Recently opened bars and restaurants in Chicago
(too new to review)
Ba Le Uptown’s iconic banh mi shop opened this second (and slightly smaller) location in Chinatown. 2141 S Archer Ave (312-528-6967, balesandwich.com). El: Red to Cermak/Chinatown. Bus: 21, 24, 62. Lunch, dinner. Average sandwich: $6.
Barbari At this organic-leaning cafe, pizzas share the menu with salads and Persian-style soups. 2020 W Chicago Ave (773-342-8220). Bus: 50, 66. Lunch, dinner. Average main course: $8.
Cantina Laredo This national chain offers a massive menu of Mexican dishes, including (are you ready for this?)…guacamole prepared tableside! 508 N State St (312-955-0014, cantinalaredo.com). El: Red to Grand. Bus: 29, 36, 65. Brunch (Sun), lunch, dinner. Average main course: $20.
Dante’s Pizzeria West Logan Square gets a simple slice shop serving New York–style pies, stromboli, subs, chicken wings and the occasional salad. 3028 W Armitage Ave (773-342-0002). El: Blue to California. Bus: 73. Lunch, dinner. Average slice of pizza: $3.50.
Gemellato Ristorante When we asked an employee here what they serve, the response was “nothing special.” By which we think he means: all the usual red-sauce suspects. 260 W 26th St (312-706-8081). El: Red to Cermak/Chinatown. Bus: 24, 29, 44. Dinner (closed Mon, Tue). Average main course: $24.
Guys & Wok This stylish Thai takeout joint is targeting a specific audience: It serves fried rice, crab rangoon, and curries until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. 3205 N Halsted St (773-528-7331, guysandwok.com). El: Red, Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Belmont. Bus: 8, 22, 77. Lunch, dinner. Average main course: $8.
Lao Hunan Tony Hu’s latest contribution to Chinatown focuses on Hunanese food (and is also slightly obsessed with Chairman Mao). 2230 S Wentworth Ave (312-842-7888, tonygourmetgroup.com). El: Red to Cermak/Chinatown. Bus: 21, 24, 62. Lunch, dinner. Average main course: $10.
Melt Dion Antic’s newest eatery is an homage to grilled cheese focusing on pressed sandwiches, salads and soups. 1840 N Damen Ave (773-292-6358). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72, 73. 10am–7pm. Average main course: $8.
Miko’s Flipside Café This long-term pop-up in the Miko’s Italian Ice space features pour-over coffee, Valrhona chocolate cake, and macaroni and cheese. 1846 N Damen Ave (773-645-9664, mikosflipside.com). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72. Mon–Sun 10am–8pm. Average baked good: $3.
Mitad del Mundo Chef Geno Bahena has re-emerged in Logan Square, and his signature Mexican dishes (chile-marinated duck breast; stuffed poblano chiles) have re-emerged with him. Thursday through Saturday, Bahena serves until 3am. 2833 W Armitage Ave (773-552-5990). El: Blue to California. Bus: 52, 73. Dinner (closed Sun, Mon). Average main course: $15.
Nookies Edgewater The long awaited fourth location of this local diner chain is what the owners are calling “the next evolution.” What that means in practice is linen napkins; smoked-in-house barbecue; a full juice, smoothie and espresso bar; and a liquor license in the works. 1100 W Bryn Mawr Ave (773-516-4188, nookiesrestaurants.net). El: Red to Bryn Mawr. Bus: 36, 84, 151. Breakfast, brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch, dinner. Average main course: $13.
The Pump Room The renovated Pump Room (part of Ian Schrager’s new Public Hotel) now has Bradford Phillips (previously of LM) and pastry chef Kady Yon (Boka Group) in the kitchen, both of whom are overseen by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. 1301 N State Pkwy (312-601-2970, pumproom.com). El: Red to Clark/Division. Bus: 22, 36, 70. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Average main course: $24.
The Southern Mac This brick-and-mortar outpost of the Southern Mac food truck serves all the mac and cheese of the roving location, plus stuffed grilled cheese sandwiches and salads. 60 E Lake St (312-262-7622, thesouthernmac.com). El: Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to State/Lake; Red to Lake. Mon–Fri 10:30am–8pm; Sat, Sun 10:30am–6pm. Average main course: $7.
Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique This is the second location of the local cupcakery, which tops each cupcake with its signature flower design. 509 N Orleans St (312-845-9669, sugarblisscakes.com). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Merchandise Mart. Bus: 11, 125. Mon–Fri 8am–7pm. Average baked good: $3.25.
III Forks Prime Steakhouse The Chicago location of this national chain has a heated rooftop lounge serving small(ish) plates like duck & waffles, and enough USDA prime beef to feed a small army. 333 E Benton Pl (312-938-4303, 3forks.com). El: Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Randolph. Bus: 4, 6, 20, 60, 122, 123, 124, 134, 135, 136. Dinner. Average main course: $35.
Two Sparrows What happens when two Trotter’s alums join forces to open a breakfast-and-lunch spot? Foie gras pop tarts. That’s what. 553 W Diversey Pkwy (773-234-2320, 2sparrowschicago.com). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Diversey. Bus: 22, 36, 76. Breakfast, lunch. Average main course: $12.
Vapiano This international Italian chain specializing in the three Ps—pizza, panini, pasta—has touched down in Lincoln Park. 2577 N Clark St (vapianointernational.com). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Diversey. Bus: 22, 36, 76. Lunch, dinner (closed Sun). Average main course: $10.
Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe The third location of this Chicago chain (the first two are in the suburbs) boasts 15 types of pancakes, ranging from fig-and-walnut multigrain to Oreo s’more. 130 E Randolph St (312-938-9777, wildberrycafe.com). El: Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Randolph. Bus: 3, 4, 6, 20, 60. Breakfast, lunch. Average main course: $8.