What’s New In Food: Best New Chicago Restaurants

By Kevin Wilson

7 Trending Places To Dine With Your NRA Guests

If you’re looking for a cool new place to dine with your guests during the National Restaurant Show, we’ve got you covered. Check out this list of the hottest new restaurants in downtown Chicago, all conveniently located in or near the Loop

Image by @mueller.adrian via Instagram

1. Althea

Featuring renowned celebrity chef Matthew Kenny

700 N Michigan Ave
7th Floor of Saks Fifth Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 525-3400
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Cuisine: Plant-based/Vegan

With a mantra of bringing the “future of food” to Saks Fifth Avenue Chicago, Althea offers a diverse variety of organic, globally-inspired ingredients with new spins on traditional dishes as well as Chef Matthew Kenny’s classics. Kenny, who is considered a plant-based cuisine pioneer, has also created an extensive biodynamic cocktail, beer and wine program.

Visit website

Aster Hall
Image by @rach.bires via Instagram

2. Aster Hall

Featuring 16 unique “vaults” curated by Au Cheval’s owners

900 N Michigan Ave
Levels 5 & 6
Chicago, IL 60661
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Cuisine: Mixed

This luxe food hall is a far cry from a mall food court. It’s the foodie’s food court, offering a little something for everyone. Aster Hall includes 16 one-of-a-kind menus from the likes of Small Cheval, Doughnut Vault, Sushi Station, Green Street Smoked Meats, Chicago Char-Dogs and more. Order your food from the touch screens on the fifth floor and then head up to the welcoming, trendy décor of the sixth floor.

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Bar Sotano
Image by @outoftomorrows for @chicagomag “Seen on the Scene”

3. Bar Sótano

Featuring spirits director Lanie Bayless and father Rick Bayless

443 North Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 319-5857
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Cuisine: Mexican

Located in the alley behind Frontera Grill and voted the best new cocktail bar of 2019 by Chicago Tribune’s readers’ choice awards, Bar Sótano features craft Mexican food, from trendy bar snacks like habanero-glazed fried chicken bites to entrées like wagyu steak with pureed sunchoke.

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Cabra. Image by @cloudsandcoffee via Instagram.

Featuring menus from chefs Stephanie Izard and Chris Pandel

200 N Green St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 761-1700
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Cuisine: Mediterranean, Peruvian

If you’re making the trip to Chicago, you have to at least try to elbow your way into one of Stephanie Izard’s restaurants. Her newest Peruvian rooftop spot Cabra is located in the new Hoxton Chicago hotel in the heart of the trending Fulton Market neighborhood. The hotel’s ground-floor Mediterranean restaurant Cira, featuring Chef Chris Pandel, and the basement cocktail and piano bar Lazy Bird won’t disappoint either.

Visit Cira website
Visit Cabra website
Visit Lazy Bird website

Image by @funkenhausenchi via Instagram

5. Funkenhausen

Featuring Chef Mark Steuer

1709 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 929-4727
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Cuisine: German/Southern

 It may sound like a strange twist to combine “German heritage” with “Southern hospitality”, but Chef Mark Steuer makes it work in the most fabulous way. At this modern beer hall you’ll find German classics like Weisswurst and Sturgeon Pastrami, along with a “whole mess of chicken” under the menu’s “big as funk” category. Enjoy dining in this restored 1920s warehouse featuring cuckoo clocks vintage signage and the restaurant’s wild boar mascot, Ernest “Hamingway”.

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Good Measure
Image by @goodmeasurechi via Instagram

6. Good Measure

Featuring Chef Matt Troost

226 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 600-9268
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Cuisine: Bar and Grill

From Nashville hot fried duck livers to sunflower hummus to cheeseburgers with foie gras sautéed onions, Good Measure is the kind of place that has a lot of unexpected twists on bar food with an equally interesting decor. The restaurant pays tribute to the turn of the century tailor shop that once occupied the space, while also drawing inspiration from punk music with classic checkered floors, vintage art and red leather barstools.

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Image by @makochicago via Instagram

7. Mako

Featuring Chef B.K. Park

731 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 988-0687
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Cuisine: Sushi

This small 22-seat sushi restaurant offers a single menu with up to 25 courses and two seating options, either the sushi bar or a table. Book now, as this hot, new spot only takes a few reservations per night.

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Looking for more dining recommendations? We’ll hook you up:

Kevin Wilson

About the author
Kevin Wilson is CEO of Esrock Partners, a foodservice marketing agency located near Chicago, Illinois.

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