GreenRiver

Between its breathtaking views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan, Irish-American-informed cocktail menu, and approachable Midwestern eats like a white fish tartine with egg, radish, and celery, frites with malt and cheddar dust, and sturgeon with bean ragout, turnip, and kale, there’s much to love about this swanky new spot in Streeterville. The space is streamlined, airy, and modern, and boasts an attached terrace punctuated with plush seating prime for lounging over whiskey-infused sips.

Courtesy of Lowcountry

Lowcountry

Customizable seafood boils, “powdered pillows of love” (aka beignets), and karaoke arrive at this Southern-inspired Wrigleyville restaurant. As if that weren’t enough, the bar program is run by The Aviary veteran Raymond Chester, and comes stacked with a short-and-sweet roster of specialty cocktails, classics, cheap beer, and even house wine.

Jackson Tavern

Jackson Tavern

Adorned with antler chandeliers and a rustic wood finish, this urban oasis sets the scene for a power lunch, happy hour, or casual Downtown dinner. Enjoy a beer or three off the Midwest-focused beer list and quell your appetite with Tex-Mex poutine smothered in mole verde, queso fundido, and smoked chicken, maple-candied house-made bacon, and a pulled pork Cubano.

Courtesy of DMK Fish Bar

DMK Burger Bar/DMK Fish Bar

Thanks to two brand-new additions from DMK Restaurants, Chicago’s tourism peninsula just got a whole lot more tolerable -- and maybe even a little enticing. Guests can expect the usual suspects, like the Big DMK and fish sliders, as well as a special children’s menu, a walk-up takeout window prime for scoring spiked milkshakes on the go, and outdoor seating on the pier.

Black Iron Tavern

Black Iron Tavern

On the heels of the success of Taus Authentic, chef/owner Michael Taus has opened an inviting tavern in the former The Point space on Milwaukee. The exterior sports a mural depicting the evolution of a man walking into a bar, while the interior comes equipped with plenty of exposed brick and ductwork and a central bar with seating on three sides. Settle in for comforting bar food that spans from Big Jim’s beef chili and carnitas tacos to shareable mac ‘n’ cheese topped with a panko-Romano crust and old-school banana pudding for dessert.

Courtesy of Cantina 1910

Cantina 1910

After an arduous two-year wait, Clark St finally welcomes Cantina 1910, a 6,700sqft Mexican concept that captures the spirit of the farm-to-table movement with canned and preserved ingredients, a forthcoming rooftop far slated for next year, and ingredients sourced within a 200-mile radius of Chicago. Great tacos are a given, but the goat chorizo antojito (small plate) and an impressive selection of desserts are surprising standouts.

PizzaBarra

Pizza Barra

Add “suburban pizza bar” to Rich Labriola’s (Labriola Ristorante and Café) ever-expanding list of business ventures. With Chef Chris Macchia (The Florentine, Coco Pazzo) running the kitchen, this pizza joint promises a variety of pan-style, thin-crust, and coal-fired pies sure to satisfy pizza lovers all along the spectrum. Team up your pizza of choice with a cheese board, garganelli with sweet peas, prosciutto di Parma, and Parmesan cream, and a frothy glass of beer to really make that trek to the ‘burbs worth it.

Sean Cooley/Thrillist

Shake Shack

North Shore burger fiends, this one’s for you as the crazy-popular Shake Shack heads to the Northern suburbs with its third Chicagoland outpost. The new spot is located at the Old Orchard Center, and offers the full roster of covetable shakes, burgers, and crinkle-cut fries you know and love, as well as local frozen custard concretes, like the Bang Bang Pie Oh My (vanilla custard and a slice of Bang Bang Pie's seasonal pie).

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Kailley Lindman is a contributing writer for Thrillist Chicago, as well as a freelance food photographer, food blogger at KailleysKitchen.com, and recovering vegetarian. Follow her at @KailleysKitchen.

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1. GreenRiver 259 E Erie St Fl 18, Chicago, IL 60611

Between its stunning views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan, an Irish American-informed cocktail menu, and inventive dishes like white fish tartine with egg, radish, and celery, and sturgeon with bean ragout, turnip, and kale, there’s much to love about this swanky Streeterville spot. The space is streamlined, airy, and modern, boasting an attached terrace complete with plush seating prime for lounging over whiskey-infused cocktails.

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2. Lowcountry 3343 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

Lowcountry in Lakeview serves customizable seafood boils in a Southern and nautical atmosphere with a backyard feel. Buckets of beer are a cheap solution for a big group, and the short-and-sweet roster of specialty cocktails (margaritas and daiquiris), classics and house wine still offer plenty of other options. At 10pm, picnic tables start getting cleared off for beer pong and “bro country.” Downstairs, there are several private karaoke rooms that are available for rent. Experience all of this, but not without ordering a bag -- yes, a bag -- of shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausage boiled with Cajun spices.

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3. Jackson Tavern 216 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60606

Adorned with antler chandeliers and a rustic wood finish, this new spot at the Loop sets the scene for a power lunch, happy hour, or casual downtown dinner. Enjoy a beer or three off the Midwest-focused beer list and quell your appetite with Tex-Mex poutine smothered in mole verde and smoke chicken, a house smoked BBQ sandwich, or pulled pork cubano.

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4. DMK Burger Bar and Fish Bar 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

This Navy Pier duo from five-time James Beard-winning chef Michael Kornick serves up the usual surf and turf suspects, like bacon cheeseburgers, fish tacos, and po boys. As if the fried sandwich options weren't enough, there are five kinds of French fries (parmesan truffle cream, blue cheese and smoked bacon) and milkshakes (boozy or regular, take your pick). In addition to comfortable outdoor seating on the pier, there's also a walk-up window so you can have that spiked milkshake to go.

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5. Black Iron Tavern 401 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60654

Following the success of Taus Authentic, chef/owner Michael Taus has opened a tavern in the former The Point space on Milwaukee. The exterior features a mural depicting the evolution of a man walking into a bar, while the interior comes equipped with plenty of exposed brick and ductwork, and a central bar with seating on three sides. Settle in for comforting bar food that spans from “Big Jim’s Beef Chili” and carnitas tacos to shareable mac ‘n’ cheese topped with a panko-Romano crust and Blommer’s double chocolate brownies for dessert.

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6. Cantina 1910 5025 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Housed in a 6,700-square-foot space, this Mexican concept captures the spirit of the farm-to-table movement with canned and preserved ingredients, a forthcoming rooftop far slated for 2016, and ingredients sourced within a 200-mile radius of Chicago. Great tacos make the menu's foundation, but the goat chorizo antojito (small plate) and an impressive selection of desserts are surprising standouts.

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7. Pizza Barra 3011 Butterfield Court, Chicago, IL 60523

With chef Chris Macchia (The Florentine, Coco Pazzo) running the kitchen, this pizza joint promises a variety of pan-style, thin crust, and coal-fired pies sure to satisfy pizza lovers on both ends of the spectrum. Team your pizza of choice with a cheese board, garganelli with sweet peas, prosciutto di parma, burrata pugliese, and a frothy glass of beer to really make that trek to the ‘burbs worth it.

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8. Shake Shack 4905 Old Orchard Ctr, Skokie, IL 60077

The newest Chicagoland Shake Shack outpost is located at the Old Orchard Center, and offers the full roster of covetable shakes, burgers, and crinkle-cut fries you know and love, as well as the local frozen custard concretes, like the Bang Bang Pie Oh My vanilla custard and a slice of Bang Bang Pie seasonal pie.

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