25 New Restaurants to Try Around ChicagoBy Sarah Freeman
November 25, 2014
We’re constantly seeking out the new and notable in Chicago’s dining scene, and there's always a healthy collection of fresh concepts to try. Bookmark this page to see the latest openings around town.
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30 Under 30 honorees and brothers Mac and Joe Boumaron, co-owners of upscale River North burger bar 25 Degrees, open their second Chicago restaurant in Wicker Park. The new spot sticks to the luxe bar motif with tufted brown leather banquette seating, exposed brick and a 30-foot oak-paneled white marble bar serving beer and cocktails on draft alongside a globally inspired menu of eclectic bar food divided between small and shared plates.
2015 W. Division St.
The latest from Brendan Sodikoff is a Brooklyn-style pizzeria selling ‘za for $4.50 per slice. Slices are offered with red sauce or white cream sauce with olive oil and Parmesan cheese, an topping options include anchovies, Serrano ham, soppressata, sweet peppers, arugula and olives. The restaurant also has 14 draft beers available by the pint or pitcher.
1732 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The new vault is slightly more spacious than the original, with room to sit and enjoy an espresso or chai latte in distressed metal chairs or brown leather lounges. Donut selection is limited to old-fashioned varieties in a half-dozen flavors, including coconut cream, triple chocolate, toasted almond and pistachio as well as one seasonal cake donut.
111 N. Canal St.
Nida Rodriguez, founder of The Slide Ride food truck, is opening her first brick-and-mortar establishment — an all-french-fry-all-the-time restaurant. Her menu includes over-the-top, hand-cut fries covered with Guinness gravy and cheese curds (aka poutine), Sriracha Buffalo chicken and soy-braised pork belly or kimchi with a fried egg.
3006 N. Elston Ave.; 312-925-1911
Modeled after the Wicker Park location, which opened earlier this year, this second location serves donuts all day as well as gelato in a contemporary space decorated with a wall of pastel-hued KitchenAid mixers. Flavors include fan-favorite lemon-pistachio, and there will also be signature pockets filled with peanut butter and Nutella. Intelligentsia coffee is served via drip as well as in espresso and seasonal coffee drinks.
259 E. Erie St.; 773-360-7386
What started with a Chicago-style hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in 2001 comes home to River North with the same franks as well as those famous burgers and enough crinkle-cut fires to feed the entire metropolitan area. This first Chicago branch menu features a few signature, locally inspired items, including Publican pork sausage.
66 E. Ohio St.; 312-667-1701
Originally a truck traveling along the Baja coast with an array of signature tacos, this storefront outpost (the first in the U.S.) offers a dozen of filling options for your tortillas — everything from chimichurri-marinated steak to pesto-covered octopus.
1324 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-698-7670
This new American restaurant took over the former Graham Elliot space in River North. Chef Joseph Heppe (formerly of Untitled) pays tribute to all things aged in oak and charred over flames, including rye-aged duck breast with Concord grape mosto, parsnips and duck-liver vinaigrette.
217 W. Huron St.; 312-643-2427
When Lyle Aker and Anthony Potenzo and chef Matt Troost opened Three Aces, they brought of touch of cool and a few more motorcycles to Little Italy. The team’s second restaurant, the modern Italian Charlatan, brings the same bits of style — think taxidermy boar heads, white brick walls and black embossed ceiling tiles — to West Town.
1329 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-818-2073
The first local outpost of the Colorado-based company opens in River North. With a community-first philosophy, the riverside restaurant offers a simple menu of farm-to-table fare. Executive chef Johnny Anderes, previously of Telegraph, brings local flavor to the kitchen in the form of Kilgus Farms braised-goat cavatelli and whole roasted Beaverkill trout.
316 N. Clark St.; 312-836-1300
The latest from Mercadito Hospitality is a rambunctious booze hall with an impressive seven-page cocktail menu — designed by the Tippling Brothers — which features draft, frozen, hot and two-fisted drinks. The most Chicago-centric of the bunch is the Deep Dish Manhattan, made with Koval whiskey, Carpano vermouth, Averna and Malört.
646 N. Franklin St. #200; 312-448-9922
In Japanese folklore, Momotaro emerged from a giant peach to battle a horde of demons. The restaurant by the same name, which recently opened in the West Loop, took on a nearly as daunting task: selling Chicago on the idea of an 11,000-sq.-ft. Japanese restaurant. The heroes of this epic tale are chefs Mark Hellyar and Jeff Ramsey, who prepare an exciting menu of sushi, sashimi and hot dishes.
820 W. Lake St.
Logan’s Square’s newest juice bar brands itself as a “chef-driven juice concept by Element Collective, Jared Van Camp and Anne Owen.” This means a collection of cold-pressed juices that aspire to be as healthy as they are flavorful.
2355 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The latest from One Off Hospitality (partners Paul Kahan, Donnie Madia, Terry Alexander and Peter Garfield) is this casual diner that draws inspiration from the 1960s with an all-day menu of Mexican-inspired soul food.
1545 N. Damen Ave.; 773-645-4060
Dave and Megan Miller’s bakery and cafe offers a menu showcasing house-milled grains, and they're not cutting any corners: the wheat flour is stone-ground to order for an extensive bread and pastry program complete with a toast bar, crumpets and cookies.
4610 N. Western Ave.
Pierogi Wagon joins the ranks of the food truck turned brick-and-mortar with this breakfast and lunch restaurant featuring Polish eats like paczki and, yes, pierogi.
1043 N. California Ave.; 312-291-1902
The second location of the popular Mexican sandwich shop opened in West Loop. It's specialty is the cemita, a sandwich on a sesame seed bread layered with pork milanesa, avocado, adobo chipotle peppers, Oaxacan cheese and papalo.
817 W. Fulton Market
The wait is over for Chicago’s first Umami Burger. The LA burger chain set up shop in Wicker Park with its signature burger, topped with a secret sauce — rumored to be a combination of soy, anchovies and vinegar — that's irresistibly addictive.
1480 N. Milwaukee Ave.
After a successful opening, this Lincoln Park sushi spot was forced to shut down when a fire destroyed the bar area. But co-owner Jason Chan, chef BK Park and recent addition Sam McDermott are back and better than ever with a new bar, a hot food menu and sophisticated seafood offerings such as smoked sashimi, uni shooters and toro tartare.
2638 N. Lincoln Ave.; 872-206-8662
The latest food truck to go brick-and-mortar, this counter-service breakfast spot in The Loop specializes in egg sandwiches, gourmet coffee and bacon gingersnap cookies.
23 N. Wacker Dr.
This cool new pizza shop has an amazing patio and rooftop deck — which we'll have to wait until next year to enjoy — as well as a comfortable interior. Its wood-fired pies were inspired by Roberta’s in Brooklyn.
108 N. Green St.
At this walk-up window outside of Lillie’s Q, take your pick of fried chicken dinners served with tupelo honey or sandwiches as well as a selection of sides. Don’t miss the flaky biscuits served with honey butter.
1856 W. North Ave.
This two-story River North sister to the Lakeview arcade bar offers the expected retro games, beer and cocktails. But there's one key difference: a full kitchen offering retro fare with gourmet twists — think Salisbury steak “TV dinner” with sweet corn succotash.
213 W. Institute Place
Bill and Giuliana Rancic of RPM Italian team with Lettuce Entertain You for this River North restaurant that's part Mad Men and part, well, RPM Italian, only with a lot more meat.
66 W. Kinzie St.; 312-284-4990
The second restaurant from the team behind Wood offers modern Spanish cuisine in a cozy West Loop space. Tomato gazpacho, duck breast a la plancha and flan de queso fresco are just a few of the elevated offerings.
621 W. Randolph St.; 312-466-1000