Since I live so close to downtown Chicago, I try to take advantage of every opportunity to head into the city and try a new restaurant! There are so many to choose from! However, the Chicago food scene is ever changing. There are dozens of new restaurants that are opening in Chicago in the late summer, or early this fall! I decided to put together a Chicago Fall Restaurant Round-Up, as a mini-guide to these hot, new restaurants.
The Chicago food scene is unlike any other in the country. Even with thousands of options to choose from, Chicagoans love trying the hottest new places.
Aba has been around for a few weeks now, but its still extremely hard to lock down a reservation for peak times! From the creators of Ema, Aba is a Mediterranean restaurant that showcases raw and cooked protein. Their rooftop patio is also a staple for diners who enjoy eating outdoors in the warmer months. They also have a gluten free menu! Two dishes I can’t wait to try: house-made labneh (a spread out of lemon/kumquat preserves with tomato and basil) and Skirt Steak Shawarma! Just an FYI, make a reservation ahead of time. If you want to eat a normal time (between 6pm-8:30pm) reservations fill up around 2 months in advance. I made my reservation for 6pm in mid-November, on September 13.
Beatnik on the River
Beatnik has been a Chicago food scene favorite since September 2017. A newer member of the Chicago food scene, its sister restaurant, Beatnik on the River (BOTR), opened in a prime location, you guessed it… on the river late this summer. This bohemian resort-esque restaurant is located in the Loop and features a very similar menu to the West Town location, with an unbelievable riverside patio. Plan your visit for the weekdays, because Beatnik on the River is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Personally, I cannot wait to try their Beatnik Burger and smoked baba ganoush. Attached to BOTR is Café Bonhomme, a grab and go cafe with many of the staple sandwiches from BOTR’s menu.
Pacific Standard Time
Who knew that the West Coast had so much to offer? More and more, California inspired restaurants are making their way to the Chicago food scene. Pacific Standard Time joins health-nut favorite, California style restaurants like West Coast Foods and True Food Kitchen in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. PST dishes incorporate the style of California farms with Chicago city life. Don’t the Avocado Salad and Tempura Fried Rockfish sound unbelievable?
Etta is the new restaurant from the creators of Maple and Ash. Bringing an entirely wood-fired menu to the Chicago food scene, etta is the affordable neighborhood restaurant we have all been looking for. The menu changes daily based on the freshest ingredients available from local Midwest farmers. On the menu are focaccia, oysters, various pizzas and pasta dishes, and wood-fired meats. I’m super excited to try their blueberry shortcake.
Walton Street Kitchen and Bar
This new Gold Coast hot spot is a bistro and scotch lounge. Don’t expect typical American food here, dishes on the impeccable menu include dishes like a rabbit potpie and seared loin duo. Personally, I feel that the CDV Salumi roll is calling my name! The bar at Walton serves martini pitches that are sure to give you a little buzz! Most importantly, they will be launching their brunch menu later this year!
TAO is literally number one on my must-try list of new restaurants. Whenever I’m in NYC, I try very hard to make it to TAO. This is a highly awaited staple, that is finally making it’s way into Chicago on September 17. Their Asian menu is extensive and delicious. My favorite dishes at TAO include the crispy rice tuna roll, pork potstickers, lobster egg rolls, and coconut shrimp. And you cannot forget the giant fortune cookie dessert! Located right across the street from Hard Rock Cafe in the old Excalibur (Castle) building, TAO is sure to stay on the Chicago food scene for a long time!
Have you tried any of these new restaurants? Do you have a different favorite restaurant in Chicago that you think I should try? Let me know in the comments below!