Running & Delicious List of Women-Owned Restaurants in Chicago

women-owned restaurants in chicago collage

Who loves you, feminist foodies? We do! Enjoy this running and delish list of women-owned restaurants in Chicago and women-powered kitchens in the Chicago area.

In these Coronavirus COVID-19 times, see Dining at a Distance – Chicago: Keeping Chicago fed during COVID-19, a list of restaurants and their takeout/curbside and contactless delivery options. Feel free to contact the restaurants directly, though, by visiting their websites below.

Got a women-owned favorite that we missed? Let us know!

Anaba Handroll Bar
Owners: Chef Jill Barron and Susan Thompson
Cuisine: Anaba Sushi Handrolls, Anaba Sweets, Matcha Dessert Crepes, Mochi Ka-bobs
Neighborhood: South Loop (Hayden Hall, 333 South Wabash/CNA Center)

Baker Miller Bakery & Dinette on IG
Owners: Dave and Megan Miller
Cuisine: Baked goods & cafe fare
Neighborhoods: Lincoln Square, Uptown, Edgewater

Basu
Owners: Sisters Kim, Minah, and Tran Dao
Cuisine: Espresso drinks and fresh baked goods in the morning; Vietnamese (Banh Mi, bowls and more in afternoon and evenings)
Neighborhood: Northbrook

Bianca’s Bodega – Bianca’s Burgers on IG
Owners: Siblings Elizabeth Royal and Rafael Royal
Cuisine: Burger shack
Neighborhood: Humboldt Park

Bittersweet Pastry Shop
Owners: Chef Mindy Gohr and Esther Griego
Cuisine: Cafe + European-style pastries & desserts
Neighborhood: Lakeview

Brindille
Owner and executive chef: Carrie Nahabedian
Cuisine: Classic French
Neighborhood: River North

Black Dog Gelato
Owner: Chef Jessica Oloroso
Cuisine: Gelato
Neighborhood: East Village
Check out Elisa Shoenberger’s review here.

Brown Bag Seafood Co.
Owner: Donna Lee
Cuisine: Seafood
Neighborhoods: Loop, Roscoe Village

Brown Sugar Bakery
Owner: Stephanie Hart
Cuisine: Southern-style desserts
Neighborhoods: Greater Grand Crossing, Navy Pier
Read Hilary Christian’s interview with Hart here.

Brü Chicago
Co-founder: Alyona Udartseva
Cuisine: Light food & coffee
Neighborhood: Wicker Park

Cafe Selmarie
Owners: Birgit Kobayashi & Jeanne Uzdawinis (Uzdawinis passed away in 2017)
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Neighborhood: Lincoln Square

Cesar’s Restaurant
Owners: Owners include sisters Sandra Sanchez and Lourdes Duran
Cuisine: Mexican (they’re the Home of the Killer Margaritas)
Neighborhood: Lakeview, two locations on Broadway & Clark

CheSa’s Gourmet Foods
Owner: Chef Chesareé Rollins, Ph.D.
Cuisine: Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan delights
Neighborhoods: See CheSa’s Gourmet Foods Online Ordering.

The Chicago Diner
Owners: Marshall “Mickey” Hornick & Chef Jo Kaucher
Cuisine: Vegetarian/Vegan
Neighborhoods: Lakeview, Logan Square
Check out Laurie Fanelli’s review here.

Chocolat Uzma Sharif
Owner and executive chef: Uzma Sharif
Cuisine: Exotic chocolates inspired by Sharif’s Pakistani heritage
Neighborhood: Pilsen

Cocoa Chili Restaurant & Catering
Owner and executive chef: Niquenya Collins
Cuisine: Afro-Caribbean-Soul fanfare with a sweet and spicy flair
Neighborhood: East Garfield Park

Cupid Candies
Owner: Stephanie Hart
Cuisine: Chocolates — also available sugar-free, fruit & nuts, ice cream, caramel apples (seasonal, August – November)
Neighborhoods: Southwest Side location only (Oak Lawn and Orland Park Cupid Candies locations still owned by John Stefanos – see June 15 and June 16, 2020 news articles)

The Dandy Crown
Owners: Julia Shell and Jamie Hale
Cuisine: Cocktail-focused restaurant
Neighborhood: River West

Demera Ethiopian Restaurant
Owners: Tigist Reda
Cuisine: Traditional Ethiopian cuisine, vegan friendly, gluten-free available
Neighborhood: Uptown

Duck Duck Goat
Owners: Chef & Partner Stephanie Izard, Rob Katz & Kevin Boehm
Cuisine: Chinese
Neighborhood: Fulton Market
Check out Jera Brown’s roundup of Izard’s restaurants here.

Elizabeth
Owner: Chef Iliana Regan
Cuisine: American
Neighborhood: Lincoln Square

ERIS Brewery & Cider House
Owner: Katy Pizza and Michelle Foik
Cuisine: Pub fare
Neighborhoods/Locations: Irving Park

First Slice Pie Cafe
Owner: Chef Mary Ellen Diaz
Cuisine: Salads, sandwiches, soups & desserts
Neighborhoods/Locations: Andersonville, Ravenswood & Evanston

Girl and the Goat
Owners: Executive Chef Stephanie Izard, Rob Katz & Kevin Boehm
Cuisine: Dramatic small plates
Neighborhood: West Loop (Randolph Restaurant Row)

Goddess and The Baker
Owners: Debbie Sharpe & Tamar Mizrahi
Cuisine: Cafe fare & desserts
Neighborhoods: The Loop (two locations)

HaiSous
Owners: Chef Thai and Danielle Dang
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Neighborhood: Pilsen

Hema’s Kitchen
Owner: Hema Potla
Cuisine: Indian
Neighborhoods: Little India
Update: The Lincoln Park location has closed

Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Owners: Joshua Kulp & Christine Cikowski
Cuisine: Fried chicken & the amazingness that accompanies it
Neighborhood: Avondale

Hoosier Mama Pie Company
Owners: Chef Paula Haney and Craig Siegelin
Cuisine: Sweet & savory pies
Neighborhood & locations: West Town and Evanston

Janik’s Cafe
Owners: Felippa and Wayne Janik
Cuisine: All-day All-American breakfast and lunch with Latin American and Polish influences
Neighborhood: Wicker Park

Jeff & Judes
Owner and executive chef: Chef Ursula Siker
Cuisine: “Jew-ish” deli
Neighborhood: Humboldt Park

Jennivee’s Bakery
Owner: Jenne Vailoces
Cuisine: Filipino-American bakery
Neighborhood: Lakeview

The Jibarito Stop
Owners: Cely Rodriguez and Moraima Fuentes
Cuisine: Puerto Rican favorites
Neighborhood: Pilsen

Junebug Café
Owners: Jacqueline Mancias and Chris Murphy
Cuisine: French Creole — handmade beignets, tasty gumbo, savory meat pies, dark matter coffee
Neighborhood: Portage Park’s Six Corners, West Town

Kal’ish
Owners: Andy Kalish & Gina Marino-Kalish
Cuisine: Vegan diner fare
Neighborhood: Uptown

Kasama
Owners: Chefs Genie Kwon and Timothy Flores
Cuisine: Bakery and modern Filipino restaurant
Neighborhood: East Ukrainian Village

Kinzie Chophouse
Owner: Susan Frasca
Cuisine: Steakhouse
Neighborhood: River North
Read vegan Lisa Marie Farver’s restaurant review & interview with Frasca.

Klein’s Bakery & Cafe
Owners: Sergio Barbone and Jessica Klein
Cuisine: Desserts & cafe fare
Neighborhood: Buena Park

Kostali by Naha
Owner and executive chef: Carrie Nahabedian
Cuisine: Coasts of the Mediterranean, including Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Tunisia, Lebanon, Israel, and Morocco
Neighborhood: Downtown (The Gwen Hotel)

‘Laine’s Bake Shop
Owner: Rachel Elaine Bernier-Green
Cuisine: Bakery
Neighborhood: See ‘Laine’s Shipping Menu for the products that can be shipped to anywhere in the continental US

Lil Baby Sister’s, LLC
Owner: Niecy
Cuisine: Bakery
Neighborhood: See Lil Baby Sister’s Shop Page for the products that can be shipped to anywhere in the continental US

Little Goat Diner
Owners: Chef Stephanie Izard; Rob Katz & Kevin Boehm
Cuisine: Classic comfort food
Neighborhood: West Loop (Randolph Restaurant Row)

Lotus Café & Banh Mi Sandwiches (719 W Maxwell), Lotus Vietnamese Kitchen (166 W Washington), Lotus Banh Mi (818 S Wolcott)
Owners: Kim Dao and Dao Nguyen
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Neighborhood: University Village (exact addresses above)

Lucy’s
Owners: Damian and Jessica Warzecha
Cuisine: Quick casual comfort food, burgers and fries — and an award-winning spicy fried chicken sandwich
Neighborhood: Humboldt Park and Uptown locations

La Malinche Coffee House on FB
Owner: Marlene Torres
Cuisine: Coffees, pastries, paninis
Neighborhood: Pilsen

Masa Madre
Owners: Elena Vázquez Felgueres and Tamar Fasja Unikel
Cuisine: Mexican Jewish Artisanal Bakery
Neighborhoods: Pilsen

Mindy’s Bakery
Owner: Mindy Segal
Cuisine: Sourdough bagels and bialys, babka, za’atar challah, and seasonal pastries
Neighborhood: Wicker Park

Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio
Owners: Chef Sarah Grueneberg & Meg Sahs
Cuisine: Modern Italian
Neighborhood: West Loop

Ms. T’s Southern Fried Chicken on IG
Owner: Angenita Tanner
Cuisine: Southern fried chicken, catfish
Neighborhood: Lakeview East

Nohea Cafe
Owner: Michelle Mochoruk Gorman
Cuisine: Deli fare, sandwiches, salads
Neighborhood: West Loop

Parachute
Owners: Chef Beverly Kim & Johnny Clark
Cuisine: Korean-American
Neighborhood: Avondale

Prairie Grass Cafe
Owners: Chef/Owner Sarah Stegner and Chef George Bumbaris and co-owner Rohit Nambiar
Cuisine: Farm to table (Stegner is a co-founder of the Green City Market)
Neighborhood: Northbrook

Pretty Cool Ice Cream
Owners: Pastry chef Dana Cree and Michael Ciapciak
Cuisine: Hand-crafted artisan ice cream on a stick along with a full line of frozen novelties
Neighborhood: Logan Square

Saigon Sisters
Owners: Sisters Mary Nguyen Aregoni and Theresa Nguyen, along with their mother, Mama Suu
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Neighborhoods: West Loop (Lake Street, French Market); Downtown (Northwestern Memorial)

Saucy Porka
Owner: Amy Le
Cuisine: Asian-Latin fusion
Neighborhoods: South Loop, Hyde Park

Smack Dab Chicago on IG
Owners: Christine Forster & Axel Erkenswick
Cuisine: Bakery; comfort food breakfast & brunch
Neighborhood: Rogers Park

Southport Grocery and Cafe
Owner: Lisa Santos
Cuisine: Breakfast/lunch cafe
Neighborhood: Lakeview

Split-Rail
Owner: Executive Chef Zoe Schor
Cuisine: New Americana
Neighborhood: West Town

Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique
Owner: Teresa Ging
Cuisine: Bakery, especially cupcakes, cake pops, French macarons
Neighborhood: Downtown (The Palmer House Hotel)

Sugar Fixé Patisserie
Owner: Chef Cindy Summers
Cuisine: Classic French and modern American pastries, custom designed cakes.
Neighborhoods: Oak Park

Sugargoat
Owner and executive chef: Chef Stephanie Izard and pastry chef Faith Taheny
Cuisine: Bakery
Neighborhood: West Loop, inside Little Goat Diner

Sweet Maple Cafe
Owner: Laurene Hynson
Cuisine: Country-style breakfast & lunch
Neighborhood: Little Italy

Taylor’s Tacos
Owners: Taylor and Maya Mason
Cuisine: Authentic street tacos with a whole lot of soul!
Neighborhood: Catering, plus see Taylor’s Tacos on IG for their scheduled, permanent pop up locations.

Tweet Let’s Eat (9am-3pm) & Big Chicks (5pm-11pm)
Owner: Michelle Fire
Cuisine: Brunch & dinner
Neighborhood: Uptown

Uvae Kitchen and Wine Bar
Owners: Lindsey Anderson-Perez and Chef Sweet Charity Smith
Cuisine: New American
Neighborhood: Andersonville

Vanille
Owner: Chef Sophie Evanoff
Cuisine: French pastries, desserts
Neighborhoods: Lincoln Park, Downtown (Chicago French Market), Lakeview, Hyde Park
Check out Janet Arvia’s review here.

Vermilion
Owner: Rohini Dey
Cuisine: Indian & Latin fusion
Neighborhood: River North

Vivere
Owner: Gina Capitanini represents the third generation of the family to take the reins
Cuisine: Contemporary Italian
Neighborhood: Downtown (located on the main floor of Italian Village)

Vosges Haut-Chocolat
Owner: Katrina Markoff
Cuisine: Truffles and luxury chocolates
Neighborhoods: Loop, Lincoln Park, O’Hare

Wheat’s End Cafe
Owners: Susan McMillan and Amelia Fonti
Cuisine: Gluten-free breakfast & bakery
Neighborhood: Lakeview

XO Marshmallow
Owners: Kat Connor & Lindzi Shanks
Cuisine: Gourmet marshmallows & related treats
Neighborhood: Rogers Park

Photos from women-owned restaurants in Chicago, from left: Mouth-watering macarons from Vanille, a “killer margarita” from Cesar’s, Black Dog gelato goodness, courtesy of Instagram.


Do see the Black People Eats IG about this year’s 2nd Annual Juneteenth Restaurant Celebration, which included nearly 100 black-owned restaurants in Chicago.

Feel free to keep celebrating Chicago BLACK Restaurant Week, February 7-21, 2021 — which was actually two weeks this year! See the list of the 2021 CBRW Participants along with their Uber Eats ordering links and follow the event on Instagram, Chicago BLACK Restaurant Wk®️.

Also feel free to keep celebrating Chicago Restaurant Week March 19 – April 4, 2021.


Closings

Yūgen
Executive Chef: Mari Katsumura
Cuisine: Contemporary Japanese cuisine
Neighborhood: West Loop
Update: Closed in Spring 2021

Mana Food Bar
Owners: Chef Jill Barron and Susan Thompson
Cuisine: Vegetarian small plates
Neighborhood: Wicker Park
Update: Closed in Spring 2020

Mindy’s HotChocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar
Owner: Mindy Segal
Cuisine: American
Neighborhood: Wicker Park
Update: Closed in Spring 2020

My Chocolate Soul
Owner: Ramona Thomas
Cuisine
: Artisan chocolate
Neighborhood: Uptown
Update: Closed Chicago location February 2020 to open new location in NYC!

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Karen Hawkins is the Founder and Rebelle in Chief of Rebellious Magazine. She is a recovering mainstream media reporter and editor who wants to thank her former boss for naming the online magazine she's always wanted to start when he called her “Rebellious” for taking too many weekends off. When she isn't instigating a media Rebellion, she's thanking her lucky starlets she gets to do whatever she wants on weekends.