell prepared food at the counter, along with housemade bread and salumi. This is that hometown mom-and-pop shop you love to see. It's always on the list for friends to check out when they're visiting from out of town."

Sweet Tooth

"Mindy Gohr, Aya Fukai, Mindy Segal, Bobby Schaffer, and Sandra Holl are all masters of their [pastry] craft."

Night On The Town

"At Monteverde, Rose Mary, and Andros Taverna, we prefer to eat at the bar—and all of these restaurants are so busy that we are happy to eat wherever we can get in!"

Outdoor Dining

"Sportsman's Club has a great patio. They also host a Backyard BBQ series where they bring in different chefs every Sunday in the summer."

Showing The Love

"Marz Community Brewing Company and Kimski are incredible spots that are always involved in community building. Early into the pandemic they launched Community Kitchen out of Marsz and Kimski. They offered 200 meals up to three times a week for anyone in the community who needed it."

All-Around Favorites

"Las Gorditas De Don Angel is another spot in Cicero we love. Any of the gorditas and the burrito de deshebrada are insane. Mary's Taqueria (1901 St. Canalport Ave.) is an under-the-radar taco spot/corner store that has some of the best tacos in the city. Also don't sleep on their creamy green salsa."

Meet all of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs 2022: Warda Bouguettaya | Damarr Brown | Ana Castro | Calvin Eng | Tim Flores and Genie Kwon | Melissa Miranda | Justin Pichetrungsi | Emily Riddell | Rob Rubba | Caroline Schiff

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