Chicago's Most Exciting Fall Restaurant OpeningsGet ready for a Lebanese-French tasting menu, a long-awaited ramen shop, and new spots from the folks behind Wazwan, Parachute, Nisos, and more.
Summer is coming to an end, and while it means fewer beach days, at least our cute sweaters can come out of hibernation and we can spend Sundays yelling at the Bears instead of worrying about work. It also means a bunch of exciting new fall openings—like a bar from one of the Best New Restaurants of last year, or a restaurant with a 12-course Lebanese-French tasting menu. When your friends are discussing these places a few months from now, casually mention that you heard about them here first.
Wazwan and The Coach House are two of our favorite spots in Wicker Park, so naturally, we’re excited about the opening of their bar, Lilac Tiger (even if it means repurposing the Wazwan space). The transition mostly involves now having a new look, a liquor license, and a slightly expanded menu—which, thankfully, still includes dishes like the THC Sando and Wazwanimal Burger.
The South Loop is getting a new all-day spot aptly named Southern Chicago—not just for its location, but its menu too. The sprawling (there’s a 200-seat dining room and 140-seat patio) restaurant and bar near McCormick Place plans to feature regional dishes from Mississippi and Tennessee, plus steaks and seafood towers for dinner.
This new restaurant/bar/retail shop in West Town is from the team behind the wine bar, Press Room. Jook Sing will serve street food from across Asia—think roti sandwiches, egg rolls, instant ramen noodles, and other snacks found at night markets.
Akahoshi is a new ramen shop from ramen_lord of Reddit (and pop-up dinner) fame. If you weren’t able to score an invite to try his homemade noodles at his condo, don't worry. The Logan Square restaurant will be hyper-focused on a few bowls of ramen, including the miso version he’s known for, soupless options, and one or two rice bowls.
RIP Wherewithall, we loved you for the short time we had you, given the pandemic and other issues that forced a closure earlier this year. But the husband-and-wife team behind this tasting menu spot (and Parachute) are opening Anelya. Anelya is taking over the Wherewithall space in Avondale, with a menu full of takes on Ukrainian dishes—like borscht with game bird and smoked pears, or vareniki with fillings beyond the usual potato. Plus there will be Ukrainian vodka and Eastern European wines.
Nettare is a new cafe and slashie-by-day, restaurant with a chef’s table by night. To go with the bar and the small liquor shop up front, this all-day spot in West Town will serve charcuterie boards and dishes that feature Midwestern produce.
We had strong feelings about Nisos, a short-lived Greek restaurant in the West Loop, which closed earlier this year. After (hopefully) doing some soul-searching, it’s making a comeback—albeit in stages and with a new concept. Nisos will become Nisos Prime, a Mediterranean steakhouse opening in November (with a more casual bar and a cocktail lounge already open for business).
This fine-dining restaurant in Fulton Market will showcase Lebanese-French food. Beity features a $185 12-course (or $125 eight-course) tasting menu with an option for beverage pairings. And, if you’re trying to save up for the new iPhone, during the week you can just order dishes like za’atar cod, shish barak, and pistachio-crusted lamb à la carte.
Argentinian steakhouse El Che is getting a cousin. The new restaurant, Brasero, is a “Latin-inspired” restaurant in West Town with Brazilian influences. And Like El Che, Brasero will also have a large wood-fired grill, steaks, plus things like roasted chicken and seafood stew.
The Nisos team has been busy, because besides Nisos 2.0, they’re in the process of opening Costera Cocina. But instead of channeling the Mediterranean, Costera plans to channel Tulum and coastal Mexico. Expect dishes like ceviche, tacos and tostadas, whole-roasted fish, and probably a giant hanging basket light or two.
The owner of Caribbean restaurant and rum bar, 14 Parish, is opening a new restaurant a few blocks away in Hyde Park. Dawn will focus on brunch with Southern staples like fried green tomatoes and catfish and grits, but also has plans to offer an early dinner service.
LA chef Evan Funke has three very successful Italian restaurants in California (read about the newest one here). Now he’s taking his pasta making on display concept (the “pasta lab”) and adopting it for a new restaurant in the $700-a-night St. Regis hotel, located in Lakeshore East. Tre Dita is billed as a Tuscan steakhouse, so expect steak, and lots of pasta.