25 New Restaurants to Try Around ChicagoBy Zagat Staff | May 15, 2015 By Zagat Staff | May 15, 2015
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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Memorize these words: Sour Saturday. It's just one of the draws of the brewery's shiny new tasting room. At the long wood bar, outfitted with eight taps and a cask engine, enjoy first-release beers as well as hard-to-find seasonal ales. Every Saturday, there'll be a limited sour beer, while Black Fridays bring a variant of Bourbon County Stout. And after drinking a few of Goose’s finest, you can tour where the beer is made.
Let the summer of rosé Sno Cones begin at this alfresco-only eatery adjacent to Nellcôte and RM Champagne Salon. The sidewalk patio covered with rows of yellow flags offers a limited menu designed to pair with sunny afternoons and glasses of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, including oysters, crudo, salads, and small plates like burrata topped with smoked trout roe and watercress.
With such lovable watering holes as Sportsman's Club and Lone Wolf under their belt, there's a lot of excitement about Heisler Hospitality's new British-Indian beer pub. The intimate space features wood booths, communal tables and the original wood bar, which is now guarded by two stuffed peacocks, while the menu features Indian fare, a unique beer list and Pimm’s Cup cocktails.
2049 W. Division St.; 773-661-6874
This Ohio ice cream legend begins its Chicago invasion with its first outpost in the north suburbs (six more are planned throughout the city). Offering decadent flavors like chocolate-chunk-filled black raspberry, Greater’s is a family-run creamery dating back to 1870. The 35-seat shop offers cones, sundaes, malts, milkshakes, banana splits and ice cream sodas.
Todd Stein's menu at this sophisticated Michigan Avenue restaurant from 4 Star Restaurant Group (The Smoke Daddy, Frasca, Dunlay’s, D.O.C. Wine Bar and Crosby’s Kitchen) focuses on local ingredients. Lobster deviled eggs and 18-oz. dry-aged prime bone-in strip are served alongside classic cocktails, wine and beer.
20 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-782-6000
Cocoa + Co.
This Old Town arrival offers a decadent assortment of baked goods, bonbons and beverages made with chocolate from 35 small producers. The main attraction is a wall of 175 bars from chocolatiers throughout the world.
A new cocktail lounge in the corner of Chicken Shop hopes to attract locals to British social club Soho House. Fox Bar tapped bartender Ronnie Higgins, formerly of The Revel Room, to put together a Chicago-centric cocktail program (including one named after former mayor Jayne Byrne). There's also a limited food menu with dishes like chicken nuggets and a burger.
113 N. Green St.; 312-521-8000
Longtime industry vet David de Quay worked at kitchens around the country before opening this Lincoln Park establishment serving Dutch and Indonesian cuisine. Diners can start in the West with black-pepper-Gouda dumplings and genever-marinated salmon gravlax before moving East with tamarind duck and Javanese chicken satay.
2470 N. Lincoln Ave.; 872-206-8820
This Andersonville BBQ spot offers the same pork-belly pastrami and St. Louis-style ribs that made the Avondale original famous. The new location also offers unique items, such as Nashville hot fried chicken and beef tri tip. To drink, the bar counters the BBQ with a serious bourbon list (Whistle Pig 10-year, anyone?) as well as beer, wine and cocktails.
The Loop welcomes the latest edition to the steakhouse team, a modern take on the mid-1900s supper club from the team behind Siena Tavern, Public House and Bull & Bear. With its Carrara marble bars, walnut tables, leather booths and wrought-iron accents, it's a luxe experience, with a price tag to match. Executive chef Anthony Fraske offers an assortment of U.S.D.A. Prime Creekstone Farms all-natural Black Angus beef finished with Wisconsin grass-fed butter as well as seafood and cigars.
222 N. Lasalle St.; 312-726-7777
C.C. Ferns Coffee
Brendan Sodikoff continues his plan to turn Humboldt Park into a culinary destination with this coffee shop adjacent to California Clipper. Distressed-wood walls and retro furniture covered in mismatched pillows give the space a '70s-style basement vibe. The shop serves La Colombe coffee and donuts from Doughnut Vault.
Two former Hot Doug’s line cooks are hoping to keep the spirit of the encased-meat emporium alive with a new gourmet hot dog spot. The menu mirrors its predecessor, with options including Santa Fe chicken sausage and a smoked Thuringer as well as duck-fat fries on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Although it missed its Columbus Day opening day, the new fast-casual Indian restaurant is now open in Wicker Park. The menu features an approachable assortment of classic dishes, from chicken tikka masala to chana masala. Meals include a choice of three or four protein and vegetarian entrees with basmati or brown rice.
The newest location of Goddess & the Grocer ditches the shelves of preserved and packaged goods for a larger selection of sandwiches, salads, flatbreads and gelato. In addition to specialty coffee drinks, such as Goodie’s Gringo Horchata (cold brew, cinnamon, rice milk and lime shaken over ice), the restaurant also serves beer and wine by the glass.
All hail the neighborhood tavern, making a comeback in Humboldt Park thanks to Rodney Staton and Jason Balutan. Here, a concise menu of gourmet bar snacks and heartier entrees is paired with an extensive menu of draft, bottled and canned beer. The cozy space features a vintage metal tile ceiling, dark-wood booths and an L-shaped wood bar.
2759 W. Augusta Blvd.; 773-661-1084
A bit of Bourbon Street makes its way to Edgewater via this Cajun and Creole spot by the owner of Toon's Bar & Grill. Louisiana Jambalaya, blacked catfish, boudin balls and hurricane cocktails are among the more traditional offerings served in the rustic 80-seat space. It also boasts a rooftop patio with additional seating for 30.
5352 N. Broadway St. 773-555-1212
David Flom and Matt Moore (Chicago Cut) venture into the realm of seafood, which is delivered daily to this 8,000-sq.ft. River North spot (complete with fish tanks). Chef Bill Montagne, who honed his skills at New York’s Le Bernardin, offers elegant dishes such as scallop carpaccio and sea urchin pasta as well as a show-stopping turbot baked in salt-herb dough.
20 W. Kinzie St.; 312-280-8882
Competitive eating champions Pat Bertoletti and Tim Brown tapped their love of gluttonous foods for this over-the-top restaurant specializing in, as the name suggest, various flavors of bagged tacos. Fill up with cheeseburger-, pizza- or BBQ-inspired tacos, as well as bags of donut holes drenched with toppings like Nutella.
4604 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-250-2437
Since 1988, pitmaster John Stage has been slow-smoking meats for his now nationally acclaimed Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. What started as a single smokehouse in Syracuse, NY, has since expanded to several East Coast locations and this new Chicago outpost. The two-story restaurant and music venue serves a plethora of smoky delights, including signature items like BBQ wings and several dishes unique to this location — think pork three ways.
923 W. Weed St.; 312-462-1053
Chef Roland Liccioni (Les Nomades) explores the playful side of French cuisine with this bakery, brasserie and bar serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dine on croque madame egg rolls, “French’d Fried” chicken wings and six different variations on the French Dip sandwich in an ornately tilled dining room with a marble bar and black metal accents.
100 W. Monroe St.; 312-236-1234
Former Fish Bar executive chef Brian Ahern is behind this upscale meat-centric brasserie with German influences — think dry-aged steaks and raw seafood platters — housed in a slightly ominous black building on Western. It offers an elegant addition to the up-and-coming culinary destination, with cozy tables along an exposed brick wall and a long bar that leads to the open kitchen. Expect a deli counter serving made-to-order sandwiches to open soon.
1012 N. Western Ave. 773-661-2116
The nationally recognized gelato chain opened its first storefront in Chicago in the Gold Coast. Founded by childhood friends Cristiano Sereni and Paolo Benassi, it's known for all-natural gelato that's served in the shape of a flower — signature flavors include bourbon-vanilla, Ecuadorian chocolate and Speculoos, and there's a rotating flavor of the month (currently blueberry cheesecake). The charming space is reminiscent of an old Italian cafe with stone walls and wood accents, and also serves Lavazza coffee drinks, gourmet chocolates and waffles.
This Wrigleyville offshoot of Pearl Tavern specializes in pizzas with creative ingredients and rock-music names. Canned beers and cocktails star at the bar, and the expansive, bi-level pub setting has TVs, reclaimed-wood walls, high-top tables and a live-music stage.
3530 N. Clark St.; 773-789-8864
The Scofflaw crew turns their attention to seafood at this Logan Square hang turning out a thoroughly modern menu including oysters, creative shared plates and a handful of fish-free entrees. Whitewashed brick, wood shingles, rope and model ships lend a decidedly nautical vibe to the space, while blue banquettes and barstools lend a pop of color.
3213 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-486-7465
Ramen bowls, small plates and cocktails can be found at this hip West Loop Japanese. Inside you'll find bar seating, bare wood tables, low lighting and Asian signage.
819 W. Fulton Market; 312-498-1416