Tapster

Tapster

Wicker Park

Chicago's first pour-your-own-beer bar has arrived. The bi-level bar features a "tapwall" lined with 32 beers and eight wines on the first floor, and a "small wall" with 22 taps for draft cocktails, craft soda, Metric coffee, and a variety of kombucha. The self-serve style operates similarly to Chicago's many DIY frozen yogurt shops, and is both approachable enough for beer neophytes and sophisticated enough for the most persnickety of craft aficionados. Paninis, Belgian waffles, upmarket popcorn, and fondue are on hand at the deli counter in the back to soak up all those suds.

Kailley Lindman/Thrillist

FireFin Poke Franklin

Loop

Following the raging success of its first location, this local poke stalwart has opened a second outpost in the Loop. This new space is roughly twice the size as the original, offers plenty of communal seating, and is outfitted with bright colors in a Hawaiian motif. Score the same customizable bowls and salads you know and love from the original, all in a great new setting.

Honey's

The Hive

West Loop

Tucked away within buzz-worthy Honey's in what was formerly used as a private dining space, this cozy, candlelit cocktail bar seats just 31 guests, and has a rotating daily drink lineup crafted by the skilled mixology team. Stay tuned for a forthcoming food menu.

Courtesy of Arun's Thai Restaurant

Arun's Thai Restaurant

Albany Park

Following a brief closure, this acclaimed fine-dining restaurant has reopened with a revamped space and menu. The main dining room boasts new floors, ceilings, and lighting, while two prix-fixe menus (10 and 12 courses!) feature dishes like five-flower pork with a peppery turmeric curry sauce, sweet curried lobster, coconut ice cream with sticky rice, sweet potato, and pandan-coconut cream. Cocktails like a Thai basil mojito and a Tanqueray No. Ten-based Negroni from the new beverage menu complement the vibrant, flavor-rich dishes.

Galdones Photography

Ella Elli

Lakeview

The latest from 4 Star Restaurant Group (Crosby's Kitchen, The Windsor) brings a romantic vibe and globally inspired fare to its 75-seat storefront in Southport Corridor. Plush seating and dim lighting provide a warm backdrop while you linger over trendy dishes like avocado toast with a slow-poached egg, roasted fennel with citrus and fennel pollen, and grilled octopus with crispy potato and salsa verde. The Meyer lemon pound cake with tarragon and chantilly and a pleasantly sweet Singapore Sling round out the experience.

Palette

Gold Coast

Chef/owner Derek Rylon of Lincoln Park's popular Batter & Berries throws his hat into Gold Coast's brunch ring with this casual eatery in the former Tip Top Inn space. Expect waffle flights comprised of blueberry, strawberry, and chocolate-raspberry and nut-laden bundt cakes, as well as supper-ready bites like barbecue-blackened shrimp and Chilean sea bass sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil, drizzled with a raw sugar glaze.

Mi Tocaya

Logan Square

Following a brief stint at the now-closed Cantina 1910, chef Diana Dávila debuts her first restaurant, a modern Mexican spot punctuated with intricate tile flooring and a cheerful botanical mural painted across the bar. Her unique menu is a lesson in the ingredients, techniques, and traditions across Mexico -- amped up with her fresh approach to cooking -- and includes queso fundido, peanut butter y lengua, al pastor tacos, lamb barbacoa, and flan de queso.

Barry Brecheisen

SafeHouse Chicago

River North

The folks behind the legendary spy-themed Milwaukee destination have expanded their kitschy dining experience to Chicago with this clandestine spot in River North. The space is decked out in espionage artifacts, including a piece of the Berlin Wall and a flight deck from an authentic WWII spy plane, and features thematically on-point bar and dining areas like the Spybrary, the Seduction Lounge, and the Interrogation room. The menu includes staples from the Milwaukee location like the "fried C4 cheese curds" and the "M.O.A.B." (Mother of All Burgers), topped with secret sauce and an over-easy egg, as well as new additions like tacos and a James Bond-inspired "Goldfinger grilled cheese" made with American, Parmesan, pepper jack, and house-made cheese curds on thick-cut fried toast.

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