13 Best New Chicago Restaurants of 2019

It’s that time of year, Chicago Restaurant Week! So what spots are worth checking out? I have compiled a list of my favorite new restaurants from 2019 from a veggie/pesc perspective!

2019 has been an incredible year for Chicago’s international food scene. We have an explosion of South Asian spots ranging from progressive Indian at ROOH to flirty street food at Moti Café and Tikka n’ Curry. We also have welcomed some new Mediterranean spots in Logan Square and imbibed some decadent vegan pizza deliciousness at Chicago House of Za’. There are so many other places I would add to this list, but alas I have to keep it somewhat short and sweet. So let’s get into the 13 best new restaurants of 2019.

Check out the interactive map of spots here and scroll down for the list of the most intriguing and best new veg-friendly restaurants of 2019!

1) ROOH: Progressive Indian, West Loop

  • Vegetarian-friendly, Vegan and Gluten Free Menus
ROOH's famous jackfruit kofta
ROOH’s famous jackfruit kofta

This is my favorite opening of 2019. While we have an incredible Indian restaurant scene, I was blown away by the beauty, creativity, and refinement of ROOH’s cocktails and dishes. I am no stranger to Indian food, but ROOH has quite the assortment of options that you cannot find on other menus in a chic West Loop environment (love it or hate it). They also have vegan and gluten-free menus.

Favorites: Jackfruit Kofta, Paneer Chili Roll

Great for: Romantic and friend dinner date

  • See my full review here!

2) Lost Larson: Scandinavian, Andersonville

Distinctive and flavorful pastries at Lost Larson
Distinctive and flavorful pastries at Lost Larson

Chicago doesn’t have a burgeoning Scandinavian food scene so I was excited to see Lost Larson as a new addition to Andersonville, a historically Scandinavian neighborhood. It’s an intimate environment with a lovely wine collection, Scandinavian cheese and bread boards. Their baked goods are to die for. Come for a snack and drink their specialty lattes or share a bottle of wine with a friend over an assortment of pickled goods.

Favorites: Cardamom Latte and Bun, Smorgasbord

Great for: Romantic and friend dinner date, work space

3) Pilot Project: Coffee Shop/Hang out Spot, Logan Square

  • Vegetarian-friendly
Pilot Project's latte flight
Pilot Project’s latte flight

Pilot Project is the one non-traditional restaurant on here but I am in love! Their dog-friendly patio is delightful, and their interior is super bright with lots of plants to make you feel like there’s hope for the future. I am not into beer but their lattes are insanely delicious. They have original recipes and use innovative ingredients. Their cheese plates are also such a great deal and excellent quality.

Favorites: Parisian Rose Latte, Cheese Plate, Tofu Banh Mi

Great for: Everything

4) Chicago House of ‘Za: Vegan Pizza (deep dish too), Ravenswood

  • Vegan
Decadent vegan deep dish at Chicago House of Za'
Decadent vegan deep dish at Chicago House of ‘Za

Chicago is getting more and more vegan-friendly even if it’s too gradual for some of us. While there are quite a few spots in the city that have vegan pizza, there are only two places that I can think of that have vegan deep dish. I know it’s not cool to like deep dish, but I am a sucker for eating layers of cheese, sauce, and crust and then feeling like I can only eat it twice a year.

When I had their vegan deep dish, I was not missing dairy cheese. Their vegan mozzarella is incredible and they have so many vegan meat options that I haven’t seen on other menus. So, bring a group of friends here and enjoy the taste of deep dish at Chicago House of ‘Za without the ethical guilt.

Favorites: Vegan deep dish with giardiniera (or olives)

Great for: Dinner with a group

5) Good Fortune: Sexy Mediterranean, Logan Square

  • Gluten-free friendly
Good Fortune's twist on elotes
Good Fortune’s twist on elotes

What is sexy Mediterranean? I don’t know, but let me tell you, it works for me. I certainly felt sexy eating pasta at this sleek, dimly lit restaurant that’s perfect for guessing which date people are on. Yes, it’s another “small plates-sharing” kind of spot, but it’s so insanely delicious.

For Good Fortune, Mediterranean refers to North African as well so you can taste those flavors in some of their dishes. Their pasta (they can make some of them gluten-free) tastes fresh, and they have unique twists on international dishes such as an elotes pasta with robust vegetables in a delicate sauce.

Favorites: Roasted Corn and Ricotta Agnolotti

Great for: Romantic and friend dinner date

  • See my full review here!

6) Wherewithall: New American, Avondale

  • Great for dietary restrictions
Incredibly unique pineapple at Wherewithall
Incredibly unique pineapple at Wherewithall

Beverly Kim’s and Johnny Clark’s new love child is incredible, and I like it even more than Parachute. Everything here was consistently delicious and they are excellent about catering to dietary restrictions. While you can’t necessarily see what’s on their menu ahead of time because it’s always a surprise and you can only do their $65 prix-fixe (a relatively affordable prix-fixe), I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. I have had some of the most creative and innovative plates at Wherewithall that I have ever had in Chicago. I also love the intimate ambience.

Favorites: Everything

Great for: Romantic and friend dinner date

7) Superkhana: Indian-inspired, Logan Square

  • Vegetarian-friendly
Superkhana Dhokla and Corn
Superkhana Dhokla and Corn

When you have 3 insanely creative chefs come together to create something based on their cultures, training, and experience, you have the cheeky and distinctive Superkhana. Superkhana features food from the Indian subcontinent with a stoner tone. Don’t come here for traditional Indian food, come here for innovative twists on Indian food. They have herbaceous cocktails to pair with their seasonal small plates.

Favorites: Dhokla and Corn, French Fry Manchurian

Great for: Casual dates with friends and/or a boo

  • See my full review here!

8) Jeong: Inventive Korean, West Town

  • Great for dietary restrictions
Ramps at Jeong
Ramps at Jeong

This is another fancy spot for celebrations with a relatively affordable prix-fixe at $75 per person and à la carte dishes. They are also great about accommodating for dietary restrictions. Their plates are carefully curated, toothsome, and breathtaking to look at. The Korean flavors with American twists are incredible. I also remember enjoying the music they were playing close to closing – some new wave favorites. I believe Jeong is an excellent addition to Chicago’s growing Asian food scene.

Favorites: Everything

Great for: Romantic, friend dinner date, smaller groups

9) Moti Café: Indian/Nepalese, River North

  • Vegetarian and vegan-friendly
Momos at Moti
Momos at Moti

River North’s new fast/casual Indian/Nepalese spot is truly a gem. They do South Asian versions of tacos, pizza, naanchos and now ramen! Super affordable prices with generous portions. Their Moti sauce is also a must have along with their cakes. Treat yourself! There are also bountiful vegetarian and vegan options here and they keep adding more items to their already vast menu.

Favorites: Momos, Naan Pizza, Paneer Sliders

Great for: Casual lunch/dinner

10) Papa Cenar: Spanish, Logan Square

  • Vegetarian-friendly dinner menu
Delicate Squash at Papa Cenar
Delicate Squash at Papa Cenar

You know me, I love my Logan Square restaurants and we keep getting a new one every week so I am obviously going to go here because it’s convenient. But seriously, I love the restaurant scene here and enjoy the down to earth, fun vibe of Papa Cenar.

The interior is incredibly distinctive and is an ode to early 20th century Parisian/Spanish cafes that many of us wish we could time travel back to. Their dinner is tapas style with quite generous portions and their brunch is more traditional American style. They know how to celebrate veggies.

Favorites: Squash Salad, Falafel

Great for: Casual date, groups

  • See my full review here!

11) Eggoholic: Indian street food, River West

  • Vegetarian-friendly
Famous egg curry at Eggoholic
Famous egg curry at Eggoholic

I was blown away by how insanely delicious and affordable everything was at Eggoholic. You cannot find these dishes at any other place in Chicago, and can I repeat how affordable this was! If you don’t eat eggs, then I’d avoid this place but if you’re a vegetarian who eats eggs, then please take yourself here because you will be in for a major treat. They have Paneer wraps, samosa sandwiches, and egg curries.

Favorites: Surti Gotalo, Egg Curry

Great for: Casual lunch/dinner and take out

12) Bungalow by Middle Brow: American, Logan Square

Mushroom pizza at Middle Brow
Mushroom pizza at Middle Brow

I am not really into beer but I love the kombucha, handcrafted pizza, and other carbs at Bungalow. I also love the environment and what the owners are doing with the community. It is truly a business that cares about the neighborhood, and they’re always doing unique initiatives in addition to being an amazing restaurant (like selling Christmas trees).

Come during the day, eat some insanely delicious bread, get some writing done, work up an appetite, and stay for the pizza. On a hot summer day, enjoy some Kombucha on their patio while watching the adorable dogs.

Favorites: Mushroom pizza and bread

Great for: Casual hangs and doing work

  • See my full review here!

13) Tikka n’ Curry: Indian, South Loop

  • Vegetarian and vegan friendly
Pav Bhaji at Tikka n' Curry
Pav Bhaji at Tikka n’ Curry

I love everything at Tikka n’ Curry, you cannot go wrong! This is perfect for a quick lunch when you’re in the loop and still want super flavorful and affordable food. They have expanded their options throughout the year, and I am quite impressed with the direction they have gone in. They have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, which is highly appreciated. They also have delivery!

Favorites: Pav Bhaji, Paneer Tikka Masala

Great for: Casual lunch and dinner delivery

Curious about other amazing restaurants in Chicago? See here for my best of 2018 post!

About

3 thoughts on “13 Best New Chicago Restaurants of 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *