Chicago has a lot of excellent, women-owned restaurants. But we compiled a list of our favorite spots that opened in the past year. From a tea house, pasta shop, thali meal delivery, and Filipino food, these are the new women-owned spots in the city you should know about.
All restaurants on The Infatuation are selected by our editorial team. 12 New Women-Owned Restaurants To Check Out In Chicago is presented by Run The World, premiering Sunday May 16th on Starz and the Starz app. Check out the trailer here.
Flour Power is guaranteed to break you out of your pasta rut - something we just made up, but are 100% certain exists. This spot in West Town has a short menu of handmade pastas (available pre-made or as meal kits) and you’ll rarely see the same thing twice. From campanelle with nduja and tomato confit to cheddar-filled tortellini to casarecce with smoked sweet potato, whatever you get will be delicious. It’s takeout only for right now.
Plattered by Niki is a delivery-only spot serving rotating weekly Indian meals made by Nikita Dhingra, who, after years of catering for friends and family, decided to open her own restaurant late last year. The menu changes from week to week, and you’ll find everything from stuffed dahi bhalla chaat to malai kofta to saffron tres leches. Pick up day is Friday from 4pm-6pm, and you have until 12pm Thursday to place your order. Follow their Instagram for updates.
Kasama is a West Town spot that’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and does everything exceedingly well. They have pastries (like the ham and cheese danish or cardamom kouign amann), Filipino plates like the chicken adobo, and snacks like the lumpia - all absolutely delicious. So while we respect your current self-care routine, we also firmly believe Kasama should go in it. Right now they’re counter service only and closed for indoor dining, but they have a great side patio next to the restaurant.
Cocoa Chili is a new carryout-and-delivery-only restaurant in East Garfield Park. They focus on Afro-Caribbean soul food, and have dishes like smoky jerk chicken, tender Sengalese poulet yassa, and a bowl of their namesake cocoa chili that will make you mad at every version you’ve ever tried to make. Another cool thing about this place (besides the food) is that for $5 you can also order a meal for the Love Fridge, an organization that provides free food for those in need.
Southern Twang is a delivery-only spot in Humboldt Park specializing in Southern food. They have a variety of egg rolls (like mac and cheese or lobster mac), great po’boys, and our favorite dish: the shrimp and cheese grits. The fried shrimp have a tasty garlic breading, the cheesy grits are thick with cheddar, and it’s all topped with andouille chicken sausage and caramelized peppers and onions. It’s the kind of food you want when you need the food equivalent of a warm hug and/or it’s a typical 45 degree spring day in Chicago.
The delivery-only spot Tasting India is not about instant gratification - getting the food from here requires a little planning. It’s a one-woman operation, and she’s making thali meals that highlight a different region of India each week. Menus are announced on Saturdays at 6pm on Instagram, and then you’ll need to fill out an order form, wait for a confirmation, and you’ll receive your meal the following Saturday between 11am-5pm. One week might be churpi, thukpa, and gundkruk from Sikkim, and another might have vadouvan seafood stew and other specialties from Puducherry. Everything will be packaged in little boxes and tins.
There was a lot that impressed us about Dear Margaret, a French-Canadian restaurant that opened late last year in Lincoln Park. For example, a silky duck liver mousse that’s perfectly paired with sweet orange marmalade. Or a tender braised beef shank (complete with a bone that had perfectly rendered marrow). There was also braised cauliflower with arugula and pearl onions, and Nanaimo bars, which have a graham cracker/coconut/walnut base, and are topped with chocolate, icing, and creme fraiche. They’re not currently open for dine-in service, but thanks to careful carryout packaging (and the great food) it makes a great special occasion-worthy coffee table spread.
We came across Bianca’s in Revival food hall while researching our Best New Burgers guide, and it turns out they’re making one of the best burgers in Chicago, new or otherwise. Specifically, the Bianca burger, which comes with white American cheese, sweet grilled onions, a juicy griddled patty, pickles, Bianca’s burger sauce (ingredients seem to be “deliciousness”), and a toasted brioche bun. It’s everything we want in a burger - cheesy, beefy, and messy. And almost as important: their crispy shoestring fries.
Originally opening in a Bronzeville ghost kitchen last year, this fried chicken spot just moved into a new space in Lincoln Park where you can dine in or carryout. And you need to put Cluck-It on your list of places to try if you haven’t already. Order their “mother clucker” sandwich - it has a crunchy thigh, squishy brioche bun, and is topped with American cheese, spicy sauce, and pickles. They also have a great burger, and the desserts are another reason this place stands out - they make an incredible caramel banana pudding and a sweet and savory cornflake sandwich cookie filled with honey buttercream. You need one in your life - we promise.
This Greek restaurant in Logan Square is one of our favorite “big night out” new restaurants - meaning it’s perfect for date night, or a fun dinner with friends. Andros Taverna is spacious, has great food, and you can usually get same-day reservations. You’ll find appetizers like the must-order kataifi cheese pie (shredded filo layered with cheese, baked, then topped with honey and pistachios), entrees like prawn saganaki in a rich tomato sauce, and the best spanakopita we’ve ever had. They also have a big patio, weather permitting.
Living Water Tea House
One place that is guaranteed to make us feel better after we pay it a visit is Living Water, a cute tea parlor that opened last summer in University Village. Their menu has a variety of hard-to-find teas (like Pu-erh and Dong Ding oolong), honey peach avocado milk, pastries like salted egg yolk or taro su, and a variety of basque, pudding, and cotton cheesecakes.
If you’re thinking “Krazy Hog isn’t new” we understand. After all, Krazy Hog was alive and well in Glenwood until Covid forced them to close last spring. But they reopened last fall as a carryout-and-delivery-only restaurant in Lincoln Park. The menu has things like ribs, rib tips, pulled pork, and sides like mac and cheese and sweet baked beans. One main reason that Krazy Hog stands out is their fantastic sauces. They have several varieties - Krazy original, ’Bama white, Carolina honey, Texas heat, and the magnolia sweet, which reminds us a little of blackberry jam.