Like to stay on the cutting edge of the dining scene when you're traveling to Chicago? Sure, established spots like The Walnut Room and Lou Mitchell’s have been Chicago favorites for decades, but there’s nothing quite like the buzz surrounding a hot restaurant opening. Add a dash of excitement to your Windy City visit by checking out some of these freshly opened, trending Chicago restaurants when you are in town.
Sumi Robata Bar
With eye-popping minimalist design and a star chef (Gene Kato, formerly of Japonais), Sumi Robata Bar is poised to become one of 2013’s best new restaurants. Though there’s additional seating in a back dining room, definitely aim to snatch up one of the coveted stools that line the robata bar (there are only 14). After your meal, head to the downstairs lounge, Charcoal Bar.
Rustic yet chic, cozy yet huge, Siena Tavern is a unique experience for lovers of Italian fare. Sample delicious homemade pastas and Neapolitan pizzas at this swanky new River North spot from Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani. Whether you sit in the luxurious leather dining room booths or set up camp at the lively island bar, this is a great place for those who want to see and be seen.
Whether you like burgers or heavy metal (hopefully both), you’ll love this second outpost of the popular Kuma’s Corner. In addition to the famed burgers, expect all your favorite comfort foods done right. Fans of the original will be pleased to hear that Kuma's Too has the same menu with a larger location, which will hopefully cut back on wait times.
Andrew Brochu, former executive chef at Graham Elliot, has started up a new spot in Wicker Park called The Monarch. With a more upscale take on the average sports bar, diners can expect creative bites and expertly mixed drinks. Large flat-screen TVs ensure that patrons can catch the latest game while snacking and drinking.
This place has to be seen to be believed. Where else can you grab a classic lobster roll on-the-go in downtown Chicago? If lobster’s not your thing, try one of their four ethnic-themed rolls (Asian, Greek, Indian, and Mexican) with crab or shrimp. Whether you want a quick lunch or a post-bar snack, Da Lobsta is a Chicago eatery you won’t soon forget.