Cheers to Chicago’s culinary scene! It’s never boring. This year, two of the city’s established restaurants took home James Beard awards for emerging chef of the year (Damarr Brown of Virtue) and best chef Great Lakes region (Tim Flores and Genie Kwon, Kasama). As those chefs celebrate the recognition they deserve, Chicagoans should keep an eye on the many new spots that have opened in 2023. Representing the city’s diverse cultures and cuisines, you’ll find new Mexican, Caribbean and Italian restaurants, not to mention vegan and soul food spots revamping classic dishes. If you’re a vegetarian, you’re in luck. Even meat-forward spots like Smoque Steak are providing tasty plant-based menu options. Finally, several spots (GG’s Chicken Shop and Daisies) are adding surcharges to final bills so they can offer their employees living wages and benefits. We’ll toast to that. Here are the best new restaurants in Chicago worth checking out this summer.