CHIGuide

Chicago’s New Restaurant Openings

The new restaurant openings you should know about.
Interior of Casa Chi with a bar, booths, and tables, plus colorful ceiling decor

photo credit: Kinship Company

If you tried to keep track of every new restaurant and bar in Chicago, your head might spin. So just read this list instead. These are the openings that seem like they have the most potential. Although, keep in mind, we make no promises about the places we haven't visited yet. Go forth and be a pioneer—or just keep up with our Hit List to see which new restaurants we checked out and loved.

May 2024

photo credit: Gigi Pillman

Sunny interior of a coffee bar with stools running along the window

Willow Cafe & Bistro

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Willow Cafe & Bistro is an all-day restaurant serving dishes like steamed mussels, tomato bisque, and chicken schnitzel. The casual neighborhood spot in Lincoln Square also opens early for coffee, and starts serving a breakfast menu full of eggs, burritos, and pancakes at 10am.

Daebak Korean BBQ

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One of our favorite Korean barbecue restaurants in the city, Daebak, opened a second location in Wicker Park. Like with the original Chinatown spot, expect fantastic grilled meat and kimchi pancakes, plus group lunch specials until 3:30pm.

photo credit: Salsvisualz

Double patty smashburger

Craft Burger

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Craft Burger keeps things simple. You can get a smashburger (single or double), a hot dog (Chicago-style or a Maxwell polish), or baby lamb chops at this walk-up window in Pilsen. There are a few sides too, so you can fulfill your dream of non-drunkenly eating mac and cheese on a sidewalk.

Yes, you can expect R&B music (albeit Italian R&B) at Trattoria RNB in Wicker Park. But the RNB does double-duty for letting people know that the wood-fired pizzas and pasta involve influences from Rome, Naples, and Bari.

Chengdu Impression, one of the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago, already has Sichuan spots in Lincoln Park, Wicker Park and Edgewater (plus Dongpo Impression in Chinatown). And now you can try their handmade noodles and dumplings at Chengdu Bistro, also in Wicker Park.

photo credit: Bayan Ko Diner

Stack of ube pancakes on a plate topped with whipped cream, fruit, and shredded coconut

Bayan Ko Diner

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Bayan Ko, one of our favorite Filipino restaurants, has evolved from offering a la carte Filipino-Cuban dishes to a prix fixe tasting menu. But the original concept now lives on in a larger Ravenswood space called Bayan Ko Diner. Here you’ll be able to try things like ube flapjacks, Cuban sandwiches, and signature dishes like chicken wings and pancit canton.

photo credit: Minyoli

Bowl of noodle soup with lots of toppings

Minyoli

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This casual neighborhood restaurant in Andersonville focuses on Taiwanese juàn cūn food. Stop by Minyoli for noodle soups, drinking snacks, ice cream, and Sichuan-peppercorn gin and tonics on a large covered patio.

photo credit: Kinship Company

Interior of Casa Chi with a bar, booths, and tables, plus colorful ceiling decor

Casa Chi

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Casa Chi is a new cocktail lounge in the InterContinental on Michigan Avenue. And while tableside hot stones are the only “kitchens” here, you can still eat takes on Nikkei small plates like scallop anticucho, boneless beef short rib, and tuna tiradito to pair with your coconut fat-washed mezcal cocktails.

photo credit: Dhanteraz

Bowl of tandoori chicken

Dhanteraz Indian Fusion

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We recently checked out Dhanteraz. Read our review here.

There’s a new option for Indian food in Roscoe Village. Dhanteraz serves staples like butter chicken, malai kofta, and lamb vindaloo, plus interesting-sounding pasta specials involving chickpea noodles and sauces like tikka masala.

Meet Muan Jai Thai Kitchen, from the people who brought you the Friends trifecta (Sushi, Ramen, and Station) and another recent opening, Egg O Egg. This casual Thai restaurant took over one of the Friends Sushi locations in River North, trading maki and nigiri for things like papaya salad, pad see eiw, and pla kung. 

photo credit: Garrett Sweet

80's style decor with pink neon lighting and a long glass brick bar

Common Decency

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Logan Square isn’t hurting for bars, but we’re pretty sure there aren’t a ton of Miami Vice-inspired options that serve 100% gluten-free food. Enter Common Decency, from the people behind spots like Funkenhausen and Spilt Milk. Find out whether eating BBQ spare ribs, cacio e pepe gnudi, and roasted oysters topped with pork belly and bagna cauda under pink neon lights is as fun as it looks. Or wait until we do.

photo credit: Sammy Faze

Black marble plate with artfully plated food that looks like orange sorbet and a lamb chop

Valhalla

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Valhalla, a fine dining restaurant from the chef behind S.K.Y. and Apolonia, seemed out of place in its original home on the second floor of Time Out Market. After a short closure, it reopened in a brand new Wicker Park space with a $198, 13-course seasonal tasting menu involving plates of charred octopus confit, mushroom meunière, and pineapple prepared seven ways.

photo credit: Goose Island Beer Co.

Close up of a pulled pork sandwich with fries on the side

Goose Island Salt Shed Pub

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There’s another resurrection this week thanks to Goose Island’s brewpub arrival at the Salt Shed. The new location is just a few blocks from the original Clybourn taproom, with a patio and skyline view. Besides Goose beers and regular bar food, expect classics like the smashburger and Bourbon County stout milkshake, and new options like gnocchi mac and cheese or a burnt carrot sandwich. 

photo credit: Runaway Cow

Soft serve in a chocolate dipped cone

Runaway Cow

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This new vegan ice cream shop can help answer your questions about whether oat-milk soft serve tastes like cow’s milk soft serve. Runaway Cow uses oat milk and other plant-based ingredients for things like chocolate-dipped cones, sundaes, and candy-filled snowstorms. Head to Bridgeport to conduct your own scientific research.

photo credit: Lindsay Eberly

Two pieces of tuna nigiri with dabs of wasabi on top

Sushi-san Lincoln Park

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A night out at this over-the-top River North sushi spot is always fun. Now you can find Sushi-San’s Megatron nigiri rolls and club-level-loud hip-hop music at a second location in Lincoln Park. From what we can tell, the space is bigger (including private dining rooms and a patio), and the menu is longer. Plus, there’s a separate kid’s menu, because this is Lincoln Park after all.

photo credit: Dolce Arte

Large high ceilinged brick dining room with wooden tables and exposed beams

Dolce Arte

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Dolce Arte is a coffee shop, bakery, and Italian restaurant all rolled into one industrial-looking space in Bridgeport's Morgan Arts Complex. This means you can show up early for things like breakfast sandwiches or pancakes, stick around and power through some emails with a side of espresso, and celebrate your last meeting getting canceled with Happy Hour deals and plates of chicken parm or pasta.

April 2024

photo credit: Justin Kim

Four different types of sushi rolls with toppings like jalapeno on plates against a black background

Miso & Nori

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This sushi spot in Lincoln Park has a small, underground space that looks fairly sleek. They're currently BYOB, and besides offering a variety of classic and special rolls, nigiri, and small plates like soft shell crab, they have some rice and noodle bowls, too.

Located across from the West Ridge Nature Park, this casual counter-service spot stuffs everything from carne asada to chicharrón to lengua in their tacos. And while tacos appear to be the draw at Tacos Los Primos, they also offer specialties like menudo and Michoacán-style mole.

photo credit: Tony Quartaro

L-shaped wooden lunch counter with bright red bar stools

Gemma Foods

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Sure, you could spend hours trying to make fresh bucatini at home, or you can leave the pasta-making to the professionals and head to Gemma Foods. The West Town store recently started serving lunch (dinner’s coming soon) with six options to choose from. There are some seats at the small counter for anyone looking to try a bowl of paccheri with Sunday gravy or green garlic sausage plin with rapini crema.

photo credit: Döner 97

Döner 97

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We recently checked out Döner 97. Read our review here.

The premise at Döner 97 in Lincoln Park is simple: choose between some spit-roasted beef, lamb, or chicken in a salad, bowl, or pide sandwich. Those all look pretty great, but what really caught our eye is the kumpir, a Turkish street food involving a baked potato piled high with butter, cheese, and sour cream…plus carrots, cabbage, peas, pickles, hard-boiled eggs, a creamy mayo dressing, and white garlic sauce.

photo credit: Saltanat Sandybaeva

Dining room with a long wooden table in the middle plus bright red booths running along a wall of windows and an artificial turf wall for decor

Little Village Cafe

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Little Village Cafe is not, in fact, located in Little Village. This Turkish and Mediterranean restaurant is in Lakeview, where you can eat things like seafood pappardelle or kebabs over rice. On weekends, they do brunchy stuff like cilbir and a Turkish breakfast spread. 

There’s a new place to get ćevapi in town. Laganini is a casual Euro-American bar and restaurant serving dishes like stuffed cabbage and spicy meatballs alongside crepes, pizza, pasta, and four types of burgers. And if that wasn't enough, it looks like there’s Happy Hour most days at this Lincoln Square spot, too.

photo credit: Barry Brecheisen

Patio at Bar La Rue with a mix of high tops and regular tables under a small canopy of flowers

Bar La Rue

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The team behind the recently opened La Serre decided that one flower-filled, French-themed spot in Fulton Market wasn’t enough. At Bar La Rue, you can eat steak frites, fondue, and “Bougie Tenders” with crème fraîche ranch and osetra caviar while sipping a strawberry spritz on the large patio.

photo credit: Garrett Baumer

Fish topped with caviar plus shaved truffle

Omakase Shoji

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Chicago’s omakase scene expands once again with the arrival of Omakase Shoji. For $185, expect 17-25 courses (which you can amp up with add-ons like wagyu and caviar) during an Edomae-style omakase at the 10-seat West Town sushi counter. 

photo credit: Kristen Mendiola

Longaniza scotch eggs from A Taste of the Philippines

A Taste Of The Philippines

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We recently checked out A Taste Of The Philippines. Read our review here.

Between a food truck, farmer’s markets, pop-ups, and a stall in the French Market, A Taste Of The Philippines has had a few iterations. Now it has a brick-and-mortar spot in Jefferson Park, with traditional options like lumpia, adobo, and pancit, plus dishes like longaniza scotch eggs. It’s only open Fridays and Saturdays (for now).

photo credit: J and L Photography

A spread of ensaymadas and breads in a box from Umaga Bakehouse.

Umaga Bakehouse

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We recently checked out Umaga. Read our review here.

Head to Albany Park for pandesal, longanisa rolls, sans rival, and other Filipino snacks at Umaga Bakehouse. The large bakery is open all-day but seating is limited, so plan on getting your halo-halo to go, or enjoy it on their patio.

Charlie Martin's Supper Club

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We don’t know much about Charlie Martin’s in the Near North Side, apart from reading that it’s a modern take on a supper club. That, and there’s a short American menu of steaks, seafood, and Amish chicken with fried oregano to go along with a much longer drink menu.

The original Bonci is in the West Loop (well, technically Rome), but they just opened another location in Lakeview. 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.

photo credit: Bonhomme Hospitality Group

A pastrami sandwich cut in half with a skewer of cornichons in front of a stack of plates and bowls

Expat

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An all-day American cafe opened in the private dining space of Bambola, an Asian-European West Loop restaurant that seems to be evolving since opening in 2022. Expat will be open for breakfast and lunch and morph into a late-night bar with a dinner menu.

photo credit: Rangoli Kabob

Large spread of curries, naan, and a platter of meats and rice

Rangoli Kabob

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Expect familiar North Indian staples like butter chicken and lamb vindaloo, plus plenty of South Indian options at Rangoli’s second location in Lakeview. But the new restaurant is called Rangoli Kabob for a reason—you can get everything from shrimp to paneer on skewers.

There’s another addition to Chicago’s growing Central Asian restaurant scene. Navat specializes in Kyrgyz and Uyghur dishes, so head to O’Hare for halal kebabs, manty, and eight different types of lagman.

photo credit: Oishii Asian & Ramen Hub

Close-up of a bowl of ramen with a marinated egg, corn, fish cakes, bean sprouts, and pork belly

Oishii Asian & Ramen Hub

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Like its sister restaurant next door, Oishii Asian & Ramen Hub is small and casual. But instead of the affordable sushi you’d find at Toro, this Lincoln Park spot serves bowls of the ramen, rice, and poke variety, plus snacks like bao buns and karaage chicken. 

Michuu Ethiopian Restaurant

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Michuu is a family-owned Ethiopian restaurant in Uptown. They have a short menu of traditional dishes, including chororsa, shiro, and doro wat, that are available for dine-in, delivery, and takeout, seven days a week.

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Professor Pizza image

Professor Pizza

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We recently checked out Professor Pizza and added it to our Hit List.

Fans of Professor Pizza rejoice: there’s no need to trek to Tetto for takeout pies. Now you can eat some of Chicago’s best tavern-style pizza at a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Old Town. Besides a dining room, the new location also has antipasti, sandwiches, and pastas.

photo credit: Industry Ales

Board with chicken wings, bowl with pierogis, and a plate of salad

Industry Ales

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Originally expected to open last year, Industry Ales has finally arrived in the Loop. The massive space houses a brewery, bar, and restaurant, along with room for private events. Besides a few classic cocktails and beers on tap (including some low-ABV options brewed in-house), their all-day menu has specialties like rye pappardelle, pierogies, and brisket rillette.

Holy Smoques BBQ is a new family-owned joint where, unsurprisingly, they serve BBQ. Expect platters of smoked brisket, pulled pork, and St. Louis-style spare ribs alongside sandwiches and classic sides at this Little Village restaurant.

photo credit: Migos Fine Foods

Two tacos topped with cilantro and onions and a lime wedge on the side

Migos Fine Foods

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The chefs behind Frontier launched Migos Fine Foods, a casual spot with halal meats in different forms, like beef barbacoa tacos, lamb smashburgers, and fried chicken wings. Seating is extremely limited at this small Portage Park shop, so be prepared to opt for delivery or takeout.

Egg O Egg is a Thai-American breakfast diner inside Friends Station in River North. At this new everyday brunch spot, you can get everything from crab omelets and Thai chicken biryani to congee and steamed milk bread with sweet custard.

photo credit: Kinship Company

Assorted plates with cookies and pastries

Swadesi

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We recently checked out Swadesi. Read our review here.

The team behind Indienne and Sifr continues to expand their empire with a new Indian cafe in the West Loop. Swadesi has all the components to become a go-to workspace—plenty of coffee and food like tandoori caesar wraps, butter chicken croissants, and souffle egg sandwiches, plus printing capabilities and free wifi.

We recently checked out Casa Madai and added it to our Hit List.

Casa Madai is a new sushi restaurant in Pilsen. Besides a $150, 13-course omakase option, they also serve a la carte Japanese-Mexican dishes, like salmon and tuna tostadas marinated in salsa macha, and specialty rolls with spicy hamachi, japanese mayo, and jalapeño.

photo credit: Adrian Sanchez

Plate of crab benedict with roasted potatoes on the side

The Lanzaga

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This new all-day restaurant in Lakeview serves dishes from across South America. Start your morning at The Lanzaga with cheese and egg cachapas or their Peruvian crab benedict, and stay for moqueca and a round of Catan (which you can play here, along with other board games).

photo credit: Avaspi

Bowl filled with finely chopped tomatoes, olives, greens, and cucumbers

Avaspi

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Also in Lakeview, Avaspi is from one of the owners of The Gundis Kurdish Kitchen, one of our favorite spots in the same neighborhood. At this new Anatolian tapas restaurant, which specializes in Turkish, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern mezze, expect plates of pancar mezesi and mushroom tava alongside grilled halloumi and stuffed eggplant.

photo credit: Kirill Samarits

Bowl of ramen-style avgolemono topped with microgreens

Tama

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Tama serves spins on Mediterranean food, like beef loin skewers with truffle, or avgolemono that has ramen instead of rice. The seasonal menu at this Bucktown spot is driven by the chef behind the original Nisos, a short-lived Greek restaurant. Hopefully Tama sticks around longer.

March 2024

photo credit: Big Gay Sal's Pizza

Close up of a pizza pie on a table with the Chicago flag painted on a brick wall in the background

Big Gay Sal's Pizza

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Big Gay Sal’s is a new pizzeria in Northalsted serving New York-style slices and whole pies. Toppings go beyond the usual suspects of pepperoni and vegetables—expect specialties like mole and BBQ chicken, too. And besides plenty of indoor seating, there are plans for a patio and late-night hours.

One of our favorite bagel and breakfast sandwich shops in the city now has a location in Humboldt Park. Steingold’s Bakehouse is takeout only, but you can still get all the hits from the original, along with specialties unique to the new location like a stuffed challah bun.

Apna Indian Grill serves familiar North Indian staples like chicken tikka masala and palak paneer, plus classic Indian street food and Indo-Chinese dishes. Head to Irving Park to get your samosa chaat to go, or try their four types of biryani in the casual dining room.

photo credit: Chunky Boss Chicago

Bright yellow interior of Chunky Boss, with two wooden tables and yellow chairs

Chunky Boss

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Congrats if you were one of the lucky 10 who won free food for a year from the second US location of this Taiwanese chain. Chunky Boss shares its space in Chinatown with Tiger Sugar and basically serves two things: fries and Taiwanese fried chicken in the form of sandwiches, tenders, or cutlets that look like supersized nuggets.

Art of Indian Cuisine is a casual Indian spot in Lincoln Park where you can drink mango lassi and snack on idlis and chicken pakoras. The menu covers a lot of ground, including dosas, tandoori entrees, seafood, and plenty of vegetarian options.

photo credit: Eric Wolfinger

Dining room with floor to ceiling windows lined with tables covered in white tablecloths and warm lighting

Tre Dita

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We recently checked out Tre Dita and added it to our Hit List.

LA chef Evan Funke has three big-deal Italian restaurants in California (read about the latest one here). Now he’s taking his pasta-making-on-display concept (the “pasta lab”) on the road. His new Tuscan steakhouse just opened in the $700-a-night St. Regis hotel, located in Lakeshore East.

photo credit: Barry Brecheisen

Airy dining room with wood tables, basket-woven chairs, and lots of greenery hanging from the ceiling

La Serre

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We recently checked out La Serre and added it to our Hit List.

Ever wish you could eat crab croquettes and halibut provençale in a greenhouse? La Serre in Fulton Market is the answer to your very specific prayers. From the team behind Lyra and Fioretta, this new French-Mediterranean spot is filled with plants and lots of seafood and steak.

Las Maria's Breakfast Club

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Las Maria’s Breakfast Club is a new family-owned and operated brunch spot in Lincoln Square. You can expect a wide variety of Mexican and American dishes, like chilaquiles, pancakes, and omelets, plus sandwiches and burgers.

photo credit: Gemini Grill

Plate of seven slices of tuna crudo topped with greens and onions and an oil

Gemini Grill

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The owners of Coda Di Volpe and Gemini are expanding south with Gemini Grill in River North. It's currently only open for lunch with a generic American menu of salads and sandwiches, and a dog-friendly courtyard that looks like somewhere we'd be happy to drink a cocktail in the sunshine. Brunch and dinner are coming soon.

photo credit: Kristin Mendiola

A spread of dishes with plates full of soup dumplings and noodles.

Mei's Chicago

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We recently checked out Mei's. Read our review here.

Mei’s is a new South Loop restaurant specializing in Taiwanese, Mandarin, and Szechuan food. Expect pork and scallion bao, braised beef noodle soup, and soup dumplings filled with pork, crab roe, or shrimp.

photo credit: Divan

Three wonton wrappers filled with ham and topped with caviar

Divan

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The debut of this multi-level restaurant in River North ensures that Chicago meets its monthly steakhouse opening quota. Divan’s menu includes caviar and jamon wontons, seafood towers, and of course, lots of cow.

This counter-service Greek spot in Lincoln Park is open from 7am-11pm. This means you can check out Yaya Mas for coffee and bougatsa on the way to work, spinach and feta pie for lunch or dinner, or when it’s 10:30pm and you want Greek cheesecake as a nightcap.

Aside from their namesake arepas, this casual Venezuelan spot in Belmont Cragin has patacónes and empanadas. And for $72, you can get a gigantic sandwich loaded with beef, chicken, and pork.

photo credit: John Stoffer

Interior dining room at Sunda with wooden tables, industrial metal decor, and low lighting

Sunda

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We recently checked out Sunda. Read our review here.

The pricey Asian fusion restaurant Sunda opened a new location in Fulton Market. Like with the original in River North, expect plenty of good sushi, dim sum, and dishes from across Southeast Asia. The only things missing from this second spot are brunch and Happy Hour.

photo credit: @stickykisschicago

Painted bright red brick exterior with a walk-up window and a giant pair of lips painted on the side of the building

Sticky Kiss Cinnamon Rolls

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Sticky Kiss is a West Town walk-up bakery specializing in cinnamon rolls and banana pudding. We know this thanks to the phrase “cinnamon rolls” repeated in giant letters on the sign, and no thanks to the massive lips dripping with icing painted on the side of the red building.

Jerk Soule is a new Jamaican and soul food restaurant in Ashburn. It’s currently takeout-only, so be prepared to get your shrimp po’ boys, jerk chicken, and oxtail dinner to-go.

photo credit: Egg Tuck

A bacon egg and cheese sandwich in a striped box

Egg Tuck

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We tried the original Mag Mile location of this LA-native egg sandwich shop and had strong opinions. Now, Egg Tuck is continuing its Chicago expansion with a second location in Lincoln Park.

photo credit: Sando Street

Eight different sandwiches, halved and lined up in boxes

Sando Street

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Chicago loves sandwiches, whether that’s of the breakfast or Italian beef variety. And considering that newcomer Sando Street was so popular it sold out of musubi, bulgogi, and fruit sandwiches on opening weekend, it looks like Chicago loves this new Wicker Park spot too.

photo credit: Sweet Cafe Chicago

Plate of chicken and waffles dusted with powdered sugar

Sweet Cafe

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Sweet Cafe in Jefferson Park is your source for three square meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and brunch). This new restaurant is open daily from 7-4, so come here for dishes like nutella french toast, chicken and waffles, or chorizo egg skillets to power through that 2pm slump.

February 2024

photo credit: Sushi By Bou

Sushi bar at Sushi By Bou River North

Sushi By Bou

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The Sushi By Bou team opened another speakeasy omakase, this time in the basement of Prosecco in River North. Their 60-minute sushi experience is available as a 12-course option for $60 or 17 courses for $100.

photo credit: Sarah Hickey

Plate with macaroni, tomato and cucumber salad, and a pulled pork sandwich on a bun.

Babygold Barbecue

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Some of the best BBQ in Chicago is actually in nearby Berwyn at Babygold Barbecue. But now they have a spot in the From Here On food hall inside the West Loop’s Old Post Office, so you won’t have to leave city limits for their pulled pork sandwiches, brisket, and barbecue lunch bowls.

Like its sister locations in the South Loop and Devon, Nepal House in Old Town is a sit-down restaurant serving Nepali and Indian food. Expect a similar menu with staples like chicken momos, tikka masala, and lamb vindaloo.

photo credit: Rachel Bires

Plate of steak topped with a compound butter and a side of ketchup and frites

La Grande Boucherie

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We recently checked out La Grande Boucherie. Read our review here.

We had a strong reaction to Olio E Piu. Now the team behind that Italian trattoria is at it again with La Grande Boucherie, a French brasserie in River North. It's literally “grande," with a 10,000-square-foot space. Expect classic dishes like steak frites and coq au vin, plus brunch with plenty of eggs and croissants. 

The owner of Ooh Wee It Is, one of Chicago’s best spots for soul food, is branching out into Italian. At Maxine’s in Chatham, you can eat king crab linguini, salmon pop tarts, and caesar salad prepared tableside.

photo credit: Andres Ortiz

A heart-shaped ube croissant and other pastries sitting on a wooden board

Bittersweet Pastry Shop

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We recently checked out Bittersweet. Read our review here.

Lakeview’s Bittersweet is bringing its cake, cookies, and cups of hot chocolate to Pilsen. Besides the tried-and-true favorites, this pastry shop and cafe’s second location also has new dishes like conchas and quiche made with carnitas from Carnitas Uruapan.

photo credit: Garrett Baumer

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Brasero

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We recently checked out Brasero and added it to our Hit List.

The chef behind El Che (one of the best steakhouses in the city) has a new Latin restaurant focused on wood-fire cooking. Head to West Town for Brasero’s shared plates, feijoada for the table, and whole grilled red snapper.   

Flying in the face of the omakase trend, the sushi rolls at this Logan Square spot are only a la carte. Besides classics like spicy tuna and crunchy salmon, Wave Sushi & Sake has a few specialties involving truffle honey and fried onions, plus dishes like donburi and chicken karaage.

Another day, another Chicago steakhouse opening. Casa Latina in Irving Park serves the usual suspects like grilled steaks, chops, and seafood, but they also have a variety of Latin-American dishes, burgers, and sandwiches.

photo credit: Pasta Fasta

Black brick exterior of Pasta Fasta

Pasta Fasta

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Is 2024 the year of fast-casual pasta? Between Italian Homemade Company and two more new spots this week, we’re thinking yes. First, Pasta Fasta is a European chain that just opened its first US location in Lincoln Park. Choose from 15 hot and cold options like carbonara, chicken pesto, or garlic-and-oil pasta salad. 

photo credit: Stefani's Bottega Italiana

Bowl of lasagna bolognese with visible layers of pasta

Stefani’s Bottega Italiana

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The team behind Bar Cargo and the now-closed Tavern On Rush also hopped on the fast-casual Italian trend. Stefani’s Bottega Italiana in Gladstone Park specializes in fresh pasta, sandwiches, and Roman pizza. You can sit down and eat here, or get your tagliatelle to go after watching the kitchen team make it in the “pasta lab.”

There’s a new bar to know about, Wicker Parkers. Mirella’s Tavern is a bar and restaurant serving classic drinks and twists on American dishes. Their eclectic menu has baby back ribs, duck confit quesadillas, and steak with risotto.

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