2 Chicago Spots Make Esquire's ‘Best New Restaurants in America' List

The West Town and Bridgeport restaurants remain open amid the coronavirus

As the year comes to a close, Esquire announced that two Chicago spots made the magazine's "Best New Restaurants in America List" for 2020.

Esquire's culture-and-lifestyle director Kevin Sintumuang traveled across the U.S. with his family when quarantine orders hit, ranking two Chicago restaurants among the best new spots.

Porto, located at 1600 W. Chicago Ave., made the cut for one of the best new restaurants, bringing a combination of seafood flavors from Portugal and Spain, according to the magazine.

"You’ll find some familiar items on the menu—like conservas served on toast—but it’s the cheeky, more cerebral dishes where chef Marcos Campos excels," Esquire's Jeff Gordinier wrote.

The West Town restaurant features "pasta do mar," which uses Spanish seaweed as noodles and carabineros shrimp in olive oil, Gordinier said. He added the nori ice cream includes candied sea lettuce.

"It’s a sideways approach to the coastal region, but that’s the fun of it," he said.

Bridgeport's Pizza, Fried Chicken, Ice Cream restaurant was also ranked as a top new spot, featuring new takes on classic dishes.

"If PFCIC feels like eating at a friend’s place where the party has spilled into the (socially distanced) backyard, that’s because it sort of is," Gordinier wrote.

The new joint at 964 W. 31st Street, offers pizza from Eat Free Pizza, which began as a small, secret pop-up spot, along with Korean-style fried chicken and the Chicago brand Pretty Cool Ice Cream for dessert, the magazine detailed.

"Grab a six-pack at Maria’s next door (both spots are owned by Ed Marszewski) and you’ve got a real neighborhood hang," Gordinier said.

For a full list of Esquire's best new restaurants and top chefs, click here.

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