We spent the year looking for the best new restaurants across Chicago. This is where you’ll find them.

Plenty of restaurants have opened in Chicago over the past year, and despite the buzz and press surrounding so many of them, a lot have been disappointing. Not the 11 listed here. These are the kinds of places that make all our research (in 2018’s case, eating approximately one million pieces of sushi) worth it – they’re the new favorites we’re always hoping to find.

For some reason, 2018 is when Chicago finally decided to get serious about competing with the fancy sushi spots in LA and NYC. Four of our Best New Restaurants are sushi places (approximately 36%, if you like numbers), and three of those are omakase-only. But there’s more to this list – from an outstanding casual sandwich spot to a soul food place so good you won’t regret waiting hours for a table. In other words, whether or not you’re in the market to spend hundreds of dollars on raw fish, you have some very enjoyable eating ahead of you.

Read about the rest of 2018′s Best New Restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and London here.


Sushi-san is another sushi restaurant, yes, but it’s the exact opposite of the quiet, small omakase spots on this list. This place is huge, plays loud rap music, and (if the poop emoji by the bathrooms is any indicator) doesn’t take itself too seriously. Luckily, that irreverent attitude doesn’t extend to the food, which is all very well-executed. You can’t go wrong with anything you order here – from the nigiri (order a “San-set” to try a bunch of different things), to the rolls, to the small plates, to the very fluffy pancakes.