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.
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.
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.
Soul & Smoke
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.
Oooh Wee It Is
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.
Chef Bill Kim's Pizza & Parm Shop
Ok, in case you feel like this city needs more Detroit-style pizza, you’ll be happy to hear about Pizza And Parm Shop. It’s a new delivery-only pizza spot operating out of Urbanbelly in Wicker Park, and the pies have flavor combinations like Korean BBQ, ground beef, and kimchi, along with toppings like pepperoni and sausage. They also have chicken parm and cauliflower parm sandwiches.
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.
Dear Margaret is a French-Canadian restaurant that just opened in Lincoln Park. You’ll find dishes liked smoked carrots and braised beef shank (basically anything to help you get through winter). Right now it’s only carryout and delivery, but as soon as indoor dining is allowed, Dear Margaret will be opening their dining room.
You might remember Monnie Burke’s, a now-closed Pilsen restaurant with a back patio that was about 30 miles long. Monnie Burke’s has been replaced with Pilsen Yards, a Mexican restaurant serving tacos, nachos, and large plates like carne asada. But most importantly, they upgraded that huge patio with heated floors so you can now eat (and drink) outside in the middle of winter.
There have been a lot of new pizza spots since the pandemic, and Dough Daddy has joined the parade. It’s a virtual restaurant operating out of The Press Room in the West Loop and focuses on Detroit-style pies. This spot has fun topping combinations like n’duja with lemon ricotta, blistered tomato, and basil pesto, or “A Perfect Pear,” topped with butternut squash, pear, pancetta, and gouda.
Boxcar Betty’s Fried Chicken Sandwiches
Along with pizza, fried chicken spots have been opening up all over the place. Boxcar Betty’s is a chain originally from South Carolina, and their newest location is in the old Lillie Q’s space in Bucktown. Their fried chicken sandwich is topped with pimiento cheese, peach coleslaw, pickles, and spicy mayo, and you can choose from a bunch of Southern-style sides.
Saffron Street is an Indian restaurant that recently opened in Humboldt Park. The menu is short, focusing mainly on sandwiches (like pulled makhani chicken or dal on toast) and small plates like chaat.
Jiang Niu BBQ House
This is a new Chinese and Korean barbecue spot in Chinatown. While the indoor dining ban has (temporarily) harshed our Korean BBQ buzz, Jiang Niu BBQ has kimchi fried rice, bibimbap, and seafood pancakes available for carryout and delivery.
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.
Taqueria Chingón is a new taqueria in Bucktown, specializing in al pastor tacos. The short menu also has tacos with fillings like carne asada, chorizo, morcilla, and pig’s head carnitas, along with a few quesadillas.
After closing their brick-and-mortar location in West Town over the summer, Tecalitlan has reopened as a delivery-only spot in Humboldt Park. The long menu has things like fajitas, tacos, and enchiladas.
We're Winging it
We appreciate the self-awareness happening with this new spot’s name. We’re Winging It is a carryout and delivery-only concept from Filipino restaurant [Cebu]https://theinfatuation.com/chicago/reviews/cebu) in Wicker Park. The menu is focused on chicken wings, with varieties like tamarind, soy calamansi, and guava BBQ.
Polombia is a carryout and delivery-only Polish and Colombian fusion restaurant in the West Loop. So you can expect to find things like “emparogies” filled with potato, onion sofrito, and aji crema, and kielbasa glazed with pineapple and topped with muenster. They were originally supposed to open as a stall in the now-closed Politan Row food hall, and are now sharing a kitchen with fellow virtual restaurant The Outpost Mexican Eatery.
Yes, Coastal Soups is another carryout and delivery-only spot, only this one is operating out of Summer House Santa Monica in Lincoln Park. Unsurprisingly, the focus here is on soup. They have eight different varieties available every day, ranging from pumpkin to matzo ball to tomato bisque.
Eatz By Marie
Eatz By Marie isn’t technically in the city, but since it’s right on the border of Chicago and Calumet Park, it’s close enough to go on this guide. The soul food-inspired menu has dishes like chicken and waffles, Hennessy wings, fried lobster tails, and seven different kinds of egg rolls (like salmon or jerk chicken). Right now they’re carryout and delivery-only, but plan on offering dine-in service and cooking classes in the future.
This new bar in Old Town opened in the former Salpicon space. Uproar serves food like mac and cheese, fried chicken sandwiches, and burgers, and also has a heated and covered outdoor patio.
Bronzeville’s art and cultural center Little Black Pearl now has an all-day market and cafe. Carver 47 serves dishes like affy tapple pancakes, waffles, and quiche for breakfast; grilled cheese, salads, and grain bowls for lunch; and has dinner boxes (with things like fried chicken or curry vegetables) available for carryout.
Old Fashioned Donuts
We’re big fans of the original Old Fashioned Donuts in Roseland, and now they have an outpost in One Eleven Food Hall in Pullman. And you’ll find a similar selection of old fashioned and glazed jumbo-sized donuts, along with their famous apple fritter.
Rye Deli & Drink
This new deli in the West Loop serves things like handmade bagels and labneh schmears (with flavors like roasted strawberry and honey), along with lunch items like matzo ball soup and pastrami sandwiches.
Queen Dinner Dash
Queen’s Dinner Dash is a brand new carryout soul food-inspired restaurant in McKinley Park. Entrees have fun names like Shawty Wanna Ride (short ribs) and Lick The Lollipop (lamb chops) and come with sides like mac and cheese and collard greens.
This is a new West Loop dessert shop from the team behind Little Goat. Sugargoat focuses on treats with creative flavors, like Cheez-it cupcakes topped with strawberry buttercream, oatmeal cookies with pickled raisins, and a chocolate shake and french fry pie.
There’s a new fried chicken shop operating out of a cloud kitchen in Bronzeville. Cluck It serves fried chicken a whole bunch of ways (including nuggets, wings, and sandwiches), along with sides like mac and cheese and desserts like banana pudding.
Jerk It Iz
As you might have guessed from the name, Jerk It Iz specializes in jerk chicken. You’ll also find dishes like oxtails, curry goat, and sides like candied yams and fried plantains.
Have you ever heard of Portillo’s? Just kidding, of course you have. But now there is a brand new location in Avondale.
Jade Court Chinese Cuisine
The original Jade Court closed last year, but this Chinese restaurant has reopened in a new Hyde Park location. The long menu has a variety of dishes like orange chicken, salt and pepper shrimp, dry chicken chili, and Szechuan beef.
This is a brand new spot in Chinatown from the same chef as Lao Sze Chuan. As of right now, Hunan Cuisine is only open for carryout and delivery, with dishes like steamed whole fish with chilis, braised eggplant, and Hunan-style tofu.
Smiley's Breakfast Sandwich Co.
Smiley’s Breakfast Sandwich Co. is a new delivery-only spot operating out of Dog House in Lincoln Park. As the name implies, the focus here is on breakfast - specifically one sandwich (your choice of meat with cheese, peppers, mayo, and a fried egg on French bread), and a breakfast platter.
Cheba Hut Toasted Subs
Cheba Hut is a chain of weed-themed restaurants, and now there’s one in Wicker Park. They serve a variety of sandwiches (with names like “Chronic” and “Kush”), small bites (like nachos and pretzel nuggets), and cocktails. They’re offering carryout and delivery along with dine-in service.
Wake 'N Bacon
OK, between new spots Cheba Hut, HotBox, and now Wake ’N Bacon, we can officially say that weed-themed restaurants are a trend. Wake ’N Bacon is a new brunch spot in Lakeview and has things like breakfast burritos, ube pancakes, and chicken and waffles. Oh, and you can add CBD to anything on the menu.
Big Kids is a 90s-themed sandwich shop that just opened in the now-closed Young American space in Logan Square from the former chef of Blackbird and a chef from New Orleans’ Turkey and the Wolf. The short menu has sandwiches like fried bologna and a collard melt, along with sides like pasta salad, and cocktails
Evette’s is a Lebanese and Mexican spot that’s opening on October 15th in Lincoln Park. You’ll find shawarma plates and wraps (with chicken, lamb, beef, or halloumi), and tacos (like al pastor and quesabirria), as well as starters like pita nachos.
Grapes & Grains
A lot of new restaurants have opened recently, but we haven’t seen many brand new cocktail bars since the shutdown. But that’s what Grapes & Grains in the West Loop is, with a focus on wine and classic cocktails. There’s also a food menu, with things like cheese and charcuterie, foie gras, and burrata. They’re seating indoors at 25% capacity, and you can pre-order online.
This is a new all-day Croatian cafe in River North. Doma’s menu has things like ćevapi, grain bowls, avocado toast, and an assortment of coffee drinks.
The original Mary’s has been in Garfield Park since 1968, and this is their new carryout and delivery-only location that operates out of a shared kitchen space in Humboldt Park. You’ll find the same rib tips, fried catfish, and burgers on the menu here as the original location.
If you’re looking for a new coffee shop in Auburn Gresham, Afro Joe’s has you covered. Along with coffee drinks, they have pastries and breakfast sandwiches, and a lunch menu launching soon.
Hotbox By Whiz
This is an unapologetic “stoner food” focused delivery-only chain. The “Whiz” in question is Whiz Khalifa, and you’ll find dishes like “mac and yellow” on the menu, along with “blazed burnt ends” and a “mile-high” chocolate brownie.
There have been a lot of virtual restaurants opening recently, and now Bokuchan can be added to that list. This takeout-only spot specializes in Japanese curry, with dishes like the tonkatsu kare, a shaved beef udon curry, and the poutine - waffle fries topped with curry, parmesan, and tonkatsu sauce.
This is a new carryout and delivery-only spot operating out of The Hatchery - a restaurant incubator in Garfield Park. And Empanada Mama focuses on (you guessed it) empanadas, along with bites like shrimp ceviche and Puerto Rican rice.
Avvio Italian Kitchen
This is a brand new Italian restaurant in Irving Park from the former chef of Sabatino’s. And if you were a fan of that now-closed classic Chicago spot, you’ll be excited that Avvio has many of the same dishes, like the Shrimp DeJonghe and baked Alaska.
Bloom Vegetarian Kitchen
We’re big fans of Amaru in Wicker Park, so we’re excited about Bloom, a brand new vegetarian restaurant from the same team. This spot has dishes like their tacu tacu (a rice and chickpea cake with achiote curry), the cashew e pepe (made with kelp noodles and cashew cheese), and a vegan samosa chaat.
This is a new all-day restaurant in Irving Park from the former chef of the (now closed) Ravenswood brunch spot Marmalade. The menu full of things like crepes, french toast, and chilaquiles, and dinner options like tacos, burgers, and burritos.
This new spot is a virtual restaurant operating out of Humboldt Park. The menu has a long selection of burgers (including the Elvis Impersonator - a beef patty topped with peanut banana spread, bacon, and cheese) along with sandwiches and hot dogs.
This is another brand new delivery-only restaurant, and it specializes in katsu sandwiches. Cat-Su Sando has five different versions on their menu (like fried pork cutlet or one made with smoked fish), along with kushiyaki, okonomiyaki, and onigiri.
Ok, so technically Ørkenoy isn’t quite open yet - that happens on Friday the 18th. But we still want you to know about this new bar in the Kimball Arts Center in Humboldt Park. It serves beer, cocktails, bar snacks, and a selection of smørrebrød.
Living Water Tea House
This is a new tea parlor in University Village. Living Water’s menu has a variety of teas (like Pu-erh, Dong Ding Oolong, and Matcha) and pastries like salted egg yolk and taro su. They also sell teaware.
Lincoln Ice Cream Company
As the name suggests, this is a new ice cream shop in Lincoln Square. Along with ice cream, Lincoln Ice Cream Company also has Cuban pastries, and snacks like nachos, walking tacos, and Nutella sandwiches.
Gold Goose Tartine
This is a new food stall opening in Politan Row. Gold Goose specializes in tartines, sandwiches, and snacks like cheese and olives.
Krewe Po'boy Shop
Krewe is a brand new Southern-style sandwich shop in Wrigleyville. Along with po’boys, the menu also has jambalaya, collard greens, and mac and cheese.
Marvin's Food & Fuel
This is a new all-day spot in Fulton Market, in the same space that used to have La Sirena Clandestina. Marvin’s focuses on dishes like burgers, sandwiches, and chicken wings.
Before closing, the original Tallboy was in River North. Now it’s reopened, in a brand new Streeterville location. The menu is the same (tacos on handmade tortillas and sides like chips with salsa) and the new space also has outdoor seating.
Froth is a new coffee shop and cafe in the West Loop, that also has a fantastic patio. Along with coffee drinks, they also have sandwiches, tartines, and breakfast dishes like soft scrambled eggs.
Etta - River North
The second location of Etta is now open in River North. It has the same menu as the original and also has an outdoor patio.
Azul is a new seafood restaurant that just opened along the Chicago River. The menu is Latin-inspired, and you’ll find dishes like ceviche, lobster empanadas, and shrimp tacos.
This is a new Bucktown restaurant from the team behind Savannah Supper Club and Hutch. Like it’s sister restaurants, Savannah Luncheonette has appetizers like spinach artichoke dip and nachos, and entrees like roasted chicken or baby-back ribs.
Japan-based cream puff chain Beard Papa’s opened a store in Wicker Park. They have a bunch of varieties, topped with things like cereal and Oreos, and with a lot of different fillings.
Edie’s All Day Cafe
There’s a new all-day cafe in River North. Edie’s serves coffee, food, and booze, and is designed to be a place for people to hang out, eat, and work (if they want).
The Halal Guys
Fast-casual restaurant The Halal Guys opened a location on the Loyola campus in Roger’s Park.
It’s official: The Tamale Guy has finally opened a restaurant in Ukrainian Village. It’s carryout only, and the menu is full of (you guessed it) tamales.
The pizza at Pizza Lobo might be familiar - it got its start by serving slices out of Lone Wolf bar in the West Loop. Now the New York-style pies have their very own place to call home in Logan Square. For right now their carryout and delivery only, but will be opening a patio for outdoor dining soon.
This is a brand new brewpub that just opened in Wicker Park. The Perch is a collaboration between 4 Star Restaurant Group and Finch Beer Co., and serves food like burgers, steaks, and roasted cauliflower. This place also has a lot of outdoor space - there’s a large patio and a sculpture garden, too.
Jeff & Judes
Ok, so this is technically a soft opening, but it still counts. Jeff & Judes is a Jewish deli that just opened in Ukrainian Village, and (for right now) is operating out of a walk-up window. Their menu changes daily, and you’ll find things like challah, rye, and sweet and savory pastries.
This is a new cereal bar and candy shop that just opened in Beverly. Along with treats like fruity pebble shakes and cereal snack mixes, you can also get savory things like walking tacos.
Flour Power is a new handmade pasta shop in West Town from two people who used to work at Schwa. You can either get your pasta as a meal kit (with options like malfade bolognese or bucatini amatriciana) or ready-to-eat.
Logan Square has a brand new Italian restaurant. Testaccio is from the owners of Osteria Langhe, and the menu focuses on Roman food. There’s both a patio and courtyard available for outdoor dining.
Robert Et Fils
This is a new French spot in North Center. Robert Et Fils is starting out with family-style meals for takeout only but plans on adding patio dining soon and (at some point) indoor as well.
Dr. Murphy's Food Hall
This is a brand new Mexican restaurant in River North, focusing on food from the coast. The menu has things like ceviche, seafood tacos, and tropical cocktails.
Kasama is a takeout and delivery-only Filipino-inspired restaurant and bakery. You’ll find dishes like mushroom adobo and lumpia, along with baked goods like croissants and ube basque cakes.
This is a new coffee shop that just opened in Logan Square. Along with coffee, Me Latte also serves a selection of sweet and savory empanadas.
Sugar Blow is a new bakery and snack shop in Boystown. They have treats like milkshakes and Nutella cookies, along with savory options like fries and grilled plantains.
Taste Of The Philippines
Taste Of The Philippines is a brand new Filipino restaurant in the French Market, serving things like pancit, lumpia, and ube donuts.
Juna Ethical Takeout
Juna is a carryout restaurant in Avondale that focuses on locally-sourced food, and using sustainable packaging. You’ll find dishes like grilled tofu, roasted carrot hummus, and grass-fed burgers.