If you tried to keep track of every brand new restaurant in Chicago, you might go a little bit crazy. So just read this list instead. These are the new restaurant openings that seem like they have the most potential - although keep in mind, for the ones we haven’t tried, we make no promises. Go forth and be a pioneer.
Editor’s Note 6/15: All restaurants listed below are currently open for carryout, delivery, or outdoor dining.
This is a brand new spot in Chinatown from the same chef as Lao Sze Chuan. As of right now, Hunan Cuisine is only open for carryout and delivery, with dishes like steamed whole fish with chilis, braised eggplant, and Hunan-style tofu.
Smiley's Breakfast Sandwich Co.
Smiley’s Breakfast Sandwich Co. is a new delivery-only spot operating out of Dog House in Lincoln Park. As the name implies, the focus here is on breakfast - specifically one sandwich (your choice of meat with cheese, peppers, mayo, and a fried egg on French bread), and a breakfast platter.
Cheba Hut Toasted Subs
Cheba Hut is a chain of weed-themed restaurants, and now there’s one in Wicker Park. They serve a variety of sandwiches (with names like “Chronic” and “Kush”), small bites (like nachos and pretzel nuggets), and cocktails. They’re offering carryout and delivery along with dine-in service.
Wake 'N Bacon
OK, between new spots Cheba Hut, HotBox, and now Wake ’N Bacon, we can officially say that weed-themed restaurants are a trend. Wake ’N Bacon is a new brunch spot in Lakeview and has things like breakfast burritos, ube pancakes, and chicken and waffles. Oh, and you can add CBD to anything on the menu.
Big Kids is a 90s-themed sandwich shop that just opened in the now-closed Young American space in Logan Square from the former chef of Blackbird and a chef from New Orleans’ Turkey and the Wolf. The short menu has sandwiches like fried bologna and a collard melt, along with sides like pasta salad, and cocktails
Evette’s is a Lebanese and Mexican spot that’s opening on October 15th in Lincoln Park. You’ll find shawarma plates and wraps (with chicken, lamb, beef, or halloumi), and tacos (like al pastor and quesabirria), as well as starters like pita nachos.
Grapes & Grains
A lot of new restaurants have opened recently, but we haven’t seen many brand new cocktail bars since the shutdown. But that’s what Grapes & Grains in the West Loop is, with a focus on wine and classic cocktails. There’s also a food menu, with things like cheese and charcuterie, foie gras, and burrata. They’re seating indoors at 25% capacity, and you can pre-order online.
This is a new all-day Croatian cafe in River North. Doma’s menu has things like ćevapi, grain bowls, avocado toast, and an assortment of coffee drinks.
The original Mary’s has been in Garfield Park since 1968, and this is their new carryout and delivery-only location that operates out of a shared kitchen space in Humboldt Park. You’ll find the same rib tips, fried catfish, and burgers on the menu here as the original location.
If you’re looking for a new coffee shop in Auburn Gresham, Afro Joe’s has you covered. Along with coffee drinks, they have pastries and breakfast sandwiches, and a lunch menu launching soon.
Hotbox By Whiz
This is an unapologetic “stoner food” focused delivery-only chain. The “Whiz” in question is Whiz Khalifa, and you’ll find dishes like “mac and yellow” on the menu, along with “blazed burnt ends” and a “mile-high” chocolate brownie.
There have been a lot of virtual restaurants opening recently, and now Bokuchan can be added to that list. This takeout-only spot specializes in Japanese curry, with dishes like the tonkatsu kare, a shaved beef udon curry, and the poutine - waffle fries topped with curry, parmesan, and tonkatsu sauce.
This is a new carryout and delivery-only spot operating out of The Hatchery - a restaurant incubator in Garfield Park. And Empanada Mama focuses on (you guessed it) empanadas, along with bites like shrimp ceviche and Puerto Rican rice.
Avvio Italian Kitchen
This is a brand new Italian restaurant in Irving Park from the former chef of Sabatino’s. And if you were a fan of that now-closed classic Chicago spot, you’ll be excited that Avvio has many of the same dishes, like the Shrimp DeJonghe and baked Alaska.
Bloom Vegetarian Kitchen
We’re big fans of Amaru in Wicker Park, so we’re excited about Bloom, a brand new vegetarian restaurant from the same team. This spot has dishes like their tacu tacu (a rice and chickpea cake with achiote curry), the cashew e pepe (made with kelp noodles and cashew cheese), and a vegan samosa chaat.
This is a new all-day restaurant in Irving Park from the former chef of the (now closed) Ravenswood brunch spot Marmalade. The menu full of things like crepes, french toast, and chilaquiles, and dinner options like tacos, burgers, and burritos.
This new spot is a virtual restaurant operating out of Humboldt Park. The menu has a long selection of burgers (including the Elvis Impersonator - a beef patty topped with peanut banana spread, bacon, and cheese) along with sandwiches and hot dogs.
This is another brand new delivery-only restaurant, and it specializes in katsu sandwiches. Cat-Su Sando has five different versions on their menu (like fried pork cutlet or one made with smoked fish), along with kushiyaki, okonomiyaki, and onigiri.
Ok, so technically Ørkenoy isn’t quite open yet - that happens on Friday the 18th. But we still want you to know about this new bar in the Kimball Arts Center in Humboldt Park. It serves beer, cocktails, bar snacks, and a selection of smørrebrød.
Living Water Tea House
This is a new tea parlor in University Village. Living Water’s menu has a variety of teas (like Pu-erh, Dong Ding Oolong, and Matcha) and pastries like salted egg yolk and taro su. They also sell teaware.
Lincoln Ice Cream Company
As the name suggests, this is a new ice cream shop in Lincoln Square. Along with ice cream, Lincoln Ice Cream Company also has Cuban pastries, and snacks like nachos, walking tacos, and Nutella sandwiches.
Gold Goose Tartine
This is a new food stall opening in Politan Row. Gold Goose specializes in tartines, sandwiches, and snacks like cheese and olives.
Krewe Po'boy Shop
Krewe is a brand new Southern-style sandwich shop in Wrigleyville. Along with po’boys, the menu also has jambalaya, collard greens, and mac and cheese.
Marvin's Food & Fuel
This is a new all-day spot in Fulton Market, in the same space that used to have La Sirena Clandestina. Marvin’s focuses on dishes like burgers, sandwiches, and chicken wings.
Before closing, the original Tallboy was in River North. Now it’s reopened, in a brand new Streeterville location. The menu is the same (tacos on handmade tortillas and sides like chips with salsa) and the new space also has outdoor seating.
Froth is a new coffee shop and cafe in the West Loop, that also has a fantastic patio. Along with coffee drinks, they also have sandwiches, tartines, and breakfast dishes like soft scrambled eggs.
Etta - River North
The second location of Etta is now open in River North. It has the same menu as the original and also has an outdoor patio.
Azul is a new seafood restaurant that just opened along the Chicago River. The menu is Latin-inspired, and you’ll find dishes like ceviche, lobster empanadas, and shrimp tacos.
This is a new Bucktown restaurant from the team behind Savannah Supper Club and Hutch. Like it’s sister restaurants, Savannah Luncheonette has appetizers like spinach artichoke dip and nachos, and entrees like roasted chicken or baby-back ribs.
Japan-based cream puff chain Beard Papa’s opened a store in Wicker Park. They have a bunch of varieties, topped with things like cereal and Oreos, and with a lot of different fillings.
Edie’s All Day Cafe
There’s a new all-day cafe in River North. Edie’s serves coffee, food, and booze, and is designed to be a place for people to hang out, eat, and work (if they want).
The Halal Guys
Fast-casual restaurant The Halal Guys opened a location on the Loyola campus in Roger’s Park.
The Tamale Guy
It’s official: The Tamale Guy has finally opened a restaurant in Ukrainian Village. It’s carryout only, and the menu is full of (you guessed it) tamales.
The pizza at Pizza Lobo might be familiar - it got its start by serving slices out of Lone Wolf bar in the West Loop. Now the New York-style pies have their very own place to call home in Logan Square. For right now their carryout and delivery only, but will be opening a patio for outdoor dining soon.
This is a brand new brewpub that just opened in Wicker Park. The Perch is a collaboration between 4 Star Restaurant Group and Finch Beer Co., and serves food like burgers, steaks, and roasted cauliflower. This place also has a lot of outdoor space - there’s a large patio and a sculpture garden, too.
Jeff & Judes
Ok, so this is technically a soft opening, but it still counts. Jeff & Judes is a Jewish deli that just opened in Ukrainian Village, and (for right now) is operating out of a walk-up window. Their menu changes daily, and you’ll find things like challah, rye, and sweet and savory pastries.
This is a new cereal bar and candy shop that just opened in Beverly. Along with treats like fruity pebble shakes and cereal snack mixes, you can also get savory things like walking tacos.
Flour Power is a new handmade pasta shop in West Town from two people who used to work at Schwa. You can either get your pasta as a meal kit (with options like malfade bolognese or bucatini amatriciana) or ready-to-eat.
Logan Square has a brand new Italian restaurant. Testaccio is from the owners of Osteria Langhe, and the menu focuses on Roman food. There’s both a patio and courtyard available for outdoor dining.
Robert Et Fils
This is a new French spot in North Center. Robert Et Fils is starting out with family-style meals for takeout only but plans on adding patio dining soon and (at some point) indoor as well.
Dr. Murphy's Food Hall
This is a brand new Mexican restaurant in River North, focusing on food from the coast. The menu has things like ceviche, seafood tacos, and tropical cocktails.
Kasama is a takeout and delivery-only Filipino-inspired restaurant and bakery. You’ll find dishes like mushroom adobo and lumpia, along with baked goods like croissants and ube basque cakes.
As the name would suggest, Pizza Friendly Pizza is a new pizza spot. It just opened in Ukrainian Village (in the former Bite Cafe space), and specializes in Sicilian-style pies.
This is a new coffee shop that just opened in Logan Square. Along with coffee, Me Latte also serves a selection of sweet and savory empanadas.
Sugar Blow is a new bakery and snack shop in Boystown. They have treats like milkshakes and Nutella cookies, along with savory options like fries and grilled plantains.
Taste Of The Philippines
Taste Of The Philippines is a brand new Filipino restaurant in the French Market, serving things like pancit, lumpia, and ube donuts.
Juna Ethical Takeout
Juna is a carryout restaurant in Avondale that focuses on locally-sourced food, and using sustainable packaging. You’ll find dishes like grilled tofu, roasted carrot hummus, and grass-fed burgers.
Buzzed Bull Creamery
You (probably) don’t have enough ice cream and/or booze in your life. Luckily, Buzzed Bull Creamery just opened in Wicker Park. This spot has made-to-order ice cream (they use liquid nitrogen), and specializes in customizable, alcohol-infused flavors.
Crushed By Giants
This is a new brewery that just opened in Streeterville. Along with beer, Crushed By Giants also has tacos and burgers.
A brand new location of this salad chain opened in Wicker Park, and this one has a covered patio.
A new delivery-only sushi spot just opened in the West Loop. Krispy rice comes from LA and serves cutely-packaged combination boxes filled with things like hand rolls, spicy tuna on crispy rice, and maki.
Tavern On The Point
Tavern On The Point is a new restaurant in Edison Park with food like burgers and nachos, plus a rooftop available for outdoor dining.
The team behind Omakase Yume has opened an izakaya right next door. TenGoku Aburiya’s menu has noodles, donburi, and skewers.
Uncooked is a new grab-and-go vegan spot in the West Loop. As the name would suggest, it specializes in raw food with plant-based dishes like matcha chia pudding, kelp noodle cacio e pepe, and radish ravioli with kale pesto.
PB & J
This is a large, full-blown restaurant that just opened the West Loop. PB & J stands for pizza, beer, and jukebox - and you’ll find all three here. There’s also a menu section filled with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, including one that costs $350 (yes, really) made with a whole loaf of bread and luxury ingredients like rare honey and gold leaf.
Fiya is a Middle Eastern restaurant with a large outdoor patio, and a menu full of hummus and wood-fired dishes like chicken or roasted sweet potato with creme fraiche.
Full disclosure: Ever isn’t open until August. But this 10-course tasting menu spot from the former chef of Grace is taking reservations. Dinner is $285 per person, and only available for indoor dining.
We’re big fans of the original Bob’s in Pilsen. So, we couldn’t be happier that this pizza spot has opened a new location in Old Town, and can share their delicious Pilsen-style pies (not a real pizza-style, but we don’t care) with a new neighborhood.
The Rooftop At Nobu Hotel
After a lot of delays (seven years worth), Nobu’s rooftop is open. This bar is 11 stories up, and along with a long list of sake and cocktails, is also serving Japanese-inspired small plates and sushi.
This is a new Spanish place from the team behind Beatnik. Mama Delia is located in the old Black Bull space and has opened a large patio for outdoor dining.
This is the first Chicago location (there’s already one in Skokie) of this popular Filipino fast-food restaurant. And while it’s technically in River North, Jollibee is actually a delivery-only virtual restaurant.
Well, we officially have a brand new rooftop that we can actually visit. The Kennedy is on top of the Hyatt in Wicker Park and has a long menu full of cocktails and bar food. And since Chicago is allowed to eat and drink outside, you can actually go here and check it out.
The Han Burger
The Han Burger focuses on roujiamo, which are Chinese sandwiches. The menu here is very short, just two filling options inside a homemade mó bun - pork belly or brisket with cilantro and chili paste, and a side of spicy potatoes.
Food On The Run
This is a new Soul food spot in Auburn Gresham. The menu changes daily, but you can expect to find things like smothered chicken, pot roast, and sides like collard greens or mac and cheese. Available for carryout and delivery.
Gretel is a new restaurant in Logan Square from the team behind Little Bad Wolf. The menu is similar, with dishes like ramen and lumpia, along with burgers and sandwiches.
Gotham Bagels started in Madison, and this is their first Chicago location. The menu has sandwiches, spreads, and extras like pickled vegetables and smoked salmon. Available for carryout and delivery.
Swift & Sons Tavern
What used to be Dutch & Doc’s in Wrigleyville is now Swift & Sons Tavern, a spin-off of West Loop steakhouse Swift & Sons. The tavern is more casual than its sister restaurant, but is still focusing on steak and oysters.
Plant Based Junkie
This is a new vegan restaurant in Avalon Park, and they’re using their name to make sure there’s no confusion about what they serve. The menu has food like burgers, brats, and nachos, and everything is (obviously) plant-based.
Honeybear Cafe is a new restaurant in Rogers Park. It’s open from 7am-4pm every day with a long menu of breakfast food like pancakes, skillets, and crepes, but also serves sandwiches and salads in the afternoon.
Ok, we admit this opening is a little confusing. Cobblestone is a new restaurant in North Center that took over the former Northman space (which just closed). But it’s from the team behind the Bohemian House (also closed). You can expect to find European pub food like fish and chips, sausages, and (for now) the same long cider list.
Daebak Korean BBQ
We really like the original Daebak in Chinatown. This is their brand new location in Lincoln Park, and it serves the exact same Korean BBQ menu (and hopefully the same delicious kimchi pancake).
This is a new BYOB Mexican restaurant in Archer Heights. It’s mainly seafood-focused (with ceviches and whole-roasted fish), but also has things like burgers too.
The original My Place was in Chinatown and closed a year ago. They recently reopened in a new spot in the South Loop, with the same long menu filled with noodle soups, stir frys, and appetizers like shrimp toast and spicy pig ears.
El Fogón de Elena
El Fogon De Elan is an all-day Latin American spot that just opened in Albany Park. You’ll find dishes like the El Fogon Celentano (rice with steak, chorizo, chicharron, beans, eggs, and sweet plantains), arepas, and a variety of grilled meat entrees.
Antepli Turkish Gourmet
This is a casual new Turkish spot in Albany Park. The menu has a selection of spreads, soups, kebabs, and desserts like baklava.
Quiote was a great Mexican restaurant that closed last year. So we’re glad that Quiote’s former chef just opened Mundano, a brand new Latin American-inspired place in Lincoln Park. You’ll find dishes like savory churros with manchego, crispy pig’s ears, and smoked whitefish with salsa verde.
Mrs. Gu Skewer Hot Pot
Mrs. Gu is a hot pot chain from China, and this new Chinatown location is the first one to open in the United States. You choose from five different broths and grab all the ingredients (like meats and vegetables) that go into the pot from self-serve coolers and stations.
Yuzuya Asian Grill
This is a brand new fast-casual Asian spot from the team behind Yuzu, a sushi restaurant in West Town. It’s a build-your-own-bowl operation, where you choose your base, protein, and sauce.
Since Chicago can never have enough pizza places, we’re glad that Gallucci just opened in Old Town. This spot specializes in Neapolitan pies - like the Tartufata made with truffle cream and prosciutto, or the Norma topped with fried eggplant and smoked provolone.
Chicago Board Game Cafe
In case it wasn’t obvious, this new spot in Logan Square is board game-themed. The menu is made of Spanish and Vietnamese small plates, and during dinner, a “professional board game teacher” will help you and your group choose a game to play.
This is a new upscale Mexican restaurant in Pilsen. The menu has dishes like shrimp empanadas, fried avocado tacos, and roast chicken in mole.
Eat Me Milk Me
This opening kind of sounds like the name of a Marilyn Manson album, but it’s actually a new coffee and tea shop in the West Loop. Eat Me Milk Me also serves bubble tea, cold foam tea, along with baos.
Black & Caspian
Black & Caspian is a new Mediterranean and Italian restaurant in Lakeview East. This means you can find everything from kebabs to pasta, and it’s open for brunch on the weekend.
Dash Of Salt And Pepper
Dash Of Salt And Pepper is a new breakfast spot in Lincoln Park. They’re open every day from 7am to 1pm, and serve classic diner food.
This is a rotary sushi bar in Chinatown, which means they have self-serve sushi on a conveyor belt. And it’s actually Sushi Plus’s third location.
Welcome Back Lounge
This is a new 70s and 80s themed restaurant in Logan Square. Welcome Back has snacks like chicken wings, mini corn dogs, and stadium nachos. The entrees are mostly sandwiches, with a walk-up window for ordering hot dogs.
Lexington Betty Smoke House
Lexington Betty Smoke House is a food truck and restaurant in Oak Park, and this is their new BBQ stall in the One Eleven Food Hall in Pullman. They’re serving things like smoked ribs, brisket and rib tips, along with sides like macaroni, biscuits, and candied yams.
Chile Toreado is a new restaurant in McKinley Park from the people behind 5 Rabanitos, one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in the city. The menu has dishes like crepes and tlayudas, and there’s also a full bar. Just be aware, right now this place is cash only.
Burning Bush Brewery
Opened by a former pastor (hence the name), this new North Center brewery has a BYOF taproom and occasional visits from food trucks.
It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that RPM Seafood, the new restaurant from the same team as RPM Steak and RPM Italian, is focusing on - wait for it - seafood. The long menu has things like crudo, shellfish towers, and grilled fish, along with some steaks and pastas. And this upscale spot is down the street from its predecessors in River North.
I'm Vegan & Vegetarian
We also doubt you’ll be shocked that a restaurant named “I’m Vegan And Vegetarian” focuses on plant-based food. This new casual Thai BYOB in Lakeview has vegan dishes like pad siew, spring rolls, and tofu satay.
This is a new Great Lakes-themed restaurant in the South Loop, which means the menu has lots of fish like trout and walleye. There are also pizzas - but we’re not sure what those have to do with Lake Michigan.
Same Same Thai Bar And Kitchen
Along with noodles, curry, and dishes like Thai-style fried chicken, this new Thai restaurant in Roscoe Village also has a full cocktail bar.
Chi Yatai in Chinatown is a new spot in the Richland Center food court, with Japanese street food like katsu sandos, takoyaki, and bubble tea.