July was hot, but the surge of new restaurants hitting the Chicago dining scene was even hotter (literally -- some of them involve smokers and open flames). From a lobster pierogi place to a couple of food trucks-turned-restaurants, here are the nine best that opened this past month.

Sean Cooley

Husky Hog BBQ

Bridgeport
If food trucks expanding to brick-and-mortar locations is trending right now, consider Husky Hog BBQ on trend. One of our favorite rolling barbecue purveyors' new shop on W 31st St is now the permanent home base for its famous juicy ribs and pulled pork, as well as deep-fried Oreos and smoked corn on the cob that's so good, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered eating corn any other way.

Sean Cooley

The Promontory

Hyde Park
After years of anticipation, the team behind Longman & Eagle and Dusek’s has launched The Promontory, a part-restaurant, part-bar, part-music venue inspired by nearby Promontory Point’s fire pits. Chef Jared Wentworth’s “hearth-to-table” cuisine centers around cooking over an open flame, and includes everything from navarin of lamb to cornbread panzanella with hearth-roasted tomato and charred romaine. In case you missed it, here's an in-depth look at the fire-fueled menu.

Sean Cooley

Emporium Logan Square

Logan Square
We’re guessing you’re probably familiar with Emporium’s Wicker Park location (and have the gnarled, NBA Jam fingers to prove it). Well, we’re here to let you know that the arcade bar 2.0 is even bigger than the original. Video games are a given, but the new space also now comes equipped with an indoor food truck that's slingin’ sammies, plus there's vintage pinball, bubble hockey, pool, 40+ varieties of canned beer, and Nintendo fever dream murals decking the walls.

Bohemian House

Bohemian House

River North
This fresh, new concept is an ode to Bohemian culture in all its manifestations, with rustic-meets-glam décor and eclectic fare that’s rooted in Central Europe. The menu, created and executed by Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos, features small plates like salt and vinegar chips and knackwurst in a blanket, large plates like spaetzle and skirt steak, and unforgettable plates like caramelized plum Kolacky and an inventive take on coffee and donuts with hazelnut brittle. Also, check out the craft cocktails. Oh, and drink them, too.

Mercadito Fish

Mercadito Fish

Gold Coast
This seafood concept is the latest entry in Mercadito Hospitality’s ever-expanding roster of Chicago restaurants, and promises an abundance of crustaceans, bivalves, and other morsels of seafaring lore. Noteworthy preparations include refreshing sliced hamachi crudo with miso, shiso, and fried shallots, and a tuna tataki club sandwich drizzled in ginger-wasabi dressing. Not a seafood fan? Also a communist? There are a couple of great chicken and beef options for you, too, comrade.

Tamale Station

Tamale Station

Wicker Park
Chicago’s one-and-only lucha libre-themed restaurant on wheels is parking it permanently at a storefront with 12 indoor seats and 24 outdoor seats. The Station boasts the same theme and signature tamales as the Spaceship, and also includes an expanded menu loaded with tacos, new tamale varieties, Mexican Coke, and Jarritos sodas.

Facebook/RiverRoastChi

River Roast

River North
On the heels of Spiaggia’s major makeover, Tony Mantuano has opened his first non-Italian restaurant: an English-inspired concept featuring roasts, veggies, and a variety of small plates ranging from Scotch eggs and country-fried rabbit to Yorkshire pudding and “slow ravioli” with snails. Extra perk? It inhabits a primo slice of real estate on the North bank of the river, so expect killer views in addition to killer roast beef.

Red Lion

Red Lion

Lincoln Square
After “ironing out a few kinks”, it’s all-systems-/taps-go at the fully rebuilt Red Lion Pub. The interior is something straight off the streets of London, complete with dark, exposed beams, three stone fireplaces, bookshelf-lined walls, and strategically placed British photographs and artwork from the WWII era. The menu echoes the space, and includes traditional pub fare like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and a variety of British brews.

Qulinarnia

Qulinarnia

Mount Prospect, IL
Qulinarnia proves that Polish fare is about so much more than pierogis and kielbasa, with modern interpretations of traditional Polish dishes like beef tenderloin tartare, cream of pickle soup, and lamb chops with beets. And if you’re going to go the pierogi route, we’ll fully support your decision to stuff your face with the roasted spinach and lobster one.

This list -- and all the rest -- look even sexier in our iPhone app. Get it now

Kailley Lindman is a contributing writer for Thrillist Chicago, as well as a food blogger, bacon enthusiast, and devout user of the Oxford comma. Follow her at @KailleysKitchen.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Husky Hog BBQ 335 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60616

What used to be only a food truck, this Bridgeport meatery dishes out the same splendid fare (and more) that originated from their truck, including their famous juicy ribs and pulled pork, as well as deep-fried Oreos and smoked corn on the cob so good, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered eating corn any other way.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Bohemian House 11 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

This River North spot is an ode to Bohemian culture in all its manifestations, with rustic-meets-glam décor and eclectic fare that’s rooted in Central Europe. The menu, created and executed by Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos, features small plates like salt and vinegar chips and knackwurst in a blanket, large plates like spatzel and skirt steak, and unforgettable sweets like caramelized plum kolacky and an inventive take on coffee and donuts with hazelnut brittle.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Qulinarnia 1730 W Golf Rd, Mount Prospect, IL 60056

Though surprisingly short on lions, witches, and wardrobes, Qulinarnia is full of modern interpretations of traditional Polish dishes like beef tenderloin tartare, cream of pickles soup, and lamb chops with beets.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. River Roast 315 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

On the north bank of the Chicago River is River Roast, an upscale tavern that combines traditional British roasts with new American ingredients. The menu revolves around roasted proteins -- fish, beef, chicken, pork -- that are carved table-side for two. There are also a variety of small plates and vegetables to share. The large space includes two bars and an expansive riverside patio.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. The Promontory 5311 S Lake Park West, Chicago, IL 60615 (Near South Side)

The Michelin-lauded team behind Longman & Eagle started this South Side gem, which's an innovative restaurant, bar, and performance space across two floors. Wood-burning hearths scorch spreads of meat, seafood, and virtually everything else on the menu.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Mercadito Fish 10 E Delaware Pl, Chicago, IL 60611 (Gold Coast)

This lauded seafood & spirits house in the Gold Coast is one of the best spots for fresh, juicy seafood and strong 'tails.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Tamale Station 1341 N Damen, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

This Wicker Park taqueria is the only one inspired by lucha libre, and its brick-and-mortar (following the success of its insane Spaceship truck) has got some of the most authentic Mexican eats around.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Emporium Logan Square 2363 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Emporium’s added a new location in Logan Square that's even bigger than the original and full of video games, an indoor food truck, plus vintage pinball, bubble hockey, and pool.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Red Lion 4749 N Rockwell St, Chicago, IL 60625 (Lincoln Square)

After “ironing out a few kinks”, it’s all-systems-/taps-go at the fully rebuilt Red Lion Pub. The interior is something straight off the streets of London, complete with dark, exposed beams, three stone fireplaces, bookshelf-lined walls, and strategically placed British photographs and artwork from the WWII era. The menu echoes the space, and includes traditional pub fare like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and a variety of British brews.

Clickbait