Best New American Restaurants in Chicago

July 25, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Presenting Chicago's must-try spots for New American cuisine.

American · Ravenswood · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.6

"Intense, refined" flavors shine in chef Chris Nugent’s "brilliantly executed" cooking at this New American "treasure" in Ravenswood, where multicourse tasting menus offer a "wonderful gourmet experience" that "takes the whole evening" ; the "cozy" setting "isn’t stuffy at all" , thanks in part to "impeccable" , "welcoming" service, and though it’s pricey, a BYOB policy (you can choose a bottle from their shop next door) adds "value."
Blackbird Restaurant
American · West Loop · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

"Both sophisticated and hip," this "memorable" West Loop "fine-dining staple" from Paul Kahan and company puts out "thoughtful, precise" New American dishes "bursting with flavor" alongside a "well-rounded wine list" and "unique" cocktails; if the "small," "minimalist" setting can be "noisy," that’s just part of its "terrific energy," and the "bargain" prix-fixe lunch special only adds to its appeal.
Lula Cafe
Logan Square · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

Serving farm-to-table cuisine "before it became popular," this Logan Square "mainstay" is a "gold mine" for "exquisite," "creative" New American fare (including an "amazing" vegetarian tasting menu) and "wonderful" cocktails; a "well-informed" staff works the "stylish" yet "laid-back" room where you "never feel rushed" – even when there are "huge lines" for the "fantastic," no-reservations weekend brunch.
Ada Street
Brunch · Pulaski Park · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

"Off-the-beaten-path" in Pulaski Park, this "hole-in-the-wall hot spot" from Michael Kornick and David Morton (DMK Burger) serves "excellent" New American–Mediterranean sharing plates that combine "familiar ingredients" in "inspired" ways, along with "specially crafted drinks" and a "well-curated wine list" ; a "maze-like hallway" leads to the "cool" , "romantic" interior, where the "warm" staff instills a "laid-back" vibe, and the "beautiful" patio is popular in summer.