Chicago’s Best New Restaurants Include Your New Favorite Taco Place

Also: a standout French wine bar, fast-casual barbecue and a British pub right in the Loop

July 14, 2023 11:48 am
Fish & Chips
A smokeshow BBQ joint, Mexican cuisine and a French wine bar are some of Chicago's best new restaurants.
Austin Handler

The pace of restaurant openings traditionally slows down a bit in the summer, but this year, we’ve got some solid new options: A “new school smoke” BBQ joint gives Loop office workers an exciting (and filling) lunch option, while Logan Square welcomes a new restaurant showcasing regional Mexican cuisine from Oaxaca to the Yucatan and beyond. Plus, you’ll find a French wine bar, an exciting late-night spot with a revolving menu and a British pub from the team behind Rooh and Bar Goa slinging plenty of interesting cocktails.

Read on for where to dine this month.

roasted carrots on a tray
Feast your eyes on Warlord’s ever-changing menu.



You’re here because: The secret’s out about Warlord’s casual-cool vibe and excellent food.

You’re dining on: A simple yet ever-changing menu from Farmhouse, Kasama and Roostock vets, with live-fire cooking that lights up the dimly lit dining room. You could find their newly famous dry-aged burger on brioche or handmade fettuccine with ramps one day, and miso butter scallops the next. Note: There are no reservations and they’re only open Friday-Monday, so your best bet is to stop by early.

3198 N. Milwaukee Ave. (map)

Victoria Shapow
It’s the perfect spot for wine, cheese and charcuterie.
Victoria Shapow


Lincoln Square

You’re here because: You’re meeting friends for a pre-dinner drink.

You’re dining on: Snacks paired with a global assortment of wines by the glass in a cozy setting (including a lovely patio). The food menu includes an array of cheese and charcuterie, plus other wine-friendly fare like roast chicken or frites with garlic confit aioli. Tempting desserts include an apple galette and chocolate-orange tarte. Perusing the wine list, you’ll find all the colors of the wine rainbow: whites, reds, oranges and rosés, in addition to a handful of cocktails and beers.

4160 N. Lincoln Ave. (map)

Burger with sauce dripping down the sides.
You’ll find sauces and sides galore at this BBQ restaurant.
Clumsy Cow

Clumsy Cow


You’re here because: You’re in need of a quick Loop lunch or dinner.

You’re dining on: All things BBQ at this fast-casual spot, from brisket and kielbasa to pulled pork and fried chicken. There’s also a selection of sandwiches, including a vegetarian fried mushroom option with slaw, pickles and ranch. Sauces and sides galore include a tangy barbecue and lemon pepper chicken, plus “5-cheese mac,” cornbread and loaded potato salad. If you have the space, there’s an apple cheddar hand pie and spiced churro bites for dessert.

234 S. Wabash Ave. (map)

This Clam Chowder Was a Family-Meal Favorite at Charlie Trotter’s Iconic Eatery
Chef Giuseppe Tentori brought it with him to his River North steakhouse
soup in a bowl with bread on the side.
At Monarch & Lion, enjoy classic pub fare from UK chef Jitin Joshi.
Austin Handler

Monarch & Lion


You’re here because: You’re an Anglophile who fancies a meat pie and a pint.

You’re dining on: Classic pub fare from UK chef Jitin Joshi, whose recent stints include time as the executive chef at London’s Michelin-starred Gymkhana. Midwest ingredients are on display here in dishes like the shepherd’s pie with Slagel Farm lamb, alongside Brit specialities like fish and chips and a full English breakfast. Unique cocktails like the Tomato, To-mah-to with feta-infused gin, clarified tomato, lemon, basil simple syrup, Worcestershire and chili flakes are on the menu, but if it’s a Pimm’s or English beer you’re after, you’re (also) in the right place.

302 E. Illinois St. (map)

three tacos chicago's best new restaurants
The food at La Victoria is prepared on wood and charcoal grills.
La Victoria

La Victoria

Logan Square

You’re here because: You’re looking for a best-in-class option for tacos and more. 

You’re dining on: Authentic regional Mexican fare prepared on wood and charcoal grills from tacos and tlayudas to grilled cod and chipotle barbecue grilled chicken. Starter standouts include the guacamole and tuna ceviche, while the tlayuda tradicional (with your choice of chicken, carnitas, carne asada or chorizo) is another popular choice. Enjoy a housemade margarita or La Central, a blend of roasted poblano and pineapple juice, mezcal and lime — or just kick back on the patio for happy hour, Monday through Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m.

2447 N. Milwaukee Ave. (map)


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