In a classic Chicago move, the city seems to have skipped over spring almost entirely and leaped right into sunny summer weather. It’s a vital time for local chefs and restaurateurs, who aim to entice Chicagoans and visitors with new establishments all over town. The following are just some of the restaurants that have opened — or reopened — their dining rooms, patios, and takeout windows. It will be updated periodically.
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Goose Island: Virtual Detroit-style pizzeria Five Squared Pizza marked its fourth birthday on Sunday, May 28 with the debut of a new takeout and delivery hub at 1332 N. Halsted Street, co-owners and spouses Jenn and Steve Kaplan announced on Instagram. The couple left their corporate jobs in 2019 and launched Five Squared inside the Hatchery in East Garfield Park. Menu favorites include the Diablo (hot soppressata and Italian sausage, giardiniera) and the Tye Die (vodka sauce, pesto, Pecorino). Five Squared Pizza, 1332 N. Halsted Street, Open 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Irving Park: After a slight delay, Katherine Anne Confections launched its second Chicago location on Thursday, June 1 at 653 W. Irving Park Road near where Irving Park and Albany Park meet, according to a rep. Owner Katherine Duncan has operated her chocolate, truffles, and caramels business for more than a decade in Logan Square. The new cafe is more than twice as large as the original and includes an espresso bar and a small cafe with a sweet and savory menu of pastries and sandwiches. Katherine Anne Confections Irving Park, 3653 W. Irving Park Road, Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Lakeview: Tuk Tuk Thai Isan Street Food, a restaurant specializing in the cuisine of the Isan region of northeastern Thailand, opened Thursday, May 11 at 2852 N. Clark Street, owners announced on Facebook. The largest region in Thailand, Isan includes 20 provinces and is roughly half the size of Germany. Menu options include Tum Tuk Tuk (green papaya, green beans, tomatoes, lime, fish sauce, salted crab, crispy chicken skin and pork rinds, steamed pork sausage) and Tum Kao Pod (sweet corn, shrimp, green beans, tomatoes, fish sauce, Thai chili). Tuk Tuk Thai Isan Street Food, 2852 N. Clark Street, Open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Logan Square: Nomonomo Japanese Pub + Grill, an izakaya-style restaurant from the owners of neighboring sister spot Wasabi Ramen, reopened in May after a nearly year-long hiatus at 2115 N. Milwaukee Avenue, according to an Instagram post. Nomonomo specializes in binchotan-grilled yakitori and kushiyaki, as well as hot and cold soba, udon, and zosui, or Japanese rice soup. Nomonomo Japanese Pub + Grill, 2115 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
North Center: Loba Pastry, an indie bakery that fought mightily to stay viable through the early years of the pandemic, is open in a new location at 1800 W. Addison Street near the border of North Center and Roscoe Village, chef and owner Valeria Taylor announced Sunday, May 28 on Instagram. Taylor (Blackbird, Charlie Trotter’s) has overcome significant challenges, including being turned down for a small business loan three times, eventually turning to GoFundMe, where she raised more than $36,000 in donations. Loba Pastry, 1800 W. Addison Street, Open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday through Monday.
North Center: T Square Cafe, a new spot offering boba, savory rice bowls, and sweet Chinese-inspired desserts like egg waffles, opened on Sunday, May 28 at 2205 W. Montrose Avenue in the former home of Lizzy J Cafe, according to Block Club Chicago. Following the debut, however, the cafe is temporarily closed for a week to prepare for a grand opening celebration, owners announced Friday, June 2, on Instagram. A group effort among sisters Jenny Liu and Tina Chen, as well as friends Tina Xie, Rachel Mai, and Angel Lai, and Tina Xie, T Square originally launched in 2021 out of a takeout window in Chinatown. T Square Cafe, 2205 W. Montrose Avenue, Scheduled to reopen Friday, June 9.
Old Town: Walk-up dessert window Sugar Junkie reopened for the season on Saturday, May 27 at 1925 N. Lincoln Avenue with a plethora of gelato, sorbet, gelato cookie sandwiches, and more, according to a rep. The team is celebrating with new flavors including lemon blueberry gelato, Butterfinger gelato, and raspberry mango sorbet, in addition to longtime hits including vanilla bean and birthday cake. Sugar Junkie, 1925 N. Lincoln Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Naperville: Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay opened the third location of Ramsay’s Kitchen on Tuesday, May 30 at 39 W. Jefferson Street in suburban Naperville, according to the Tribune. A follow-up to locations in Boston and Las Vegas, Ramsay’s Kitchen offers some of Ramsay’s most well-known dishes including pan-seared scallops, beef Wellington, and fish and chips. The chef and media personality, known for verbally assaulting amateur cooks and professional chefs alike on his many TV shows, opened the U.S.’s first Gordon Ramsay Burger in 2021 on Ontario and State streets. He also is working on a new location of Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen, also in River North. Ramsay’s Kitchen Naperville, 39 W. Jefferson Street, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Avondale: Warlord, a new restaurant “focused on preservation and live fire” that’s reportedly a collaborative venture among chefs from Michelin-starred Kasama, neighborhood haven Rootstock, and now-shuttered Farmhouse Chicago, opened in late April at 3198 N. Milwaukee Avenue. A secretive operation from the onset, Warlord’s menu is not yet available online, early online feedback indicates that patrons can expect dishes like scallops with sea lettuce, ramp pasta, and dry-aged ribeye in a space imbued with a “sexy slaughterhouse vibe.” Ownership has not responded to multiple requests for more information. Warlord, 3198 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday through Monday.
Bucktown: The first Chicago location of Bartaco, a 13-year-old national bar and taco chain, is open at 1635 N. Damen Avenue in the former Northside Bar and Grill. The Northside, a fabled Bucktown drinking hole, closed during the pandemic after 31 years as a pioneering business in the once sleepy part of town. A host of influencers are promoting Bartaco’s debut to their followers on Instagram, offering glimpses of an airy space decorated with hanging basket lamps and a menu of tacos, salads, and rice bowls that integrate a variety of Latin, Asian, and Mediterranean flavors. The chain launched an outpost in 2019 in suburban Deerfield, but it has since closed. Bartaco, based in Arlington, Virginia, has 22 locations in 12 states. The company has ignored multiple requests for comment. Bartaco Bucktown, 1635 N. Damen Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
Lakeview: Olor Coffee Bar, an independent cafe founded in 2021 in Lincoln Park, opened its second location on Thursday, May 4 at 2811 N. Broadway, owner Luis Zurias announced on Instagram. The tiny counter-service spot offers coffee, espresso, pastries, and doughnuts, and is welcoming to patrons with canine companions. Olor Coffee Bar, 2811 N. Broadway, Open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Lincoln Park: Upscale soul food spot Soul Prime Chicago on Sunday, May 14 at 1969 N. Halsted Street with menu options like fried green tomatoes with lump crab, warm collard green dip, and savory vegan street tacos, chef and owner Chef Royce announced on Instagram. Royce previously owned and operated Kiss My Dish Soul Kitchen in suburban Oswego. This is the former Taco Bar and La Vaca space. Soul Prime Chicago, 1969 N. Halsted Street, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Little Italy: Mario’s Italian Lemonade, a summertime institution in Chicago for nearly seven decades, opened for the season on Monday, May 1, owners announced on Instagram. Discerning Italian ice fans know that approaches to texture can vary. At Mario’s, customers may find chunks of fruit in their styrofoam cups as the team blends pulp, seeds, and even peels into the mixture. Mario’s Italian Lemonade, 1068 W. Taylor Street, Open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
North Lawndale: Black-owned cafe mini-chain Momentum Coffee opened an outpost in February at 2644 W. Ogden Avenue inside the massive Ogden Commons Development and is also at work on another cafe in the Austin neighborhood, according to Block Club Chicago. Founded in 2019 in South Loop, Momentum serves coffee, espresso, and tea as well as light food like pastries and breakfast sandwiches. Momentum Coffee North Lawndale, 2644 W. Ogden Avenue, Open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Portage Park: Ciao Ciao Gelato & Cafe, a new Italian sweets shop serving 46 flavors, opened in mid-May at 5355 W. Irving Park Road in a former dance studio, according to Block Club Chicago. Co-owner Marco Alt, a native of Sicily, is offering flavors like pistachio, double chocolate, and strawberry shortcake alongside Italian coffee and espresso drinks, milkshakes, teas, mini Nutella pancakes, and breakfast snacks. The team will hold a grand opening on Sunday, May 21 with a DJ set featuring family-friendly Disney tunes. Ciao Ciao Gelato & Cafe, 5355 W. Irving Park Road, Open 7 a.m. to midnight daily.
Uptown: Family-run Mexican restaurant Birrieria Zaragoza, arguably the best-known birria specialist in town and a longtime member of the Eater 38, opened a second location on Saturday, May 13 at 4800 N. Broadway across the street from Ethiopian hit Demera, according to neighborhood blog Uptown Update. It’s exclusively open on Saturdays and Sundays. Stay tuned for more on this opening. Birrieria Zaragoza Uptown, 4800 N. Broadway, Hours not yet available.
Wicker Park: Modern Mediterranean restaurant and bar Elia opened its new, upscale space on Thursday, May 18 at 938 W. Division Street in the former home of Sea & Olive, according to a rep. The third restaurant from the newly formed Sebrest Hospitality Group, also behind Turkish restaurant Turquoise and Bordeaux Lounge by Turquoise in Roscoe Village, Elia will draw on dishes and flavors of Greece, Italy, France, Spain, and beyond. Chef Ezgi Bozdas, the group’s culinary director, and executive chef Cuneyt Bilgin are offering dishes such as grilled Spanish octopus (heirloom black-eyed peas, sumac-lemongrass sauce), rack of lamb (Einkorn risotto, beurre fume), and dried eggplant and pepper dolmas (spicy rice, piquillo pepper). Opening hours start at 5 p.m. daily through Saturday, May 27. Stay tuned for more on Elia’s debut. Elia, 938 W. Division Street, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday after Saturday, May 27.
Wicker Park: A franchise location of boba chain Kung Fu Tea, which operates 10 locations in the Chicago area, opened in early May at 1624 W. Division Street next door to new magic-themed bar and restaurant the Cauldron. It will share the space with an outpost of Yasubee Ramen, a ramen chain with more than 80 locations in its native Japan. An opening date for Yasubee is not yet available. Kung Fu Tea Wicker Park, 1624 W. Division Street, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Orland Park: Laricia Chandler Baker, the owner of Hyde Park vegan hit Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat who is known to many as Chef Fab, on Sunday, May 7 unveiled Soul Vibez in her former suburban outpost at 24 Orland Square Drive in Orland Park, she announced on Instagram. The spot features a full bar and nostalgic favorites for diners with a range of dietary preferences — including those who eat meat and dairy. Soul Vibez, 24 Orland Square Drive, Open 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Wheeling: Pitmaster Christopher Jordan opened Heaven’s Barbecue on Earth, his barbecue restaurant inspired by Chicago’s South Side, on Tuesday, May 16 at 1 Huntington Lane in suburban Wheeling, according to the Tribune. Jordan is serving a robust menu that includes smoked rib tips, brisket, hot links, and tons of sweets for dessert. Heaven’s Barbecue on Earth, 1 Huntington Lane in Wheeling, Open 11 a.m. to 9 pm. Tuesday through Saturday.
Chinatown: Cocktail bar, restaurant, and karaoke lounge King Karaoke opened in early April on the second floor at 2002 S. Wentworth, according to a rep. A clubby, colorful space with 12 private karaoke rooms (each can fit up to 25), King Karaoke is the first venue from newly formed group No Fun Hospitality from bartender James Urycki (Travelle at the Langham), chef Jason Hedin (Hubbard Inn, Joy District), and operations director Chris Cinka. The trio offers cocktails like Chinatown Pop Star (tequila, mezcal, mango lychee, coconut) and Pokerface Paloma (tequila, lavender, grapefruit, lime) and a menu of Asian-tinged bar food such as tempura shrimp gochujang bao and King’s Chinatown Nachos — a crispy moo shu pancake with duck, hoisin, and sesame. King Karaoke, 2002 S. Wentworth Avenue, Open 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday; 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday.
Edgewater: Varietale Bagels & Coffee, a new cafe from competitive barista Daniel Soria and Lorena Escalona Duvermond, made a March debut at 6206 N. Broadway, according to Block Club Chicago. Soria, also behind Typica Diner & Cafe in Tri-Taylor and Typica Cafe in Wicker Park, and Escalona Duvermond are offering a menu of Venezuelan breakfast sandwiches, customizable bagel and croissant sandwiches, and coffee and espresso sourced from countries including Costa Rica, Honduras, and Guatemala. Varietale Bagels & Coffee, 6206 N. Broadway, Open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Logan Square: New cocktail bar and restaurant Bad Habit opened on Monday, April 17 at 2047 N. Milwaukee Avenue in the same building as the Concord Music Hall, venue owner Nick Karounos announced on Instagram. Moody, low-lit, and industrial, the bar features cocktails like the Proud Judas (gin, mezcal, Cocchi Americano) and a food menu of tacos, smash burgers, and grilled steak sandwiches. Karounos is also a co-owner of Hide + Seek in Fulton Market. Bad Habit, 2047 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open at 4 p.m. daily.
Logan Square: Neighborhood dive bar Best Intentions, a favorite among Logan Square residents, reopened Wednesday, April 19 at 3281 W. Armitage Avenue after a three-year pandemic hiatus, according to Block Club Chicago. Co-owner Chris Marty has gone to great lengths to insulate the business and its patrons from exposure to COVID-19, installing low-wavelength ultraviolet light devices to clean the air and revamping its HVAC system to improve airflow. There are also a few cosmetic updates, but otherwise, the watering hole remains kitschy as ever. Best Intentions, 3281 W. Armitage Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday.
Evanston: Thomas & Dutch, a new restaurant from the group behind Farmhouse Restaurant and Farm Bar, opened in April at 703 Church Street in the former home of suburban outpost Farmhouse Evanston, according to a rep. Its contemporary Midwestern menu includes fried walleye (beluga lentils, celery citrus salad) and beef Wellington alongside cocktails such as a Beetroot Manhattan (rye, pickled beet, mushroom) and a Sloe Gin Fizz (tart cherry, rhubarb, prosecco). Thomas & Dutch, 703 Church Street in Evanston, Open 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Olympia Fields: After more than three years of preparation, Chicago brunch hit Batter & Berries unveiled a new location on Wednesday, April 19 at 3462 Vollmer Road in suburban Olympia Fields, co-owners and spouses Craig and Dr. Tanya Richardson announced on Instagram. The couple first announced their suburban ambitions in February 2020, just weeks before the pandemic shuttered restaurants across Chicago. Fans have flocked to the original in Lincoln Park since 2012 for decadent French toast flights, deconstructed omelets, and sweet potato waffles with fried chicken. Batter & Berries Olympia Fields, 3462 Vollmer Road, Open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
Auburn Gresham: New Southern-style barbecue restaurant Brown’s & Family BBQ and Soul with late night hours is open at 915 W. 87th Street, ownership announced in a late March Instagram post. Diners can expect favorites such as smoky pork ribs and turkey links, as well as chicken wings and jumbo shrimp. Brown’s & Family BBQ and Soul, 915 W. 87th Street, Open 10:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday; 10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Edgewater: East Coast ramen restaurant Kohoku-Ku Ramen is making its Chicago debut on Friday, April 14 at 1136 W. Thorndale Avenue across the street from Broadway Armory Park, according to an Instagram post. Based in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, the restaurant is named for a ward in the Japanese city of Yokohama. The original restaurant is known for its close quarters that bear a strong resemblance to cozy street-side ramen-ya in Tokyo as well as rich pork broth that takes 48 hours to make. Kohoku-Ku Ramen Chicago, 1136 W. Thorndale Avenue, Open 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Lincoln Square: Local vegan soft serve pioneer Vaca’s Creamery has opened its second outpost at 2324 W. Giddings Street in the former home of a Paciugo Gelato Caffè outpost, co-owners Mariana Marinho and Dylan Sutcliff announced in February on Instagram. The couple opened the original Vaca’s in May 2021 in Wicker Park, but have temporarily closed the location with plans to reopen when (consistent) warm weather returns. Vaca’s Creamery Lincoln Square, 2324 W. Giddings Street, Open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
The Loop: The Northman Beer and Cider Garden opened its massive outdoor patio on Wednesday with draft beer and cider as well as cocktails, wine, and snacks like soft pretzels with beer cheese on the Chicago Riverwalk at 233 E. Riverwalk, according to a rep. The dog-friendly spot also features live music and a twice-monthly happy hour to raise funds for animal shelters. Hours are subject to change so patrons should look for updates on social media. The Northman Beer and Cider Garden, 233 E. Riverwalk, Open noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
West Town: A new outpost of cheeky doughnut shop DonutSlut opened in early April at 1605 W. Grand Avenue with enormous icing-smothered treats and coffee from local roastery Happy Monday, ownership announced on Facebook. Stay tuned for more on this new sweets spot. DonutSlut, 1605 W. Grand Avenue, Open 7 a.m. until sold out Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until sold out Saturday.
West Town: Tiki Tiki at the Silver Palm, a new drinking spot from the owners behind Chicago bars including neighboring spot the Matchbox, Star Bar in Ukrainian Village, and O’Donavan’s in North Center, is open inside a portion of the former Silver Palm restaurant at 768 N. Milwaukee Avenue, according to Block Club Chicago. Co-owners Gregg Weinstein and Kevin Killerman tell reporters that they’re leaning into the tiki theme (a style that has drawn controversy in Chicago and across the U.S.) but have other plans for the Silver Palm’s instantly recognizable railcar dining room. It’s not open yet, but the space will offer a variety of classic cocktails and a few crossover drinks with the Matchbox. Tiki Tiki at the Silver Palm, 768 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Little Italy: Virtual smash-hit Taylor’s Tacos opened its first stand-alone permanent location this week on the edge of the Illinois Medical District at 1512 W. Taylor Street. Co-owners and spouses Taylor and Maya Mason, at last, have a kitchen of their own after several years slinging tacos out of Dock’s Fish in Bronzeville and filling catering orders in Garfield Park food business incubator the Hatchery. Stay tuned for more on this restaurant opening. Taylor’s Tacos, 1512 W. Taylor Street, Open 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Logan Square/Irving Park: Italian ice legend Miko’s reopened for the season on Saturday, April 1 at 2236 N. Sacramento Avenue and 4125 N. Kimball Avenue, according to Block Club Chicago. Originally founded in 1997, Miko’s is one of the most popular Italian ice vendors in Chicago and remains a summertime staple for locals during the city’s too-brief summer. Miko’s Italian Ice, 2236 N. Sacramento Avenue and 4125 N. Kimball Avenue, Open in April from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Loop: Polish-Colombian spot Polombia is open inside the Urbanspace Washington food hall, owners announced on Instagram. Co-founders Phillipe Sobon and Cynthia Orobio first launched the business in 2020 inside Politan Row food hall in West Loop, but the hall’s pandemic closure forced a quick transition to pop-up operations. Now fans and newcomers can find hits like Kielbasa Perro, a Polish sausage topped with pickles, aioli, and a pineapple glaze, in a permanent location. Polombia, 15 W. Washington Street inside Urbanspace Washington, Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Ravenswood: Bayan Ko, Raquel Quadreny and Lawrence Letrero’s Cuban-Filipino neighborhood restaurant, has reopened following a remodel to add more tables and eventually lead to a liquor license. The spouses temporarily closed the restaurant in March so workers could reconfigure the dining room and add an open kitchen. They also created a wheelchair-accessible restroom — a change that’s essential for gaining city approval for a liquor license, which could make an important difference in revenue. Keep an eye out for more on Bayan Ko’s return. Bayan Ko, 1810 W. Montrose Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.