Conquer your American food cravings with these 3 Chicago newcomers

Pacific Standard Time. | Photo: Nataliya A./Yelp

So you're hungry and ready for some American food. Good news: we've found the freshest spots to satisfy your appetite around Chicago. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you're in the mood for American fare.

3 Squares Diner


1020 W. Lawrence Ave., Uptown
Photo: dustin g./Yelp

3 Squares Diner offers breakfast and brunch fare and is led by chef and co-owner Ian Voakes, who also heads Logan Square's brunch spot Jam. Per its website, this new establishment is serving American comfort food while putting out its own spin on classic dishes.

Expect menu options like buttermilk pancakes, biscuits with ginger coconut mushroom gravy and French toast for breakfast. Lunch additions include Cubano sandwiches with pork, fennel and black beans, burgers, duck potpie and more.

3 Squares Diner's current Yelp rating of five stars out of six reviews indicates positive feedback.

Yelper Stuart B., who reviewed the eatery on June 8, wrote, "I went to 3 Squares on opening morning and it did not disappoint. I expected great things from the proprietors of Jam, and everything that we ordered (I had my kids with me) was great."

Yelper Vernon M. wrote, "Everyone there was really friendly and smiling. This place truly has a cozy, diner feel. I came here because I live in the building but also to try out their Michelin-approved brunch."

3 Squares Diner is open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.

Pacific Standard Time


141 W. Erie St., River North
Photo: nataliya a./Yelp

Pacific Standard Time is a New American spot from chef and co-owner Erling Wu-Bower and partner Joshua Tilden. The duo brings its Pacific Northwest-based fare to the Midwest -- and that doesn't mean just seafood.

On the menu, you'll find a variety of appetizers including wood-fired pita, roasted beet salad and wood-roasted asparagus. Entree options include pizza, pasta and hearty main dishes like the swordfish served with baby leek, fregula and Fresno chili.

According to Eater, the drink list features seven signature cocktails, with an emphasis on wines from California, Oregon and Washington.

Pacific Standard Time currently holds four stars out of 39 reviews on Yelp, indicating good reviews.

Yelper Winston G., who reviewed the eatery on June 13, wrote, "Best new restaurant I've been to in Chicago for 2018. Service still needs to work out its kinks in terms of getting people seated at their reservation time ... but the food here was spot on."

Nerissa T. noted, "We stopped by on their first day of brunch and it was fantastic! We were seated at the chef's table so it was pretty cool to be able to see the kitchen in action."

Pacific Standard Time is open from 5-10 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 5-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Red Barrel Restaurant


5214 S. Archer Ave., Archer Heights
Photo: margaret w./Yelp

Red Barrel Restaurant is a bar and traditional American spot. After decades of dormancy, brothers Luis and Carlos Vazquez revived this once-popular joint in the same exact building with its distinctive facade, according to Patch.com.

This spot's expansive menu offers breakfast, lunch and dinner fare with a variety of libations, desserts and appetizers. Look for options like the house burger with bacon jam, brie and horseradish mayo on a pretzel bun; Cajun shrimp and rice with bell peppers and rice; and the Hawaiian flatbread with Canadian bacon and pineapple.

Red Barrel Restaurant is off to a strong start with a current Yelp rating of four stars out of 34 reviews.

Yelper Seth V., who reviewed the restaurant on April 22, wrote, "Alex was the bartender and was friendly and well versed in menus. We tried the tomato soup (really a delicious bisque), bacon-wrapped shrimp and barbecue ribs. All were excellent."

Samantha V. noted, "It's not the Red Barrel you remember. It's not bad, but if you're going to play on people's nostalgia, you better make it like they remember. It's a lot fancier than it used to be."

Red Barrel Restaurant is open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-midnight on Friday, 8:30 a.m.-11:45 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sunday.
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