It’s been nearly a year since we’ve had to turn to our kitchens for inspiration, dig out those delivery brochures, and remain indoors. With the rise of a new strain of COVID arriving to the US, you and your loved ones, “covid-crew”, or family may feel that a similar notion is best taken with precaution. Despite the reopening of the city’s outdoor dining options and capacity allowances, many may be opting to remain at-home and “dine” from the comfort of your couch. We get it – the same old delivery and take-out go-to’s are starting to feel routine, but make it feel new again with exploring what Chicago does best: food variety, new and interesting collaborations, and pop-ups! The following is a list is a handful of rising stars new to the restaurant scene in Chicago. We hope you find something new to enjoy!
This new spot in Uptown has a huge following for a good reason. Once a memorable staple in Chicago’s Northside makes a comeback in a big way. While it may seem like they offer simple Thai staples they do so with a big deliver and do it very well. At the moment they offer takeout and delivery only.
TC is the brainchild of chefs from French restaurants such as La Sardine and Le Bouchon. In fact, one of the owners of TC is the current chef/owner of Le Bouchon, a definite favorite of the Bucktown neighborhood. TC is a Bucktown located restaurant that takes its roots in classic Mexico City street food – something Chicago holds dear to its heart. Owners Oliver Poilevey and Sotero Gallegos have been in the restaurant industry since they were children with a passion for food that lucky for us, they have kept in Chicago.
Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream
PFIC’s main attraction might be the square-cut Sicilian-style pizza but don’t let that simplicity fool you. The pizza options rotate and is said to be experienced. This new Bridgeport restaurant is under Kimski chef Won Kim, who has created an array of fried chicken in Korean and Southern styles. Ice cream treats are supplied by Dana Cree Salls of Pretty Cool Ice Cream – a big summertime Chi crowd favorite. Basically this place is a warm hug! A very cool note about PFIC besides the cool treats and delicious eats is that Kimski has teamed up with Community Kitchen and is giving out free meals to those in need during the pandemic. What better way to enjoy food while knowing that you’re helping others??
This modern Filipino bakery and restaurant is a delicious new gem in Ukranian Village. Brought to us by the minds of chefs Genie Kwon and Timothy Flores. Enjoy a pastry but don’t forget an order of lumpia for later.
If you’ve been in any bar in the West side of Chicago on the later side of the evening chances are you’ve run into Claudio, better known as the “tamale guy”. Claudio is a staple of the neighborhood. He is always bringing cheer, a smile, and delicious homemade tamales. Always at a low price for what feals like a mound of food just when you need it! He finally opened a brick-and-mortar store in Wicker Park with many are eager to support this new venture and accessible staple. Claudio’s homemade tamales are so delicious that people would hope and sometimes try to find Claudio on his route. The tamales are just that good! Thankfully, now we’re able to place an order or simply pick them up ourselves. No late-night bar crawling needed.
If French Canadian comfort food is what your heart desires then you will need to put in an order at Dear Margaret in Lincoln Park. Staples like Tourtière, a delicious meat pie, can be found on the menu as well as full chicken dinners akin to ‘Sunday dinners after church food‘. Basically, order up, sink into your couch, and get ready to praise the red, white, and blue (of France, of course!).
Despite the pandemic hitting the restaurant industry hard this past year it has luckily not dissuaded the opening of new ingenuity in the restaurant community. It’s lovely to see so many new places popping up in so many different locations across the city. Hopefully, many of these will make their way into your rotation of tasty takeout favorites!
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