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.
photo credit: Clayton Hauck
The Meadowlark is a new cocktail bar in Logan Square, located in the alley behind its two sibling restaurants, Union and Lardon. It has a themed, rotating drink menu. The opening line-up is all about birds, with cocktails like the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird made with brandy, sherry, amaro, and house-smoked orange bitters. They also have a short food menu with things like charcuterie boards and grilled skewers.
photo credit: Neil John Burger
River North’s Indienne is a new, upscale Indian restaurant. They have three menus available: a la carte, plus two tasting menus—vegetarian and non-vegetarian. You can expect dishes like foie gras eclairs with cherry chutney, paneer with pepper makhani and pistachio, or oysters with rasam granita.
photo credit: Alex Hazel
Tasa Coffee Roasters
Tasa is a new coffee shop in Humboldt Park. In addition to quenching your insatiable need for caffeine, they also have a short food menu of dishes like empanadas, conchas, and chorizo avocado toast.
Sun Rey Cafe
This is a new breakfast cafe in Wicker Park that's open Monday-Friday from 7am-11:30am. Sun Rey’s eclectic menu has dishes like breakfast quesadillas, shrimp and grits, and Filipino garlic rice plates with longanisa.
With restaurants already in Florida, NYC, Toronto, and Bethesda it was only a matter of time before Planta Queen made it to the Midwest. Now they have a location in River North, and the focus here is on upscale, Asian-inspired, vegan food. You can expect dishes like eggplant nigiri, udon noodles with truffle mushroom cream, or sweet corn dumplings with tom yum and chimichurri.
photo credit: Jaclyn Rivas
Valhalla is a new fine-dining restaurant in Time Out Market from the chef behind S.K.Y. and Apolonia. This Fulton Market restaurant’s $195 11-course tasting menu (with an option for beverage pairings) features a wide range of dishes like seared Japanese scallops with brown butter, and smoked ricotta cappelletti. You also can order a la carte.
photo credit: Kelly Sandos
Big Star Mariscos
The team behind Big Star (the Wicker Park restaurant of taco, margarita, and patio fame) has opened a new Mexican restaurant in West Town. You can expect tacos and a patio, but Big Star Mariscos has a more seafood-focused menu with dishes like aguachile and ceviche, as well as preparations of whole fish.
Ragadan is a Middle Eastern restaurant in Uptown. This casual spot has pita sandwiches stuffed with falafel, eggplant, or chicken, as well as hummus plates, burgers, and milkshakes.
This upscale West Loop restaurant from the team behind Mama Delia and Beatnik has a menu inspired by the Silk Road, the ancient trade route that extended from Asia to Europe. They have dishes like a tomahawk steak with XO sauce, fish with pickled mung bean and Hua Juan pancakes, and roasted carrots with chickpeas and labneh. Like its predecessors, you can expect a lavishly decorated space—from modern pieces to antiques like a 300-year-old house imported from China.
Kinsley is an all-day restaurant in the Loop from the same team behind Fairgrounds Cafe. Their eclectic menu has breakfast tacos, burgers, and funnel cake along with coffee, tea, and cocktails. Aside from their large open dining space, they also have a spacious 50-seat outdoor patio.
Canal Street Market and Eatery in the West Loop has a new sister bar that opened right next door. In addition to creative drinks like the Jump Start My Heart with raisin-infused rum and chai, they also have a small selection of snacks like olives, nuts, and charcuterie boards.
Originally from Southern California, Solita has opened its first Midwest location in River North. They have a variety of Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, and larger entrees like BBQ pork ribs or carne asada. Plus, they also offer Happy Hour drink specials from 3pm-6pm Monday through Friday, and food specials on Tuesdays from 3pm until close.
Also stepping into Chicago’s taco arena is Seoul Taco in Wicker Park. This is their third location (the others are in River North and Hyde Park) and it has a similar menu of Mexican-Korean fusion dishes like bulgogi tacos, spicy pork burritos, and kimchi nachos.
Curfew is a new sit-down restaurant inside of The Hotel Saint Clair in Streeterville. Their menu has Roman-style pizza and small plates like ricotta dumplings, smoked steak tartare, and shrimp and watermelon ceviche.
Gino & Marty's
This is an upscale Italian restaurant in Fulton Market. Gino and Marty’s menu has pastas like gnocchi with calabrian chili, cacio e pepe, and squid ink spaghetti with lobster, as well as entrees like a NY strip steak and branzino. They also offer a five-course, chef-curated meal for $200.
Let's Eat To Live
Let’s Eat To Live is a new restaurant in Woodlawn with a wide-ranging menu. You’ll find dishes like Haitian beef patties, Senegalese crispy dough with spicy salmon, butter garlic lamb chops, and spinach florentine. They also have food education classes on Mondays if you’re interested in learning more about what you’re eating and/or need extra knowledge for trivia night.
This is a new Chinese restaurant Lakeview, and, as its name suggests, the focus here is on Szechuan food. Szechuan Corner’s long menu has appetizers like wontons and a spicy cucumber salad, as well as larger items like dry pot, beef noodle soup, and boiled lamb cooked with a Szechuan sauce.
Cubaneo is another casual spot in Lakeview. This Cuban restaurant serves breakfast dishes like guava pancakes and breakfast wraps and things like ropa vieja and ham croquettes for lunch or dinner.
Loaf Lounge is a cafe and bakery in Avondale. They serve breakfast sandwiches (with options like smoked salmon on rye with fried capers and dill cream cheese), non-breakfast sandwiches, and a whole bunch of pastries. Fun fact, Loaf’s head baker was responsible for making the chocolate cake on The Bear, which is on the menu, too.
Hide And Seek
Hide and Seek is a new two-story cocktail bar and small plates restaurant in the West Loop. The menu is wide-ranging and meant to be shared, and you'll find dishes like escargot en croûte, croquetas, dry-aged ribeye, and grilled branzino.
photo credit: Kim Yeoh
Canal St. Market & Eatery
This is a restaurant and market located in a high rise in the West Loop. The counter-service market has salads and sandwiches, along with grab-and-go items. The separate restaurant space is Italian, with a menu of antipasti, pasta, pizza, and entrees.
The fast-casual burger spot Mini Mott in Logan Square has been reconcepted. It’s now a full-service restaurant called Second Generation, from the same chef and owner. The new menu has fusion dishes like kalbi steak frites, scallops with kimchi, and they’re also keeping their burger.
photo credit: Jason W Kaumeyer
This new counter-service restaurant in the Loop focuses on dishes using locally-sourced ingredients. Their menu has bowls where you choose your own vegetables and proteins, avocado toast, and pastries from Publican Quality Bakery.
Indian Paradise is a new Indian restaurant in Wicker Park. This sit-down spot has a long menu of dishes like samosas, biryanis, curries, and a variety of naan.
You can come to Architectural Artifacts in the Near North Side to buy $900 decorative buffalo horns or a $4000 vaulting horse, or, you can just grab a bite at their new in-store cafe. Their menu has breakfast items like ricotta griddle cakes and gravlax on toast, and at 11am they start serving pizza available until 4pm.
Rakkan Ramen is a Tokyo-based chain that’s opened a Chicago location in Uptown. Their broths are all vegetable-based, making it the most vegetarian friendly ramen spot in the city. But the menu also includes some bowls with meat, like crispy chicken and grilled pork.
Chemistry is a new upscale steakhouse in Hyde Park. Their menu leans into a love theme, with sections like “Love At First Bite” for their appetizers. You can expect small dishes like wagyu sliders or truffle fries, and steaks like filet mignon or a 32 oz wagyu tomahawk.
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.
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.