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Chicago Fast Food Joints

Blink your eyes and another fast-casual restaurant concept is opening its doors in Chicago or expanding to more locations. One of the fastest growing segments in the restaurant industry today according to a recent report by Franchise Help, it’s no surprise that these quick, convenient and customizable restaurants are invading Chicago.

Shake Shack River North 

 

Shake Shack River North

Shake Shack: Despite originally wanting to put ketchup on their Chicago-style hot dog, Chicago has welcomed New York City’s worldwide burger phenomenon with open arms (and wallets). Two locations have opened downtown plus one in Skokie. Just how long will the Shack Attack continue?


Halal Guys Chicago

 

Halal Guys Chicago

The Halal Guys: With a Gold Coast location open and four more planned, Chicagoans are sinking their teeth into the acclaimed New York City street cart-based halal gyros and chicken.

Snap Kitchen Old Town 

 

Snap Kitchen Old Town Chicago

Snap Kitchen: The Austin-based healthy grab-and-go concept opened four locations in Chicago and one in Naperville this summer. The chain has plans to further expand their Midwestern footprint with another site in the West Loop this year plus one in suburban Park Ridge in the coming weeks, according to CEO Martin Berson.

 

Taco Bell Cantina 

 

Taco Bell Cantina

Taco Bell Cantina: Is it a coincidence that Taco Bell picked Chicago for its first boozy (and fast-casual) location? Receiving loads of national press, Wicker Park is home to the first ever Taco Bell Cantina, with boozy frozen “twisted freezes,” draft beer, wine, sangria, an upscale buildout with an open kitchen, and shared plates.

Good Stuff Eatery 

 

Good Stuff Eatery Chicago Loop

Good Stuff Eatery: “Top Chef” contestant Spike Mendelsohn’s take on handcrafted burgers, shakes and other greasy fare is hoping to satiate herds of Chicagoan’s meaty appetites with their first location that opened this January and a second opening soon in Lincoln Park.

800 Degrees 

 

800 Degrees Westwood

800 Degrees: California-based wood-fired Neapolitan pizza concept is bringing a slice of Naples (via California-based Umami Burger ownership) to Chicagoland with plans to open their 10thlocation in downtown Evanston on October 9. Create your own pie and watch it cook in just one minute.

Luke’s Lobster Chicago 

 

Luke's Lobster Chicago

Luke’s Lobster: Originating in Manhattan, Luke’s opened its doors in the Windy City this spring and reels guests in with their minimalistic Maine lobster, shrimp and crab rolls, seafood platters, chowders, soup and sides.

Glaze Teriyaki Grill Chicago 

 

Glaze Teriyaki Grill Chicago

Glaze Teriyaki Grill: Another New York-based fast-casual concept planted roots in the Midwest this year in Lakeview. It offers customizable meat, fish and vegetarian “Seattle-style” teriyaki plates and Asian fusion sides.  Glaze is BYO and has four other locations in New York and San Francisco, plans to open soon in Madison, Wisconsin, but ironically not in Seattle.

 

Pie Five Pizza Naperville

 

Pie Five Pizza Naperville

Pie Five Pizza: Dallas-based Rave Restaurant’s fast-casual spin on pizza is one of the many quick-fired pizzerias to make its way to Chicagoland, the first opening this spring and now up to seven suburban locations with 10 more in the works. Quick, customized pizza pie on the run.

 

BIG & little’s Wicker Park 

 

BIG & little's Wicker Park

BIG and little’s: Chicago original featuring tacos of the land and sea, burgers, sandwiches and salads. Three city locations are here—each with slightly different menus and colorful artwork—and ownership is hoping to open many more.

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