Now that Chicago’s brightest, warmest season is truly in full swing, locals and visitors are hitting the streets (when the air quality allows it) to bask in the sunshine. It’s a vital time for local chefs and restaurateurs, who aim to entice Chicagoans and visitors with new establishments all over town. The following are just some of the restaurants that have opened — or reopened — their dining rooms, patios, and takeout windows. It will be updated periodically.
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Bucktown: Thai restaurant Eat Fine Design By Khun Kung opened in June at 2062 N. Damen Avenue, owners announced on Instagram. Menu options include Southern Thai-style hat yai fried chicken, larb gai, and po tak talay. Eat Fine Design By Khun Kung, 2062 N. Damen Avenue, Open noon to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Friday; noon to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Bucktown: French favorite Le Bouchon reopened Thursday, September 28, just under two weeks after a kitchen fire forced it to close for repairs, co-owners and brothers Nicholas and Oliver Poilevey announced on Instagram. The restaurant was closed to customers during the time of the fire and no one was hurt, but workers needed to repair large holes in its walls and replace damaged equipment. The brothers are well-known figures in Chicago hospitality, both for their own culinary work and that of their late parents, chef Jean-Claude Poilevey and Susanne Poilevey. Just as Le Bouchon returns, the Poileveys have had to temporarily shutter Obelix, their award-winning restaurant in River North, due to issues with its building. Le Bouchon, 1958 N. Damen Avenue, Open for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Open for dinner 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; Open for dinner 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Fulton Market: A trio of new vendors — Miami-based Basque spot Sua; German-style hot dogs and smash burger slinger Gutenburg, and Lizzy J’s Cafe (a beloved Lincoln Square restaurant that closed in 2022) — are open inside Time Out Market Chicago food hall, according to a rep. These, and several more forthcoming debuts, are part of a larger shift inside the food hall as it moves away from a purely local focus to bringing in vendors that have been successful in other locations around the world. Sua, Gutenburg, and Lizzy J’s Cafe at Time Out Market Chicago, 916 W. Fulton Market.
Irving Park: Mas Tacos, a new Mexican restaurant from the co-owners and spouses behind Earl’s BBQ, Ella’s BBQ, and Firewood BBQ, opened in early September at 4009 N. Elston Avenue, according to Block Club Chicago. Gosia Pieniazek and Artur Wnorowski tell reporters that their tacos, which are filled with barbecued meats like smoked brisket and pulled pork, were such a hit at their other restaurants that they decided to launch the taqueria. The couple have applied for a liquor license, so patrons can expect cocktails in the near future. Mas Tacos, 4009 N. Elston Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Pullman: The Pullman Club Coffee Shop reopened on Friday, September 1 at 605 E. 111th Street around four months after it temporarily closed to complete the restoration of its historic structure, operators announced on Facebook. A hospitality and fundraising arm of the Pullman House Project, the coffee shop originally debuted in May 2023 but hit pause on the business less than a month later. Now it’s back with coffee, hot chocolate, espresso drinks, and more. The Pullman Club Coffee Shop, 605 E. 111th Street, Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Rogers Park: Chicago area-based breakfast and brunch chain Honey Berry Pancakes & Cafe opened a new outpost in September at 6606 N. Sheridan Road in the former Bulldog Alehouse, according to its website. Both brands are owned by WeEat Hospitality Group and the spot has retained its liquor license, which means patrons can opt for morning cocktails alongside familiar breakfast staples like waffles, pancakes, and eggs. Honey Berry Pancakes & Cafe Rogers Park, 6606 N. Sheridan Road, Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Rogers Park: Nayo African Cuisine, a Nigerian restaurant from kitchen veteran Anayo Nwajiaku, opened in September at 1418 W. Howard Street in the former home of Athena Board Game Cafe, according to Block Club. Nwajiaku’s menu is laden with soup options, including okra and uguba soup, egusi soup, and ukazi soup, as well as jollof rice and moi-moi. Nayo African Cuisine, 1418 W. Howard Street, Open 9 a.m. to midnight daily.
Uptown: XMarket Vegan Food Hall, a new vegan dining hub with six restaurants, a wine and beer bar, a coffee shop, and a bodega-style market, opened Monday, September 18 at 804 W. Montrose Avenue, according to a rep. There are six food vendors including Kitchen 17, a vegan sushi stall from the owners of Bloom Plant Based, and Kale My Name. Management has ambitious aspirations for the space, hoping to hold live comedy, music, and storytelling events as well as game-viewing parties and more. Stay tuned for more on Chicago’s new vegan food hall. XMarket Vegan Food Hall, 804 W. Montrose Avenue, Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Washington Heights: New Haitian restaurant Lior’s Cafe opened in June at 10500 S. Halsted Street, owners announced on Instagram. Its traditional menu includes options like Soup Joumou (a celebratory dish associated with Haitian Independence Day), braised bone-in oxtail with butter beans, and Poisson Rouge, or fried whole red snapper. Lior’s Cafe, 10500 S. Halsted Street, Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
West Loop: Paper Plane Pizza, a pop-up-turned-pizzeria from Chicago bar veterans Dustin Drankiewicz (Moneygun, Pink Squirrel) and Milos Stevanovic (The Swill Inn), opened inside From Here On food hall at 433 W. Van Buren Street inside the Old Post Office, according to a rep. Paper Plane specializes in a distinctive style with elements of New York and Neopolitan pies such as the Plain Jane (mozzarella, basil, pecorino romano) and the Chicago Classic (sausage, mushroom, onion, garlic herb oil). There’s a second location in downtown Milwaukee. Paper Plane Pizza at From Here On, 433 W. Van Buren Street, Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
Oak Park: Ciro, a new Italian counter-service cafe from Italian immigrant and chef Ciro Parlato, opened on Tuesday, September 26 at 1048 Pleasant Street in suburban Oak Park, according to a Facebook post. A native of Corbara, Italy, Parlato tells reporters that he was raised by his grandparents and learned to cook at a young age by working alongside his grandmother in her kitchen at home. He entered hospitality school at 14 and worked in restaurants throughout the Campania region before relocating in 2012 to Miami, and three years later, Chicago. As Parlato is Ciro’s sole employee, he’s opened with takeout-only service and a menu of sandwiches and fresh pasta. Ciro, 1048 Pleasant Street in Oak Park, Open 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.