Interested in discovering the freshest new spots in Chicago? From a vegan coffeehouse to a brewpub to a Mexican cafe, read on for the newest destinations to make their debut recently.
Fancy Plants Cafe
613 W. Briar St., Lakeview
Fancy Plants Cafe is a New American vegan and vegetarian spot.
You’ll find options like breakfast burritos, bagels with lox and cashew cream cheese, seasonal soups and desserts like carrot cupcakes and chocolate meringue pie. Expect an extensive coffee and tea menu with non-dairy oat and soy milks.
With a five-star rating out of two reviews on Yelp so far, Fancy Plants Cafe has been warmly received by patrons.
Gabby T., who was the first Yelper to review the new spot on Jan.12, wrote, “Got the lox bagel with housemade cashew cream cheese—-it was absolutely delicious! This is way better than the fake vegan cheeses restaurants usually use. Owners are also super friendly too, and it’s a cute little cafe!”
And Corteze T. added, “By far the best coffee shop in town. This is the first place where I didn’t have to plug in my headphones and ignore the world around me. Customer service was amazing and the food, it’s all vegan!”
Head on over to check it out: Fancy Plants Cafe is open from 7 a.m.–3 p.m. daily.
2925 W. Montrose Ave., Albany Park
Twisted Hippo is a new brewery.
You’ll find fun vibes, bold colors and wall art encouraging you to “embrace your strange.” That motto may apply to some of its 13 beers on tap, which range from Velvet Elvis, a peanut butter, banana and bacon ale, to the Bee’s Sleaze, a common brew with honey. Enjoy your brew with shared plates like charcuterie, pretzels or trout dip with house-made pita bread. (View the beer list here.)
The new brewery has garnered rave reviews thus far, with a 4.5-star rating out of seven reviews on Yelp.
Ted C., who was the first Yelper to review the new spot on Jan. 4, wrote, “I sampled their California Common, a Belgian and a SMaSH (Single Malt, Single Hop)—they were all delicious! Foodwise, everything was made in-house, from the bacon on the burger to the Sriracha mayo, to even the pita bread that came with the trout dip.”
Yelper Michael T. added, “We had a great experience on grand opening night! The service was amazing, and our waitress always made sure our glasses were full.”
Interested? Stop by to welcome the new business to the neighborhood. Twisted Hippo is open from 4–11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Sunday.
L’Ours Bakery Cafe
1424 W. Taylor St., University Village
L’Ours Bakery Cafe is a cafe.
You’ll find breakfast sandwiches, cakes and pastries that include cheese danishes, strawberry and matcha croissants and chocolate ganache cake. The menu also features an assortment of fruit and milk teas, plus lattes made with beans from local roaster Bridgeport Coffee.
It’s off to a strong start with local reviewers, who give it 4.5-stars out of six Yelp reviews.
Cathy T., who reviewed it on Jan. 6, said, “Beautiful airy space that serves quality coffee, tea and baked goods. The espresso and the milk tea we ordered were done well.”
And Lucy B. added, “Great service, relaxing interior design, the pastries are fresh, the coffee is better (and cheaper) than other chains and they donate all left over food to the food bank.”
The new bakery and cafe is open from 9 a.m.–10 p.m. daily.
Edgewater Mexican Cafe
1055 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Edgewater
Edgewater Mexican Cafe is a Mexican spot.
Housed in the former home of That Little Mexican Cafe, the new restaurant offers a variety of cocktails and a robust menu with dishes like cochinita pibil (shredded pork) tacos and chicken served with a rich mole sauce. Be sure to leave room for dessert—it has flan, churros and tres leches cake available.
With four stars out of 10 reviews on Yelp, it’s off to a strong start with local diners.
C F., who was among the first to review it on Nov. 19, said, “Guacamole was delicious, as were my shrimp tacos. Enchiladas were also tasty. Service was perfect—attentive but not fawning. Not very crowded, so I hope more people give it a try.”
Vicky G. noted, “Food is amazing! We came last Friday and are back tonight because we found ourselves craving the tamales again.”
Hungry? Grab a meal from 11 a.m.–1 a.m. daily.
6852 W. Archer Ave., Garfield Ridge
Healthy Substance is a vegan, Latin American and vegetarian spot.
At this eatery, you’ll find vegan items like breakfast burritos, pizza and tamales, as well as pastries, smoothies and sandwiches on the menu. Locals are digging the spot’s decor—the Veggie Hallway features art that showcases famous vegans and animal rights activists. (Check out this spot’s full offerings here.)
It’s getting good feedback from clientele, who put it at 4.5 stars out of 24 reviews on Yelp.
Maria R., who reviewed it on Dec. 19, wrote, “This place is a gem! Whether you eat healthy, vegetarian, vegan or not, you will find something delicious that you will surely enjoy!”
Mark B. added, “I got the poblano pepper tamales with beans and rice. So good. Girlfriend got the tomato soup and grilled cheese. We took a trip to flavor town.”
Healthy Substance is open from 7 a.m.–8 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m.–8 p.m. on weekends.