If you tried to keep track of every brand new restaurant in Chicago, your 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.
Editor’s Note: All restaurants listed below are open in some capacity. That might mean they’re offering takeout, delivery, outdoor, and/or indoor dining.
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.
Komo is an upscale Japanese tasting menu restaurant that just opened in the West Loop, and it’s from the chef of Macku in Lincoln Park. The eight-course dinner is a combination of kaiseki and omakase (with dishes like nigiri and foie gras with mochi ice cream) and costs $160 per person.
Kitchen + Kocktails
The original Kitchen + Kocktails is in Dallas, and the one that’s in River North is the second location. This upscale restaurant serves Southern dishes like pork chops, blackened fish, gumbo, and crab cakes. Just be aware, there is a dress code, which you can see here.
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.
This is a new food hall in the Loop that’s based out of New York. Urbanspace is launching with 12 restaurants and vendors include local classics like Edzo’s and Isla Pilipina (which closed in Logan Square last year). There are also new vendors like Bhoomi Indian Grill, and the first Chicago location of Roberta’s Pizza.
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.
This is a new Italian restaurant in the West Loop located in the former Bellemore space. Alla Vita is from the same chef as Boka and GG’s Chicken Shop. The menu has pasta, a variety of pizza, and entrees like chicken parmigiana.
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.
Sunny Bowls is a new fast-casual lunch option in River North. It’s in the Merchandise Mart and specializes in soup. The menu has options like Thai chicken and sweet potato lemongrass, along with a selection of salads and spreads like hummus.
Sushi-San Willis Tower
Continuing the restaurants-designed-for-downtown-workers theme, a new location of sushi-san has opened in the Willis Tower. It’s primarily grab-and-go, with nigiri and maki, bento boxes, and small plates like edamame hummus and Szechuan tofu. There is also a handroll bar that will be opening soon.
This is a New Orleans-inspired restaurant and cocktail bar in River North. Storyville’s menu has starters like catfish nuggets and boudin balls, sandwiches like mini po’ boys, and entrees like gumbo and fried redfish. They also serve late-night bites (they’re open till 2am), and weekend brunch.
Esmé was supposed to debut last March, but after some delays, this fine-dining restaurant has finally opened in Lincoln Park. It’s a 12-15 course tasting menu spot from a former Next chef, and tickets start around $185 depending on the day of your seating.
What’s Krackin’ Southern Seafood
What’s Krackin is a new seafood spot in Hyde Park. The menu has things like lobster, crab, shrimp, and oysters served at a variety of spice levels, along with po’boys and sides like mac and cheese.
This is a new Vietnamese restaurant in Lakeview. MK has a long menu filled with dishes like pho and bahn mi, and also has dishes like pad see ew and crispy chow fun. It’s open for dine-in, but they also offer carryout.
The Cocktail Club
The Cocktail Club is a new bar in River North in the same building (and from the same team) as The Underground. It’s an upscale, 1920s-inspired venue that has live music and serves classic cocktails.
Fancy Plants Kitchen
This is a brand new vegan restaurant in Lincoln Park from the team behind Fancy Plants Cafe. Fancy Plants Kitchen has dishes like mushroom pate, grilled artichokes with chimichurri, and tamales filled with braised yuba.
Brunch N Burgers
A brand new spot just opened in Little Italy - Brunch N Burgers, which focuses on (you guessed it) burgers and brunch. You’ll find a variety of burgers and brunch dishes like breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal, and chilaquiles.
Taco Boom started out as a food truck, but now this Mexican restaurant has a permanent location in Lincoln Square. Taco Boom specializes in quesabirria tacos, but the menu also has things like birria ramen and a birria pizzadilla - a hybrid of pizza and a quesadilla.
This is a new Spanish restaurant and market in Lincoln Park. During the day Bocadillo serves snacks and sandwiches, and for dinner they have dishes like paella. You can also shop for things like ceramics.
We’re big fans of Amaru, so we’re excited about Bloom, a brand new vegan restaurant from the same team. This Wicker Park spot has dishes like beet dumplings, cashew e pepe (made with kelp noodles and cashew cheese), and an almond cheese board.
Is Radio Room a new restaurant? Technically. This River North spot is from the same team as Bandit and Siena Tavern, and used to be The Public House. It’s been overhauled, and now it’s basically Bandit 2.0, with a similar design and the same y2k theme (for example, there’s a cocktail called Sparkle Motion from Donnie Darko.) The menu is mostly bar food and has things like Nashville hot fries, burgers, and mac and cheese. They also plan on having DJs and live music.
Velvet Taco is a national chain, and their third one in Chicago just opened in the West Loop. The menus vary depending on the location, and here they have taco options like chicken and waffles (on a waffle tortilla), fried paneer, and a shrimp and grits version. You can also get cocktails and sides like queso blanco and elotes.
Parkside is a new restaurant in Lincoln Square, and is the kind of place that grows its own herbs. The menu is full of seasonal dishes, and right now that means things like oysters, tea-smoked Cornish hen, peaches and ham, and summer squash with buckwheat and tomato.
Jaleo is a Spanish restaurant with four locations all over the country, and now we have one in River North. The menu includes tapas, paellas, sangrias, and a long list of Spanish wines.
This is a new Logan Square salumeria. The Lardon sells charcuterie, salumi, and various other meats that they cure in house. Along with lots of sliced meats, they also have sandwiches, salads, boards, and other things like pork pate and cornichon mayo.
Diver At The Park
The Diver at the Park is a Tulum-inspired restaurant in Wrigleyville. This place has a huge dog-friendly patio with a vintage camper bar, and serves food like tacos, nachos, and ceviches. They also do a bottomless brunch on the weekend.
A former food truck, this Hawaiian restaurant now has a permanent location in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood. The menu has plate lunches like spam loco moco and kalua pork, a variety of burgers, and side dishes like spam musubi.
Chicago has a beautiful skyline, so we’re never upset when a new rooftop appears on the scene. And Chateau Carbide is an upscale rooftop bar that just opened on the 24th floor of the Pendry Hotel. The wine list is rosé focused (they have rosé and champagne bottle service) and they also offer small bites like charcuterie and caviar. And when you come here at night, the vibe here gets clubby with Djs spinning French house music.
Sweet Bean is a new Taiwanese and Japanese cafe in the South Loop. Right now they’re focusing on coffee and pastries (like egg tarts and sesame balls) but plan on having a full full food menu soon.
The Listening Room is a new bar and listening cafe in the Loop. What’s a Listening Cafe you ask? Taken right from their website, it’s “a clubby dining experience with a state-of-the-art audio experience”. In other words, you listen to music while eating things like ricotta and honey, filet mignon, and mushroom rigatoni. The music genre changes, so check their Instagram for updates.
The Art Of Chicken
After a fire forced them to close back in 2017, Art of Chicken in Logan Square has finally reopened. And as you might have deduced from the name, the specialty at this counter-service spot is chicken. Specifically grilled chicken that you can get by the quarter, half, or whole, served with fresh pita and salsa. They also offer a pulled chicken sandwich, and a variety of sides (like elotes or mac and cheese).
Gioia is an upscale new Italian restaurant in the West Loop. The focus here is on handmade pastas, which include things like bucatini cacio e pepe, seafood tagliatelle, and paccheri mancini prepared tableside. Along with pasta, you’ll also find a bunch of antipasti and mains like veal Milanse.
Adalina is an upscale Italian restaurant that just opened in the Gold Coast. The menu has dishes like arancini, housemade pastas, and entrees like salmon Vesuvio.
After being closed since last summer, Time Out Market in Fulton Market reopened with new additions to its vendor lineup - like Soul & Smoke, Cleo’s Southern Cuisine, Pisolino, Shawn Michelles, Bittersweet Pastries, and Candelite pizza (to name a few). The industrial-feeling space is huge, with two levels, three separate bars, a rooftop, and a sidewalk patio.
This is a new Logan Square taproom from Solemn Oath Brewery in Naperville. Along with beer, they also serve hard seltzer and spritz cocktails.
Chikatana, a new Mexican restaurant from a former chef of Mi Tocaya (one of our favorite spots in the city) just opened in the West Loop. The dinner menu has dishes like elotes, king crab chili relleno, and pato en mole. They also have a late-night tlayudas menu starting at 10pm.
Lure Fishbar is originally from NYC, but now this upscale spot has a brand new location in the Gold Coast. And as the name suggests, the focus here is on seafood. But along with all the seafood options, you’ll also find steaks, chops, and a burger on the menu, too.
Parson’s Chicken & Fish
A fourth location of Parson’s just opened in Andersonville. Like the others, you can expect fried chicken, fish, hush puppies, and negroni slushies - just in time for summer.
The original Shang Noodle is in Evanston, but a Streeterville location just opened in Chicago. The menu has a variety of things like mapo tofu, har-gau dumplings, hot and dry pot, and a list of housemade noodle dishes.
This is an upscale French restaurant that just opened inside the Pendry in the Loop. You’ll find things like caviar, steak tartare, and escargot, along with entrees like coq au vin and dover sole. And because it’s a hotel restaurant, it’s open seven days a week.
Sochi is a new Vietnamese restaurant in Lakeview. The menu has bánh mì, phở, salads, and dishes like cơm chiên cá. They also serve cocktails, beer, and wine, and are open only for dine-in service.
The original Dr. Bird’s opened in Buffalo in 1981, and now this Caribbean spot has a location in Wicker Park. Their specialty are Jamaican patties, which are filled with either chicken, beef, or spinach. But the menu also has things like jerk chicken, jerk tacos, pasta, and a variety of sides.
This is a new vegan soft serve shop in Wicker Park. Vaca’s ice cream is made from oat milk, and they’ll have shakes and sundaes with toppings like confetti cookie dough and dulce de leche with a candy shell.
Haru Sushi is a new sushi spot in Logan Square that opened in the former Doggone’s space. The menu has a selection of sashimi, nigiri and maki, and is open for carryout, delivery, and indoor dining.
Avli On The Park
This is the fourth incarnation of Greek restaurant Avli - there’s one in Winnetka, Lincoln Park, and River North. Avli On The Park is in Streeterville, and (as the name would suggest) is right on Lakeshore East Park. The menu here is similar to its sister restaurants, which means you’ll find dishes like saganaki, moussaka, and lobster pasta in an ouzo creme sauce.
Mansion on Rush
Mansion On Rush is a new option if you’re looking for an upscale date night. This Japanese and Latin-inspired Gold Coast spot serves sushi along with dishes like wagyu beef and duck confit with mole. If you really want to go all out, book a table at their Champagne Lounge, which has a separate menu, bottle service, and a live DJ. Is this place over the top? Probably, but after a year where putting on shoes felt fancy, who are we to judge.
Pop-ups are still very much a thing, and Yamma just started operating out of Pint Pub in Wicker Park. This Palestinian restaurant is serving a variety of spreads (like hummus and muhammara), a bunch of wraps made with shrak bread (like shish tawook or falafel), and salads. You can order Yamma for carryout, delivery, or dine-in at the bar.
Big Mouth Steaks And Subs
Big Mouth started out as a food truck that opened last year during the pandemic, and now has a permanent location in Logan Square. They specialize in cheesesteaks, subs like the “hungry man” (salami, pepperoni, turkey, ham, and cheese), along with things like burgers, loaded fries, and chicken wings.
En Passant is a new restaurant in Logan Square serving European-inspired dishes. This means things like duck confit and chicken liver mousse, as well as miso-glazed halibut, asparagus risotto, and a smashburger with balsamic onion jam. And considering that En Passant’s chef is one of Au Cheval’s opening chefs, you might find that last detail particularly interesting.
The Park Supper Club
The Park Supper Club just opened in Washington Park. It’s an upscale restaurant and cocktail bar, serving dishes like pasta primavera, grilled salmon, and baked chicken. They also have live music (like a pianist) nightly.
Bar Avec is the brand new rooftop bar above Avec River North, taking over the former Laurel Room space. The rooftop bar is on the eighth floor and has a separate Spanish-inspired menu from Avec downstairs. You’ll find small plates like mussels escabeche, crudos, entrees like fideo noodle paella, and yes, the chorizo-stuffed bacon-wrapped dates.
This is the Lincoln Park location of Japan-based cream puff chain Beard Papa’s. They have a bunch of cream puff varieties, topped with things like cereal and Oreos, and with a lot of different fillings.
Two Sisters started out as a catering restaurant, and now has a brick and mortar in Austin. They have a weekly rotating menu, with things like Larde’s menu includes options like smothered pork chops, baked chicken, or turkey meatloaf. Right now Two Sisters is only offering carryout and delivery.
Whadda Jerk is a new soul food restaurant that just opened in the former Clever Rabbit space in Wicker Park. They started out as a food truck, and offer things like egg rolls, burgers, and jerk chicken.
Lao Sze Chuan
This is the newest location of Lao Sze Chuan, a local chain specializing in Sichuan food. The long menu has things like dan dan noodles, xiao long bao, dry pot, hot pot, and mala chili whole fish. They’re open for indoor dining, carryout, and delivery.
Life On Marz Community Club
Marz Brewing opened a new taproom in Logan Square. Called Life On Marz Community Club. They’re brewing on-site (including some beers you might not find at their original location) and a snack menu full of sausages.
Parachute, one of our favorite restaurants in the city, has launched a pizza pop-up called Korini’s Pizza. Right now, they’re only open on Wednesdays, and one dollar from each pizza goes towards “Dough Something,” a national campaign to support Asian Americans Advancing Justice. The flavors are changing every week, with options like a bulgogi pizza or the “smokey casino” with spam, coconut shrimp, little smokies, and a sweet potato-stuffed crust.
Level Up Burgers
Level Up is a new carryout and delivery burger spot in Humboldt Park. The burgers are video game-themed, which means you’ll find things like the “16-bit upgrade” (two patties topped with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion, cheese, and aioli) and the “double dragon” - also made with two patties, along with beef short rib, togarashi, garlic aioli, cabbage, pepper jack, and on a bao bun. All the burgers come with a pound of tots.
We really like S.K.Y. in Pilsen, so we’re excited about Apolonia - a new restaurant in the South Loop that’s from the same team. Like its predecessor, the menu is wide-ranging with a bunch of influences. So you’ll find everything from mussels on toast and mushroom tarts to a variety of housemade pastas and entrees like flounder in vadouvan. Right now they’re open for indoor dining, and serving brunch and dinner.
If you watch and/or care about Top Chef, you might have heard about Rose Mary. It’s a new Croatian restaurant in The West Loop from the winner of season 15, who also used to work at Spiaggia downtown. Expect dishes like branzino with fennel and paprika, spinach caramelle, and pork ribs glazed with Calabrian chilis.
Land & Lake
The original Land & Lake is in the London House hotel downtown, and this is the Andersonville location. The menu is similarly varied, with dishes like tagliatelle pasta, fried chicken sandwiches, grain bowls, and burgers. On the weekend they serve bottomless brunch, and right now they’re open for carryout, indoor, and outdoor dining on their covered back patio.
This BBQ restaurant started out in Evanston, but now is also operating out of several ghost kitchens in Chicago. The most recent one just opened in the South Loop, and you can order all sorts of BBQ meats and sides, along with things like jerk chicken skewers and brisket sandwiches.
We’re big fans of Kyoten, so we’re excited about this one. Hinoki Sushiko is a new Japanese and sushi spot in the Elston corridor from the same chef. It’s a two-story space, with the first floor being a casual izakaya serving Japanese snacks, small plates, and cocktails, and the second floor being an upscale omakase restaurant with (for now) one seating a night.
Bella's Italian Ice & Helado de Coco
Ice cream season can’t come soon enough, so Bella’s in Humboldt Park opened just in time. This place focuses on Italian ice and helado de coco (a Puerto Rican specialty made with coconut), and originally got its start selling their treats at festivals around the city. But now they have a brick and mortar, and are open for carryout and delivery.
Lirica is the new Latin American-inspired restaurant inside the Sable hotel on Navy Pier. It’s open all day (cause, you know, it’s in a hotel) and serves dishes like chilaquiles, fish tacos, and salmon asado.
Noodle Creation is a new restaurant in Chinatown specializing in Fujianese cuisine. You’ll find dishes like lychee pork and egg noodles in peanut sauce, a long list of herbal soups, and Sha Xian-style braised dishes like pig lung, pig feet, and beef shank.
Three House is an all-day spot that just opened in the old Bar Biscay space in West Town. The menu is relatively short and focused, with breakfast dishes like French toast and a BEC sandwich, along with lunch and dinner items like a smash burger, ricotta gnudi, and a selection of empanadas.
Matchacita is a brand new matcha-focused spot that just opened in Lincoln Park. The cafe’s menu has lattes, specialty drinks, pastries, and breakfast dishes like matcha waffles and strawberry Nutella toast.
High Five Sushi
The team behind Au Cheval and Gilt Bar launched a delivery-only sushi spot that’s operating out of High Five Ramen in the West Loop. The menu is short, offering only the maki special (your choice of three rolls and tamagoyaki), or the special deluxe (three rolls and tamagoyaki, plus seaweed salad and taiyaki). There are about eight rolls to choose from, including salmon, yellowtail, crab, and the surf and turf made with wagyu and fatty tuna.
Steingold's of Chicago
After closing last year, Steingold’s has moved into a new location right next to the Music Box Theater in Lakeview. The menu has Jewish deli staples, like bagels, house-cured lox, and pastrami, along with things like latke tots. Also worth noting: their new spot has a takeout window.
This is a brand new cereal bar and soul food-inspired restaurant in Chatham. In addition to over 75 types of cereal, Ooh We It Is also serves dishes like Hennessy-glazed wings and smothered shrimp and rice. Right now they’re open for dine-in only, with plans for patio seating in the future.
This is a new Greek restaurant in Logan Square from a former chef and partner of the RPM restaurants (in fact, he was the “P” in RPM). You’ll find dishes like hearth-roasted chicken, Kalamata pork, lamb souvla, and a whole bunch of mezze. Right now Andros Taverna is open for indoor dining, takeout, and has weekend pastry boxes to-go.
Q Sushi Bar & Omakase
The name gives it away, but Q Sushi Bar And Omakase in Ravenswood is a new sushi restaurant that also offers omakase. They’re currently open for indoor dining, as well as carryout and delivery.
Cocoa Chili is a carryout and delivery only restaurant in Garfield Park. Cocoa Chili focuses on Afro-Caribbean food, and you’ll find dishes like jerk chicken, Sengalese poulet yassa, and a bowl of (yes) cocoa chili.
Paulie Gee's Wicker Park
NYC transplants rejoice. While the original Paulie Gee’s in Logan Square (ok, not the original original, that’s in Brooklyn) focuses on Neapolitan and Detroit-style, the brand new Wicker Park location focuses exclusively on New York-style pizza you can get as a pie or by-the-slice. Right now, this spot is just a walk-up window, but a dining room will open eventually.
Tiny Taqueria is a new delivery-only taco spot operating inside the Green Door Tavern downtown. Their specialty is beef birria with a bone marrow consommé, along with cheesy quesabirria tacos, chilaquiles, and chicharrones.
Minahasa is a new carryout and delivery-only Indonesian restaurant operating out of Revival Food Hall in the Loop. You can order things like soto ayam, beef rendang, and sambal chicken wings.
Brick & Cake
This is a new bakery that just opened in Roscoe Village. Brick & Cake has both sweet and savory pastries, which means pastelitos filled with things like chicken or beef, and a wide range of desserts - including coconut flan, tres leches, and a whole bunch of cupcakes.
This is an all-day Perankan restaurant that just opened in Lincoln Park. You’ll find dishes like pie tea, dry pan mee, and Hainanese chicken, along with breakfast options like nasi lamak, chee cheong fun, and bak kwa roti. For now, Kapitan is carryout and delivery only.
The original Lost Larson in Andersonville is one of our favorite bakeries in the city, so we’re happy to report they opened a new location in Wicker Park with an identical menu. This means pastries, bread made with their house-milled grain, various smørrebrød, and a bunch of natural wines by the bottle.
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.