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6 Must-Book Restaurants in Chicago Right Now

It’s never a bad time to introduce a fresh crop of restaurants to your tried-and-tested repertoire. Here are a dozen new contenders across the Windy City—places you’ll tell all your friends about, whether it’s a farm-to-table favorite returning after a two-year hiatus or a chic gem in a brand-new hotel.

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Sarah Freeman
5 Restaurants
Updated August 24, 2022
Restaurants:Eden, Marisol at the MCA, Grill on 21
Price Range:$$$ - $$$
Cuisines:American, Contemporary American
Neighborhoods:Avondale / Irving Park, Gold Coast / Streeterville, River North (Chicago)
A photo of Eden restaurant

Eden

$$$$
American
Avondale / Irving Park
4.7
923 reviews

Eden opened in West Town at the height of the farm-to-table movement in 2017, complete with an on-site garden to provide it with the freshest product for its minimalist creations. Sadly, it was one of many restaurants that fell victim to the pandemic’s early months, closing in August 2020. But fortunately, it made a comeback this June—and relocated to Avondale. You’ll find all its distinguishing features—an airy dining room, lush patio with garden views, and a sleek bar with specialty cocktails—plus a brand-new cafe menu with coffee, smoothies, sandwiches, and a killer ancient grain bowl. For now, Eden is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and bar bites. Dinner service resumes in September.


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A photo of Marisol at the MCA restaurant

Marisol at the MCA

$$$$
Contemporary American
Gold Coast / Streeterville
4.6
875 reviews

It’s only fitting that this New American spot, conceptualized by James Beard Award-nominee Jason Hammel (also of Lula Cafe in Logan Square), is named for a famous sculptor—it’s set on the ground floor of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, afterall. Marisol reopened in May after a long two-year closure, bringing back favorites such as sunflower hummus while introducing newer hyper seasonal items like an asparagus panzanella salad with trout roe and creme fraiche, and fava bean pesto-topped casarecce pasta.


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A photo of Grill on 21 restaurant

Grill on 21

$$$$
Contemporary American
River North (Chicago)
4.4
35 reviews

The classic American grill gets a refresh at Grill on 21, which channels the forgotten private clubs that once dotted Chicago’s downtown. The swanky spot is located on the 21st floor of the LaSalle Chicago hotel, which opened its doors in July. Here, you can have your steak—45-day dry-aged New York strip, filet mignon, and tomahawk ribeye—and hearth-fired cauliflower, too. With blue velvet chairs and burgundy booths, plus a spacious marble bar, the space drips with old-school sophistication seldom seen in contemporary restaurants.


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A photo of Parachute restaurant

Parachute

$$$$
Korean
Avondale / Irving Park
4.7
1499 reviews

Some restaurants just get better with time. Chefs Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim channeled this belief by closing their award-winning Korean restaurant, Parachute, reopening it almost a year later in May 2022 after revamping the interiors—adding a new sound system and wheelchair ramp—and service philosophy. The menu was treated to a more dramatic change, featuring dishes that reflect a deeper commitment to Korean cooking techniques and ingredients; there’s an array of banchan, or Korean side dishes such as kimchi and seasoned spinach, made fresh daily and an ever-changing of raw seafood. Guests can now pair these dishes with soju or makgeolli, or unfiltered Korean rice wine.


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A photo of Tabu restaurant

Tabu

$$$$
Latin American
West Town
4.4
206 reviews

The latest addition to Fulton Market, a pan Latin-inspired spot from the Atomic Hospitality Group (the team behind Recess and Untitled Supper Club) enhances Chicago’s cosmopolitan restaurant scene. Tabú lets diners travel from the American south to Mexico and back with shrimp po’boy tacos, Mexican pizza, and rattlesnake burgers, named for the mole-like barbecue sauce and habañero aioli that comes on top. In addition to a globe-trotting food menu, the flashy restaurant, complete with colorful murals, a custom rope installation, and lush floral accents, boasts one of the city’s largest mezcal collections.


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