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.
We’ll be regularly updating this post. Once we’ve checked out a spot, we’ll add a note if it makes it onto our Hit List.
Featuring a small plates menu of both traditional and modern Latin American dishes, Amaru is now open in Wicker Park, with a bar that’s open late. In addition to shareable dishes, there are entrees like a branzino with brown butter mojo and yuca gnocchi.
Wherewithall is a new restaurant in Avondale from the people behind Parachute. Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner, Wherewithall will be serving a nightly four-course prix fixe menu.
This spot in The Loop is from the people behind Roots Handmade Pizza. They serve globally inspired bar food like vindaloo pork nachos and a kalbi-style hanger steak salad, as well as mains like pea and ricotta agnolotti and seared tuna.
Newly opened in Logan Square, Superkhana International serves Indian-influenced food, with creative menu items like a butter chicken calzone in a naan crust and The Bombay Sandwich, described as a “psychedelic” grilled cheese.
This Bridgeport pizza spot has moved to a new location in the same neighborhood. They’re serving thin crust and deep dish pizza, as well as pasta, sandwiches, and other Italian entrees.
Andersonville’s newest spot is open for dinner and has a menu of seafood, meat, vegetarian options, and housemade pastas.
This neighborhood tavern in Portage Park serves both dinner and brunch, and has a space for live music.
A new restaurant in the West Loop, Asadito focuses on tequila and features tacos with handmade tortillas. There’s also outdoor seating and a walk-up ordering window.
Bettie Lou’s is a new spot in Andersonville serving American food that has “European, Asian, and island influences with an urban twist.” You can expect things like jerk chicken and salmon croquettes as well as vegetarian options like soul rolls and a Szechuan beefless dinner.
This spot is new to the Mag Mile, and true to its name, it’s a place where you can buy dairy products, eat pizza, and drink coffee. They also serve pastries, salads, paninis, and other Italian specialties.
Tortello is a new counter service Italian restaurant with handmade pasta in Wicker Park. In addition to pastas, they serve freshly spiralized vegetable noodles as well as Italian cocktails, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks.
This is a new neighborhood restaurant in North Center with a beer garden serving food like wings, cheese curds, and griddled smashburgers.
The Whale is a new casino-themed restaurant and bar in Logan Square from the owners of The Vig. They serve weekend brunch and a dinner menu with a wide-ranging selection of entrees and sandwiches, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
Kaliflower, now open downtown, is a fast-casual place with salads and bowls like the R&R, which has a base of turmeric cashew soup, cauliflower rice, and sous-vide chicken. Everything here is gluten-free, including their dairy-free, sugar-free banana ice cream.
Dip And Sip is a new donut shop in North Center, with both ready-to-eat and made-to-order donuts. And if you’re planning a party, they serve custom donut cakes as well.
This new restaurant-within-a-restaurant from The Alinea Group is located underneath Roister in the West Loop. Modeled after the historic supper clubs of the Midwest, they serve sweet brandy old fashioneds and prime rib, cooked medium rare only.
Newly open in Ravenswood, Himalayan Sherpa Kitchen is a restaurant offering Nepali, Newari, Tibetan, and Indian cuisines. The menu serves food like momo, shabhaley, and plenty of other meat and vegetarian options.
This new fast-casual restaurant in the West Loop has an entirely gluten-free menu. The health-focused spot serves customizable bowls with antibiotic-free proteins and no refined sugars. While there’s some seating available, Dirty Root is mainly a carry-out operation.
Another new Chicago food hall has opened, this time in Fulton Market. Fulton Galley has five different options: Jewish deli food at Steingold’s, northeastern Thai at Pink Salt, pasta at Italianette, Mexican-American at Taco Mucho, and rotisserie at Fairview. There’s also a bar with a daily happy hour serving cocktails, wine, beer, and non-alcoholic drinks.
Devil Dawgs has opened its fourth location, near the Belmont L station in Lakeview. Like its predecessors, this location serves all-beef hot dogs with a variety of toppings, along with “Devil Dawgs,” which use quarter-pound sausages.
This is a BYOB spot now open in Humboldt Park offering Colombian breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.
City Hall - a new government-themed restaurant, bar, and event space - is open in the West Loop. The food menu has sandwiches, salads, and bar snacks like wings and pigs in a blanket, and some of the cocktails, like Alderman’s Choice and The Last Boss, are named after Chicago-specific politics.
This new restaurant in River North is inspired by Latin American, South American, Caribbean, and Southeast Asian cuisine. Most of the menu is split between plant- and meat-based small plates, but there are also large-format entrees and hot-pot-inspired dishes meant to be shared.
Crushed Pizzeria has opened in the former ORD Pizzeria space in Ravenswood. The pizzas are thin crust with specialty choices like the T.C., which comes with caramelized pineapple, spicy capicola, pickled jalapeno, and red onion. Customers can also create their own pies or order by the slice.
The excellent Bad Hunter has reopened after a fire in November caused the restaurant to close. The menu is still vegetable-forward, but there are three meat and seafood entrees now, as well as a refreshed cocktail list.
The original Crazy Bird in North Lawndale closed two years ago with plans to relocate to West Town, and it’s now open on Grand Avenue. The menu is small and straightforward: their specialty is antibiotic-free Amish fried chicken along with classic sides like mac and cheese, cole slaw, and french fries.
Bandit is a new West Loop restaurant and bar from the people behind Bar Siena. The space plays up ’80s and ’90s nostalgia, and the menu has upscale bar food with a focus on shareable dishes like bulgogi-topped waffle fries and The Diplomat, a cheeseburger served on pull-apart rolls.
Tours Les Jours, a Korean bakery, has opened its sixth Chicago location in Wicker Park. The shop offers cakes, bread, pastries, and sandwiches.
New to River North, Torchio Pasta Bar serves housemade pasta along with other classic Italian dishes like meatballs and Tuscan chicken. Torchio is open for lunch and dinner service Tuesday through Saturday.
Dead Lawyer’s Pub is a new restaurant in the Loop with a legal-themed menu. They serve drinks like the Jury Duty and Wire Fraud, as well as American bar food: wings, burgers, soup, and salad.
A spin-off of a popular Vietnamese restaurant on Argyle, Miss Saigon Express focuses on takeout and delivery, with chicken wings - both lollipop-style and jumbo-sized - making up the bulk of the menu. There’s also a small section of rice and noodle dishes, as well as smoothies and tea.
Maddon’s Post is part of the new development attached to Wrigley Field. The menu has pasta and wood-fired pizzas alongside dishes like kielbasa and clams, pierogies, and something they call “baseball steak.” With its location and namesake, don’t be surprised if it’s filled with plenty of Cubs fans on game days.
The massive new Navy Pier rooftop lounge - the nation’s largest, according to their website - is now open. There is a food menu, but the focus is on cocktails, and the venue is 21+.
Freshly opened on Randolph Street in the West Loop, Rooh offers modern Indian cuisine and cocktails made with South Asian ingredients. The original opened two years ago in San Francisco, and this is the first Chicago location.
After eight years in Lincoln Park, Farm Bar is opening a second location in Edgewater. A gastropub from the owners of Farmhouse, they offer Midwestern food like cheese curds, burgers, and grass-fed steak frites.
This isn’t the first go-around for Robert’s - it was formerly in Streeterville before closing two years ago. But now it’s back, in a new location on the river with the addition of patio seating. The pies are thin crust, with varieties like fennel with sausage and honey; duck prosciutto; and brussels sprouts, bacon, and dates.
This is another reopened restaurant. Bunny The Micro Bakery closed a few years ago and now has a new outpost in Ravenswood inside Kitsune - which makes sense, since it’s from the same team. It serves breakfast dishes like bacon and eggs, toast with jam and foie gras, and salads, as well as lunch dishes like ramen and spaetzle.
Kinton is an upscale ramen shop that’s originally from Toronto, and their first U.S. location just opened in Wicker Park. Besides ramen, you can get also get Japanese small plates like edamame, gyoza, and tempura broccoli.
This new vaguely gothic cocktail bar in Lincoln Park has chandeliers, velvet drapes, big leather booths, and a long and wide-ranging cocktail list. It also has entertainment like nightly tarot readings and live music on Thursdays.
Right Bee is a small cider-based taproom that just opened in Hermosa. It has six ciders on tap: three staples and three rotating specials.
This is a new upscale food hall in the West Loop with 13 vendors including a coffee bar, beer garden, and a cocktail bar in the center of everything. You’ll find a mixture of new, new-ish, and already established vendors serving Isreali street food, salads, Cuban, sausages, tacos, katsu sandwiches, dumplings, and more, and there’s happy hour Mon-Fri from 4-7pm.
This is the new French-inspired restaurant from the Publican team located in the former Publican Anker space in Wicker Park. The menu at Cafe Cancale focuses primarily on seafood, with a raw bar as well as dishes like trout almondine and dover sole.
We checked out Cafe Cancale and added it to our Hit List
Mr. Maki is a new Japanese restaurant in Streeterville from the same team behind Ramen-san and Sushi-san. Along with Japanese small plates and sushi, this place also has a variety of teishoku sets (combo meals)—for example, the Hot Box comes with your choice of teriyaki or stir fry, potato salad, edamame, miso soup, and a house salad.
This is a neighborhood sushi spot that just opened in Logan Square. The menu has a wide selection of sashimi, nigiri, and rolls, along with main dishes like teriyaki and noodles.
Relo’s in University Village is exactly what it sounds like: a place to get red velvet cake, ice cream, or cookies while playing Settlers of Catan. In case desserts aren’t your thing, they also have some savory snacks, like hummus or spinach and artichoke dip.
The Smith, an American restaurant with multiple locations in New York and Washington D.C., just opened in River North. It has a wide-ranging menu with everything from oysters and steaks to housemade pasta.
It might not surprise you to learn that Janitor’s Closet, a new speakeasy-style bar in the FieldHouse Jones hotel in River North, used to be a literal janitor’s closet. We’re assuming it was a big one, because this place has 15 seats. In addition to cocktails, they’ll also serve food from 5411 Empanadas.
Cleo’s was originally a catering company, but they just opened a restaurant in Bronzeville. You can get Southern dishes like shrimp etouffee, fried chicken, and mac and cheese.
This is a new casual Nepali restaurant in University Village that specializes in a variety of momos. The menu also has a selection of grilled meats and biryanis.
This is a new upscale diner in Tri-Taylor. You can get breakfasty things like tres leches pancakes and crab omelettes, and lunch dishes like a patty or tuna melt, along with rotating daily specials.
Ellas Gyros is a casual Greek restaurant in Edgewater. Not surprisingly, the menu has gyros, along with things like stuffed grape leaves, spanakopita, and saganaki.
This is a new Italian restaurant in the West Loop, from the owners of Riccardo Trattoria in Lincoln Park. Like the original, this place has a long food menu as well as an extensive wine list.
This is a new pour-your-own-beer brew pub in West Town. It has three different beer brands for you to choose from, and the food menu is BBQ - with meats like brisket and pulled pork, and sides like baked beans and mac and cheese.
Bombobar began as a takeout window attached to Bar Siena, but now there’s a stand-alone location in Old Town. It has fresh Italian donuts and housemade gelato just like the original, plus pizza, and a burger with a sliced donut as a bun.
In not-surprising news, this new Hyde Park counter-service spot called “Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat” is a plant-based restaurant. It has vegan and vegetarian version of things like burgers, nachos, hot dogs, and cheesesteaks.
This is the brand new Peruvian restaurant from the team behind Girl & The Goat and Duck Duck Goat. It’s on the rooftop of the Hoxton Hotel, and it has a menu full of small plates like ceviche, empanadas, and a crispy pork shank. As with every other restaurant these people have, reservations are hard to come by.
We checked out Cabra and added it to our Hit List
While you’re waiting to get a reservation at Cabra, you can check out Cira - another new restaurant in the Hoxton Hotel. It’s open all day, and has Mediterranean dishes like shakshuka and falafel, along with dinner entrees like quail and grilled blowfish tails.
Ocean Prime is a new steakhouse that just opened in the Loop. It’s part of a chain that has locations in a few states, and this is the first one in Illinois. The classic steakhouse menu has a selection of steaks, seafood, and sides.
This is a new Mexican restaurant that just opened in Edison Park. It has a selection of tacos (with varieties like al pastor and roasted beet), entrees like carnitas and goat birria, and a long cocktail list.
This is an upscale new Middle Eastern restaurant in Lincoln Park. The menu has several different types of hummus (like one with brisket and tomato and another with collard greens and mushrooms), along with larger plates like kubba halib and shakshuka.
We checked out Galit and added it to our Hit List
Flat & Point is a casual BBQ spot in Logan Square that has a short, rotating menu. You’ll find dishes like pork with polenta and brisket with beets, along with sides like truffle confit potatoes.
Lola’s is a hot dog stand in Humboldt Park that serves Detroit-style coney dogs (in case you’re not a hot dog expert, that means they’re topped with chili, mustard, and diced white onions). This spot also has loose meat burgers, sandwiches, and shakes.
The Chicago omakase influx continues with Mako, a new omakase-only spot in the West Loop from the chef and owner of Juno in Lincoln Park. It’s $175 for around 25 courses of nigiri and small plates, and you can sit either at the sushi bar or at a table.
We checked out Mako and added it to our Hit List
Cebu is a new upscale Filipino spot in Wicker Park. It has dishes like lumpia, sisig, and lechon, plus a long wine list.
We checked out Cebu and added it to our Hit List
A new Gus’s just opened up in River North. It has the same menu as the original in the West Loop, so you can expect fried chicken, sides, and (perhaps most importantly) their delicious pie.
Machine is an upscale restaurant and flower shop that just opened in Wicker Park. You’ll find things like carrot tartare and braised pig tails, and a menu section called “build your own bouquet” where you pick flowers and they bring them to your table. But you probably shouldn’t eat the bouquet.
Soul Shack is a new soul food restaurant in Hyde Park. The menu has dishes like chicken and waffles, lemon pepper fried okra, and braised short ribs.
This is a new casual BBQ spot in Galewood. They have ribs (including tips), Nashville hot fried chicken, and sandwiches like pulled pork.
The original location of Lito’s is in Lincoln Park, and now there’s one in the Thompson Center, too. So after filing a small claim, you can go grab a chorizo and cheese or caramel apple empanada.
Jeong is an upscale new Korean restaurant in West Town from the former owner of Hanbun out in the suburbs. There’s an $85 seven-course tasting menu, along with a la carte options like tteokbokki with a quail egg, and kalbi with confit turnips and a carrot veloute.
We checked out Jeong and added it to our Hit List
This is a new Italian restaurant in Bridgeport serving antipasti, pastas, and mains like braciole.