From a cocktail omakase to a Southern-inspired Bavarian brew hall, Chicago’s buzziest new restaurants all understand the art of the mash-up. To show how on board we are with the trend, we’re planning a mash-up of our own: back-to-back visits to all eight restaurants ASAP.
8 Red-Hot New Restaurants to Add to Your Dining Agenda This Fall
This soon-to-open West Loop cocktail den takes its name from an intricate Japanese woodworking technique, probably because its cocktails require a comparable level of artistry. Best of all, the offerings will include a cocktail omakase experience. Count on Julia Momose—named one America’s best mixologists by Food & Wine and formerly of The Office at Aviary—to pull it off.
Opening soon at 630 W. Lake St.; barkumiko.com
Walton Street Kitchen + Bar
The Gold Coast is home to some of true stalwarts of the Chicago restaurant scene, so when a new kid steps foot on the block, we take note. This one’s a twofer, with a cocktail bar set in a library-like setting on the ground floor and an upscale restaurant overlooking State & Walton streets on the second floor. With Ryan O’Donnell (Gemini, Coda di Volpe) at the helm, it's sure to be delicious.
912 N. State St.; waltonstreetchicago.com
Good news: Logan Square is getting a sustainable seafood spot from two veterans of Honey's. After testing the idea out in a pop-up last year, Chef Charles Welch and Creative Director Andrew Miller will open in September with a Mediterranean-inspired menu that also includes fresh pastas. In other words, everything we love.
2528 N. California Ave.; goodfortunechicago.com
Bavarian beer hall meets Southern hospitality meets West Town warehouse? OK! Chef Mark Steuer (Carriage House, El Che Bar) is behind this culture-melding smorgasbord. Expect bratwursts, schnitzels and beer along with twists like roasted oysters with bacon lardons and inventive cocktails.
1709 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-929-4727 or funkenhausen.com
This all-day American brasserie in the St. Jane Hotel (formerly the Hard Rock Hotel) is your new go-to for post-work, pre-theatre and mid-weekend shopping. Michelin-starred chef Aaron Lirette (GreenRiver) makes every meal delectable, from the soft shell crab BLT to the aged Rohan duck breast.
224 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-345-1000 or stjanehotel.com/dining
Even the most karaoke-averse will start to warm up to the idea after a few Asian-inspired cocktails (think ingredients like matcha, yuzu and shiso) at this speakeasy-style lounge at Found Hotel. If the smooth drinks don’t convince you you’re a worthy crooner, the swanky environs (designed by John Sofio of Built, Inc.) will. Just make sure to fill up on some short rib bao before it all goes to your head.
613 N. Wells St.; hwoodgroup.com/blind-dragon-
You know a burger’s good when it inspires a restaurant spin-off. Mott Street’s double-stacked delight used to be served only during brunch or at the restaurant bar. Now you can have it any time at this Logan Square outpost. Stacked with 100 percent angus beef, hoisin aioli, sweet potato frizzles, pickled jalapeños, miso butter and onions… well, it’s nothing short of extraordinary.
3057 W. Logan Blvd.; minimott.com
Korean cuisine meets Italian flavor at this Andersonville spot. Chef and owner Jennifer Kim is just the person for the task: The Korean native was previously chef at Nico Osteria. We suggest her kimchi pajeon pancake topped with ramp pesto and ddukbokki noodles with rice cakes and lamb ragu.
5420 N. Clark St.; 708-607-2102 or passerottochicago.com