CHIGuide

Chicago's Most Exciting Fall Restaurant Openings

Get ready for a luxury cocktail lounge, a new Chinatown hot pot restaurant, a tasting menu spot in Time Out Market, and more.

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Summer is coming to an end, and while it means less beach days, at least our cute sweaters can finally 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 restaurant and bar openings—like a steakhouse from one of our favorite BBQ spots, or a popular hot pot chain originally based in China. When your friends are discussing these places a few months from now, casually mention that you heard about them here first.

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THE SPOTS

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Bambola

Currently Open

This upscale West Loop restaurant is from the team behind Porto, Mama Delia, and Beatnik, and has a menu inspired by the Silk Road, the ancient trade route that extended from Asia to Europe. At Bambola you’ll find a mix of dishes inspired by countries along that trade network, like a tomahawk steak with XO sauce, fish with pickled mung bean and hua juan pancakes, and roasted carrots with chickpeas and labneh. Like the other restaurants from this team, expect to see a lavish space filled with antiques like a 300-year-old house imported from China.


photo credit: Jaclyn Rivas

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Valhalla

$$$$

Currently Open

This fine-dining restaurant in Time Out Market in Fulton Market is from the same chef behind S.K.Y. and Apolonia. It features a $195 11-course tasting menu with an option for beverage pairings. They have a wide range of dishes like seared Japanese scallops with brown butter, dry-aged lamb with tomato butter, and smoked ricotta cappelletti with sea urchin and quail egg. And, if you’re trying to save up for the new iPhone, you can just order a la carte. 


Currently Open

Kinsley is an all-day restaurant in the Loop from the same team behind Fairgrounds Cafe. Their eclectic menu has breakfast tacos, burgers, and funnel cake along with drinks like coffee, tea, and cocktails. In addition to their large open dining space, they also have a spacious 50-seat outdoor patio.


Opening: September 2022

Coquette is opening right next to Bambola and is also from the same team. But unlike its neighboring Silk Road-inspired restaurant, Coquette will be a modern French bistro that will also be serving freshly baked baguettes and croissants.


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The Meadowlark

$$$$

Opening: October 2022

Union and Lardon are two of our favorite spots in Logan, so naturally, we’re excited about the opening of their adjacent cocktail bar, The Meadowlark. It will be located in the alley behind its two sibling restaurants, and the beverage menu will rotate monthly with themes based on music genres, time periods, and architectural styles. We’re not sure what a “brutalist” or “punk rock” cocktail might taste like, but we’re intrigued.


Opening: October 2022

Bucktown is getting a new all-day cafe called Pompette with a team of chefs who previously worked at Alinea, Elske, and Moody Tongue. Their menu will have sandwiches, pastries, and coffee during the day, and at night the cafe will be more of a wine bar with small plates.


Opening: Fall 2022

One of our favorite places in the city, Smoque BBQ, is opening a new steakhouse in Avondale called Smoque Steak. Staying true to its BBQ background (and name), the steaks will be smoked, but then cooked sous vide and seared. Expect to see cuts like rib-eye, filet mignon, as well as skirt steak served as steak frites.


Opening: October 2022

After is a new cocktail lounge in the West Loop from the same chef behind the expensive tasting-menu spot, Ever. And this spot is supposed to be as fancy as Ever—you can sip on drinks at the bar while sitting on throne-like upholstered chairs, have a date night in a sheer-curtained private booth, or reserve a walnut-paneled private room with leather couches and a fireplace. To go along with drinks, they also have a short food menu of small plates featuring grilled bites and caviar.


Opening: October 2022

Liva is a new restaurant that’s part of the upcoming Chicago Winery in River North. To go with the wine that’s being made on-site, they’ll serve charcuterie boards with a variety of meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Additionally, you can expect entrees like whole branzino, venison, and grilled shrimp.


Opening: November 2022

This West Loop sushi restaurant comes from the same team behind Juno and Mako. Tamu will be an intimate space with a 12-seat dining room dedicated exclusively to hand rolls, and an eight-seat bar in the back that will offer a more casual omakase than Mako.


photo credit: Kelly Sandos

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Big Star Mariscos

$$$$

Opening: Fall 2022

Big Star of taco, margarita, and day-drinking fame is opening a new Mexican restaurant in West Town. Like their original spot in Wicker Park, this place will also have a large outdoor patio. But Big Star Mariscos will be seafood-focused, with dishes like aguachile and ceviche as well as different preparations of whole fish.


Xiaolongkan Hot Pot

$$$$

Opening: Fall 2022

The chef behind Lao Sze Chuan is opening up a new Chinatown restaurant called Xiaolongkan Hot Pot. This will be the first Midwest location of a chain that is popular in China and will have different soup bases (like classic spicy or bone broth) with a variety of different meats, seafood, and vegetables.


Deep Red Wine Merchant

$$$$

Opening: Fall 2022

If you like scary movies and wine, you will be excited about Deep Red Wine Merchant. It’s a small wine bar opening in Avondale named after a 1970’s Italian horror film and will feature horror-themed decorations. In addition to being able to grab a glass of wine in their intimate 12-seat space, they’ll also have a retail section where you can purchase bottles to go.


Soulé 2

$$$$

Opening: Fall 2022

The team behind Soulé, one of our 25 Best Restaurants In Chicago, is opening up a second, larger restaurant in North Lawndale. Like its namesake, Soulé 2 will have a menu full of southern dishes like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, and fried chicken.

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