Chicago’s culinary newcomers are shaking up the restaurant scene with inventive eats, clever drinks and vibes for days

Even for self-proclaimed foodies, it can be tough to keep up with Chicago’s constantly evolving dining scene. And since this hungry town shows no signs of slowing down, we compiled the best new restaurants in Chicago in one place. Next time you find yourself stuck in a text chain of friends trying to figure out where to go for dinner, reference this list. From a brilliant ice cream shop to a buzzy rooftop restaurant to a secret speakeasy in River North, these are the 13 best new restaurants in Chicago. 

Aba

Over the summer, Aba emerged as the hottest rooftop destination in Chicago. No matter the season, the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant flourishes with a menu of Mediterranean- and California-inspired hits from chef CJ Jacobson. Diners are treated to a parade of lamb ragu hummus, slow-braised leg of lamb wrapped in eggplant, black garlic shrimp scampi and cauliflower kebabs. Liz Pearce assists with excellent cocktails, like the Aloe? It’s Me with mezcal, aloe, green juice, lime and jalapeño.