Chicago’s New Restaurant Openings
The new restaurant openings you should know about.
If you tried to keep track of every brand new restaurant in Chicago, you might go a little wild. So just read this list instead. These are the new restaurant openings that seem like they have the most potential—although keep in mind, for the ones we haven’t tried, we make no promises. Go forth and be a pioneer.
The team behind Andros Taverna opened a Spanish chophouse in River North. Asador Bastian is located in a historic townhouse, and relies on a live-fire charcoal grill to cook most of their menu—including the desserts. There’s also a separate bar menu with pintxos and a single $46 steak.
Helmand is a new fine-dining Afghan restaurant in Albany Park. The focus here is on kabobs and skewers, but there are also dishes like chicken, lamb or beef korma, and smaller plates like spinach sabzee, boranee banjan, and mantu.
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Smile Korean Chicken
Smile Korean Chicken is a new counter-service spot on the border of Humboldt Park and Ukrainian Village. They specialize in Korean fried chicken, which comes in the form of a box of wings, a box of boneless pieces, or as a sandwich, plus sauces—like one called “snow cheese”. There's also a short boba tea menu.
photo credit: Amy Ulivieri
Penelope's Vegan Taqueria
Penelope’s, a vegan taqueria in River North, just opened up a second location in Andersonville. Like the original, you can expect plant-based Mexican street food like mushroom quesabirria, cauliflower al pastor tacos, and tortas stuffed with potatoes.
Vegans have another new option to try: Herbivore. This plant-based restaurant started as a vegan burger pop-up three years ago, and now has a permanent location in Bridgeport. They’ve expanded the menu to include things like vegan pizza pockets, pasta, and wings.
Bistro Monadnock’s name will give you two clues about what this new French restaurant is all about. It’s located in the historic Monadnock Building, and it serves classic bistro dishes like escargot, steak frites, and bouillabaisse. Like many spots in the Loop, it’s only open on weekdays (for now).
The husband-and-wife duo behind Earl’s BBQ have opened Firewood, a new spot in Wicker Park. The menu is (unsurprisingly) focused on meat—but besides smoked brisket, pulled pork, burgers, and steak, there’s also torched burrata, mussels, and BBQ shrimp. You’ll be able to sing karaoke too.
Pan y Pizza Pa'Ya
Pan y Pizza Pa’Ya is a family-run Colombian bakery and pizzeria in Portage Park. This is a second location (the original is in Albany Park) and has things like coffee, pastries, breads, deep-dish pizza, plus a lunch menu with a variety of arepas.
photo credit: Kristen Mendiola
Lady May Eatery & Cocktail Parlor
Lady May in River North focuses on Southern coastal food. You’ll be able to find dishes like crab hush puppies, fried catfish, and a raw bar with oysters and shrimp cocktail.
Happy Lamb Hot Pot
One of our favorite hot pot restaurants in the city, Happy Lamb, has opened a second location in Lincoln Park. Like the original (and very popular) spot in Chinatown, you can expect high-quality meat, seafood, and vegetables, plus flavorful broths and a $34 AYCE option. Whether you’ll face the same long wait times remains to be seen.
photo credit: Boka Restaurant Group
GG’s Chicken Shop
GG’s Chicken Shop is a counter-service spot in Lakeview from the same group as Alla Vita, Girl & The Goat, and recently opened Le Select. Unsurprisingly, it specializes in chicken. The menu has rotisserie chicken, fried chicken, chicken salad, chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches, and chicken burgers. GG’s focuses primarily on takeout, but you can dine in, too.
photo credit: Boka Restaurant Group
The group behind the aforementioned GG’s has been busy. They also opened Itoko, a Japanese restaurant from the Momotaro chef, right next door to the chicken shop. You’ll find things like nigiri, sashimi, and maki on the menu, along with grilled skewers and ramen.
photo credit: Derrick Koch
Dear Madison Oyster
Dear Madison Oyster is a new oyster bar and restaurant in the West Loop. Most dishes involve seafood, but for people who prefer turf (or anything else) over surf there are options like salads, steak tacos, and chicken wings. Dear Madison also has Happy Hour specials during the week.
The owners of Kāl’ish, an Uptown vegan restaurant that recently closed, have opened Sephardic Sisters in its place. The new spot is also vegan, with a Sephardic and Mizrahi-influenced menu. Besides things like pita sandwiches, falafel, hummus, and salatim, they also have desserts like tahini halva fudge brownies and baklava cheesecake.
photo credit: Neil Burger
Atelier is a new tasting menu spot in Lincoln Square, located in the former Elizabeth space. The 10-course (plus dessert) menu changes seasonally, is $190 per person, and has dishes like berbere lamb, rutabaga pappardelle caesar, and foie gras creme brulee.
photo credit: Emma McGregor
Don Bucio's Taqueria
We recently checked out Don Bucio's and added it to our Hit List.
The chef behind Amaru and Bloom Plant Based Kitchen just opened Don Bucio’s Taqueria, a plant-based Mexican restaurant in Logan Square. The menu has things like asada and al pastor tacos stuffed with mushrooms and vegetables. They also have vegan burritos and tortas, plus snacks like chicharrones. (Presumably also not made with pork).
photo credit: TG Jamroz
As the name suggests, Yummy Falafel in Ravenswood specializes in falafel. Besides falafel, this counter-service spot has a variety of shawarma bowls, sandwiches, and other Mediterranean entrees for dine-in or takeout.
photo credit: Kailley Lindman
Lost Reef Lounge
Between the abundance of fish tanks and dim blue lighting, Lakeview’s newest addition channels Blue Planet vibes. Lost Reef Lounge is a cocktail bar, but they also have a variety of small plates and crudo to snack on (if eating fish while being surrounded by fish won't give you a case of the guilt sweats).
photo credit: Kristen Mendiola
River North Bistro
In case the name didn’t give it away, this new American spot is located in River North. The all-day restaurant has typical breakfast dishes (like pancakes and steak and eggs), plus a fairly long menu of salads, pastas, sandwiches, and larger entrees for lunch and dinner. Happy Hour deals are also available during the week.
Dong-ne is a Korean snack bar in Lakeview East. Their menu only has one section (aptly titled “food”), where you’ll find tteok-bokki, scallion pancakes, japchae, various bibimbap and ramyun, plus stews like beef soondubu jjigae.
photo credit: Pochos
Pochos has reopened on 18th Street in Pilsen after closing its popular McKinley Park location in 2021. You can expect a wide variety of Mexican and American brunch dishes, like chilaquiles, waffles, and omelets.
This new Cuban cafe in Portage Park is open all day, and serves everything from omelets to jibaritos. Besides larger plates, Copacubana also has Cuban pastries on the menu.
photo credit: Sushi by Scratch Restaurants
Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Chicago
Sushi by Scratch has locations in Austin, LA, Miami, and Seattle, and now there’s one in River West. It’s an omakase spot where they serve 17 courses of nigiri for $165, with three seatings a night.
Boonie's Filipino Restaurant
We recently checked out Boonie's and added it to our Hit List.
One of our favorite stalls in Revival Food Hall, Boonie’s Filipino Restaurant, closed at the end of last year. After an agonizing wait of approximately 49 days, we’re happy to report they’ve opened a permanent location in North Center. You’ll still be able to find their popular dishes like sisig, bagnet, and Vigan longganisa, plus a bunch of new options.
photo credit: Kristen Mendiola
Pizza Lobo, a popular pizza spot in Logan Square, has opened up a second, larger location in Andersonville. Like the original, you can expect New York-inspired pies, $1 wing nights, and a large patio with fire pits and bocce courts.
photo credit: Curtis Handley
Bell Heir's BBQ
We recently checked out Bell Heir's and you can read our review here.
This new spot in Canaryville is from one of the chefs who helped start the very popular Luella's Southern Kitchen (the chef also happens to be Luella’s great-grandson). Bell Heir’s focus is specifically on BBQ, with dishes like hickory-smoked rib tips and Houston-style BBQ turkey legs with baked macaroni and cheese. The restaurant is primarily takeout, but there is some seating available.
Roundhouse Sports Bar
Roundhouse is a new sports bar in Logan Square with an eclectic menu of Chinese-influenced bar food. There are things like Italian beef fried rice, cheeseburger egg rolls, and Mongolian beef nachos. The menu also includes staples like burgers and fried chicken sandwiches.
Koto Hibachi is a new Black-owned, counter-service, Japanese-style grill in Bridgeport. They serve hibachi to go (you don’t always have time to watch a chef make an onion volcano), with options like NY strip, lobster, chicken, and shrimp. There’s also a variety of sushi available.
Not A Damn Chance Burger
Not A Damn Chance Burger is a new smashburger spot operating out of recently-opened dive bar, The Drop In, in River West. NADC Burger’s menu holds a single item—a double patty burger topped with American cheese, secret sauce, onions, pickles, and jalapeños. It seems perfectly optimized for soaking up drinks at the end of a night out.
Boulevard Bistro is a new breakfast and lunch spot in Bucktown that’s open seven days a week. Their menu is heavy on egg dishes—with a variety of skillets, omelets, benedicts, and things like huevos rancheros. There are also classics like pancakes and waffles, plus salads and sandwiches for lunch.
photo credit: Anthony Tahlier
We recently checked out Le Select and you can read our review here.
This new French restaurant in River North is from the same group behind popular restaurants Alla Vita, Girl & The Goat, and Cabra. You can expect brasserie staples like steak au poivre, vol au vent, and duck breast à l’orange, plus a massive dining room full of red booths, white tablecloths and plenty of varnished mirrors. Right now, Le Select is open for dinner, with plans to eventually expand to brunch.
El Nuevo Colima
This is a new dine-in Mexican restaurant in South Lawndale, highlighting food from the state of Colima. El Nuevo’s menu has things like tacos and tortas, along with larger entrees like carne asada plates.
TAS Eatery is a new cafe and restaurant in Dunning. You can pick up baked goods and coffee in the front, while the back dining room serves Caribbean dishes like jerk lamb chops, Caribbean sautéed spinach, and Jamaican escovitch red snapper.
photo credit: Cesar Lopez
Banh Mi City
You probably won’t be shocked to hear that Vietnamese sandwiches are the focus of Banh Mi City, a new restaurant in Pilsen. But besides bánh mì with fillings like sweet BBQ pork, lemongrass chicken, and Vietnamese meatballs, the menu also has spring rolls, salads, and pho.
Sayuri Sushi Bar
We recently checked out Sayuri Sushi Bar and you can read our review here.
This new sushi restaurant in Edgewater moved into the old Hello Sushi space. Sayuri Sushi Bar has a wide selection of nigiri, sashimi, maki, as well as a few options for donburi, poke, ramen.
Los Andanes is a new counter-service Mexican restaurant in Belmont Cragin that’s open all day. They serve dishes like chilaquiles for breakfast, plus tortas, tampiqueña, and enchiladas for lunch and dinner.
Kindling Downtown Cookout and Cocktails
Fire is the main attraction at new restaurant Kindling, located in the Willis Tower. This spot has a live-fire kitchen in the middle of the dining room, and a menu filled with wood-fired plates, including steak, seafood, and an entire section dedicated to potatoes. Fresh pasta, a raw bar, and Happy Hour specials are also available.
El Rincon de Fabio
We recently checked out El Rincon de Fabio and added it to our Hit List.
El Rincon de Fabio is a new counter-service Venezuelan restaurant in Uptown. The menu has appetizers like tequeños and empanadas, along with tacos, bowls, and specialties like cachapas and hallaquitas. They’ll also offer at least seven different types of Venezuelan arepas.
This is a new fast-casual spot in Lakeview East. And while Poke Gu does indeed have spoke bowls—and the option to make your own—you’ll also find soups, salads, and donburi on the menu.
Passport Bar Room
Sports fans will probably appreciate Passport Bar Room, a multilevel tavern in West Town. Along with the usual sport-suspects, this bar plans to highlight F1, soccer, and tennis matches, too. On the main floor, you can order shareable snacks like patatas bravas and cheese curds, along with sandwiches and larger plates. The basement level is a speakeasy with a focus on cocktails.
Han Mi Jeong
Han Mi Jeong is a new Korean restaurant in Bridgeport. Their large menu has appetizers like kimchi pancakes and dukbokki, entrees like jjajangmyeon, and stews like bulgogi ttukbaegi. Plus, they are currently BYOB.
Lincoln Square’s Baker Miller has re-concepted and reopened as Miller Bagel. This bakery has shifted their focus to bagels, from classic BECs to sandwiches with pho-spiced round beef, chive cream cheese, and basil. They’ve also kept some of their pastries, like cookies, muffins, and cinnamon rolls.
We recently checked out Ora and you can read our review here.
Longtime Andersonville sushi staple, Ora, has reopened just a few blocks from its previous location after closing in 2021. You can expect a wide variety of maki, sashimi, and hand rolls.
Jordyn's Soul Cafe
Jordyn’s Soul Cafe is a new, upscale soul food spot in West Town. The menu has starters like fried green tomatoes and jerk chicken wings, as well as entrees like oxtails or lobster mac and cheese.
Appropriately named, 2AM Izakaya is a new late-night Japanese restaurant in Lincoln Park. The menu has a mix of smaller bites like sushi, takoyaki, and grilled pork skewers. You can also expect larger plates like udon and tonkatsu.
Brasserie by C & C
We recently checked out Brasserie By C & C and you can read our review here.
This French restaurant in Edgewater comes from the team behind the now-closed Cookies and Carnitas. Like their previous spot, Brasserie’s menu has some Mexican influence. Along with dishes like foie gras croquettes and chicken cassoulet, you can expect things like steak tacos and mushroom enchiladas.
Quesabirria Jalisco Chicago
We recently checked out Quesabirria Jalisco and added it to our Hit List.
Quesabirria Jalisco Chicago is a new casual Mexican restaurant in Pilsen. As expected, the focus here is on quesabirria. That's the only thing on the menu, with the exception of a side of rice. There’s the option of beef, chicken, or shrimp, which can be ordered in packs of four, eight, and platters of up to 40.
Fifty-One 50 Fusion
Fifty-One 50 Fusion is a new soul food restaurant in Auburn Gresham. Their long menu has an eclectic mix of dishes like chicken with red velvet waffles, cilantro lime catfish, Cajun chicken pasta, and Italian beef egg rolls.
photo credit: Tom Hemerka
Pistores Pizza and Pastry
We recently checked out Pistores Pizza and Pastry and you can read our review here.
Pistores Pizza and Pastry is a new Italian cafe in River North. Their pizzas come with a variety of toppings, and they also have sandwiches and small plates, like meatballs in pork ragu. But if you’re just stopping by for pastries (which are available all day), they have things like a calamansi tart or meyer-lemon almond croissants.
This is a new Italian spot in Fulton Market. Pasta Veneta has appetizers like mozzarella croquettes in tomato sauce, as well as housemade pasta, like pappardelle with duck confit or corn-truffle ravioli topped with a saffron sauce.
We recently checked out Alexander's Restaurant and you can read our review here.
Adding to Alexander’s 60-year-old location in Edgewater, this diner now has a spot in Lincoln Square. Their long menu has omelets, pancakes, and skillets as well as things like burgers and sandwiches for lunch.
We recently checked out Kyuramen and you can read our review here.
Taiwanese ramen chain, Kyuramen, has just opened its first Chicago location in River North. Most of the bowls are pork-based and come in varieties like shoyu, miso, or Japanese curry, but they also have a chicken or vegetable option. Plus, they have an extensive menu full of milk teas and smoothies.
We recently checked out Soule and added it to our Hit List.
One of our favorite Southern restaurants in the city, Soulé, has opened up a second, larger location in North Lawndale. Like the original spot, you can expect dishes like fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits, and fried chicken.
Forte is a new Mediterranean restaurant attached to Symphony Center in the Loop. They have appetizers like dolma and lamb meatballs, and larger entrees like steak or rigatoni with sausage sugo. There are also classical music-themed cocktails like the Bee-thoven made with brandy, honey, and chamomile.
The M Room
The Roka Akor team has opened a new tasting menu restaurant in River North called The M Room. And the “M” in question stands for the Scotch brand, Macallan. The $185 10-course meal has Japanese and whiskey-influenced dishes like sashimi with yeast seasoning or a wagyu wellington with a Macallan demi-glace. Unsurprisingly, they have some beverage pairings available as well.
Uptown Taproom is a new bar in Uptown. They have a variety of local beers as well as a short menu with snacks like truffle fries or curry-spiced cauliflower as well as burgers and tacos.
Falcon's Handcrafted Sandwiches
This is a new sandwich spot in Lincoln Square. In addition to things like a Philly cheesesteak or Italian sausage sandwich, Falcon’s also has non-sandwiches like tagliatelle with oxtail ragu and chicken cacciatore.
With locations already in Midway and West Town, Southern restaurant Porkchop just opened a new one in Edgewater. The menu has appetizers like hush puppies and fried pickles as well as larger dishes like shrimp po boys, fried chicken, and BBQ.
Stay And Play Game Cafe
Stay and Play Game Cafe is a new board game cafe in Irving Park with a Puerto Rican menu. They have sandwiches like jibaritos, and a tripleta with lechon, steak, and ham. But if you want a snack while you build the longest road in Catan, they also have tostones and pastelillos.
photo credit: Shoo Loong Kan
Shoo Loong Kan Hotpot
Shoo Loong Kan Hot Pot in Chinatown is the first Midwest location of a popular hot pot chain from China (also known as Xiaolongkan). They have soup bases like spicy house chili or bone broth, and a variety of different meats, seafood, and vegetables.
La Palma Express
La Palma Express is a casual Puerto Rican restaurant in Montclaire. They have dishes like jibaritos, pollo guisado, and bistec encebollado as well as desserts like flan.
This new French bistro is located inside of Hyatt Centric Hotel in The Loop. Bandol is open all day, and their menu has dishes like croque madam, escargot, and steak frites. They also have a raw bar.