Alla Vita
Photograph: Huge Galdones Photography

1 Alla Vita

What:Boka Restaurant Group and chef Lee Wolen bring their takes on classic family-style Italian dishes to the former Bellemore space.
Why:Order wood-fired pizzas topped with mushrooms and black truffles, plus housemade pastas and the restaurant’s signature dish: chicken parm with fire-roasted tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella.
Where:564 W. Randolph St., West Loop Website


Photograph: Zoe Schor

2 Split-Rail

What:The West Town favorite reimagines its space with help from the Martin gallery.
Why:Take in work from emerging artists while you nosh on fried chicken with chile-maple butter.
Where:2500 W. Chicago Ave., West Town Website


Mona Bella Catering
Photograph: Abriana Johnson

3 Mona Bella Catering

What:Cambodian meals to go from veteran chef Mona Sang
Why:Order a feast of crispy shrimp rolls, beef larb, and fried bananas with ginger syrup.
Where:Order at


Photograph: Kristen Mendiola Photography

4 Storyville

What:A new bar and restaurant inspired by early 20th-century New Orleans’s red-light district
Why:Let loose with a frozen Ramos gin fizz, seafood gumbo, and mini andouille po’boys.
Where:712 N. Clark St., River North Website


Photograph: Ussanee Sanmueangchin

5 Habrae

What:Thai sweets and more land in downtown Forest Park.
Why:Pop by for crispy fried chicken rice, and leave room for desserts like milk pudding with cantaloupe.
Where:7230 Madison St., Forest Park Website


Shang Noodle
Photograph: @chowbus

6 Shang Noodle

What:Evanston’s Chinese stalwart debuts two city spots.
Why:Order chilled Mandarin duck to start, then all the hand-pulled noodles you can eat.
Where:215 E. Grand Ave., Streeterville; 1101 S. Wabash Ave., South Loop Website


Sweet Bean
Photograph: Jordyn Belli

7 Sweet Bean

What:An all-day Japanese-Taiwanese café opens with baked treats, coffee, and lunch.
Why:With xiao long bao, avocado toast, and pineapple buns, there’s something for every craving.
Where:1152 S. Wabash Ave., South Loop Website


Brunch ’n Burgers
Photograph: Erica McGhee

8 Brunch ’n Burgers

What:Erica McGhee serves fresh spins on — you guessed it — brunch and burgers.
Why:Try oatmeal with granola or a turkey burger with Brie and caramelized apple and onion jam.
Where:2255 W. Taylor St., Tri-Taylor Website


Bitter Pops
Photograph: Nick Gil

9 Bitter Pops

What:The bottle shop debuts a new taproom with fun bites.
Why:Order a local beer, cider, or kombucha, and snack on fried pickled green beans and giant pretzels with lager mustard.
Where: 3357 N. Lincoln Ave., Lake View Website


Overflow Coffee
Photograph: Jeanette Jain

10 Overflow Coffee

What:A community-focused sister café to Rogers Park’s the Common Cup
Why:Work over a Nutella mocha and a Justice of the Pies quiche, then stay for the live music.
Where:1449 S. Michigan Ave., South Loop Website