|Great restaurants are scattered across the city, from the long established, traditional Greektown to the street-glam, edgy East Ukrainian Village, from the exotic Indian-flavored Devon Avenue in West Rogers Park to the eclectic Clark Street in Andersonville, where you'll find great Swedish, American, Korean, Persian, and Italian restaurants (to name a few) lined up in a row. |
You can also find hundreds of unique and inexpensive restaurants that deliver to you on Grubhub.com. After searching for restaurants based on your address, you can see all of the menus and coupons of the restaurants that deliver to you.
• Ann Sather, 929 W. Belmont. 773-348-2378. This Swedish standby is a can't-miss for one of the city's best breakfasts, served all day, including warm, fresh-baked cinnamon rolls dripping with sugary icing. Now a bona-fide chainlet with five locations around Chicago, but try the 50-year-old Belmont branch.
• The Chicago Diner, 3411 N. Halsted. 773-935-6696. A fully vegetarian restaurant on Chicago's north side, the Diner's emphasis on quality has kept it around for more than 20 years.
• The Handlebar, 2311 W North Ave. 773.384.9546. A vegetarian friendly restaurant in Chicago's hip Wicker Park, a home to Chi-town's bicycle culture.
• Francesca's on Taylor, 1400 W. Taylor. Near the University of Illinois, Chicago campus. Excellent Italian restaurant in the "Little Italy" section of Chicago. Most evening reservation are desirable but if you eat early during the week, you often won't need them. Moderately priced and normally provides excellent service for large parties.
• Mirai, 2020 W. Division Street, just west of Damen. Tel: +1 (312) 773-862-8500. Sushi has come to Wicker Park, in a setting that is possibly more about atmosphere than the food, which is still formidable.
• Buffalo Joe's, 812 Clark Street, Evanston (Davis stop on Purple Line). Tel: +1 (847) 328-5525. For travelers visiting from outside of the Midwestern and northeastern US (buffalo wings hail from Buffalo, NY), we should probably explain that "Buffalo" wings are chicken wing segments which are either deep-fried (without breading) or baked, then tossed with a sauce. Traditional buffalo wing sauce in its simplest form is a buttery hot pepper sauce. Buffalo Joe's offers their wings at three heat levels - mild, hot, and "suicide" (topped with jalapeno peppers). People swear that this place has the best wings and burgers in the city, no contest.
• Le Bouchon, 1858 N. Damen in Bucktown. Small, funky bistro with a limited but excellent menu of standard French fare. For peak dining hours you will need a reservation. Reasonably priced.
• Mama's Fish and Chips, Red Line, Morse Stop. Total dive, fantastic fried chicken. Skip the fish.
• Greek Islands & Santorini, at Adams and Halsted in Greektown. Two of the top Greek restaurants in the city. They sit on opposite sides of Adams on Halsted. Good standard Greek food ...Santorini specializes in seafood. Both excellent for the real Chicago Greek experience. Free valet parking! Reservations usually not necessary.
• Gino's East, Grand stop on Red Line, plus suburban locations. The best deep-dish pizza in Chicago, though everyone has their own opinion. Also try Giordano's, Eduardo's, or Lou Malnati's for good Chicago deep dish, or Carmen's locations in the far north side or Evanston.
• Vito & Nick's, 8433 S. Pulaski in Chicago. You'll probably want to drive here. Public transportation is not convenient. (Pulaski is a major thoroughfare 5 miles west of State Street.) This restaurant is widely regarded on the South side as serving the best thin crust pizza in the city. Contrary to reputation, the neighborhood is quite safe. Many Chicago police live in the vicinity.
• Leona's. Good all-around Italian fare, multiple locations.
• Lou Malnati's, multiple locations. Great place to get real Chicago style deep dish pizza or other Italian fare.
• Pequod's. Great place to get caramelized/burnt crust Chicago style deep dish pizza, considered a secret favorite.
• Mity Nice Grill. +1 (312) 335-4745. Hidden behind Food Life on the second floor of the rear of Water Tower Place mall, 835 N. Michigan Ave., this establishment is one of the many Lettuce Entertain You restaurants scattered throughout the city. Billed as "1940's Style Bar and Grill". Even on busy nights, you won't wait long for a table, mainly because few people seem to know about it, but reservations are accepted. Fare includes steaks, seafood selections, pasta, and excellent recurring daily specials like meatloaf and a turkey dinner.
• Hot Doug's. Roscoe and California. In a town known for its sausages (the Chicago-style hot dog), Hot Doug's is unique and nationally renowned. The restaurant only sells sausages, but amongst its menu you'll run across bacon sausages, venison sausages, ostrich sausages, and other sausages made from exotic game. These are always done with a gourmet flair, such as Guinness mustard or feta cheese. In addition, on Friday and Saturday, they offer French fries made with rendered duck fat; it's an interesting treat. However, you need to plan; the store's only open from 20:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
The River North area contains many restaurants and bars, such as the Chicago Hard Rock, Ed Debevic's, the former Michael Jordan's (now Lalo's), and Excalibur nightclub. Many consider them touristy, but for the tourist they are quite convenient. Most are on or near Ontario; walk west from Grand (Red Line) or east from Merchandise Mart (Brown Line). A similar but more dynamic entertainment area is Division Street, a fair walk east of the Clark/Division stop on the Red Line. Other nightlife areas include the Addison and Belmont areas, at their respective stops on the Red Line, and the "Clybourn Corridor".
• Quenchers Saloon. 2401 North Western. Chicago's premier beer bar, with 200 different beers from around the world, 60 different whiskeys, and a decent bar menu. Reflecting the diverse neighborhood of east Logan Square/West Bucktown, everyone drinks together at this comfortable neighborhood bar.
• The Map Room. 1949 N. Hoyne Ave. 773.252.7636. Their motto is "Don't be lost," but you may as well give in to their disorienting collection of exotic beers. Their tap selection is one of the more extensive in the city, with surprises for even the most jaded beer drinker.
• Hopleaf. Though it doesn't have the biggest selection of beer, it has the most carefully chosen, with a surprisingly accessible menu for delving into the world of Belgians and local microbrews. The food is great (their steamed mussels are fantastic), but the beer is even better.
• Delilah's. 2770 N Lincoln Ave. +1 773-472-2771. This is the joint where Kurt met Courtney. No kidding. The booze selection is unbeatable, and recent almost-rock-stars spin the records.