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Monteverde
Monteverde
Marc Much

Chicago's Top 15 Restaurant and Bar Openings of 2015, Mapped

A look back over the new establishments that made 2015 a memorable year.

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Monteverde
| Marc Much

2015 saw a great deal of notable bar and restaurant openings in Chicago. Whether fast casual (Nando's Peri-Peri), high end (Intro), or somewhere in the middle (Pub Royale), our fair city was not at a loss for enchanting new food and drink options. Now that 2015 is nearing completion, let's look back over the most memorable of the bunch. Presented in alphabetical order.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Band of Bohemia

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4710 N Ravenswood Ave
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 271-4710
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Alinea vets Michael Carroll and Craig Sindelar's culinary brewhouse vision for Band of Bohemia took a number of years to be realized, but once the pair locked in with executive chef Matt DuBois things picked up speed. The menu format (a beer is listed at the top of menu pages with a number of suggested food pairings below) caused some initial confusion, but the Ravenswood spot is already gaining positive word of mouth for its drinks, food and for its design after only a month in operation.
Marc Much

2. Pub Royale

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2049 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 661-6874
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The folks behind Trenchermen, Lone Wolf and more turned the former Smallbar Division space into a hotspot specializing in Indian and British pub food. Much like Analogue the previous year, Pub Royale's food, not the focal point leading up to its opening, soon gathered acclaim, pushing it into one of the top openings of the year.
Marc Much

3. Broken Shaker

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19 E Ohio St
Chicago, IL 60611
Taking a hot Miami concept and transforming it for Chicagoans has proven very successful for the folks behind Broken Shaker. Utilizing Native American and old school lounge design touches with cocktails from Freddie Sarkis, this import carved out a bit of hipster nirvana in the middle of River North.
Marc Much

4. Monteverde

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1020 West Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 888-3041
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Sarah Grueneberg's decision to leave Spiaggia two years ago and venture off on her own with the recently opened Monteverde has proven successful. The Italian spot is well received with guests and earned quick praise from critics.
Marc Much

5. Intro Chicago

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2300 N. Lincoln Park West
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 868-0002
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Lettuce Entertain You's decision to close two Michelin-starred L2O at the end of 2014 surprised many, but the bigger surprise was what took its place. Owner Rich Melman wanted to transform the space into a restaurant that introduced the city to up-and-coming culinary talent, giving them a place to showcase their creativity. From starting chef CJ Jacobson to the space's current kitchen head Stephen Gillanders, Intro has received broad acclaim.
Marc Much

6. The Angry Crab

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5665 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
(773) 784-6848
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From out of nowhere, this little seafood boil spot caught fire with Chicagoans like few other restaurant openings did in 2015. Featuring no-frills seafood served in plastic bags with customers' choice of sauce mixes and sides, The Angry Crab has the long lines to prove it ranks among the top openings of the year.

7. The Blanchard

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1935 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(872) 829-3971
Visit Website
Few restaurants have received the sort of critical and guest praise that chef/owner Jason Paskewitz's The Blanchard has in 2015. By focusing on elegant, classical French cuisine (if you love foie gras, this is your place) with a design aesthetic that fits the food served, Paskewitz's baby is proving to be quite the charmer.

8. Latinicity

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108 N State St
Chicago, IL
(312) 795-4444
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Richard Sandoval and Jose Garces' Latin Eataly, the huge food hall on the the third floor of Block 37 shops, found instant success upon opening in early November. After receiving 10,000 visitors in its first three days, Latinicity was forced to close on its fourth day in order to "replenish, restock and rearrange the restaurant."

9. Swift & Sons

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1000 W. Fulton
Chicago, IL
(312) 733-9420
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Though Chicago is not at a loss for steakhouses, the teams at both Boka and B. Hospitality decided to stake their claim with their own concept. With chef Chris Pandel at the helm of the kitchen and a design from New York's AvroKo (as well as sitting on the ground floor of the Google building), Swift & Sons was one of the splashiest openings of the year.
Marc Much

10. Furious Spoon

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1571 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 687-8445
Visit Website
Shin Thompson takes his ramen seriously and, despite early grumbling (no take away option, high customer turn-out forcing temporary closings), Furious Spoon has proven to be a steady, hot commodity in Wicker Park. Look for the next iteration in 2016 in Logan Square.
Marc Much

11. Lost Lake

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3154 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(312) 205-1234
Visit Website
Paul McGee single-handedly brought tiki drinks back to life when he opened LEYE's Three Dots a Dash. Upon moving over to Land & Sea Dept., McGee continued his love for the kitschy cocktail form by opening Lost Lake in Logan Square. Lightning did, in fact, strike twice. Bonus: Bar guests can order food from Thank You, the companion Chinese-American restaurant next door to eat while enjoying one of McGee's tasty beverages.

12. Chicago Athletic Association

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12 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 940-3552
Visit Website
One of the splashiest openings of 2015 had to be the Chicago Athletic Association space. Featuring a number of dining (Cindy's, Cherry Circle Room, Shake Shack) and drinking (Drawing Room, Milk Room, Game Room) options, CAA has held the city in rapture since debuting back in May.
Marc Much

13. Boeufhaus

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1012 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 661-2116
Visit Website
Boeufhaus' German-influenced take on a meaty brasserie jumped on the scene back in April to neighborhood and critical acclaim. Chef Brian Ahern's menu has hit a nerve with foodies and those within the industry alike. Ahern pushed his uncompromising vision in a untested area of the city and all signs point to it paying off.

14. Nando's Peri-Peri

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953 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 488-3062
Visit Website
Since opening the first Nando's Peri-Peri back in May, three more (in Lakeview, Lincoln Park and the Loop) have opened. The South African chicken chain's flame-grilled chicken proved to be a hit right out of the box.

15. GreenRiver

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259 E Erie St Fl 18
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 337-0101
Visit Website
From Danny Meyer and the folks behind NYC's famed cocktail bar The Dead Rabbit, GreenRiver was one of the most hotly anticipated spots of the year and the hype surrounding it proved to be justified. Though the cocktails were the main focus, the food has gotten acclaim, especially the "chicken oysters" (the little piece of dark meat found on the backbone of a chicken thigh).
Marc Much

1. Band of Bohemia

4710 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Marc Much
Alinea vets Michael Carroll and Craig Sindelar's culinary brewhouse vision for Band of Bohemia took a number of years to be realized, but once the pair locked in with executive chef Matt DuBois things picked up speed. The menu format (a beer is listed at the top of menu pages with a number of suggested food pairings below) caused some initial confusion, but the Ravenswood spot is already gaining positive word of mouth for its drinks, food and for its design after only a month in operation.
4710 N Ravenswood Ave
Chicago, IL 60640

2. Pub Royale

2049 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
Marc Much
The folks behind Trenchermen, Lone Wolf and more turned the former Smallbar Division space into a hotspot specializing in Indian and British pub food. Much like Analogue the previous year, Pub Royale's food, not the focal point leading up to its opening, soon gathered acclaim, pushing it into one of the top openings of the year.
2049 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622

3. Broken Shaker

19 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611
Marc Much
Taking a hot Miami concept and transforming it for Chicagoans has proven very successful for the folks behind Broken Shaker. Utilizing Native American and old school lounge design touches with cocktails from Freddie Sarkis, this import carved out a bit of hipster nirvana in the middle of River North.
19 E Ohio St
Chicago, IL 60611

4. Monteverde

1020 West Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60607
Marc Much
Sarah Grueneberg's decision to leave Spiaggia two years ago and venture off on her own with the recently opened Monteverde has proven successful. The Italian spot is well received with guests and earned quick praise from critics.
1020 West Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60607

5. Intro Chicago

2300 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL 60614
Marc Much
Lettuce Entertain You's decision to close two Michelin-starred L2O at the end of 2014 surprised many, but the bigger surprise was what took its place. Owner Rich Melman wanted to transform the space into a restaurant that introduced the city to up-and-coming culinary talent, giving them a place to showcase their creativity. From starting chef CJ Jacobson to the space's current kitchen head Stephen Gillanders, Intro has received broad acclaim.
2300 N. Lincoln Park West
Chicago, IL 60614

6. The Angry Crab

5665 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60659
From out of nowhere, this little seafood boil spot caught fire with Chicagoans like few other restaurant openings did in 2015. Featuring no-frills seafood served in plastic bags with customers' choice of sauce mixes and sides, The Angry Crab has the long lines to prove it ranks among the top openings of the year.
5665 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60659

7. The Blanchard

1935 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Few restaurants have received the sort of critical and guest praise that chef/owner Jason Paskewitz's The Blanchard has in 2015. By focusing on elegant, classical French cuisine (if you love foie gras, this is your place) with a design aesthetic that fits the food served, Paskewitz's baby is proving to be quite the charmer.
1935 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

8. Latinicity

108 N State St, Chicago, IL
Richard Sandoval and Jose Garces' Latin Eataly, the huge food hall on the the third floor of Block 37 shops, found instant success upon opening in early November. After receiving 10,000 visitors in its first three days, Latinicity was forced to close on its fourth day in order to "replenish, restock and rearrange the restaurant."
108 N State St
Chicago, IL

9. Swift & Sons

1000 W. Fulton, Chicago, IL
Marc Much
Though Chicago is not at a loss for steakhouses, the teams at both Boka and B. Hospitality decided to stake their claim with their own concept. With chef Chris Pandel at the helm of the kitchen and a design from New York's AvroKo (as well as sitting on the ground floor of the Google building), Swift & Sons was one of the splashiest openings of the year.
1000 W. Fulton
Chicago, IL

10. Furious Spoon

1571 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Marc Much
Shin Thompson takes his ramen seriously and, despite early grumbling (no take away option, high customer turn-out forcing temporary closings), Furious Spoon has proven to be a steady, hot commodity in Wicker Park. Look for the next iteration in 2016 in Logan Square.
1571 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

11. Lost Lake

3154 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Paul McGee single-handedly brought tiki drinks back to life when he opened LEYE's Three Dots a Dash. Upon moving over to Land & Sea Dept., McGee continued his love for the kitschy cocktail form by opening Lost Lake in Logan Square. Lightning did, in fact, strike twice. Bonus: Bar guests can order food from Thank You, the companion Chinese-American restaurant next door to eat while enjoying one of McGee's tasty beverages.
3154 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

12. Chicago Athletic Association

12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
Marc Much
One of the splashiest openings of 2015 had to be the Chicago Athletic Association space. Featuring a number of dining (Cindy's, Cherry Circle Room, Shake Shack) and drinking (Drawing Room, Milk Room, Game Room) options, CAA has held the city in rapture since debuting back in May.
12 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603

13. Boeufhaus

1012 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Boeufhaus' German-influenced take on a meaty brasserie jumped on the scene back in April to neighborhood and critical acclaim. Chef Brian Ahern's menu has hit a nerve with foodies and those within the industry alike. Ahern pushed his uncompromising vision in a untested area of the city and all signs point to it paying off.
1012 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

14. Nando's Peri-Peri

953 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Since opening the first Nando's Peri-Peri back in May, three more (in Lakeview, Lincoln Park and the Loop) have opened. The South African chicken chain's flame-grilled chicken proved to be a hit right out of the box.
953 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

15. GreenRiver

259 E Erie St Fl 18, Chicago, IL 60611
Marc Much
From Danny Meyer and the folks behind NYC's famed cocktail bar The Dead Rabbit, GreenRiver was one of the most hotly anticipated spots of the year and the hype surrounding it proved to be justified. Though the cocktails were the main focus, the food has gotten acclaim, especially the "chicken oysters" (the little piece of dark meat found on the backbone of a chicken thigh).
259 E Erie St Fl 18
Chicago, IL 60611

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