A lot of restaurants opened in Chicago in 2016, and, as usual, a lot of them were boring. But a handful of them, particularly the ten listed here, were exciting, fun, and delicious. We’re talking the Cubs just won the World Series level excitement. They include sushi in a secretive room, Italian pizza, Argentinian food, and a veggie-focused restaurant we swear is actually great. There are also a couple of fancy tasting menu restaurants that are worth spending all your money at, and a new place from the Alinea crew that’s affordable for the average person.

Check out our list of 2016’s ten best new restaurants, and work your way through the places that made Chicago a great place to be eating this year.

4. Naoki Sushi
Lincoln Park
2300 N Lincoln Park W
8.3

Naoki serves exceptional sushi in a space that’s both very unique and very comfortable, and it’s the combination of those factors that make it one of our favorite new spots of the year. The Naoki space was originally the private dining room of L20, a fancy restaurant inside the Belden-Stratford building in Lincoln Park. The main space is now called Intro, while Naoki is accessed by walking through the kitchen. It’s not as formal or fancy as you might expect – it reminds us of the type of high-end but not stuffy sushi experiences common in Tokyo, where you can sit at the bar or one of a handful of tables for an intimate and enjoyable experience. Dinner here is expensive, but all good sushi in this city is, and the price is absolutely worth it for an excellent sushi meal.