Dining out: Here are the Loop's 4 newest eateries

Photo: Poke Bar/Yelp

Interested in getting the lowdown on the newest businesses to open in the Loop? From a gyro restaurant to a place offering customizable poke bowls, read on for a list of the newest destinations to arrive in this part of Chicago.

La Cocina


209 W. Lake St.
Photo: joe p./Yelp

New eatery La Cocina is open from breakfast through dinner, serving up Mexican fare and cocktails.

In the morning, look for eggs with chorizo, chilaquiles, Mexican-style egg torta and breakfast burritos. Later in the day, noteworthy options include the giant burrito suizo buried under melted cheese, tacos filled with grilled tilapia and pico de gallo, and freshly made tamales served with rice and beans. Tortas, tostadas, sopes and fajitas round out the menu.

La Cocina has one review, giving it a current rating of five stars.

Yelper Joe P., who reviewed it on July 7, wrote, "I've missed having their food since they'd left Franklin Street. It's definitely great having them back in the neighborhood. Food is better than I remember (great al pastor tacos) and they offer amazing cocktails in this much larger space."

La Cocina is open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekdays. (It's closed on weekends.)

Piggie Smalls


205 W. Wacker Drive
Photo: andrew c./Yelp

Piggie Smalls is a Greek eatery helmed by chef Jimmy Bannos Jr. of the Purple Pig who made news last year after earning a spot on People's list of sexiest chefs, per Eater Chicago. Located in the Wells Street Market, this spot's menu is gyro-centric.

Make your own gyro sandwich, bowl or salad with pork, beef tenderloin and chicken as protein options. Other small bites like hummus, Greek fries and whipped feta are available as well. Check out the full menu here.

Piggie Smalls has garnered a five-star rating out of seven reviews on Yelp.

James P., who reviewed the new spot on June 26, wrote, "Can't decide between the chicken or beef tenderloin, both are so good I had to eat both. The whipped feta makes for a nice sauce, the fries and seasoning are on point."

Yelper Martina C. added, "The staff was great and the food was as expected, amazing. The biggest surprise was how affordable it all was for the location and considering the portion of the food."

Piggie Smalls is open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Poke Bar


10 S. La Salle St., Suite 105
Photo: poke bar/Yelp

Poke Bar is a national chain and a spot to score customizable poke bowls.

Grab a small (two scoops of protein), medium (three scoops of protein) or large bowl (four scoops of protein) with a base of rice, greens or noodles. Protein options include tuna, salmon, albacore, spicy tuna, scallops, octopus, shrimp and tofu. Seaweed salad, rice and miso soup can be purchased a la carte.

Yelpers are excited about Poke Bar, which currently holds five stars out of eight reviews on the site.

Mingchao Z., who reviewed it on June 25, wrote, "Came here for lunch with not much expectation, but this place was truly great. The location is where the old Firefin Poke used to be."

Yelper Victoria U. wrote, "I fell in love with Poke Bar in Atlanta so I was excited to see one show up in the Loop! I was happy to find the same great quality and flavor at this location."

Poke Bar is open from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. (It's closed on Sunday.)

Hero Coffee Bar


222 N. Lasalle Drive
Photo: adam m./Yelp

Hero Coffee Bar is a coffee roastery that offers light fare as well as signature caffeinated beverages.

Look for honey nut and lavender lattes or grab a bag of light, medium or dark roast or espresso beans from the roaster's counter to brew at home. Hungry? Pair your caffeinated beverage with a signature sandwich like The Usual Suspect with bacon, egg and cream cheese on a bagel. Check out the business' website here for more information.

The coffee spot has received only one review on Yelp thus far.

Yelper Adam M. wrote, "I do like the small independent coffee shops over the larger chains and Hero is a pretty good option ... and the cappuccinos are pretty good. They don't do any sort of fancy shapes with the milk on the top like other hip places and the flavor is good, not great."

Hero Coffee Bar is open from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays. (It's closed on weekends.)
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