25 New Restaurants to Try Around ChicagoBy Sarah Freeman
October 3, 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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The latest from One Off Hospitality (partners Paul Kahan, Donnie Madia, Terry Alexander and Peter Garfield) is a 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 that 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
Mexican fare meets American classics at the first counter-service concept from Mercadito Hospitality. The menu consists mostly of tacos and hot dogs with a separate deli section that serves ready-to-eat tamales, marinated meats and cheeses.
738 N. Clark St.; 312-756-7560
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
Take two for the Takito Kitchen team brings them to the West Loop at a vibrant bar and restaurant with a menu of booze-friendly food, including beer cheese arepas and beer tortillas filled with coffee-rubbed beef.
201 N. Morgan St.; 312-888-9485
The reincarnated Henri ditched the white tablecloths and fancy French food for a more casual Italian concept. The restaurant has an enoteca vibe with an extensive wine list, an imported cheese program, pastas and wood-fired pizzas.
18 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-578-0763
Located in a one-time 1930s five-cent hamburger shop, this taco joint specializes in, as the name suggests, authentic tacos using fresh ingredients and traditional flavors. The menu is divided between tacos, tostadas, quesadillas and platillos, which can each be topped with a choice of meats of vegetables along with agua fresca and housemade salsa.
1141 N. Ashland Ave.; 773-360-7345
Bagels — made from a fifteen-year-old recipe that has been perfected by the guys behind Piece — are sliced and schmeared to order at the walk-up counter. Bagels come in an assortment from plain to whole wheat and even beer-flavored. Spreads are equally enticing, with flavors such as Sriracha and caramelized onion.
1931 W. North Ave.; 773-772-4422
Xoco’s second location in Wicker Park aims to serve the same Mexican street food in a shiny, new and larger space. An open kitchen prepares the signature line of tortas as well as appetizers and a full brunch menu, and there's a full bar with a local beer list and three cocktails on draft.
1471 N. Milwaukee Ave.
A 1950s general store meets the rotisserie chicken section of your neighborhood supermarket. The menu specializes in free-range birds, served by the whole, half or quarter, from Pine Manor Farm in Indiana. Don’t miss the “puddings” — aka desserts — including the likes of apple and lemon meringue pie and chocolate brownies.
113-135 N. Green St.; 312-512-8000
Keeping in tune with the neighborhood’s warehouse past, shelves at this casual pizza spot are packed with Italian wines, and dry-cured meats hang from the exposed-concrete ceiling. The open kitchen adorned with subway tiles prepares 10 varieties of pies using a slow-proofed dough that's cooked in a wood-burning oven.
113-135 N. Green St.; 312-512-8000
A desire to satisfy both breakfast and lunch crowds led Jeff Mahin and Francis Brennan to add fried chicken sandwiches to the lineup of gourmet donuts at their new Streeterville outpost.
233 E. Erie St.
Tony Mantuano’s first non-Italian concept is the place to be for giant plates of meat, from whole chickens to skewered fried fish. There's also an extensive charcuterie program and a selection of tavern staples.
315 N. LaSalle St.; 312-822-0100
At this two-story restaurant, bar and music venue, the smell of food cooking hits you right away, stimulating your appetite for bowls of hearth-roasted vegetables, grilled soft-shell crabs and quail on a string.
5311 S. Lake Park Ave. W.; 312-801-2100
We were sad when Telegraph closed in Logan Square, but the light at the end of the tunnel is that Webster’s Wine Bar has taken over the space. Tchotchkes and oversized wine bottles give the U-shaped space a homier feel, and there's a new menu designed by former Telegraph sous-chef Aaron Mooney.
2601 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Pioneering food writer M.F.K. Fisher was the inspiration for this small Lincoln Park seafood spot. Fisher would likely appreciate chef Nick Lacasse’s takes on tempura-fried avocado, whole roasted octopus and half chicken ballotine, as well as traditional Basque cake — the only dessert on the menu.
432 W. Diversey Pkwy.; 773-857-2540