A selection of T Square Cafe's rice bowls around one of the cafe's citrus spritzer drinks. Credit: Alex V. Hernandez/Block Club Chicago

LINCOLN SQUARE — A crop of new restaurants have opened in Lincoln Square, North Center, Ravenswood, Irving Park and Albany Park.

Dine-in restaurants that successfully navigated the pandemic like Garcia’s Restaurant, 4760 N. Lincoln Ave., are being joined by fast-casual options complementing the business corridor, said Rudy Flores, executive director of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

It’s a welcome sign the industry is rebounding from pandemic-related closures, supply chain disruptions and economic inflation, Flores said.

“I think it’s a good balance because it’s not negatively affecting the already well-established restaurants in the area. I think it’s going to just bring more variety and bring more people to the community and give them more options throughout their week,” Flores said.

Block Club rounded up some of the new restaurants that recently opened or are coming soon.

Lincoln Square


4620 N. Lincoln Ave.
5-10 p.m., Thursday-Sunday

Sojourn, which opened in June, comes from the team behind Davis Theater and Carbon Arc. It features food like the The French Dip sandwich and smash burgers alongside cocktails, beer and wine. 


City Skyline

4755 N. Lincoln Ave. 

The coffee shop from the owner of Raw Edge Boutique is coming soon to Lincoln Square next to Savory Spice.


2547 W. Lawrence Ave.

A family-run boba tea shop is coming July 30 to the Lawrence Avenue commercial stretch near Kimberli Sushi, Thai Cuisine and Green Post.

Hello Jasmine

4705 N. Lincoln Ave.

Hello Jasmine already has locations in Chinatown and Lincoln Park serving boba tea and Taiwanese food. Its Lincoln Square spot is opening Aug. 2 next to Oromo Cafe.  


North Center

T Square Cafe 

2205 W. Montrose Ave.
11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Sunday

A pair of sisters and their friends moved their popular boba tea cafe from Chinatown to a larger location just across the street from Welles Park in May. T Square uses fresh-brewed tea made daily from tea leaves, herbs and spices instead of using powdered concentrates. Its six signature boba teas include flavors like jasmine, chamomile and taro, Chen said.

A selection of T Square Cafe’s rice bowls around one of the cafe’s citrus spritzer drinks. Credit: Alex V. Hernandez/Block Club Chicago


4160 N. Lincoln Ave.
4-10 p.m. Thursday, 4-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4-9 p.m. Sunday

Apero opened this month and has a global selection of wines curated by the wine bar’s owner Robert Cervantes.

A North Center native, Cervantes traveled the world working in the hospitality industry and teaching yoga and decided to bring his love of wine back home. Chef Dylan Heath, who has worked at Café Marie-Jeanne, Pink Salt and Banana Phone Treats designed Apero’s menu featuring seasonal vegetables and a majority of the dishes involve simple preparations, like the Roasted Chicken “Chasseur” in order for guests to better enjoy immediately with a glass of wine.

Some of the wine and bites available at Apero. Credit: Photo by Victoria Shapow.


Pita Express

4649 N. Damen Ave.
11 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday-Sunday

Pita Express opened near the Damen Brown Line stop in May. Its menu features Mediterranean bites to go like Arabic style chicken shawarma, burgers, wraps, gyros and falafel.


Teddy’s Ice Cream

2000 W. Montrose Ave.
Noon-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, Noon-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday

Teddy’s Ice Cream joined Montrose Avenue in June, across from Land & Lake Ravenswood. The shop features flavors like strawberry shortcake, cookie sundaes and banana splits.  


Paradise Port Cafe

1918 W. Montrose Ave.
8 a.m-8 p.m., Monday-Sunday

Just down the street from Teddy’s, Paradise Port serves açaí bowls, smoothies and empanadas.

Irving Park

Katherine Anne Confections

3653 W. Irving Park Road
8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Katherine Anne’s opened in Logan Square in 2006 and is known for known for its decadent drinking chocolate. Owner Katherine Duncan’s new Irving Park location opens July 21 and will have more space to handle production of its drinking chocolate and other desserts, she said.

A variety of treats from Katherine Anne Confections. Credit: Photo by Tuan B & Co.

Albany Park

Niko’s Bakery

4409 N. Kimball Ave.
6 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Sunday

The Mexican bakery near Kimball and Montrose opened in June and was a new featured stop on the annual Flavors of Annual Park food tour. It specializes in fresh-baked bread, cakes and pastries.

Helmand Chicago

4661 N. Kedzie Ave.
11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Helmand Chicago hosted its grand opening in May. The restaurant’s namesake is Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan. It joins Albany Park’s multicultural food scene — but chef and co-owner Wahid Tanha said he is highlighting flavors diners might not have tried before.

Helmand Chicago chef and co-owner Wahid Tanha at his restaurant on April 25, 2023. Credit: Alex V. Hernandez/Block Club Chicago

Maman Zari

4639 N. Kedzie Ave.

Maman Zari is set to open July 27 and will have a Persian-inspired tasting menu designed for everyday enjoyment.


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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park reporterrnrnalex@blockclubchi.orgnnLincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park reporterrnrnalex@blockclubchi.org Twitter @avhndz