The 6 Best Restaurants That Opened in Chicago This Month
Well hello there, biggest roof deck in the entire country
To keep tabs on every Chicago restaurant and bar opening is folly. But to keep tabs on the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus we present Table Stakes, a monthly rundown of the five (or so) must-know spots that have swung wide their doors in the past thirty (or so). Bon appétit.
You’re here because: You’re a sucker for nostalgia and let’s admit it, anything new in the West Loop.
You’re dining on: Craveable comfort food served in a dive-y setting, or at least a very polished designer’s interpretation of it. Think indoor twinkle lights, dimpled leather bar stools, beer brand decor and plenty of exposed brick. A sidewalk patio rounds out the space and allows for ample West Loop people watching just in time for summer. Snack on crispy tater tots served with caviar and French onion crema and Nashville hot chicken tenders. Larger plates include a bourbon and maple glazed pork chop. Pair it with a playfully named cocktail like the Get Lei’d, or a box of Franzia (table service available upon request).
841 W. Randolph St.
You’re here because: You want to escape the touristy parts of Navy Pier with killer views, fresh air and a stiff drink atop the country’s largest rooftop deck, which gives off major nautical vibes.
You’re dining on: Small plates like lobster deviled eggs, sushi and meatballs, or larger dishes like the fried chicken sandwich and chicken taquitos. Wash it down with cocktails like the Aloha Felicia with rum, brandy, black walnut orgeat, orange curacao and lemon, wines by the glass or can, and draft and bottled craft beers. Stop by on a Wednesday or Saturday night for unobstructed views of the Navy Pier fireworks display.
600 E. Grand Ave.
You’re here because: You’re looking for a post-work spot to hang with colleagues over larger-than-your-head cocktails. Take it all in on the massive neighborhood patio or inside the 5,000-square-foot bar and restaurant.
You’re dining on: The Chicago politics-themed bar and restaurant serves upscale pub food from chef Michael Taus. Share appetizers like pigs in a blanket with Merkts cheese and elote-jalapeno fritters with lime aioli. Large format drinks arrive in tabletop-sized water coolers like the Rum Emanuel. A selection of mixed shots (referred to as “kickbacks”) feature a variety of spirits, like the Early + Often with vodka and cayenne kombucha.
838 W. Kinzie St.
You’re here because: You’re looking for a cool escape in the breezy plant-adorned River North hot spot inspired by husband-and-wife team Jonathan Meyer (chef) and Liz Pearce (mixologist).
You’re dining on: Internationally inspired veggie and meat dishes like Braised Jackfruit Dandan with cold green papaya noodles and cashews, or the Jerk Pork Shank Fried Rice with mushroom, radish, plantain and egg yolk. Drink options include vibrant concoctions such as the Yuzu Daiquiri with Jamaican white rum, yuzu sake, lime and sesame oil, low ABV cocktails, global wines and the option to build your own cocktail from a variety of base cocktails and flavor profiles (tangerine, grapefruit, Campari).
11 W. Illinois St. (map)
You’re here because: You’re a java junkie obsessed with the craft of brewing coffee, and can appreciate a brewed-to-order cup.
You’re dining on: A variety of 12 proprietary coffee blends from the Bay-area coffee chain. Each cup is ground and brewed to order, allowing you to fully customize your flavor preferences. If you’re a Philz newbie, try the signature Mint Mojito iced coffee or a cup of the Tesora medium blend. Pair your coffee with a selection of pastries from Fabiana’s Bakery and Aya’s Pastry, including a Samoa cake based on the popular Girl Scouts Cookie, bagel sandwiches, and toast topped with labneh and za’atar. Can’t get enough? Philz is set to open three additional coffee shops this year in Lincoln Park, Evanston and Hyde Park.
1640 W. Division St. (map)
You’re here because: Just when you thought you couldn’t handle another Chicago food hall, another one opens. Fulton Galley isn’t just your average food hall, though. It also acts as a restaurant accelerator, helping local businesses kickstart their concepts. It’s the fifth location from the Pittsburgh-based Galley Group.
You’re dining on: Choose from one (or more) of five restaurants, ranging in cuisine from deli classics and Thai street food to Mexican-American, Italian and spit-roasted meats. Pair your grub with a pint from one of 20 draft beer options and enjoy it all in the industrial chic West Loop space featuring plenty of communal seating and a 30-seat bar.
115 W. Fulton St.