17 New Restaurants to Try During Chicago Restaurant Week 2023

Daniel Hautzinger
A dish at The Soul Food Lounge in Chicago's North Lawndale
The Soul Food Lounge in North Lawndale is one of a number of spots that opened in 2022 participating in Chicago Restaurant Week. Image: WTTW News

Even in less trying times for businesses, the gray, sleety days of late January are slow for sit-down restaurants. For sixteen years, Chicago Restaurant Week has been a citywide attempt to bring diners in despite the weather and post-holiday doldrums with special menus that are this year priced at $25 for lunch or brunch and $42 or $59 for dinner. More than 300 restaurants across Chicago’s neighborhoods and suburbs are taking part in the seventeen-day promotion, which runs from January 20 through February 5. 

There’s obviously plenty to choose from, but Restaurant Week is a great excuse to try a new place—so we’ve put together a list of participating restaurants that opened in 2022. 

Alpana

$59 dinner

We know you’re familiar with Alpana Singh, the longtime host of Check, Please! She has run restaurants in the past, but Alpana in River North is arguably her most personal, with a menu built around her wine list. She is the youngest woman to pass the master sommelier exam, after all. (She has since renounced the master sommelier title to protest sexual abuse allegations within the ranks.)

Art Smith’s Reunion

$25 brunch and $42 dinner

Oprah’s one-time personal chef is behind this Southern restaurant on Navy Pier, which is a sister restaurant to a spot he runs in Disneyworld—which definitely has a similar vibe to Navy Pier!

Big Star Mariscos

$25 lunch and $42 dinner

The latest restaurant from One Off Hospitality Group, West Town’s Big Star Mariscos is a twist on the group’s taco joint Big Star. Big Star Mariscos focuses, as its name suggests, on seafood in the form of ceviches, tacos, tostadas, and more—but it also features a trendy quesabirria taco for the pescatarian-averse.

Bronzeville Winery

$59 dinner

Another wine-focused restaurant from a notable Chicagoan, Bronzeville Winery is in, yes, Bronzeville. It’s a project of Cecilia Cuff and the serial entrepreneur Eric Williams, the man behind Hyde Park’s The Silver Room store and the festival Block Party. 

Brass Tack

$25 lunch and $59 dinner

Brass Tack is located in the newly renovated Waldorf Astoria in the Gold Coast, and it’s serving some classic hotel mainstays for Restaurant Week, from Bibb or haricot vert salad to a hanger steak. 

CheSa’s Bistro & Bar

$25 brunch and $59 dinner

This Southern restaurant in Avondale may have only been open a few months, but it has already drawn rave reviews. With luscious grits on the menu, you won’t even notice it’s gluten-free.

Dell’ Rooster

$59 dinner

A pan-Latin American restaurant from longtime veterans of the restaurant industry, Dell’ Rooster is located in West Town. The Restaurant Week menu even extends beyond Latin America to Italy, with a tiramisu served in a “chocolate mug” that certainly sounds intriguing to us!

Eden

$42 dinner

Before the pandemic, Eden was located in the West Loop. But, after an almost two year-long closure, the seasonally-focused restaurant reopened in Avondale this year in a location that also includes its own greenhouse where produce for the kitchen is grown. 

Forte at Symphony Center

$59 Dinner

Forte is the newest restaurant of the bunch, having only opened in a spot adjoining Symphony Center in December. The Mediterranean restaurant occupies what was most recently Tesori and is run by the group that provides food at United Center, Wrigley Field, and Guaranteed Rate Field.

Hide + Seek

$59 dinner

You can escape the cold and travel all through the Mediterranean at this West Loop restaurant: the Restaurant Week menu—which features a large range of options—has dishes from Greece, Spain, Italy, Turkey, and the Middle East. 

Lexington Betty Smokehouse

$25 lunch 

It’s been a big year for Dominique Leach, the proprietor of Lexington Betty Smokehouse. Not only did she take over One Eleven Food Hall in Pullman to open her barbecue restaurant; she has also launched a line of Wagyu beef steak dogs. The new product is available as part of her Restaurant Week menu—and then you can take some home to cook yourself.

LIVA at Chicago Winery

$59 dinner

LIVA is also quite new, having opened in November in a large River North space that also houses a new winery. (You can add a wine pairing to the Restaurant Week menu for $20 a person.) The kitchen is led by a chef who worked at Alinea and some of its sister restaurants, and while the menu isn’t avant-garde, it does feature some unusual touches.

Segnatore

$25 brunch and $59 dinner

This Italian spot in Humboldt Park replaced the under-the-radar favorite Cafe Marie-Jeanne, but Segnatore seems not to have disappointed. You can try Italian crepes or indulge in carbonara in their Restaurant Week brunch menu, or save the indulgent pasta for dinner. 

Soul and Smoke

$25 lunch

Soul and Smoke has exploded over the past couple years, going from a food truck to a location in Time Out Market and now a standalone restaurant at Rockwell on the River in Avondale, next to Metropolitan Brewing. Its brisket menu for Restaurant Week will give you a taste of one of the city’s most popular barbecue spots. 

Soul Food Lounge

$59 dinner

Restaurants and grocery stores are rare in the disinvested neighborhood of North Lawndale, let alone an upscale sit-down eatery—but that’s what Soul Food Lounge is. “The problem that exists is that we don’t have any fine dining or more upscale things in our own community that can bring the property values up,” chef Quentin Love told WTTW News. He’s trying to change that, with the help of the Lawndale Christian Development Network. 

Tabú

$25 brunch and $42 dinner

This playful Mexican restaurant in Fulton Market has such inventive dishes as lobster flautas and a Que-FC Taco that adds the South American flavors of ají amarillo and tamarind to the ubiquitous combination of fried chicken served on a carb. 

Yardbird

$25 lunch and $59 dinner

Yardbird itself is not new, but the Southern restaurant is new to Chicago. Originally from Miami, the Chicago location is the seventh in a mini-chain that reaches even to Singapore. The chic River North space even features a “bourbon room” suspended above the bar.