Chicago’s New Restaurant OpeningsThe 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 Coach House is one of our favorite spots in Wicker Park, so naturally, we’re excited about the opening of their bar, Lilac Tiger. Lilac Tiger replaces Wazwan, and involves a new look, a liquor license, and dishes like a tandoori honey chicken sandwich and duck fried rice.
Federales, of West Loop boozy taco spot fame, has a new location in Logan Square. Like the original, there’s a variety of tacos, margaritas, and opportunities to throw shot glasses made of ice at a bell. Plus, the first Friday of every month features live art events because this place takes being cultured very seriously.
This family-owned vegan cafe in the West Loop expanded into Hyde Park. At Sundrip (the restaurant formerly known as Uncooked), everything is plant-based, raw, and gluten-free. There are juices, smoothie bowls, plus dishes like pesto kelp noodles available for takeout.
We recently checked out Provaré's new location and added it to our Hit List.
After a few years in West Town, this Creole and Italian restaurant has moved into a much larger space down the street. The new version of Provaré has an expanded menu with dishes like fried lobster tails and creamy chicken parmesan, plus a semi-secret speakeasy.
Kirei is a new Japanese restaurant in the Gold Coast, located in The Whitehall Hotel. Besides the usual hotel breakfast dishes, this spot serves a Japanese breakfast spread, plus sushi and steak for dinner. There are weekday Happy Hour deals until 6:30pm too.
This hybrid Chinese-Thai-Korean-Japanese spot in Bridgeport is open all day, and serves everything from orange chicken to laksa fish noodles to japchae to scallop hibachi. AFusion also offers brunch dishes like omelets and french toast until 2:30pm, including weekdays.
We recently checked out Kama and you can read our review here.
There’s a new option for Indian food in Wicker Park. Kama serves familiar North Indian staples like chicken tikka masala and saag paneer, plus “Indian-adjacent” dishes like lamb tacos and tandoori sea bass for dine-in or takeout.
The owners of Junebug Cafe opened a new sandwich shop in Portage Park. Murphy’s has a handful of options—including brisket, corned beef, and subs—plus shakes and malts for dessert.
Poke Okie is a new restaurant in Avondale serving Hawaiian food and coffee. And while this counter-service spot does indeed have poke bowls (and the option to build your own) the menu also has snacks like spam musubi, salads, and rice bowls.
Comfort's African Cuisine
We recently checked out Comfort's and you can read our review here.
Comfort’s African Cuisine in Lakeview East is a new restaurant specializing in West African food. The menu is long—with dishes like jollof rice, suya skewers, and amala with ewedu for dine-in or takeout.
Ekiben Japanese Kitchen
Nowhere is safe from the crushing onslaught of ‘90s nostalgia, as evidenced by the names of the sushi rolls at Ekiben—each one is named after a Power Ranger. Besides "Pink Ranger" rolls, this new Japanese spot in North Center also has onigiri, donburi, and daily lunch specials.
Los Barriles is a recently opened restaurant and sports bar in Albany Park serving Yucatecan and Mediterranean food. That means you can expect chicken panuchos, rib-eye with tzatziki, and cochinita pibil hummus while you play pool or catch a game.
Nisos, a short-lived Greek restaurant in the West Loop, closed earlier this year. After (hopefully) doing some soul-searching, it’s making a comeback—albeit in stages and with a new concept. Prime Bar is up first, serving steakhouse bar food like meat, pastas, seafood, and burgers. It’s the casual alternative to the upcoming restaurant Nisos Prime, opening at the end of the year.
We recently checked out Phodega and you can read our review here.
Phodega, a combination bodega and pho shop in Wicker Park, has moved into a larger space. The new version of Phodega still serves bowls of pho, rice, and fried chicken skins, plus a few sandwiches and snacks.
We recently checked out Nomonomo Sushi and you can read our review here.
The team behind Ramen Wasabi and the recently opened Nomonomo Japanese Pub + Grill are continuing their Logan Square takeover. After tackling ramen and opening an izakaya, now they’re trying their hand at sushi, with the opening of Nomonomo Sushi.
Marina's Bistro And Rum Bar
We recently checked out Marina's Bistro And Rum Bar and added it to our Hit List.
After operating out of a ghost kitchen for years, Marina’s Bistro And Rum Bar finally opened an Uptown brick-and-mortar. The Puerto Rican restaurant serves a variety of sandwiches (including a vegan jibarito), dishes like lechon asado, plus six types of mofongo.
We recently checked out Izakaya Shinya and you can read our review here.
Izakaya Shinya is a new Japanese restaurant in Logan Square. This late-night spot is open until 2am, and focuses on yakitori along with snacks like takoyaki and chicken wings, plus larger dishes like donburi.
Tilly Bagel Shop
We recently checked out Tilly Bagel Shop and you can read our review here.
Tilly’s graduated from a farmer’s market fixture to a permanent location in the South Loop. Now you can get a sourdough bagel in interesting flavors like cacio e pepe (almost) any day of the week.
We recently checked out Anor and you can read our review here.
Anor is a new Uzbek restaurant in Lincoln Park. Besides Central Asian dishes like samsa, manty, and lagman, there’s also a variety of salads and pastas.
We recently checked out Desert Hawk and you can read our review here.
Desert Hawk is a new bar in Wicker Park that's serving food from the team behind Taco Sublime. The short menu includes tacos, quesadillas, three different smashburgers, plus tequila and mezcal cocktails.
We recently checked out Yep Kitchen and you can read our review here.
There’s a new Hong Kong-style cafe in Chinatown. Yep Kitchen has a long menu of Cantonese dishes, including noodle rolls, 11 different types of congee, and things like sweet and sour pork chops and salted fish with eggplant.
We recently checked out Ummo and added it to our Hit List.
Ummo is an Italian restaurant in River North from the team behind Tzuco. The menu spans regions and changes regularly, but you can expect housemade pastas like bucatini with octopus ragu and steak that’s cooked over a wood fire.
There’s something extra fun about food on a stick. Seoul Stick, a new Korean spot in Wicker Park, is capitalizing on this. They serve Korean street snacks like goguma and ramyun corn dogs and stick-bokki (their version of tteokkochi). If keeping food on a stick stresses you out, there are also things like fried dumplings and bubble tea.
We recently checked out Schneider Deli and you can read our review here.
After starting out as a pickle company and a series of pop-ups, the newest iteration of Schneider is a Jewish deli in River North. In addition to pastrami sandwiches, corned beef, and brisket, Schneider Deli also has breakfast options like bagels and lox, plus seltzer on tap to make egg creams.
The original is in the West Loop (well, technically Rome), but Bonci just opened another location on the border of Lakeview West and Lincoln Park. Similar to their other locations, the counter-service pizzeria serves Roman-style pizza that’s cut with scissors when you order and sold by weight. There’s a variety of options, and toppings change regularly.
Soule To Soule
We recently checked out Soule To Soule and added it to our Hit List.
One of our favorite Southern spots in the city, Soulé, moved from West Town to a larger space in North Lawndale earlier this year. A new iteration called Soule To Soule is now taking over the original location. The menu will focus on Creole soul food plus have more vegetarian options than Soulé.
We recently checked out Tacombi and you can read our review here.
The West Loop welcomes yet another taco transplant. Tacombi is a taqueria chain with locations along the East Coast, and now there’s one on the corner of Randolph and Peoria. It’s a casual counter-service spot with, unsurprisingly, tacos (including all-day breakfast options), and cocktails.
Mrs. Kay's Kitchen
Mrs. Kay’s Kitchen is a casual Nigerian restaurant that just moved to Rogers Park after closing its Skokie location in June. It’s currently takeout-only, so be prepared to get orders of abula, jollof rice, oxtail soup, and shawarma to go.
The Evie is located right on the Magnificent Mile, replacing the two-decades-old Bandera with a restaurant that’s part steakhouse, part sushi bar. They also offer a meat-centric brunch with prime rib benedict, skirt steak and eggs, and fried chicken with biscuits.
We recently checked out Maman Zari and you can read our review here.
Maman Zari is a new Persian tasting-menu spot in Albany Park. The nine-course meal changes seasonally, is $85 per person, and has dishes like watermelon salad, fesenjan, and lamb chops. There’s a vegetarian version of the menu available, too.
The historic Davis Theater (the longest continually operated theater in Chicago) opened Sojourn, a New American restaurant in Lincoln Square. It’s right next door, so it's possible to have a pre-movie meal of smashburgers, red snapper tacos, and truffle mac and cheese.
Justice Of The Pies
After nine years of operating as a satellite bakery, Justice of the Pies finally has a permanent location in Avalon Park. Besides pies and other sweets like brownies, banana pudding, and cinnamon rolls, the dessert shop also has soft serve.
Tribu Caffe is a new breakfast and lunch spot in Lakeview. Their menu is heavy on the egg dishes—a variety of omelets, benedicts, and things like huevos rancheros. There are also classics like pancakes and waffles, plus salads and sandwiches.
We recently checked out Diego and added it to our Hit List.
The chef behind pop-up Sueños x Soho (one of our favorite, albeit temporary, restaurants from last year) opened Diego, a Mexican spot in West Town. Diego calls itself a dive bar, but the menu’s interesting cocktails and mariscos-based food like ceviche and octopus tostadas say otherwise. There’s Happy Hour during the week and a late-night menu, too.
This is an Italian-American restaurant in Lincoln Park across from sister restaurant, Gemini. DeNuccis has appetizers like artichoke vesuvio, a variety of pastas and pizzas, plus larger dishes like veal scallopini.
Floreen's Chicken & Roost
The owners of Kāl’ish, a vegan Uptown restaurant that closed, reopened as Sephardic Sisters, another vegan spot. Now, the space has reopened as Floreen’s Chicken & Roost. Unlike the previous iterations, Floreen’s non-vegan menu focuses on fried and roast chicken, plus pizza.
Mix Mex Cue
This is a new casual Mexican restaurant in Lincoln Square. Mix Mex Cue mainly focuses on dishes like tacos, burritos, and tortas. But there are also a handful of non-Mexican options like a Philly cheesesteak and a whole rack of baby back ribs.
We recently checked out Yokocho and added it to our Hit List.
The original Yokocho closed in 2019 after a short stint in Wicker Park, but it’s returned, this time in Fulton Market. This bar and restaurant is inspired by alley bars in Japan, and has a short menu of small plates, hand rolls, and a 10-course omakase.
We recently checked out Rudy's Ramen and you can read our review here.
As its name suggests, this casual new spot in Noble Square focuses on ramen. The menu has a handful of bowls ranging from miso to spicy tonkatsu, as well as a vegetarian option. They also have appetizers like karaage and takoyaki.
We recently checked out Sifr and added it to our Hit List.
The team behind Indienne (a Best New Restaurant Of 2022) opened Sifir in River North. This restaurant is in the old Bernie's space (which means it has a rooftop) and has a short Middle Eastern menu. Aside from a mezze selection, it includes grilled meats, small plates like amber roasted melon, and mains like lamb shank or sea bass.
Monarch & Lion
We recently checked out Monarch and Lion and you can read our review here.
This British pub in Streeterville comes from the team behind Rooh and Bar Goa. Monarch and Lion is currently open for dinner with food like steak and ale pie or fish and chips, and they plan on having brunch and lunch in the future. There are also a handful of dishes, like paneer tikka masala and artichoke bhaji, that can be made gluten-free or vegan.
Clumsy Cow BBQ
Clumsy Cow is a new counter-service BBQ spot in the Loop that focuses on smoked meats and fried chicken. They also have interesting-sounding sandwiches like mortadella on beef fat focaccia with pistachio barbecue sauce.
Mella Cafe is a new family-owned and operated cafe in Edgewater. They have a short menu of Eritrean and Ethiopian breakfast and lunch dishes. Gelato, waffles, and pastries are available, too.
Lola’s Restaurant & Bar
We recently checked out Lola's and you can read our review here.
Lola’s is an American restaurant in the West Loop that opened in the former La Sardine space. The menu is a grab-bag of salads, sandwiches, and entrees like steak frites and roast chicken. There’s an equally long cocktail list with an entire section dedicated to martinis and mocktails.
The StopAlong At Boiler Room
A second location of retro spot The StopAlong opened in Logan Square. Like the original, they’re serving burgers and New York-style pizzas with a side of ‘90s nostalgia.
We recently checked out Suda's and you can read our review here.
Suda’s is a new Lebanese restaurant in Lincoln Park. You’ll find cold and hot mezze, kebabs, plus larger plates like pan-seared salmon on the menu. For now, Suda’s is open only for dinner service.
We recently checked out La Victoria and you can read our review here.
La Victoria is a new restaurant in Logan Square. The casual Mexican spot has tacos, tlayudas, and other regional dishes. It’s located in a former auto repair shop—which means it has a lot of space (including a large patio) and garage-style doors to let in the summer breeze.
Bless Your Heart
We recently checked out Bless Your Heart and you can read our review here.
You no longer need to book a trip to Nashville to experience something called a “Honky Tonk Disco Brunch.” Bless Your Heart is a new Southern barbecue spot in River North with the aforementioned bottomless brunch, Happy Hour, and multiple outdoor spaces.
T Square Cafe
T Square Cafe is a boba tea cafe that started as a small takeout window in Chinatown. They’ve now expanded to a full-size operation in North Center, serving rice bowls, snacks like popcorn chicken, and desserts.
We recently checked out Tetto and added it to our Hit List.
Fans of Professor Pizza rejoice: You can eat their delicious pizza at Tetto. This rooftop bar in the West Loop has interesting cocktails, like espresso martinis with parmesan, plus snacks (and, of course, pizza) from Professor Pizza.
Apero Wine Bar
We recently checked out Apero and you can read our review here.
Apero is a new wine bar in North Center. While this new French spot (obviously) focuses on wine, there’s also a short food menu with vegetable-forward snacks like roasted cauliflower with garlic and carrot tahini, and larger dishes like chicken chasseur.
We recently checked out Čálli and added it to our Hit List.
One of the chefs behind Birrieria Zaragoza opened a restaurant in the West Loop. Čálli has food from across Mexico, with a particular focus on masa, and interesting cocktails like a poblano mole Old Fashioned. And despite being located in Soho House, Čálli is open to the public.
We recently checked out GoodTimes Brewery and you can read our review here.
GoodTimes is a new restaurant and brewery in Lakeview with a menu primarily full of pizzas, sandwiches, and burgers. But you can also build your own tacos or grab some smoked meat, like ribs and brisket.
We recently checked out Grammar and you can read our review here.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself “I’d like to play a round of pickleball and shop for antiques while eating Detroit-style pizza,” then Grammar is the answer to your very specific prayers. The all-day cafe is located in The School House, a school that’s been converted to a multi-use space in River North. Besides pizza, Grammar also has a few breakfast options, salads, and small plates.
We recently checked out Lone Owl Pub and you can read our review here.
Lone Owl is a new gastropub in Wicker Park. The menu is a grab bag of dishes—lobster corn dogs, bulgogi hoagies, fried chicken, pasta—all loosely tied to the theme “food of the Pacific Northwest.” There’s also a wasabi martini waiting with your name on it.