What:Verve Wine’s restaurant lives again! You’ll find executive chef Lucas DePerry serving twists on classic French bistro favorites.
Why:Well, for starters, the wine program is top-tier. Order French or domestic pours off the glass list to pair with dishes like Caesar salad with miso and pigs en croute with local sausage.
Where:2349 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Park Website
2 Lilac Tiger
What:Meet the new iteration of Wazwan: a South Asian collab among chefs Zubair Mohajir and Won Kim (Kimski) and Arami owner Ty Fujimura.
Why:Try Indian tiger prawns and duck fried rice with chai daiquiris and ube coladas from David Mor.
Where:1742 W. Division St., Wicker Park Website
3 Publican Quality Meats
What:Dinner service arrives at the great little butcher shop.
Why:Rob Levitt’s thoughtful menu includes plates like pickled pork tongue Gildas, Publican Quality Bread with pork butter, and beef carpaccio with truffle peach olives.
Where:825 W. Fulton Market, West Loop Website
4 John’s Food & Wine
What:A New American spot from two chefs who cut their teeth at New York’s Gramercy Tavern.
Why:It’s a new kind of fancy-casual: Place your order at the counter for lobster salad with melted leek aïoli and short ribs with green peppercorn sauce.
Where:2114 N. Halsted St., Lincoln Park Website
5 Good Ambler
What:Pastry superstar Meg Galus takes the reins at this café, bakery, and chocolate shop.
Why:The menu changes constantly, so pop by regularly for treats like citrus poppyseed scones, chocolate malt cream pie cookies, and pear brandy truffles.
Where:216 N. Peoria St., West Loop Website
6 Lizzy J Cafe
What:Jamie Gilmore’s brunch joint returns, now as a sit-down eatery at Time Out Market.
Why:Start your day with shrimp and grits or lemon blueberry ricotta pancakes.
Where:916 W. Fulton Market, West Loop Website
7 Kama Bistro
What:A location of La Grange’s Indian staple lands in the city.
Why:Vikram Singh serves tamarind-glazed short ribs and tandoori lamb chops; it’s just right for date night.
Where:1560 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wicker Park Website
8 Poke Okie
What:Obviously you can get poke bowls; deck yours out with octopus, quail eggs, and Spam.
Why:Speaking of Spam, musubi is also on the menu at this Hawaiian-inspired café.
Where:2945 N. Milwaukee Ave., Logan Square Website
9 Seoul Stick
What:A fun new purveyor of all things Korean snacking
Why:Do you want corn dogs with ramen crumbs or fries with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Seoul Stick fulfills all kinds of cravings.
Where:1571 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wicker Park Website
What:A colorful taqueria chain makes its Chicago debut.
Why:Your daytime order is al pastor breakfast tacos, but your evening order? Rounds of birria tacos and pitchers of spicy margs.
Where:126 N. Peoria St., West Loop Website