May 21, 2024 - News

New restaurants to try: Logan Square cocktail bar, Turkish baked potato spot and more

Photo of three plates of food on a table.

Kale apple salad, lobster roll, and steak frites from Bar La Rue in Fulton Market. Photo courtesy of DineAmic Hospitality

New Chicago restaurants are blooming this spring, including more Fulton Market French fare, a long-awaited Logan Square cocktail bar, a Turkish baked potato spot in Lincoln Park, and popular fast-casual chains finally landing here.

The newbies:

Bar La Rue opened last month next to La Serre in Fulton Market with a street-side flower-strewn pergola bar and French menu inspired by American comfort food.

Dig in: The "Royale with Cheese" smashburger ($17), a caviar-topped lobster roll ($54), and French fondue service with crispy potatoes, crudité, and charcuterie ($14).

Omakase Shoji opened in West Town last month under executive chef Shoji Takashi serving multi-course omakase menus of meticulously prepared culinary gems.

Dig in: Shoji's typical 17- to 25-course omakase service lasts about two hours and costs $225.

oysters
Roasted oysters at Common Decency. Photo courtesy of Garrett Sweet

Common Decency: This '80s-themed bar in Logan Square (in the former Lost Lake space) touts elevated bar food with generous staff benefits baked into menu prices.

Dig in: Grilled hanger steak ($29), cacio e pepe dumplings ($23), a mushroom French dip sandwich ($18), and roasted oysters with pork belly and bread crumbs ($18), and it's all gluten-free.

Doner 97: This Turkish-German spot opened in Lincoln Park last month offering a twist on your typical rotating meat restaurant.

Dig in: Find carefully crafted doner sandwiches ($14) and bowls ($17), but also kumpir baked potatoes ($9) topped with butter, cheese, sour cream, pickled cabbage, eggs, and garlic sauce.

Photo of a cheeseburger and fries on a plate
Goose Island's Salt Shed Pub smashburger. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Goose Island's Salt Shed Pub opened last month serving a rotating selection of craft beers and tasty pub food on a river patio that recalls the departed Metropolis Brewery — maybe because they bought their old tables.

Dig in: We loved the smashburger ($18.50) and smoked trout sandwich, and were intrigued by the burnt carrot sandwich ($16).

Photo of the front of a building that says Cava
Cava on Milwaukee Avenue. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Cava Wicker Park: This hot national chain recalls Röti and IDOF, with its assembly line Mediterranean bowls and wraps, but with extra buzz and longer lines.

Dig in: We dug the spicy greens bowl ($12.05) and the jalapeño-spiked whipped crazy feta ($4.10).

Tacombi: Like Cava, this national taco chain also recently landed in Wicker Park after conquering the Eastern Seaboard.

Dig in: Expect tacos ($5-$7) filled with birria, carne asada, and chicken but also combos of shrimp & cheese and black bean & sweet potato washed down by cocktails, beer, wine, and aguas frescas.

NYC Halal Eats: This New York outfit opened a Devon outpost to fanfare last month with free meat platter giveaways.

Dig in: Halal fast food including gyros, burgers, fried chicken, Philly-style sandwiches, and rice platters with grilled meat, veggies, and sauces ($11-$16).

Runaway Cow: Bridgeport's first vegan soft-serve ice cream shop serves cones, shakes, malts, sundaes, and more, per Block Club.

Coming up

River North's Hub 51: This Lettuce Entertain You restaurant will close on June 8 after launching in 2008 as the first venture driven by co-founder Rich Melman's sons Jerrod and RJ.

What's next: Lettuce officials say a cocktail bar called The Dip Inn with drinks curated by Three Dots and a Dash beverage director Kevin Beary will open in part of the space later this year.

  • Plus, next year celebrated HaiSous chef Thai Dang will add to the building a Southeast Asian restaurant called Crying Tiger.

Side dish: We're also looking forward to the reopening of Filipino Namit Cafe on Bryn Mawr in North Park and the launch of North Carolina-style smokehouse and oyster bar The Briny Swine in Lincoln Park on Clark.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to say Shoji's 17- to 25-course omakase service costs $225 (not $185).

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