21 Chicago Recent and Upcoming Restaurant Openings to Get Excited About

From fine dining in River North to a Logan Square chef incubator.

Claudia
Photo courtesy of Claudia

Ah, fall—the season forever linked with vibrant changing colors and the feeling of fresh starts. And Chicago’s restaurant scene is no exception, ushering in several new dining and drinking dens to the city’s ever-evolving epicurean landscape in the months to come, all as we continue to settle into summer’s still-hot arrivals.

Mask up, mark your calendars, and make your way to one (or many) of these must-try spots now—either brand-new or forthcoming—from a European cider house in Lincoln Square to an après-ski-inspired retreat in River North.

Cobblestone
Photo courtesy of Cobblestone

Cobblestone

Lincoln Square
Opening date: May 2021
This bistro and cider house offers elevated European dishes with a Midwest twist from chef Michael McCloud (Tortoise Supper Club). Locally sourced, seasonal ingredients inform dinner and brunch menus with items like Seared Porcini Spaetzle with foraged mushrooms or Braised Short Rib for the former, and Schnitzel and Waffles or Latke Benedicts for the latter.
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Esme
Esme | Photo by Sandy Noto

Esme

Lincoln Park
Opening date: August 2021
Folks have been on the edge of their seats for this opening, the first solo project from former Next chef Jenner Tomaske and his wife Katrina Bravo. Together, they put forth a multi-course tasting menu featuring dishes like Raclette Pierogies with Burnt Onion Consommé, Sablefish with Squash Blossoms and Artichoke, and a Wagyu Éclair with Salted Strawberries and Pine. They’ll be championing the arts in the process—the team plans to curate collaboration dinners benefitting the work of local creatives.
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Goddess & Grocer
Goddess & Grocer | Photo by Victoria Kent

Goddess & Grocer

West Loop
Opening date: Fall 2021
Chef Alisha Elenz (mfk, Waldorf Astoria) just joined the team at this beloved grocer-meets-deli, which is planning to open a fifth location this fall in the heart of the West Loop. There, expect to see new menu items from Elenz, along with some of the old reliables, including wraps, soups, and that epic rainbow cake.
How to book: Stop by for counter service.

Radio Room
Radio Room

Radio Room

River North
Opening date: July 2021
DineAmic Hospitality (Siena Tavern, Prime & Provisions, Barrio) continues their River North stride with this opening, a restaurant, sports bar, and music lounge spread over 10,000 square feet. There will be plenty of food to accompany it all—chef Andrew Sikkelarus serves a menu of contemporary American comfort fare, including Nashville Hot Fries, Fried Cheese Curds, and multiple-choice Mac n’ Cheese with options like truffle, smoked brisket, and popcorn chicken.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Adalina

Gold Coast
Opening date: June 2021
Chef Soo Ahn helms the kitchen at this recently opened restaurant, where modern Italian cuisine steals the show. Ahn’s inspiration spans regions and showcases the same fine dining approach he’s maintained at the Michelin-starred restaurants of his past, as evidenced by plates like Spinach Cannelloni, Artichoke and Red Chili Mafaldine, or the 40-ounce Porterhouse Bistecca alla Fiorentina.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Lure Fishbar
Lure Fishbar | Photo by Brianna Balducci

Lure Fishbar

River North
Opening date: June 2021
This summer saw the Chicago arrival of this East Coast seafood emporium, which has gained a loyal, well-heeled following at its locations in South Beach and SoHo. Come for specialties like Caviar Deviled Eggs, Lobster Rolls, and Miso-glazed Salmon, all of which pair up—dare we say, swimmingly?—with a serious sushi menu and just-opened patio.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Claudia
Photo courtesy of Claudia

Claudia

Bucktown
Opening date: September 2021
Debuted in 2015 as a twice monthly West Town pop-up, this concept was quick to earn an array of accolades (including a nomination for the 2017 Jean Banchet “Best Alternative Dining” award). With a permanent home arriving later this fall, chef Trevor Teich and team continue the experience with a 10-course tasting menu featuring the seasonal, refined style Teich has perfected over the years at spots like L20 and NoMI.
How to book: Reserve via Tock.

The Duplex
Photo courtesy of The Duplex

The Duplex

Logan Square
Opening date: June 2021
Aiming to offer a space for emerging chefs who wouldn’t otherwise be able to open their own restaurant, LeQoinne Rice and chef David Rodriguez created The Duplex, a dining destination featuring rotating menus from local micro-concepts. Kicking things off this summer are fried chicken sandwiches from The Kluckerz, Mexican-inspired cuisine from Lime and Radish, and a collaborative weekend brunch menu from Rodriguez and the aforementioned chefs. Keep an eye on their website—the team plans to cycle in new menus and concepts every six months.
How to book: Reserve via Tock.

Jaleo
Photo courtesy of Jaleo

Jaleo

River North
Opening date: July 2021
This River North newcomer is the first Chicago opening from chef José Andrés, who has become best known for his ThinkFoodGroup concepts across the country (not to mention his award-winning humanitarian efforts). Bring a group and an appetite for an impressive menu spanning the flavors of Spain, found in plates like Head-on Shrimp, Seared Piquillo Peppers, and four types of tableside Paella.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Gioia
Gioia | Photo by Neil Burger Photography

Gioia

West Loop
Opening date: June 2021
After several years of spearheading the menu at Coco Pazzo, chef Federico Comacchio decided to open his own venture with Gioia, a restaurant dedicated to regional Italian cuisine. Comacchio brings his Michelin-starred training to every category of the menu here, but the main event is the pasta, made fresh in-house and including signatures like Chicken Ravioli with Tuscan Kale and Sea Tagliatelle, loaded with sea urchin and clams.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

The Exchange
The Exchange

The Exchange

South Loop
Opening date: June 2021
DMK Hospitality strikes again with this South Loop gem, where guests can experience the Listening Room, a 50-seat dining space inspired by Japan’s record lounges featuring a state-of-the-art sound system and nightly rotating playlists. Dining-wise, guests are greeted by hyper-seasonal cooking from chef Brian Huston (Publican, Boltwood)—think Sweet Corn Rigatoni or Vegetable Pistou teeming with baby kale and summer squash. Expect a timely evolution here in menu and space alike—in coming months, the team plans to add four additional rooms, including an 8,000-square-foot space (the Atrium) and a 50-seat bar (Theo’s).
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

X Pot

South Loop
Opening date: Fall 2021
Dinner served by robots? No problem at this new restaurant, where modern Asian fusion is the focus. Machines help deliver the dishes, giving IRL servers a chance to handle the ins and outs of the hot pot experience—this venue’s specialty—alongside elevated additions like A5 Wagyu beef and seafood flown in fresh daily.
How to book: Via the website.

Alla Vita
Alla Vita

Alla Vita

West Loop
Opening date: September 2021
Michelin-starred chef Lee Wolen (Boka, GG’s Chicken Shop) marks his third restaurant with Alla Vita, a celebration of classic Italian culinary offerings. Explore all six categories of the menu (from antipasti and vegetables to pizza and pasta), but don’t miss Wolen’s most prized preparation: the chicken, which he serves here as large-format Chicken Parm for parties of two and four.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Venteux
Photo courtesy of Venteux

Venteux

Loop
Opening date: May 2021
This French brasserie opened within the new Pendry Chicago earlier this summer, bringing with it an oyster and Champagne bar alongside upmarket eats from chef Donald Young. Don’t skip out on some of the house favorites, including Dry Aged Duck Breast and Eggs Five Ways. Afterwards, hit the rooftop (Chateau Carbide) for sips of rose and breezy skyline sights.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Rose Mary
Photo courtesy of Rose Mary

Rose Mary

West Loop
Opening date: May 2021
Top Chef mega fans were revved when season 15 winner Joe Flamm announced he had plans for this restaurant, an ode to the oft overlooked intersection of Italian and Croatian culinary traditions (and to his grandmothers, who each served as inspiration for the name). Sail through the menu with enticements like Tuna Crudo, Pork Ribs Pampanella, and Beef Burek.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Fame
Photo courtesy of Fame

Fame

River North
Opening date: August 2021
The team behind Azul Mariscos and Muelle launched this modern-day supper club, where chef Mark Sparacino (Prosecco) leads the menu. Guests may spot some of Sparacino’s classic Italian hits (e.g. handmade pastas and Sicilian-style seafood), but can expect several global twists, too—many of them served in memorable fashion (think Chorizo and Manchego-stuffed Medjool Dates smoked under glass or Tomahawk Prime Ribeye sliced tableside).
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Avli on the Park
Photo courtesy of Avli on the Park

Avli on the Park

Lakeshore East
Opening date: May 2021
The demand for this contemporary Greek dining experience continues to grow, as evidenced by this summer debut—the third city location of the original Winnetka outpost. Situated in the green space just east of Michigan Avenue and north of Millennium Park, the 13,000-square-foot taverna features two-sided stone fireplaces, an inviting (and enormous) U-shaped bar, and enticing park views (thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows inside, and a generously sized rooftop outside). And then, of course, there are the dining draws, highlighted by favorites like Feta Shrimp, Lamb Chops, and Eggplant Casserole.
How to book: Reserve viavTock.

Pomeroy

Winnetka
Opening date: September 2021
The team behind Gemini, Old Pueblo Cantina, and Andros Taverna revealed their latest project with this Winnetka outpost, an ode to Paris’ timeless café scene. Chef Jason Paskewitz steers the menu, a collection of regional French classics like Salmon Provençal, Filet Au Poivre, Trout Almondine, and Mussels Marinière.
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Chalet
Photo courtesy of Chalet

Chalet

River North
Opening date: September 2021
This newcomer plans to channel Aspen’s upmarket resorts and après-ski vibes, complete with a ski lift, DJ booth, and custom ice chandelier. The menu is a medley of tavern-style comfort food, featuring items like Salmon Tartare, Duck Confit Poutine, Honey-braised Short Ribs, and the Chalet Smash Burger, a house specialty with aged white cheddar and garlic aioli.
How to book: Coming soon.

Lardon

Logan Square
Opening date: July 2021
Drawing inspiration from old-world butcher shops, this all-day salumeria showcases a menu built on cured meats, cheeses, sandwiches, coffee, and cocktails. Charcuterie and salumi like Spicy Coppa, Bresaola, and Genoa Salame are all made onsite and available on their own or in a lineup of thoughtfully assembled sandwiches (try the Frenchie, with house-cured ham, country pork pate, and camembert on a baguette).
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Storyville

River North
Opening date: August 2021
This River North hotspot pays homage to New Orleans by way of music and menus alike. Guests can prepare themselves for nightly live jazz while tuning into equally vibrant fare from chef Louie Yu: Mini Po’boys, Fried Redfish with Jambalaya, and Cajun Pasta rife with blackened chicken. Weekend brunch is just as memorable, thanks to sugar-dusted Beignets and chicory-laced Cafés au Lait.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

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Nicole Schnitzler is a contributor for Thrillist.