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.
A new market and deli in Pilsen from the people behind Dusek’s. In addition to groceries and products made in the neighborhood, Paulette’s features a menu of grab-and-go soups and sandwiches like a muffuletta and a jerk vegetable on focaccia.
Ascione Bistro is a new Italian restaurant in Hyde Park. It’s open for brunch on the weekends, and has a front patio for outdoor seating.
Newly opened at Kathy Osterman Beach, LakeBreeze is a lakeside cafe serving food like elote tots and a “curdburger” that comes with fried cheese curds and bacon jam on top. They also have beer, wine, and cocktails, and you can eat and drink on reclining beach chairs in the sand.
The casual Italian restaurant on the river from the people behind RPM Italian is now open, serving pizza, pasta, and charcoal-grilled seafood. It’s already hard to get into, but if you’ve got a boat they offer marina docking options.
This is a new ice cream shop in Roscoe Village that also serves pastries like frosted cinnamon buns, as well as vegan cake balls and gluten-free cookies.
Butterdough, a cafe and panadería in McKinley Park, is now open and serving sandwiches, specialty coffee drinks, and fresh pastries.
This is the seventh Chicago location of the multipurpose grab-and-go shop. The Old Town spot has a seasonal cafe menu with breakfast sandwiches, whole grain bowls, and smoothies, and the place has plenty of seating.
A new BYOB pizza place in Beverly that combines food with activism - monthly donations go toward anti-violence organizations, and the restaurant offers job training to employees who might have limited opportunities elsewhere. In addition to pizza, they serve pasta, wings, salads, and sandwiches.
This is a new French restaurant in the Loop from the people behind Cochon Volant serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. The main attraction here is a revolving bar, modeled after the famous Carousel Bar in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
The Laurel Room is a new seasonal rooftop restaurant above Pacific Standard Time. Open through October, they’ll focus on summery cocktails and offer a selection of bar snacks, tacos, and a raw bar.
Already a popular Caribbean restaurant on West 63rd Street, Garifuna Flava has opened a stall in the French Market. Serving Belizean food like panades and jerk chicken, the new spot has lunch hours six days a week.
This is a new breakfast and brunch spot in North Center with sweet and savory breakfast plates, sandwiches, and salads.
New to West Rogers Park, this shop brews local coffee from Passion House and has specialty drinks like a sweet matcha cortado and raspberry truffle cold brew. There are salads and pastries, as well as more substantial food like a tofu banh mi and tropical acai bowls. Plus, the food here is certified kosher.
This is a new Korean American restaurant opening in the former San Soo Korean BBQ spot in River West. The restaurant will serve prime cuts of meat for tabletop grilling, as well as bibimbop, stews, and small plates like fire chicken and bulgogi.
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.
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.