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 COVID19 times, see the #FeministAgenda event, Dining in from local restaurants at 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 & Millhouse
Owners: Dave and Megan Miller
Cuisine: Baked goods & cafe fare
Neighborhoods: Lincoln Square, Uptown, Edgewater

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

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

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

Update: CheSa’s at The Bureau Bar & Restaurant. Chef Chesareé Rollins, Ph.D. cooks up gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options in an allergy-friendly kitchen.
CheSa’s Gluten Free Food Truck
Owner: Chef Chesareé Rollins, Ph.D.
Cuisine: Gluten-free delights
Neighborhoods: Wrigley Field, Whole Foods, Pete’s Fresh Market salad bars; around downtown during lunchtime

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

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)

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.

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)

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

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

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

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)

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)

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
Owner: Angenita Tanner
Cuisine: Southern fried chicken, catfish
Neighborhood: Lakeview East

My Chocolate Soul
Owner: Ramona Thomas
: Artisan chocolate
Neighborhood: Uptown

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

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
Chef Sarah Stegner’s daily home cooking hotline, 2-4pm, 847-920-8437

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
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

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

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

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

Owner: Michelle Fire
Cuisine: Brunch
Neighborhood: Uptown

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

Vanille Patisserie 
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.

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

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 Patisserie, a “killer margarita” from Cesar’s, Black Dog gelato goodness, courtesy of Instagram.


Belly Q
Owners: Chef Bill Kim & Yvonne Cadiz Kim
Cuisine: “Dishes and flavors from Korea and its neighbors”
Neighborhood: West Loop
Update: Closed in October 2018

The Boarding House
Owner: Proprietor/master sommelier Alpana Singh
Cuisine: Upscale American
Neighborhood: River North
Update: Closed in July 2018

Dia De Los Tamales
Owners: Chef Keith Carlson, Sam Wahl, & Jeni Wahl
Cuisine: Tamales
Neighborhoods: The Loop (Block 37), Pilsen
Update: Closed in October 2018

Owners: Andy Kalish & Gina Marino-Kalish
Cuisine: Brunch & Supper
Neighborhood: Uptown
Update: Closed in September 2019

Mad Love
Owner: Anna Abbey
Cuisine: Thai
Neighborhood: Ravenswood
Update: Closed in (month?) 2019

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

Owner and executive chef: Carrie Nahabedian
Cuisine: American and Mediterranean
Neighborhood: River North
Update: Closed in March 2018

Pizza Squared by Longacre
Owners: Andy Kalish & Gina Marino-Kalish
Cuisine: Detroit-style pizza
Neighborhood: Uptown
Update: Closed in September 2019

Scone City
Owner: Jessica Canning
Cuisine: Scones & espresso bar
Neighborhood: Wicker Park
Update: Closed in October 2019

Seven Lions
Owner: Proprietor/master sommelier Alpana Singh
Cuisine: Classic American
Neighborhood: Downtown
Update: Closed in January 2019

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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.