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7 New Restaurants in the Suburbs that Opened in 2020

Wasabi Restaurant & Bar, Downers Grove (Image: Wasabi Facebook page)
Wasabi Restaurant & Bar, Downers Grove (Image: Wasabi Facebook page)


While you were either hunkered down at home or scooping up takeout to support your favorite local haunts, a host of exciting new eateries joined us in 2020. Whether of the sit-down, sit-down plus takeout, or even ghost kitchen variety, it’s time to get caught up on new eats for 2021.


Wheeling – B Square Pizza

Ghost kitchens, which are restaurants that offer no physical dining space open to the public, were becoming increasingly popular even before the pandemic. They are open only for takeout and often delivery as well, and are very friendly to app-based ordering services like UberEats, Doordash, and Postmates. While the obvious downside is that there is nowhere to eat indoors even without pandemic restrictions, the upside is that Wheeling is now home to some fantastic Detroit-style square pizza. Saranello’s, a classic Italian establishment within the Westin North Shore, launched B Square in October to offer a different product that would hold up better to a takeout and delivery format. You’ll also find pastas, salads, wings, and classic apps like garlic bread and mozzarella sticks.


Naperville – Ninos Fresh Mexican Kitchen

The classic debate of where to order food from is a hallmark of any relationship. But there doesn’t necessarily have to be a winner and a loser, at least not if you’re ordering from Ninos. Ninos is another ghost kitchen, featuring delicious tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, quesabirrias, and carne asada, but is paired with the Asian-influenced seafood spot Catch 35. Pickup orders can feature items from both restaurants, providing plenty of unique combinations.


Crystal Lake – Moretti’s Pizza Pub

The Moretti’s name is no stranger to the northwest suburbs, where you can find hearty menus of pizzas, pastas, entrees, apps, and salads in a casual setting in Barrington, Bartlett, Fox Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake in the Hills, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Rosemont, and Schaumburg. But we’re highlighting the last addition in downtown Crystal Lake, opened in November, as it differs a bit from its siblings. The owner described the pizza pub as “Moretti’s cool kid brother.” You will immediately feel a distinctly neighborhood vibe upon arrival, as well as a condensed, fresher menu. The classic thin and deep dish pizza varieties are there, but with a new crispy cheese crust that changes the game. Party rooms, big screen TVs, video games, and a jukebox will make this an excellent place to hang out.


Schaumburg – Perry’s Steakhouse

A night out on the town in Schaumburg leveled up in October, when the second location of Perry’s opened in the Hyatt Regency right across from Woodfield Mall. You can expect a classic upscale steakhouse experience with a cold seafood bar, prime chops, exquisite sides and wine selection, and flaming desserts.


Downers Grove – Wasabi Restaurant & Bar

You love Chinese food. Your partner loves Thai. The kids prefer sushi. Perhaps the whole family will try and enjoy a Korean dish? All parties are satisfied at Wasabi, whose casual digs and reasonable price points are also family favorites as well. The modern Asian fusion spot opened shortly before the pandemic but continues to make a name for itself in the western suburbs. Even if you’re just looking for a nightcap, Wasabi’s cool bar will be a great place to stop by, pandemic restrictions notwithstanding.


Lake Zurich – La Mula Mexican Grill

As of this writing La Mula isn’t open yet, but a February 4 Facebook post reported that opening day should be announced quite soon. The planned Fall 2020 opening has been pushed back, but this contemporary Mexican menu will be worth the wait. Tacos available include duck confit, wild mushroom, Korean beef with kimchi, and shawarma meat. Good luck finding those at Taco Bell. The restaurant’s near-complete buildout can be seen at 927 S Rand Road near the south end of Lake Zurich.


Morton Grove – Spice & Fire Grill

While marketed as a casual joint–and it is, given the humble strip mall locale, affordable prices, and heavy reliance on takeout and delivery–Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurant Spice & Fire punches well above its weight class. Even the decor is highly impressive at this place, which opened in October. Flavors abound here, with a focus on unique Iraqi cuisine as well as mediterranean mainstays like kebabs and falafel sandwiches. You can also keep things simple and go for the family tray, which includes slow-cooked lamb served with raisins, nuts, vermicellis, salad, and broth and a side of rice. The platter starters at just $38.99 for a three-person portion or $62.99 for five. Combo platters are also available for five or seven people.