Best New Chicago Restaurants

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Who doesn’t love to try a new restaurant? I love to try any place once if it’s affordable but sometimes “new”, “recommended” and “affordable” don’t exist in the same sentence.  At least that’s what I found when I looked through Chicago Magazine‘s list of Best New Restaurants in their May 2009 issue. With pricey picks from $30 – $50 plus, this list has me wondering whether or not we’re truly in a recession. But, from James Beard award winners to avant garde new hot spots, I can see why many of these new restaurants made the cut.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad new restaurants are still opening despite these hard economic times. And it is a great list, I would LOVE to try these places but something about the price key just rubbed me the wrong way. They were certainly not going for the Three Buck Bites. Take a look:

¢ = $10 to $19
$ = $20 to $29
$$ = $30 to $39
$$$ = $40 to $49
$$$$ = $50 plus

Starting with the $10 – $19 seems quite reasonably but he problem was all of the picks on this list has $$ or more!

Some of them sound spectacular though, and despite the economic recession, I’m sure they will be sticking around for awhile.

Here are the restaurants they chose, all 22 of them!:

Big Jones – A self proclaimed restaurant of Coastal Southern Cuisine, this place brings Creole to Chicago! Serving brunch and dinner, their menu is touted with seafood and gumbo alike.

5347 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 275-5725

C-House - A fish and chops house, this restaurant serves high end versions of fish and chips, salmon, flatiron steak and much more.  You can also get fresh oysters!

166 East Superior Street,
Chicago, IL 60611

Eve – An upscale contemporary American dining spot, Eve has already received three stars from Phil Vettel. From Seared Day Boat Scallops to Truffled Celery Root Ravioli, this restaurants uses a lot of local and organic ingredients.

840 N Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 266-3383

Glen Prairie - One of the only suburban picks to make the list, Glen Prairie’s casual atmosphere serves up fresh natural organic and healthy eats. From their mouthwatering burgers to their more  sophisticated entree salads, they certainly have a large menu of good eats.

Crowne Plaza
Glen Ellyn-Lombard
1250 Roosevelet Rd.
Glen Ellyn, IL

Graham Elliot – Attempting to redefine contemporary American cuisine, this new hot spot calls itself “bistronomic” mixing gastronomic fine dining with humor and accessibility. They also have one of the coolest restaurant websites I’ve ever seen, so check it out!

217 W Huron St, Ste 1
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 624-9975

L20 - Already voted one of the best new restaurants in the country, L20 offers prix fixe menus in packages of 4, 6 or 12 courses. Choose your menu and start your own tasting tour!

2300 N Lincoln Park W
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 868-0002

Mado – This mix of wood grilled pizzas and wood baked entrees accompanied with all sorts of seasonal antipasti has gotten rave reviews since the start.

1647 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL

Mana Food Bar – A unique blend of cold dishes, noodles and hot dishes, this restaurant lets your appetite choose the size! You can also wash down these delicious offerings with all sorts of  fresh squeezed juices and cocktails.

1742 W Division St # 1
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 342-1742

Mercat A La Planxa – This authentic new restaurant offers a taste of Catalonia through its offerings of cured meats, cheeses, tapas, and much  more!

638 Michagan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 765-0524

Mexique – As you might imagine, this restaurant serves upscale Mexican dishes like braised short ribs, pan seared tilapia and skatewing, the fish made famous by Ariane of Top Chef but pan seared and served with a brown butter sauce at Mexique.

1529 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 850-0288

Mixteco Grill - An extensive menu of pastas, burgers, salads and much more, this Lakeview Grill is truly a mix of all sorts of cuisine!

1601 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 868-1601

Park 52 - Self professed American comfort food, this gutsy restaurant chose a gutsy locale for its icy martinis and classic dishes. Lined with a photo of Michelle Obama, they once served the now First Lady some good eats.

5201 S Harper Ave
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 241-5200

Perennial - With a motto of “Eat, Drink, Repeat”, I like the style of this fresh new restaurant given 3 stars by Phil Vettel. With an array of fresh seafood, beef and pork, accompanied by sides like ratatouille, mac and cheese and a glazed sweet potato gratin, there seems to be something for everyone at Perennial.

1800 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 981-7070

Piccolo Sogno – With well executed authentic Italian dishes, this restaurant is equipped with a wood oven and wood grill to serve up classic Italian food fare done right.

464 N Halsted St # 1
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 421-0077

Province – From rabbit confit to 10 hour braised lamb, this restaurant is anything but ordinary.

161 N Jefferson St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 669-9900

The Publican – I’ve heard all sorts of good things about The Publican that serves an a la carte style menu with sections of  fish, aged ham, meat, vegetables and cheese.

845 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-9555

Sugartoad – Serving gutsy dishes like Pufferfish (can be poisonous if not prepared correctly), Sugartoad’s American restuarant serves hefty dishes with hefty portions.

2139 City Gate Ln,
Naperville, IL

Sunda – Labelled New Asian, this resto is put on by the team who brought us Rockit and The Underground. Trying to attract hip Chicago youth with their wasabi martinis, they have the food to back up the hype.

110 W. Illinois St.
Chicago, IL

Tocco – An authentic Italian pizzeria and trattoria, Tocco swoons guests with its array of fresh pasta dishes and authentic Italian entrees accompanied by pizzas made with fresh ingredients.

1266 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 687-8895

Topaz -Another contemporary American pick, this suburban locale incorporates the ‘rustic flavors of Spain and France’ into American cuisine, according to Chicago Magazine.

780 Village Center Dr.
Burr Ridge, IL

Urbanbelly - A Pan Asian hot spot, this restaurant is the most affordable of the bunch! Pick your protein and try it served up in a dumpling or atop rice or noodles.

3053 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 583-0500

Veerasway – Already voted the Best Indian restaurant in Chicago, their menu serves up all facets of Indian cuisine from the street food to organic salads, traditional Indian dishes and Indo-American fusion cuisine.

844 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 491-0844

Have you tried one of these restaurants? Let us know how it was in the comments!

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  • Chicago Restaurants

    Thanks for all the information. Found some good restaurants in this list.

  • Jason

    Find more categorized list of Chicago Restaurants.

    Chicago Restaurants, Downtown Chicago Restaurants, Steaks, Seafood, Mexican, Asian, Indian, Trendy, Italian, Best….Everything.

  • Jose Arauz

    Get authentic Panamanian cuisine in Logan Square. First Panamanian restaurant in the Midwest.

    3054 West Armitage Avenue, near Albany.
    Chicago, IL 60647.

    Appetizers $2.50-$7.00
    Entrees $9.95-$14.00

    Tuesday-Thursday 11:00am-8pm
    Friday-Saturday 11:00am-9pm
    Sunday 11:00am-7pm

    Public Transportation:
    Closest Train- Blue at the Western stop, take Armitage bus #73 (west bound) to Albany.

  • Restoran Svadbe

    Wow! Great info. Thank you for this. Gonna bookmark

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