If you tried to keep track of every brand new restaurant in Chicago, you might go a little bit crazy. 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.
Editor’s Note 6/15: All restaurants listed below are currently open for carryout, delivery, or outdoor dining.
We’re big fans of the original Bob’s in Pilsen. So, we couldn’t be happier that this pizza spot has opened a new location in Old Town, and can share their delicious Pilsen-style pies (not a real pizza-style, but we don’t care) with a new neighborhood.
After a lot of delays (seven years worth), Nobu's rooftop is open. This bar is 11 stories up, and along with a long list of sake and cocktails, is also serving Japanese-inspired small plates and sushi.
This is a new Spanish place from the team behind Beatnik. Mama Delia is located in the old Black Bull space and has opened a large patio for outdoor dining.
This is the first Chicago location (there’s already one in Skokie) of this popular Filipino fast-food restaurant. And while it’s technically in River North, Jollibee is actually a delivery-only virtual restaurant.
Well, we officially have a brand new rooftop that we can actually visit. The Kennedy is on top of the Hyatt in Wicker Park and has a long menu full of cocktails and bar food. And since Chicago is allowed to eat and drink outside, you can actually go here and check it out.
The Han Burger focuses on roujiamo, which are Chinese sandwiches. The menu here is very short, just two filling options inside a homemade mó bun - pork belly or brisket with cilantro and chili paste, and a side of spicy potatoes.
This is a new Soul food spot in Auburn Gresham. The menu changes daily, but you can expect to find things like smothered chicken, pot roast, and sides like collard greens or mac and cheese. Available for carryout and delivery.
Gretel is a new restaurant in Logan Square from the team behind Little Bad Wolf. The menu is similar, with dishes like ramen and lumpia, along with burgers and sandwiches.
Gotham Bagels started in Madison, and this is their first Chicago location. The menu has sandwiches, spreads, and extras like pickled vegetables and smoked salmon. Available for carryout and delivery.
What used to be Dutch & Doc’s in Wrigleyville is now Swift & Sons Tavern, a spin-off of West Loop steakhouse Swift & Sons. The tavern is more casual than its sister restaurant, but is still focusing on steak and oysters.
This is a new vegan restaurant in Avalon Park, and they’re using their name to make sure there’s no confusion about what they serve. The menu has food like burgers, brats, and nachos, and everything is (obviously) plant-based.
Honeybear Cafe is a new restaurant in Rogers Park. It’s open from 7am-4pm every day with a long menu of breakfast food like pancakes, skillets, and crepes, but also serves sandwiches and salads in the afternoon.
Ok, we admit this opening is a little confusing. Cobblestone is a new restaurant in North Center that took over the former Northman space (which just closed). But it’s from the team behind the Bohemian House (also closed). You can expect to find European pub food like fish and chips, sausages, and (for now) the same long cider list.
We really like the original Daebak in Chinatown. This is their brand new location in Lincoln Park, and it serves the exact same Korean BBQ menu (and hopefully the same delicious kimchi pancake).
This is a new BYOB Mexican restaurant in Archer Heights. It’s mainly seafood-focused (with ceviches and whole-roasted fish), but also has things like burgers too.
The original My Place was in Chinatown and closed a year ago. They recently reopened in a new spot in the South Loop, with the same long menu filled with noodle soups, stir frys, and appetizers like shrimp toast and spicy pig ears.
El Fogon De Elan is an all-day Latin American spot that just opened in Albany Park. You’ll find dishes like the El Fogon Celentano (rice with steak, chorizo, chicharron, beans, eggs, and sweet plantains), arepas, and a variety of grilled meat entrees.
This is a casual new Turkish spot in Albany Park. The menu has a selection of spreads, soups, kebabs, and desserts like baklava.
Quiote was a great Mexican restaurant that closed last year. So we’re glad that Quiote’s former chef just opened Mundano, a brand new Latin American-inspired place in Lincoln Park. You’ll find dishes like savory churros with manchego, crispy pig’s ears, and smoked whitefish with salsa verde.
Mrs. Gu is a hot pot chain from China, and this new Chinatown location is the first one to open in the United States. You choose from five different broths and grab all the ingredients (like meats and vegetables) that go into the pot from self-serve coolers and stations.
This is a brand new fast-casual Asian spot from the team behind Yuzu, a sushi restaurant in West Town. It’s a build-your-own-bowl operation, where you choose your base, protein, and sauce.
Since Chicago can never have enough pizza places, we’re glad that Gallucci just opened in Old Town. This spot specializes in Neapolitan pies - like the Tartufata made with truffle cream and prosciutto, or the Norma topped with fried eggplant and smoked provolone.
In case it wasn’t obvious, this new spot in Logan Square is board game-themed. The menu is made of Spanish and Vietnamese small plates, and during dinner, a “professional board game teacher” will help you and your group choose a game to play.
This is a new upscale Mexican restaurant in Pilsen. The menu has dishes like shrimp empanadas, fried avocado tacos, and roast chicken in mole.
This opening kind of sounds like the name of a Marilyn Manson album, but it’s actually a new coffee and tea shop in the West Loop. Eat Me Milk Me also serves bubble tea, cold foam tea, along with baos.
Black & Caspian is a new Mediterranean and Italian restaurant in Lakeview East. This means you can find everything from kebabs to pasta, and it’s open for brunch on the weekend.
Dash Of Salt And Pepper is a new breakfast spot in Lincoln Park. They’re open every day from 7am to 1pm, and serve classic diner food.
This is a rotary sushi bar in Chinatown, which means they have self-serve sushi on a conveyor belt. And it’s actually Sushi Plus’s third location.
This is a new 70s and 80s themed restaurant in Logan Square. Welcome Back has snacks like chicken wings, mini corn dogs, and stadium nachos. The entrees are mostly sandwiches, with a walk-up window for ordering hot dogs.
Lexington Betty Smoke House is a food truck and restaurant in Oak Park, and this is their new BBQ stall in the One Eleven Food Hall in Pullman. They’re serving things like smoked ribs, brisket and rib tips, along with sides like macaroni, biscuits, and candied yams.
Chile Toreado is a new restaurant in McKinley Park from the people behind 5 Rabanitos, one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in the city. The menu has dishes like crepes and tlayudas, and there’s also a full bar. Just be aware, right now this place is cash only.
Opened by a former pastor (hence the name), this new North Center brewery has a BYOF taproom and occasional visits from food trucks.
It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that RPM Seafood, the new restaurant from the same team as RPM Steak and RPM Italian, is focusing on - wait for it - seafood. The long menu has things like crudo, shellfish towers, and grilled fish, along with some steaks and pastas. And this upscale spot is down the street from its predecessors in River North.
We also doubt you’ll be shocked that a restaurant named “I’m Vegan And Vegetarian” focuses on plant-based food. This new casual Thai BYOB in Lakeview has vegan dishes like pad siew, spring rolls, and tofu satay.
This is a new Great Lakes-themed restaurant in the South Loop, which means the menu has lots of fish like trout and walleye. There are also pizzas - but we’re not sure what those have to do with Lake Michigan.
Chef’s Special is a new Chinese restaurant in Bucktown from the people behind Giant. They have dishes like kung pao chicken, Mongolian beef, and scallop chow fun. It’s open until 2am, with a shorter late-night menu.
Technically Jerk Taco Man is a re-opening. After two years, this place is back in Garfield Park, serving jerk tacos along with Jamaican food including curry goat, brisket, and oxtail stew.
Along with noodles, curry, and dishes like Thai-style fried chicken, this new Thai restaurant in Roscoe Village also has a full cocktail bar.
Sam & Gertie’s is a new vegan Jewish deli in Uptown from the same people as Kāl’ish next door. You’ll find things like eggless egg salad, smoked “whitefish,” and meatless corned beef sandwiches, along with gluten-free, vegan bagels. For now, this place is only open on the weekends, so if you’re looking for a vegan lox bagel on a Tuesday, you’ll be out of luck.
This is the new sit-down version of Jibaritos Y Más, a Puerto Rican takeout spot in Logan Square. But if you prefer eating your jibaritos on your couch at home, the original is still open next door
Takito Street is a new casual Mexican restaurant in Lincoln Park from the same people behind Bar Takito.
Chi Yatai in Chinatown is a new spot in the Richland Center food court, with Japanese street food like katsu sandos, takoyaki, and bubble tea.
Art of Dosa is a new restaurant that opened in the Revival Food Hall, and the menu is entirely vegan and gluten-free. Along with dosa wraps, you can get also get vegan ice cream in (you guessed it) dosa cones.
Phlavz is a food truck that just opened a new casual restaurant in University Village. The menu has dishes like jerk chicken tacos, salmon egg rolls, and jerk chicken alfredo.
This is a new spot in Logan Square that serves classic diner food along with things like boozy milkshakes. Victory Grill is also open until 3am (and 6am on the weekend), so you can come here after a night of dancing at The Owl.
The second location of Kinton just opened in Wicker Park (the first is in the West Loop), and serves five styles of broth, along with shared plates like marinated octopus and karaage fried chicken.
If you’re looking for a new style of pizza to argue about with your friends, you can add “pinsa” to the list. It’s a type of Roman flatbread-style pizza made with a lighter, fermented dough. and it’s what you’ll find at L’Aventino Forno Romano in Streeterville.
This is a new natural wine bar in Logan Square from the people behind Scofflaw. Outside Voices also has a few bar snacks like charcuterie and cheese, mussels and sardines.
J.T.’s Genuine Sandwich Shop is a new counter-service spot in Irving Park specializing in Midwestern regional sandwiches, like Iowan loose meat and Detroit coney dogs (which only qualifies depending on your definition of “sandwich”). They also have soups, salads, and snacks like Frito pies and fried pickles.
The only things you could get at the original Moody Tongue brewery (besides beer) were oysters and chocolate cake, but their new tasting room in the South Loop has more than that. There are two options for eating here: “The Dining Room,” a 12-course tasting menu for $155, and “The Bar,” which has an a la carte menu with things like smoked beet tartare and fried chicken with black truffle cavatelli.