Before you start reading my list of Chicago’s current hottest restaurants, I want to remind you that I am originally from Chicago – I grew up in Winnetka, a Northern Suburb. Although I am back in Chicago 6-8 times a year, I usually spend most of that time with family in the suburbs or at our Lake House in the Indiana Dunes. So, if you’re wondering why this list isn’t as long as my typical Top 10 List, it’s because I don’t have as much time here to visit all the new hot spots. However, after keeping up wits Eater Chicago and various friends’ recommendations, here is a list of some of the Hottest new Restaurants I’ve enjoyed and highly recommend. Happy Dining. Also, for those new to Chicago, don’t forget a coat, hat, and gloves as it can get very chilly!
Lettuce Entertain You has done it again with their newest opening, Aba located in the West Loop. With a beautiful rooftop terrace, stunning interior, a lively scene and fabulous food and drinks it’s hard not to love this new West Loop Gem. I visited this July and loved everything about it. Be sure to come early to snag a cocktail and take in the rooftop deck, then stay for dinner! 302 N Green St 3rd floor, Chicago, IL 60607
Somerset Restaurant & Roof Top Bar at The Viceroy
During my most recent visit in January, I had a girls weekend with my cousin and we stayed at the fabulous Gwen Hotel. We went out Friday night to Bellemore, another HOT new Chicago Restaurant on this list (also from the same team as Somerset, The Boka Group), and then a friend had recommended Somerset! so we brunched here on Saturday. Somerset, located in Chicago’s NEW and beautiful Viceroy Hotel, is spectacular. Not only because of their beautiful design – a bright, modern, stunning setting – but, also, because of their food and the great guest experience. We sat at a booth facing outside and took in the great, bright light and the lively front half of this restaurant. The food was great and so was the bustling vibe. 1112 North State. Chicago.
This French toast with caramelized Bananas and nuts was over the top. I ordered an omelette, but, of course, had to try this. One bite turned into three or four – it was that good!
The beautiful rooftop bar was just as incredible as the first floor restaurant. I’m dying to come back here for cocktails and a summer visit to the rooftop pool and bar.
Touring the roof top bar with General Manager Tom. What a fabulous host! He showed us the pool area which has stunning Chicago skyline views, views of Lake Michigan, The John Hancock Building, and more…
As a San Francisco local (meaning I live there now, I did not grow up there), Michael Mina is one of the most adored Chefs in town. When his team opened Margeaux Brasserie in Chicago, I was thrilled; both because I was excited for Chicago to experience Michael Mina’s fabulous culinary offerings and, since I’m originally from Chicago, I would get to go home to visit and experience Margaux. After visiting, I can say this charming Gold Coast gem is fabulous. With a stunning interior decor (located within the Waldorf Hotel), amazing food, a great wine program, and a super attentive staff this is a new Chicago Restaurant not to be missed! 11 E Walton St, Chicago, IL 60611
Interior pictures courtesy of Huge Galdones Photography.
Starting out the evening with some delicious Michael Mina Iron Horse Sparkling Wine (read more about Iron Horse Winery here). I adore these wines and their Russian River Winery is amazing.
Starting out with these BVI Mussels in a garlic white wine base. They were delicious and a nice start to a lovey dinner.
If I see French Onion Soup on a menu, I can’t resist it. Especially in this beautiful Brasserie setting. This soup was delicious and paired lovely with the Pinot Noir I was drinking.
The incredible dessert spread the team surprised us with! Hard to decide between the Chocolate Macaron and the Banana Dessert. I’m usually a Chocolate girl, but, if I had to choose, the Banana dessert was my favorite!
Another recently opened Chicago hotspot is Bellemore, located in the West Loop. Check out my Top 10 West Loop Restaurants here. I went here for dinner on my most recent January trip home to Chicago with my cousin Liz and it was the spot to be. We ended up sitting at the bar, which is always fun especially when it’s as gorgeous as this bar. We are both picky eaters and found the menu a bit specific, but we each found something to order and ended up being quite happy. I had a delicious fish and she had a steak, both cooked to perfection with incredible flavors and beautiful presentations. I loved the beautiful setting and the open kitchen (which, from our seats at the bar, was incredible). This is another fabulous addition to Chicago’s West Loop that I recommend you experience. 564 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661
The stunning bar where we dined.
Proxi is a newer addition to the West Loop and judging by my incredible visit this Summer, they will not be going anywhere. I went with my girl friends during my best friend Katherine’s Chicago Bachelorette party and it was great! Since we were a larger group we shared quite a bit and I loved it all. 565 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661.
Another beyond beautiful bar. I would go back here just to hang at the bar and never leave – it’s truly that inviting and so beautiful!
Monteverde is for sure not the newest spot on this list, but it’s still on the newer side (as in it wasn’t around when I was a kid growing up in Chicago) and has the most incredible pasta in the city. It has a beautiful interior design with a very homey feel to it with pasta hanging along the bar. My favorite part is, if you sit at the bar (walk in seating only), you can watch the pasta being hand made daily. Clearly, if you visit Monteverde, plan to eat pasta and not just any pasta: delicious, amazing pasta! 1020 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607
The incredible bar with views of the open kitchen where the house pasta is made fresh daily!
It wasn’t until my recent visit home for Thanksgiving 2017 that I experienced Gilt Bar, but I quickly fell in love. I had started with a cocktail at their super dark, sexy bar and it made me not want to leave. I did just that and I stayed and joined my friend Rachel for dinner. We were on the earlier side dining at 7:30pm, but within minutes the dining room was full and there was not a seat to be had. I found the cocktails here incredible, the food very good, and the dining experience fair as our service was a bit slow due to the crowded dining room. Regardless, it’s a hot spot with a super swanky scene, great drinks, and delicious food! I will for sure be returning again. 230 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654.
Maple + Ash
Another fabulous restaurant in the Gold Coast is Maple + Ash. With a dark, moody interior, incredible food, and fabulous service, Maple + Ash will not disappoint. It’s been open a few years now, so not technically brand new, but another great Gold Coast addition I adored visiting and have been back to – not only for food, but also because they have a great bar scene which is always nice to enjoy in a beautiful restaurant setting. 8 W Maple St, Chicago, IL 60610
Cindy’s Rooftop at The Chicago Athletic Club
This is another Chicago gem and, even though it’s been around a few years now, it is still one of the best spots for brunch, eats, or a drink with spectacular Chicago views during the warmer summer months. Be sure to make a reservation or be ready to wait as this is always crowded on a beautiful Chicago day. I’ve only been for drinks, but always hear incredible things about their brunch, which is on my Chicago bucket list. 12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603