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.
This is a new ramen spot in Logan Square. Monster Ramen makes all their noodles in-house, and has bowls like tori chintan shoyu and The Monster: beef-based gyukotsu with wagyu rib roast, wagyu chashu, and beef jam. Aside from ramen, they also have small plates, rice bowls, and chilled noodles.
Fora is a new restaurant in the Emily Hotel in Fulton Market. This Mexican place focuses on seafood and raw plates with dishes like kanpachi aguachile, hamachi with pomelo and yuzu kosho, and carne apache tostadas.
Daisy's Po' Boy and Tavern
Daisy’s Po' Boy and Tavern is a casual southern restaurant in Hyde Park from the same chef as Virtue. In addition to po’ boys (with fillings like fried shrimp, oysters, and catfish) they have dishes like gumbo, fried chicken, and red beans and rice.
photo credit: Christina Slaton
Small Cheval has opened its fifth restaurant in Hyde Park. The menu is the same as its other locations, with a short line-up of burgers, fries, and shakes. In addition to indoor seating, they also have a spacious patio.
Mindy’s Bakery is now open in Wicker Park, from the same team behind Mindy’s Hot Chocolate that closed in 2020. You can find a wide array of baked goods like bagels, danishes, cinnamon rolls, and savory options like brioche with pork belly and gochujang mascarpone.
The Bakehouse Chicago
Roscoe Village also has a new bakery and breakfast spot, The Bakehouse Chicago. The menu has croissants, bagels, and waffles. And if you’re looking for someplace besides Starbucks to get a cake pop at 7am, they have those too.
photo credit: Christina Slaton
Roost Chicken And Biscuits
Also new to Roscoe Village is Roost Chicken and Biscuits, which has replaced their original location in Lakeview. The menu remains unchanged, which still has fried chicken biscuit sandwiches, fried chicken by the piece, and sides like mac and cheese and peach cobbler.
Bronzeville Soul is a casual Southern restaurant in (you guessed it) Bronzeville. Though the menu rotates daily, you can expect dishes like chicken wings, short ribs, and fried catfish, as well as sides like mac and cheese, string beans, and sweet potatoes.
Bridgeport’s Taipei Cafe has a new location in Lakeview. The long menu is full of Taiwanese dishes like popcorn chicken, spicy beef noodle soup, and hot pot. They also have an equally long drink menu of teas, smoothies, and lattes.
Fry The Coop
Fry The Coop opened a second Chicago storefront in Portage Park. It has a reduced menu compared to its West Town location (and doesn’t have a full bar), but you can still get chicken sandwiches like Nashville hot, Chicago style with giardiniera, and a donut chicken sandwich.
This is a taqueria in Ravenswood. In addition to Mexican staples like al pastor and birria tacos, this counter-service spot also has fusion-y options like falafel and bulgogi.
Whim is a new cocktail bar in Lakeview, located inside the Stage 773 theater complex. They have drinks made with designed-by-Willy Wonka ingredients like roasted marshmallows, cotton candy, and a variety of themed rooms fully decorated in paper airplanes, toys, or clocks.
Helfeld’s Deli is a new Jewish Deli in Wicker Park. This takeout spot serves bagels from New York Bagels and Bialys, lox, and salads like chicken or tuna. They also have halva, banana bread, and rugelach. According to their website, they plan on expanding their menu to include pastrami, corned beef, and other meats, as well as with matzo ball soup and kreplach.
Land & Lake
In addition to the Loop and Andersonville, Land & Lake has opened another location in Ravenswood. This casual American restaurant has starters like meatballs and BBQ wings, and entrees like burgers, pork chops, and pasta.
Chef Art Smith’s Reunion
If you’re forced into visiting Navy Pier with tourists this summer, you can check out this new Southern restaurant. Reunion is a casual sit-down spot, and has entrees like fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and sides like fried green tomatoes and goat cheese buttermilk biscuits.
El Churro Shop
After starting out as a pop-up, El Churro Shop has opened a brick-and-mortar in Little Village. In addition to churros with toppings like strawberries and salted caramel, they also have funnel cakes, ice cream, and a few savory items like avocado toast and paninis.
This is a new ice cream shop in Portage Park. Lovin’ Scoop serves ice cream from Capannari in Mt. Prospect with flavors like java chip, peaches and cream, and Mediterranean sea salt, as well as non-dairy options like vegan vanilla.
Do-Over Diner is a late-night spot that just opened in Humboldt Park. Their hours vary during the week, but on the weekends, you can grab diner classics like omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and burgers as late as 3am, and they also have cocktails and beer.
Avondale has a new spot serving coffee and light snacks. Cultura Ccafe serves things like waffles and crepes, and they also have empanadas with fillings like chicken tinga, beef with potatoes, and strawberry and cheese.
Nisos Mediterranean is an upscale Greek restaurant in the West Loop. They have dishes like moussaka, lamb shank with vegetables and lamb jus, and seafood options like Aegean sea bass, octopus, and red snapper. They fly their fish in from Greece two to three times a week, so hopefully, your fish’s flight isn't part of the current string of cancellations.
Pulaski Park has a new restaurant and bar called 1308 Chicago. Their American menu has a lot of vegetarian-friendly options like fried Brussels sprouts, carrots with grits, and fresh ricotta agnolotti. But they also have a burger or chicken and cheddar dumplings if you’re feeling carnivorous.
If you're looking for an alternative to your morning donut stop at Dunkin', you can check out Wicker Park’s new Italian bakery, Dolci Amori, instead. This counter-service spot has a wide variety of Italian pastries like crostatas, zeppoles, panna cotta, and sugar-dusted bombolene filled with your choice of vanilla, chocolate, berry jam, or pistachio.
Best Bar is a new addition to Chinatown’s bar scene. In addition to drinks, they have a short food menu with dishes like chicken katsu, caprese crepes, and salmon ceviche. And if you’re getting dinner at a BYOB spot nearby and forgot to pick up something at Binny’s, they have bottles of wine, six-packs, and even some to-go cocktails for sale.
This is a new bar in Logan Square from the same team behind Spilt Milk and Bangers and Lace. In addition to draft beer and cocktails, they also have bags of popcorn and perhaps the most iconic Chicago late-night snack: tamales from the Tamale Guy.
Grill On 21
The LaSalle Hotel in the Loop has a new upscale restaurant on the 21st floor called Grill on 21. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the wide-ranging menu has everything from pancakes and omelets to filet mignon with crispy soba noodles, scallops, and unagi sauce.
Kuro Ramen is a new ramen spot in Chinatown. They have a variety of bowl options like tonkotsu, miso, and shoyu, as well as a few rice bowls. If you’re looking for a small bite before diving into a bowl of noodles, you can also order appetizers like karaage and takoyaki.
Soul & Smoke
You can now grab some BBQ on an outdoor patio at Soul & Smoke’s new location at Rockwell on The River in Avondale. In addition to BBQ classics like rib tips, brisket, and sausage, they also have sides like cajun baked beans and collard greens. Plus, you can grab a post-meal beer at Metropolitan Brewery right next door.
Khmai Cambodian Fine Dining
Khmai Cambodian Fine Dining is a new sit-down Cambodian restaurant in Roger’s Park. Their menu has some small bites like egg rolls and beef skewers marinated in lemongrass, as well as larger entrees like a Khmer stir fry and various rice plates which come with jrouk, and tuk trey.
In addition to its already existing Lakeview location, this casual burger and sandwich restaurant is opening a second spot in Portage Park. They have a bunch of different burgers and you can also order sandwiches like a cheesesteak, a shrimp po' boy, or one with 12-hour-long sous vide pork belly, greens, and tomato—which is kind of like a BLT that just graduated from culinary school.
Paulo Gelato and Chocolate
Just in time to help you prevent from overheating like your 2010 Macbook playing a video in 2160p, a new gelato shop has opened in West Town. Paulo Gelato and Chocolate has a variety of flavors from dark chocolate and fresh mint to burnt vanilla, as well as vegan options like a mango and passion fruit sorbet. Aside from gelato, they also have hot chocolate and coffee.
Pretty Cool Ice Cream
Pretty Cool Ice Cream has a new location in Lincoln Park, making it the second in addition to their original in Logan Square. They have many types of ice cream bars like s’mores or horchata crunch as well as fruitier flavors like mango lassi or pink lemonade.
Texan Taco Bar
West Loop has a new casual Tex Mex spot from the same team behind Parlor Pizza. Texan Taco Bar has dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and something with a little bit of Parlor DNA called a quesadizza: a large tortilla covered in cheese and toppings.
Jack's Wicker Park
Jack’s Wicker Park is a new French bar and bistro. Their menu has starters like escargot and French onion soup, and larger dishes like ratatouille, steak frites, or croque madame.
Lincoln Park has a new sushi restaurant called Sushi Hall. Their menu is full of nigiri, maki, and hand rolls with plenty of seafood options from salmon to octopus. But if for some reason you end up here and don’t actually eat sushi, they also have an “I Don’t Eat Sushi” part of the menu, which only has cooked items like gyoza or chicken katsu.
Kala Modern Greek
Kala is a casual Lincoln Park Greek spot. Their menu has a variety of souvlaki options like pork, shrimp, or vegetable, as well as salads, spanakopita, or haloumi with cherry jam.
Millennium Hall is a new dining concept that will host a series of food vendors stationed throughout Millennium Park—with the first being Napolita, a Neapolitan pizza spot with an original location in Wilmette. It’s located in the restaurant space right under The Bean, so you can grab one of their thin pies, pastas, or salads after your cousins who are visiting force you to show them the large, shiny legume.
Selva is a new cocktail bar on the rooftop of the Emily Hotel in Fulton Market. Aside from cocktails and a view, they also have a small menu of Mexican dishes like duck carnitas tacos, tuna tostada, and chicharones if you need something to snack on while you enjoy the skyline.
Bigg's At The Bridge
This is a fast casual take-out only spot in West Lawn. Their menu has options like gyros, burgers, and cheesesteaks. Plus, they’re open every day until midnight if you happen to have a hankering for a late-night snack.
From Here On
This huge food hall is located in the Old Post Office in the West Loop. It’s 18,000 square feet, and they currently have seven vendors with options like Nashville hot chicken at Hot Chi Chicken, tacos at Flo’s Tacos, and sandwiches at Tempesta Market. They also plan on adding more food stalls to the giant space, so you might want to consider roller-skating around just like the old post office workers if you want to pick up lunch at one spot and then get a dessert that’s all the way on the other side.
After closing in the West Loop in 2020, Eden has reopened in Avondale. They're currently only open from 8am-2pm, and are serving breakfast burritos, sandwiches, salads, and pastries. According to their website, they plan on opening for dinner service starting in July.
Shy Slice Pizza
Shy Slice is a takeout and delivery-only pizza spot operating out of Patino’s Grill in Irving Park. The pizza is tavern-style and can be ordered as full 18-inch pies or as a “slice”: one-quarter of a full pie cut into square pieces. You can get standard toppings like pepperoni, as well as more divisive (and perhaps even sacrilegious) ones like pineapple.
Truth Be Told
Located on the ground floor of The Study, the University of Chicago’s hotel, Truth Be Told is a new British-inspired restaurant on the border of Woodlawn and Hyde Park. It's open for lunch and dinner, and the menu has small plates like Welsh rarebit, as well as entrees like shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash.
Lono Poke is a food stall located in Fulton Market's Time Out Market, and they have a short menu of poke bowls. You can choose between a salmon, tuna, or hamachi base, all of which come with a variety of vegetables and sauces. If picking just one type of fish makes you feel like a parent having to choose a favorite child, you can get all three in the Ohana bowl.
photo credit: Kim Kovacik
XO Marshmallow is a dessert cafe that just moved into a new Lincoln Park location after closing its Rogers Park shop earlier this year. They have a variety of hot chocolate and coffee drinks, as well as homemade s'more with flavors like salted caramel, cookies and cream, or funfetti.
photo credit: Kelly Sandos
Publican Quality Bread
The team behind Publican Quality Meats has opened a carry-out spot in the front of their wholesale bakery in Fulton Market. Publican Quality Bread is open from 7am-6pm on weekdays and until 3pm on weekends, so you can stop by for breakfast, lunch, or even an early dinner. They have pastries like croissants and danishes, as well as savory options like “the big sandwich” which comes with mortadella, stracciatella, and sour cherry spread.
For a recovery meal after finally remembering to not skip leg day at Edgewater’s LA Fitness, grab some Afghan food at Afghan Saray just down the block. This casual sit-down spot has dishes like grilled kebab koobideh, bolani stuffed with potatoes, and Uzbek qabuli.
photo credit: Marisa Klug-Morataya
If you try to find the bathroom while ordering takeout at Moon Palace Express in Chinatown, you might end up in the middle of a live DJ set at Nine Bar. This speakeasy in the back of Moon Palace is the neighborhood's first cocktail bar. Their drink menu has a selection of high balls and other Asian-inspired creations using liquors like soju, baijiu, and shochu. If you get hungry, they also have some dishes like mapo hot fries, a ginger-lemongrass chicken sandwich, and bruléed milk bread.
Cajun Boil and Shake
Hyde Park is the new home for Cajun Boil and Shake, a casual cajun spot that already has four locations in the suburbs. From po boys, to hush puppies, to fried gator, their menu has plenty of southern staples to choose from. But their specialty is bags of boiled seafood. You can choose options like lobster tail, crab legs, and crawfish, and sauces like classic butter or lemon pepper with jerk.
Tabu is a Latin American-inspired restaurant in West Loop. Their menu has items like grilled octopus with crispy rice and manchamanteles, mushroom tacos with kimchi, and larger plates like skirt steak nopales and shrimp and grits with griddled corn masa and lime morita crema. Though a nightmare for people who are indecisive, they have a long drink menu with over 100 types of tequila and mezcal.
Sushi By Bou
Sushi By Bou is a Gold Coast omakase restaurant from the same team behind Sushi Suite 202 and Sushi Boutique. Located in the Claridge House hotel, their 12-course omakase is served in 30-minute or 60-minute experiences, with options to add time and dishes.
Sfera Sicilian Street Food
Sfera is a counter-service breakfast and lunch spot bringing Sicilian street food to Edgewater. Open from 7am-3pm, their menu has breakfast items like a mortadella, egg frittata, and pepperoncini sandwich as well as Sicilian pizza slices. They also have a small retail section with dried pastas, olive oils, and housemade marinara if you wanted to pick up a few things for your pantry.
Huaraches Mexican Restaurant
Adding to its two locations in Brighton Park and Dunning, Huaraches has opened a third restaurant space in Hyde Park. This casual, sit-down Mexican spot serves staples like tacos, fajitas, and of course their namesake, huaraches. You build your own version with sauces like mole and salsa verde, proteins like chicken, ground beef, and cactus leaf, along with a variety of vegetables to top it all off.
If you’re in the market for a new dog-friendly patio, check out Electric Garden in the West Loop. In addition to drinks, this bar has a food menu with dishes like a chicken tonkatsu sando or black truffle cornbread. And, for your dog, they have a doggie burger and ultimate pupshake made with peanut butter yogurt. If you’re feeling a little bit jealous after seeing Captain Barky eat his pupshake, they also have gelato and sorbet for humans.
3 Sauces Hainam Chicken Rice
As its name suggests, this new spot located in Chinatown's Richland Center Food Court specializes in Hainanese chicken rice. Their take on the popular Singaporean and Malaysian dish (with roots in China) is accompanied by three sauces: ginger, soy, and sambal chili. They also have a fried chicken version of the dish along with sweet snacks like peach mango spring rolls and fried red bean dumplings.
Sueños x Soho
West Loop’s Soho House has a six-month-long pop-up called Sueños x Soho.The Mexican-inspired a la carte menu has seafood dishes like tuna tostadas, pulpo skewers, and aguachile. So if you didn’t get to try their previous $175 tasting menu pop-up, Entre Sueños, now’s your chance to taste their food without choosing between that or buying a Pitchfork day pass.
photo credit: Kailley Lindman
Elephant and Vine
Elephant and Vine is a casual vegan spot in Lincoln Park, located at the bottom of the Lincoln Commons apartment complex. Their menu has salads, wraps, and plant-based versions of fast food like burgers and chicken tenders. And for dessert, they have dairy-free milkshakes.
The team from Le Bouchon in Wicker Park has opened Obelix, an upscale French restaurant in River North. The menu has classics like French onion soup and escargot, as well as dishes like Murray cod wings with tamarind sauce, and a foie gras taco topped with grape jam, peanuts, and chili oil.
La Boulangerie & Co.
Speaking of French openings, La Boulangerie and Co. has opened a third location in Humboldt Park. This casual French cafe and bakery has macarons, gallettes, and baguettes, as well as pizza, which is unique to their Humboldt Park spot. They also have a market section with wine and cheese to help you claim the title of “Most Valuable Party Guest”.
Appropriately named, Bunker is an underground bar in the West Loop. This spot has lots of TV’s, along with activities like activities like shuffleboard and classic arcade games you can play. If Pacman chomping on dots inspires you to order some food, Bunker serves Mexican-inspired bites like queso, esquites, and burritos. They also have a large dog-friendly patio.
De Borincuba is a casual spot in Logan Square that won’t force you to choose between Puerto Rican and Cuban food. From tostones, maduros, and empanadas, to lechon asado and Cubanos, the menu is full of options highlighting both cultures.
Ikigai Sushi and Izakaya
Ikigai Sushi and Izakaya is a new Japanese restaurant on the Near North Side. They have a wide selection of maki, nigiri, and sashimi, as well as charcoal-grilled skewers like shishito peppers, chicken thigh, pork belly, and beef tongue. They’re currently BYOB, so feel free to bring a six pack or a bottle of sake.
This tropically designed cafe started as a pop-up in Lincoln Park and now has a permanent space in the West Loop. They have a large selection of matcha-based lattes and smoothies, along with food options like smoothie bowls and avocado toasts—just in case you want to pretend like you're living in California while Chicago is still waiting for spring.
Wild Orchids Cafe & Kitchen
Wild Orchids is an all-day cafe located in Lincoln Square. Open from breakfast to dinner, this casual BYOB spot has baked goods like empanadas, puff pastries, doughnuts, and breads like coconut rolls.
This is a new Peruvian restaurant in Portage Park. They have dishes like ceviche, stuffed avocados, and lomo saltado—flank steak or chicken cooked in a mix of soy sauce, vinegar and aji verde.
Matcha lovers can rejoice with the opening of this dessert spot in Chinatown, the first Midwest location from the Kyo Matcha chain. As their name suggests, the menu is full of matcha, ranging from a standard cup of green tea to soft serve, crepe cakes, and matcha-flavored tiramisu.
photo credit: Angela Mejia
Bronzeville Winery is an upscale American restaurant with a long wine list. The menu has dishes like sesame glazed brussel sprouts, filet mignon, and seafood gnocchi, as well as vegan options like fried watermelon steak and a burger. There’s also live music on the weekends from local artists, so you might find some new stuff to freshen up that stale Spotify playlist you’ve had on rotation for the past two months.
Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken
After being closed for over a year, this Chicago fried chicken staple known for its signature mild sauce has reopened its 50-year-old location in Austin. In addition to their classic fried chicken, their menu has catfish, shrimp, fries, and fried okra. They also updated their dining room and added automated ordering kiosks.
If you get a craving for Thai food in the middle of sock shopping at Uniqlo, you can now stop by Keadkao Express just around the corner. It’s located in Urbanspace Food Hall in the Loop, and the menu includes dishes like pad thai, massaman curry, Hat Yai fried chicken, and tom yum. If you’re just looking for a light snack, they also have smaller options like egg rolls and fish cakes served with sweet and sour sauce.
Jamaican restaurant Ja Grill has opened a second location in Douglas Park. The menu has appetizers like jerk chicken wings and beef patties, as well as entrees like stewed oxtail and spicy curried goat, which all come with rice, beans, plantains, plus cabbage and carrots. In addition to their food menu, they also have a full bar.
This Greek restaurant is the latest addition to Timeout Market. Avli has four other locations already, but this one has a smaller menu that highlights some of the dishes from their standalone spots, like chicken souvlaki, crispy kataifi-wrapped prawns, and a leg of lamb braised in red wine and tomato sauce. They also have a Greek iced frappe coffee if you need to be resuscitated from a braised lamb food coma.
Almendro Cafe is a new spot right next to the Hyde Park Arts Center, serving coffee and pastries like fruit tarts and conchas. As reported by Block Club, they also plan to add items highlighting the owners’ Mexican roots, like molletes, elotes, and tamales.
photo credit: Aaron Bean
This is an all-day cafe and market in the Gold Coast from the team behind Maple & Ash. Cafe Sophie is open from 7am-10pm, seven days a week. In the morning you can grab a sausage breakfast sandwich or vegetable frittata, and for lunch and dinner there are sandwiches, and small plates like Spanish chorizo, spicy meatballs, or garlic shrimp. If mid-frittata you realize you forgot to pick up eggs, don’t panic—you can make a quick trip to the market section after breakfast.
Kaze Sushi and Thai
This is a new sushi and Thai spot in Belmont Central. Open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery, Kaze has a selection of maki and nigiri, as well as Thai staples like pad thai, pad see-ew, and green curry.
Northalsted also has a new sushi spot that's serving maki, nigiri, and sashimi. Though they offer takeout, dining in is the only way to try some of their specials like salmon nigiri with truffle butter, or the scallop nigiri topped with grated ginger, crispy garlic, and miso butter.
After closing their original Bronzeville location in 2020, Southtown Sub has reopened in Chatham. This takeout-only spot has subs, Philly cheesesteaks, chicken wings, and their specialty: the Jim Shoe Sandwich—roast beef, corned beef, gyro meat, and cheese, all packed into a toasted Turano French roll.
This Korean fried chicken spot in Andersonville serves wings and fried chicken sandwiches with a variety of sauces like soy garlic, honey butter, and coconut curry. Cuckoo also has bibimbap, Japanese rice bowls, and bubble tea, making it one of the few places in the neighborhood you can go for a boba pick-me-up after finding out that someone else snagged the vintage Mickey Mouse loveseat you’ve been eyeing at the Brown Elephant.
photo credit: Amy Ulivieri
Penelope's Vegan Taqueria
River North has a new Mexican spot with an entirely vegan menu of tacos, burritos, and enchiladas filled with plant-based options like Beyond Meat asada or soy chorizo and al pastor. They also have a birria taco with mushrooms and a side of vegetable dipping broth.
Liang Crispy Roll
Chinese fast-food giant, Liang Crispy Roll, now has its first Chicago location in Chinatown. They’re known for their signature crispy rolls: savory pancakes similar to jianbing packed with fillings like Beijing duck, garlic shrimp, and Mongolian beef. Pop inside for a bite and who knows, maybe Taiwanese superstar/Liang Crispy Roll global ambassador Jay Chou will make an appearance (or at least a life-size cutout of him).
In an area with no shortage of coffee shops, Vietfive is coming in hot (and iced), bringing Vietnamese coffee to the West Loop. Their signature drinks are made with beans imported from Vietnam, brewed using a phin, and then mixed with your choice of condensed milk, coconut milk, or almond milk. If you’re looking for a snack, they also have bánh mì empanadas and bánh patê sô with fillings like BBQ pork, chicken, and tofu.
Black Barrel Tavern
Black Barrel Tavern, a sports bar in the West Loop, has opened a second location in Old Town. The space is lined with flat screen TVs, so you can grab a beer and burger, pasta and wine, or eggs benedict and mimosa, all with a side of Steph Curry.
Tank Kitchen & Bar
Despite the controversy surrounding Tank Noodle, they’ve opened Tank Kitchen and Bar in Portage Park. Like the Uptown restaurant, the bulk of the menu has Vietnamese dishes like pho, spring rolls, and rice plates, along with new additions like chicken wings and Lollapalooza Sriracha fries.
photo credit: Clayton Hauck
The team behind Lardon in Logan Square (one of our Best New Restaurants Of 2021) has opened its sister restaurant, Union, right next door. Where Lardon is more of a cafe specializing in sandwiches and meat and cheese spreads, Union is more of a dinner spot with dishes like lamb and pistachio meatballs, cavatelli alla vodka, and a burger with crispy onions and bone marrow aioli. Plus, they have a long beer list and a lot of whiskeys.
The Albion Manor
Albion Manor is an English pub (with an upstairs cocktail bar called Parlour) in Lincoln Park. The menu has dishes like white pudding sliders, fish and chips, steak and ale pie, and spotted dick. So even Infatuation London agrees, this place is indeed very British.
This is an upscale new restaurant in the Gold Coast specializing in “wine-inspired cuisine”. Unsurprisingly, the menu is filled with dishes that are supposed to go really well with wine. You’ll find squid ink campanelle, pistachio garganelli, and steak au poive and (of course) a very long wine list.
Esquire by Cooper's Hawk
After being closed for two years, steakhouse chain Cooper's Hawk has reopened in the Gold Coast. It's now called Esquire By Cooper's Hawk, and will have a series of rotating chefs debuting a different menu every three months. The first is Tom Collichio, with dishes like and urchin and crab fondue, pancetta-wrapped monkfish, and lamb with cranberry beans.
Gyuro Ramen in the West Loop is a ramen shop from the same people behind Strings. They specialize in gyukotsu ramen, which has a beef bone broth and toppings like tamago, menma, and cuts of wagyu. In addition to their gyukotsu, they also have shio and shoyu ramen, noodle and rice bowls, and appetizers like tuna poke and wakame salad.
Adding to their line-up of locations in Lincoln Park and Logan Square, Evette’s has opened a stall in Time Out Market. Their Lebanese-inspired menu has gyro pita wraps, chicken arabes tacos, and shawarma plates with date couscous, fries, and salad.
Gotham Bagels’ newest location is open for takeout and delivery in Printer’s Row. Aside from a long list of bagel and cream cheese options, they also have a bunch of sandwiches with classics like a BEC or lox and cream cheese. And if you had a few too many martinis to help get you through a third-tier friend’s wedding, the OMFG sandwich—with Nashville hot chicken, bacon, and a fried egg—could be just what you need to get back on your feet.
Like its New York and Nashville locations, this new cocktail bar in Avondale has boozy slushies and food like falafel burgers, charred eggplant dip, and red velvet Oreo bombs. Mother's Ruin kitchen is open until at least 2am 365 days a year, making it a viable escape from your cousin talking to you about his Youtube channel at Thanksgiving.
Iztatl Cocina Mexicana
This is a casual Mexican spot in Jefferson Park serving tacos, burritos, and tortas. As reported by Block Club, Iztatl Cocina Mexicana plans to add specialties like sopes and sweet mole from the owner’s hometown of Guerrero, Mexico as well. Currently only open for delivery and takeout.
Flip Sigi, a Filipino fusion spot based out of NYC, has opened their first Midwest location in Wrigleyville. The counter-service spot has dishes like chicken adobo tacos, longanisa burgers, spam egg-wiches, and garlic rice bowls. They're also BYOB, so feel free to bring some San Miguel, a classic Filipino beer.
Red Light Chicken
Lincoln Park’s Red Light Chicken focuses on one thing: chicken. This tiny storefront has replaced Devil Dawgs, and offers a takeout menu featuring only four types of fried chicken sandwiches (plain, spicy, honey, and hot honey), plus nuggets and fries.
This is a new Peruvian bakery in Dunning. Miski makes empanadas, milhojas, and alfajores, along with other staples like cakes, macarons, and fruit tarts. They’re currently only open on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but plan on expanding their hours in April.
photo credit: Kaleigh Glaza
Goddess And The Grocer
This cafe and market opened a new location in the West Loop. It will be the fifth Goddess and Grocer in the city, and will have a patio, salad bar, sandwiches, and pastries.
Rishi is a takeout and delivery-only Indian restaurant operating out of West Town. The menu has starters like kachori chaat, and a variety of entrees such as mutton masala, chicken madras, and paalak paneer.
Maverick Burgers And Wings
This is another takeout and delivery-only spot in West Town, but Maverick Burgers And Wings specializes in, (you guessed it), burgers and wings. You’ll find dishes like the “Black Maverick” (a cheeseburger made with a black kuro bun), a fried chicken sandwich, Korean and Buffalo wings, and more.
Milly’s started out as a ghost kitchen in 2020, and now has a brick and mortar in Uptown. This pizza spot reminds us of Pequod’s, meaning Milly’s has the same kind of pan-style deep dish with a caramelized crust. We’re big fans.
We have good news: after being closed for over two years, Boeufhaus (one of our favorite steakhouses), is reopening in West Town. Even better news? The menu looks the same, with signature dishes like the short rib beignets, and, of course, steak.
photo credit: Clayton Hauck
The California Clipper
In more reopening news, California Clipper in Humboldt Park is also back after two years, but under new ownership. The bar has the same look and feel as before (meaning kind of divey with red vinyl booths) but now has an updated sound system.
Typica Diner Cafe
This is the Tri-Taylor location of Typica, a Venuezalan coffee shop in Wicker Park. The new spot feels more like a diner, with a menu of arepas, cachapas, and pastelitos, along with dishes like plantain waffles and benedicts.
This upscale Latin American restaurant just opened in the West Loop, and focuses on food from Central and South America. Aikana’s long menu has dishes like octopus tiradito, pork shank with chifrijo and slaw, and the $148 bandeja, which includes wagyu, pork, prawns, morcilla, and a whole bunch of other meats and sides.
Lyra is an upscale Greek restaurant in the West Loop from the team behind Siena Tavern. The menu has a mezze selection with dishes like hummus and spanikopita, along with mains like lamb shoulder gyros and a cast-iron moussaka.
Omakase Room at Sushi-san
As the name suggests, the Omakase Room At Sushi-san is an omakase located inside Sushi-san in River North. It has 10 seats, and serves an 18-course omakase for $250 per person.
This is a casual Venezuelan restaurant that just opened in Logan Square. They have a short menu of arepas, sandwiches, and yoyos with ingredients like guava and cheese.
Owen & Engine
We couldn’t be happier to write the following sentence: After being closed for almost two years, Owen & Engine has reopened. For years this British pub in Logan Square was one of our favorite spots for a casual dinner and an incredible burger. Their menu still looks the same, with things like fish and chips, the ploughman's platter, and thankfully, that wonderful burger.
Province Pizza is a new sports bar in Portage Park specializing in both tavern-style thin crust and wood-fired Neapolitan pizza. The menu has varieties like margherita, fig and bechamel, and spicy sausage with giardiniera.
The Hot Dog Box
Also opening in Portage Park is the new location of Hot Dog Box. Formerly a carryout-only pop-up in Bronzeville, this hot dog spot will now have a dining room. Along with the usual suspects, the menu has specialty items like a salmon or filet mignon dog topped with bacon, bbq sauce, and sport peppers.
R&A Bread Bakers
This bakery started out as a pop-up in 2020, and now has a carryout- and delivery-only brick and mortar in Ravenswood. R&A specializes in sourdough bagels, and their menu also includes house-cured lox, bialys, bagel dogs, and deep dish pizza bagels.
This is a new Italian restaurant in Little Italy from the owners of Tempesta and Coalfire. Peanut Park’s menu has a variety of antipasta, pastas (like rigatoni with pomodoro and linguine vongole), and mains like chicken parmesan.
Bazaar Meat is a new steakhouse in the loop from the same team as Jaleo. Bazaar has several locations in the U.S. and the one in Chicago has dishes like cotton candy foie gras, caviar service, jamon iberico, and just a whole lot of meat in general.
Bar Mar is the upscale seafood-focused cocktail bar located on the first floor of Bazaar Meat. Along with cocktails, the menu has elaborate small plates like fish-shaped bagels filled with cream cheese espuma and topped with smoked salmon, and a “not so po boy” made with fried oyster and caviar.
Joker's Cajun Smokehouse
We miss Fat Willy’s, the now-closed barbecue spot in Logan Square. But a new BBQ spot has taken over: Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse. The menu has things like brisket and ribs, along with dishes like jambalaya and crawfish etouffee.
This is a new natural wine bar opening in the former Cafe Bonhomme space in the Loop. Good Funk overlooks the river, and along with wine also serves snacks like duck rillettes, salmon crudo, and pork pate.
Gordon Ramsay Burger
Gordon Ramsay Burger opened its second location in River North (the first is in Las Vegas). As the name suggests, the restaurant specializes in burgers, but you’ll also find hot dogs, wings, salads, and cocktails.
Zaza’s is a New York-style pizza shop that just opened in Lakeview. The long menu has options like bacon jam, soppressata, a white pie, vegan bruschetta, plus salads and appetizers. The restaurant is BYOB, and luckily there’s a Binny’s right across the street.
This is a new cocktail bar in Portage Park. Moonflower’s drink menu has creative options like the Seeing Green (matcha, condensed milk, soju, and vodka) along with classics like Manhattans. Plus, they have a food menu with stuff like fries topped with bolognese, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and patty melts.
Regalia is a new Italian restaurant in Edgewater that’s located in the former Income Tax space. The menu has appetizers like fritto misto, fried artichokes, and meatballs, along with pastas, salads, and entrees like veal parmigiana.
3 Little Pigs
We’re excited about this one. After operating as a takeout pop-up over Instagram, this wonderful Chinese restaurant now has a brick-and-mortar space in Humboldt Park. Now you can walk right into 3 Little Pigs and order their pork fried rice, char siu ribs, and crab rangoon whenever you want.
Cultivate By Forbidden Root
Cultivate is a spinoff of Forbidden Root, the West Town brew pub. Cultivate is in the former Band of Bohemia space in Ravenswood, and along with their botanical beer, they serve food like short rib with sweet potato coleslaw and porchetta.
This is the more casual walk-in bar attached to the tasting menu restaurant Esme in Lincoln Park. Bar Esme focuses on cocktails, and has an a la carte food menu based on whatever is happening over at Esme - so you can get bites like the Cheeto canape, oysters, or an upside-down cake.
Ayo Pizza Café & Shop
Ayo is a new cafe and pizza spot in Lincoln Park. They specialize in whole tavern-style pies (with options like sausage, caramelized onions, and roasted red pepper) and Sicilian slices - like cheese, pepperoni, and veggie.
Seven Ten Social
Why is a bowling alley in our Openings Guide? Because this Hyde Park spot is also serving food from Lillie Q’s BBQ. The menu has things like wings, fried chicken sandwiches, a wagyu smashburger, and boozy milkshakes.
The Wolfhound Bar and Kitchen
The Wolfhound is an Irish restaurant that just opened in Avondale. The menu has bar food like burgers and sandwiches, along with entrees like braised pork shoulder and the full Irish - bangers, bacon, black and white pudding, fried eggs, tomato, mushroom, beans, and toast.
This is the second location of West African restaurant Iyanzé in Uptown. Iyanzé Bronze is in Bronzeville (hence the name) and the menu has things like fufu, soups, and jollof with oxtail and plantains.
We’re fans of the original Chengdu Impression in Lincoln Park, so we’re delighted that they just opened a second location in Wicker Park. The specialty here is Sichuan food, so you can expect dishes like cold noodle salad, dry chili chicken, mapo tofu, and mala fish filet.
In other second location news, Chiya Chai Cafe, and Indian and Nepali restaurant in Logan Square, just opened another spot in the Loop. Their menu has dishes like momos, chaat, curries, savory pies, and (naturally) a lot of chai.
Armitage Alehouse is a new Anglo-Indian spot in Lincoln Park from the team behind Gilt Bar and Bavettes. The menu has dishes like lamb samosas, tikka masala, and pot pies along with staples from their other restaurants, like truffle bucatini, steaks, and a prime rib sandwich.
Another location of Ranalli’s has opened in the West Loop. And this pizza spot has the same menu as the original in Lincoln Park, with dishes like their hot honey soppressata pie and appetizers like toasted bolognese ravioli. It also functions as a sports bar thanks to 33 TVs inside, which we can agree is a lot of TVs.
Rubi’s used to only exist on Sundays at the Maxwell Street Market, but now they have a permanent home in Pilsen. They make their tacos and quesadillas on large handmade tortillas, and (for right now) are open on Saturdays and Sundays.
Hot Chi Chicken & Cones
This is a new fried chicken spot in a former Harold’s space. Hot Chi is halal, and serves a sandwich called “Popeye’s ain’t Shit,” with harissa-glazed thigh and whipped garlic sauce. There’s also Nashville hot chicken wings, tenders, and mac and cheese.
Another Bite is a new BYOB brunch spot in Roger’s Park. This casual place has dishes like waffles, omelettes, pancakes, and French toast - and you can customize your order with sweet and savory mix-ins.
This is a speakeasy bar in River North that’s located in the basement of the Spanish restaurant Jaleo. Pigtail serves food and drinks (every dish has some form of jamón in it, hence the name) with dishes like béchamel fritters and jamón, or fried pig snout with jamón cheese foam. Some cocktails feature pork too, like a negroni made with fat-washed gin.
Chalet is a ski-resort-themed bar and restaurant in River North. This means a lot of dishes that you probably want to eat when it’s cold and snowy out, like duck confit poutine, honey braised short ribs, and a wagyu and bison smashburger.
Sushi Boutique is a new spot in the Claridge Hotel in the Gold Coast, and it’s from the same team as omakase restaurant Sushi Suite. But unlike its sister restaurant, Sushi boutique is a bit more casual, and has an izakaya menu with things like pork buns and tori karaage. There’s also a separate sushi menu where you can get maki, handrolls, and omakase boxes that range in price from $50 to $250.
I Can't Believe It's Not Meat
This Old Town restaurant is the third location of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat (the others are in Hyde Park and Orland Park). As you might have deduced from the name, it’s a plant-based restaurant with vegetarian versions of things like buffalo shrimp, hoagies, cheesesteaks, and pizza puffs.
Izakaya Mita in Bucktown had been closed for 19 months, but just reopened with an updated menu and newly-decorated space. The new menu is extensive, with things like soba, okonomiyaki, rice sliders, sushi, yakitori, and there’s a long sake list, too.
Bar Goa is a new cocktail bar in River North from the folks behind Rooh. The food is Indian with Portuguese influences, and includes dishes like chicken cafreal stew, a pork vindaloo “poi-wich,” and prawn and chorizo fried rice. They also have an interesting cocktail menu that includes drinks like the “sunburn,” which has whiskey, China-China amer, hibiscus grenadine, and emulsified egg white.
Provaré is a Creole and Italian spot that just opened in West Town. The menu is short, with dishes like crab cakes, salmon egg rolls, and shrimp Hennessy scampi with handmade pasta.
Elina’s is a new Italian restaurant in West Town. You’ll find pasta like rigatoni a la vodka and linguine and clams, along with dishes like chicken parmesan and Dover sole piccata.
Ocasa Kitchen Bar is a new Logan Square Mexican restaurant located in the former Masa Azul space. The menu has a selection of tacos (with options like cochinita pibil or al pastor) and entrees like quesabirria, enchiladas, and chuletas con arro. For right now, they’re BYOB.
Mission Control Arcade Bar
If you’re looking for bars with activities other than drinking, you’ll be interested in Mission Control. This arcade bar is opening in Roger’s Park this week, and has a ton of vintage video games, pinball machines, board games, and more. There will also be a food menu filled with pierogies.
Fame Supper Club
Fame is a two-story restaurant and nightclub that just opened in River North. The first level is an upscale restaurant, where you can get dishes like a tomahawk ribeye, cacio e pepe, and lamb chops scottadito. The second level will be a nightclub and private event space, which will open later this fall.
Lincoln Square Taproom
The Huettebar, which closed in 2020, has reopened as the Lincoln Square Taproom. This casual bar has beer from local breweries like Eris Brewery and Cider House, Maplewood, and Old Irving Brewing Company.
SALT Burgers + Fries
This is a new restaurant operating in Wicker Park. Salt specializes in smashburgers and loaded fries topped with things like cheese, grilled onions, hot peppers, and more.
Medi is a new Mediterranean and Lebanese restaurant in Lincoln Park. The menu has dishes like soujek, shish tawook, and kabobs. Plus, there’s a fun cocktail list with things like a saffron sazerac and cold brew Old Fashioneds.