You can’t stay on top of the Chicago dining scene without knowing what’s new — which is why we offer this indispensable list of the most notable restaurant openings around town. We’ll update the guide every week, keeping the latest openings at the top of the page.
The Emporium group’s former Surf Bar has morphed into this low-lit pop-up lounge in Logan Square where Fernet-Branca stars on the distinctive cocktail menu. Vintage living room furniture and communal tables lend a laid-back vibe to the space, featuring greenery and old-fashioned liquor advertising along with pinball and pool tables.
Set in the lobby of the historic hotel-turned-apartment-building Lawrence House, this low-lit Uptown bar offers a concise menu of creative and classic cocktails, plus a few beer and wine selections, in a nostalgic setting with distressed wood and quirky artwork.
From the team behind Millie's Supper Club, this counter-serve Lincoln Park spot features elevated tacos on fresh tortillas, plus a few other Mexican options including guacamole and vegetarian plates, alongside soft drinks. The relaxed space has a modern-rustic vibe with black-and-white photography on the walls.
Firing up crispy, thin-crust pies (including brunch variations) in Lincoln Park, this chef-driven pizza parlor also offers some hearty Italian plates with craft beer and wine in a relaxed, industrial-modern storefront with an open kitchen and seasonal outdoor seating.
Sweet and savory toasts built on house-baked bread meet beer and whiskey on the menu at this West Loop cafe-bar, also serving sandwiches, coffee and pastries in a relaxed setting with reclaimed-wood tables, barrel light fixtures, a marble bar and seasonal outdoor seating.
This casual Asian-fusion cafe in Wicker Park puts out an extensive menu – including vegetarian dishes, desserts, smoothies and Japanese French toast – inside a laid-back storefront with an open kitchen.
Specializing in dramatically plated sushi and specialty rolls (some with unconventional ingredients), this Wicker Park Japanese restaurant also offers a range of kitchen fare in a rustic storefront setting with reclaimed wood and low lighting.
Foraging chef-owner Iliana Regan (Elizabeth) operates this tiny North Center Japanese pub, bringing an elevated sensibility and Midwestern ingredients to a casual, snacky menu starring creative, seasonal takes on small and large sharing plates including ramen, Wagyu beef and okonomiyaki. Stylish yet relaxed, the modern setting hosts a handful of tables and a small bar mixing sake cocktails.
A chalkboard menu announces the catch of the day at this casual Cajun-Creole seafood spot in Lincoln Park, where shellfish boils with various sauces, spice levels and sides are the house specialty. A variety of po’ boys, fried fare in baskets and funnel cake round out the easygoing bill of fare.
NewCoffee ShopLogan Square
These funky coffeehouses are known for their crafty pour-over java drinks made from proprietary beans, plus light fare such as breakfast bagels, skillet burritos and deli sandwiches, offered in hip environs also carrying retail coffee from the roastery at the Roscoe Village outpost.
Louisiana-style shellfish boils (with dairy or non-dairy butter), fried seafood classics and organic juice cocktails are the lures at this stylish River West outpost also offering weekend brunch. The airy, contemporary space is accented by high ceilings, exposed brick and a glowing central bar, and there's also an upstairs cocktail lounge serving sandwiches and snacks.
The tasting room of this industrial West Town microbrewery pours about a dozen house brews (and offers canned ‘crowlers’ to go in lieu of larger growlers) in a hip warehouse setting with TVs and views of the vats.
Spicy, homestyle Kurdish cooking is the draw at this casually stylish Lakeview spot serving lunch, dinner and brunch featuring the regional Middle Eastern eats – such as shareable platters of lamb and eggplant or distinctive Kurdish crêpes – alongside beer, wine, tea and coffee.
Two veteran chefs of Les Nomades helm this Noble Square fine-dining destination, offering creative New American tasting menus highlighting a specific seasonal ingredient in each course, with optional wine pairings and classic cocktails. Sophisticated and modern, the intimate, 20-seat setting boasts dramatic touches such as recessed LED lighting that alters throughout your meal and custom-built tables with hidden compartments that may open to reveal surprises during dinner.
Doner kebabs and craft beers star on the menu at this Avondale hangout born of the DönerMen food truck, also serving up salads, rice bowls, poutine and curry fries in a funky setting with Dungeons & Dragons-inspired decor.
Taiwanese fare for lunch and dinner draws fans to this casually stylish Bridgeport BYOB where hot pots, oyster omelets and bao populate a menu with a full page devoted to hot and cold tea drinks.
Specializing in miniature bowls of ramen and other Japanese pub plates, this izakaya-style spot in River North sports rustic-chic decor with heavy wood beams and tables and an open kitchen.
Sushi and Thai fare share the diverse menu at this cozy, casual Portage Park neighborhood restaurant with a BYOB policy and daily lunch specials.
Logan Square is home field to this retro-inspired sports bar serving elevated pub eats in the form of seasonal sharing plates paired with crafty cocktails and beers. The cozy space features a fireplace, antique sporting equipment and knickknacks, plus a massive patio with bocce courts and fire pits.
Filipino fare is featured at this international chain outpost in Mayfair (a stand inside the massive Seafood City market) serving distinctive fried chicken, burgers, spaghetti and breakfast, plus bubble tea and halo-halo frozen desserts.