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New and Upcoming Chicago Hot Spots

Six restaurant hotspots that need to be on your radar


From the West Loop to River North and beyond, our culinary neighborhoods are truly flourishing. With a new lineup of new restaurant openings on the horizon, here are six hotspots to keep on your radar.

Barrio from DineAmic Group {65 West Kinzie Street, Chicago}

The restaurant group that brought the city Siena Tavern, Prime & Provisions, and more, will open Barrio this summer introducing a creative take on traditional Mexican fare with pan-Latin and American influences. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant will be located in the heart of River North, at the prominent corner of Clark and Kinzie Street. Helmed by Executive Chef Katsuji Tanabe, of Top Chef fame, the restaurant will combine the quality and charm of scratch-made Mexican fare with the vibrancy of a bustling bar and lounge.

The menu will include playful twists on classic Mexican street food as well as American gastropub dishes with a Latin including the Guajillo Glazed Berkshire Pork Belly and Grilled Diver Scallop with poblano-uni relish.

Safehouse {60 East Ontario Street, Chicago; 312.3131.007}

SafeHouse Chicago—the second outpost of the famed spy-themed Milwaukee restaurant/bar—is now open for your exploring. Guests will need to find the front door (Hint: It’s red and is marked “International Exports”) and provide the password and/or perform a top clearance test to gain entry. Once inside, guests will create their agent name and try to complete assigned missions.

Or you can just eat! Dining options include C4 Cheese Curds, M.O.A.B. (Mother of all Burgers), and Camp X Poutine. However, we can’t give any actual intel, as the whole location, menu, and interior is one big secret! That’s how we know it will be a grand old time inside.

Backdoor Saloon {844 West Randolph Street, Chicago; 312.491.0844}

Located above the already beloved West Loop spot Grange Hall Burger Bar, Backdoor Saloon features craft cocktails and beer alongside late-night snacks and big bites like a whopping 36-ounce, 12-inch bone-in Ribeye Steak. Make sure to try Brie and Roasted Garlic Texas Toast Bites as well! They also have live entertainment on Thursday and Friday nights as well as a more over the top late-night burlesque show every Saturday night.

Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya – New City {1457 North Halsted, Chicago}

Ramen is as ramen does. And Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya does ramen dang well! With locations in Wicker Park and New City in Lincoln Park, we have even more spots to get your noodle on. Go for the Garlic Tonkotsu Shoyu or Spicy Ramen bowls, and add on extras like pork belly, scallions or a half boiled egg to make it your own. It’s the perfect cozy spot to spend a winter afternoon.

Ronero {738 West Randolph Street, Chicago; 312.600.6105}

Another West Loop hot spot, Ronero is a Latin American restaurant and rum bar with specialties like Arroz con Pollo and the 16-ounce rump steak Picanha served with Brazilian vinaigrette. The cocktails are the true stars of the menu, with custom creations like the Bombilla made with Old Forester Signature Bourbon, Benedictine herbal liqueur, Stone Ground yerba mate tea, lemon, and mint. They also have twists on classics like the Margarita, the Caipirinha, and the Daiquiri, which will make for a fun evening out on the town. After all, as the restaurant promises, “an evening at Ronero never ends right after dinner…..”

Rhyme or Reason {1938 West Division Street, Chicago; 773.687.8240}

Opened this past February, Wicker Park has gained a new gastro pub and music venue in Rhyme or Reason. The funky, 1970’s bar serves disco themed cocktails like the Night Fever crafted with Appleton White, ginger liqueur, passion fruit, cardamom bitters, fresh lime, and cinnamon. They also offer eight different types of champagne alongside food ranging from Pan Roasted Butternut Squash to Duck Tacos to Kung Pao Cauliflower. In addition to food, they also host weekly live performances and run a DJ booth made for vinyls only, so food and music lovers alike will find delight.

By Kaleigh Glaza, Online Editor