Lakeview is a neighborhood with a wide variety of restaurants. There are quick and affordable dining options for college students, plenty of places for Cubs fans who want a bite to eat but avoid the chaos of Wrigleyville, and plenty of upscale restaurants to celebrate a birthday or impress a date. Arepas, Thai food, burgers, steaks and vegan shakes: this neighborhood has a place for every occasion. Here are the best.
New additions from 19/07/2023:Thai street food Isan Tuk Tuk
If you're looking for a quiet place to catch up with your old boss or discuss hot topics like Aaron Rodgers' contract, make a reservation at Dear Margaret. This charming French-Canadian BYOB restaurant in Lincoln Park offers delicious dishes like foie gras terrine with fluffy milk bread, duck breast with lentils, and friendly staff that will leave you alone as you discover how Aaron and Shailene met. In other words, it's exactly the kind where you'll want to take the extra time to finish that wine you brought.
Light, airy and with a menu filled with some of our favorite Vietnamese dishes in the city, Sochi is a great place for a casual date or a small group meal. Decorative greenery, upbeat techno music and an often packed dining room give this Vietnamese restaurant an energy and warmth that make the spade seem like a myth. And this atmosphere continues in the food. From the incredibly light egg rolls paired with a tangy fish sauce, to the aromatic ginger dressing on the Grilled Duck Salad and the buttery Shaking Beef tenderloin, the food is full of exciting combinations of sweet, spicy, sour and umami flavors. . If the conversation at the table is boring, at least the complexity of the dishes can keep things interesting.
If you're a regular reader of Infatuation, then you know what we're talking about. If you're new here, welcome. Install, because we have great news. Southport Grocery is our favorite lunch spot in Chicago, and we're not afraid to say it's the best. A side of pancakes with pudding is a must.
Tuk Tuk is the kind of casual neighborhood restaurant you wish you lived across the street from. And if you live in Lakeview, that might be possible. This small BYOB place specializes in Isan Thai dishes and serves fantastic food infused with chilli and herbs. Aside from the great selection of staples like pad kee mao and green curry, getting a table on weekdays isn't too difficult. The restaurant manages to keep a low profile even after the tables are full, but you may have to wait a bit for the dishes to come out when they are ready. This just buys you more time to convince the table to add a whole fried red snapper to the meal.
Zaza's is a casual New York style pizzeria with really good pies. The crust is thin and chewy, glistening with olive oil and providing a wonderful vehicle for Zazas' long list of toppings. You can order it by the slice or pie, with options like sweet and spicy bacon jam or warm honey sopressata. For New York-style purists, there's also excellent pepperoni (with cute little fat cups) and a white cake with fluffy ricotta bits. The restaurant is BYOB and luckily there is a Binny's across the street.
Look no further than Crisp the next time you're craving chicken wings. Seoul Sassy Sweet Sauce is the place to go and you'll be even happier eating it on the couch.
Taipei Cafe's bright interior is decorated with small plants, postcards and drawings of bubble tea and Chicago landmarks. And while the large drink menu and cute pictures suggest you're at this Taiwanese boba spot (we love the Taipei milk tea), not ordering food would be a mistake. Their Crispy Popcorn Chicken is pleasantly salty with just a hint of saltiness, and each order comes with pieces small enough to be meal-friendly. But for something more balanced, we like the braised pork in a sweet and savory black soy sauce, which comes with rice, a hard-boiled egg, pickled vegetables, green beans and salad. Most people order takeout because the place is quite small, but there are a few tables and counters available.
What sets La Biznaga #2 apart from other nearby taco shops is the selection of 16 different fillings. You can customize your taco lineup however you like, with options like chorizo, roast beef, crispy beef intestines, or our top pick: juicy lengua. While the tacos are the highlight, they also offer larger plates of enchiladas, fajitas and steak dinners. With plenty of tables, this bright and colorful spot caters to solo diners, couples and small groups. Plus, they also have a Taco Tuesday sale, which is an easy excuse to try all their varieties at least once a week.
Unlike other cities (ahem, New York), in Chicago you can appreciate pizza of all kinds. Like Coalfire Pies: The thin crust is smeared with delicious specks of coal, but it's gently chewy and maintains a nice fall in the center. There are many toppings to choose from, including options like pepperoni or egg, but our favorite is the honey and salami: a balanced taste of sweet, salty and spicy, courtesy of soppressata, honey and Calabrian pepper. There are plenty of tables here, so bring your family, even your rival New York friends. it's a great way to introduce them to the Chicago scene before surprising them with a reservation at Pequod's.
This small BYOB restaurant in Venezuela is located at the corner of Lakeview and Wrigley, just before the desert filled with crazed Cubs fans. Bolivar and Lincoln make stuffed arepas and have a variety of options including shredded chicken with gouda, New York steak, and their sausage, egg and cheese version. But our favorite is the Pabellón, which adds sweetness to the mix thanks to caramelized plantains buried under a mound of cooked minced meat, beans and cheese. Disclaimer: Spillage is an inevitable part of the dining process here, so ask for extra napkins. It's quite small and has limited seating, but if you can get a table, it's a great place to eat and drink before the game.
Kubo is a cozy Filipino restaurant that has the atmosphere of a neighborhood bar. With more than 20 types of martinis, as well as cocktails and beer, this place is packed with friends chatting over drinks on the weekends or locals treating the bartender after a long day at work. Its menu includes staples such as crispy chicken lumpia, pancit canton or delicious marinated ribs. But we also love kansi, a tamarind-based soup filled with vegetables, bone marrow and tender beef shank. At the busiest hour, the entire restaurant can hear "Bohemian Rhapsody" blaring through the speakers, and every table and bar stool is full. But on a quieter night, the dim lighting and delicious food make it a great place for a casual date night or group dinner.
Gundis is a discreet place in Clark, perfect for a simple scene with friends. But it's also a great place in the morning - the full Kurdish breakfast is a choice for two that includes three types of cheese, three homemade jams, honey, butter, sesame butter, vegetables, hash, fried cheese rolls and your choice of egg. escapes If you're one of those who safely fill up on eggs and tostadas, this is a great place to diversify.
The Chicago Diner is a longtime institution and weekend brunch destination for a reason. Everything on the menu is vegan or can be vegan, including the famous "Radical Reuben," making it a great place to go when you don't want to explain your dietary restrictions seven times. There are things like quinoa chili and more adventurous moves like poutine or fried 'steak', but no matter what, you should order a vegan shake while you're here.
Near the Belmont stop, Strings has some of the best ramen in the neighborhood. At first it looks like a casual place, but then you look at the menu and see "HELL RAMEN" in all caps. There are five spice levels at Hell Ramen if you're looking for a challenge but can't decide if you'd rather avoid a bowl of shoyu filet mignon.
You're sure to see lots of families at Frasca, and it's earned a reputation as a neighborhood staple. The wood-fired pizzas are delicious and reliable, and there are enough Italian dishes to round out the menu to keep everyone happy.
Considering most of the options near the intersection of Belmont and Sheffield are fast casual or late-night eats, Figo's is a nice addition. It's a wine bar that serves reasonably priced small plates - all pastas are under $15. Come here for a date, share a bottle of wine, and watch the drunks pour into Trader Todd's for karaoke across the street.
A million times more Zen than a piece of patio furniture, MFK is taking on serving Spanish ferry fare in a sub-level space at Diversey. Simple seafood dishes shine here and it's a great place for light snacks or a late night.
Chicago Bagel Authority
What you'll find at CBA are delicious and dirty steamed bagel sandwiches. There's no structured line here, just walk up to one of the sandwich assembly line workers when you're ready and order from the huge menu. You'll probably want to try more than one, so you've got plenty of options locked and loaded.
Avoid fancy seafood restaurants with white tablecloths and expensive lobster tails. Instead, head to Half Shell, a garden spot that looks more like a dive bar than a restaurant. But this dive bar has some of the best crab legs around. Stop by the bar, have a few beers, and keep your crabs cold and steamed until you've had your fill.
Red Hot Ranch in Ashland serves up a great Depression Dog with fresh fries and one of the best cheap burgers in town with a delicious thinly grilled patty.
At first glance, Wood's appears to be a typical and somewhat boring New American restaurant. It has an extensive menu designed to please everyone, with small and large plates, flatbreads, pasta and, of course, cheeseburgers, as required by the new American restaurant law. And although the food here won't surprise you, everything is delicious and almost everything is homemade, including the pasta. Come here for a casual weeknight drink and dinner or a casual neighborhood date night.
If you want to feel like your friend from California who wakes up at 6am to do yoga is cooking for you, come here. You'll find avocado toast with orange slices, ricotta and sunflower seeds or chicken and black bean wraps. Much of it is vegan and gluten free and perfect if you're looking for a healthy meal. They have three locations, but we prefer the Lakeview location for its beach house feel and outdoor patio.
Ella Elli's space is reminiscent of a furniture store: there is a large waiting room with a fireplace and couches that look staged, but you can forgive that once you sit down and start eating. Nothing on the Mediterranean small plates menu is bad, but what stands out are the vegetable dishes. Keep this in mind for a date night or when you want a place to meet friends at the bar.
The Lakeview area of Southport is a very family-friendly area, so every night you could end up eating at a restaurant full of kids. This Italian property is no exception to the rule, especially as it is a large space with plenty of room for prams. The pizza here, which you cut yourself with scissors, is excellent - the crust is crispy and crunchy to perfection, and there are also some excellent pasta dishes and mains. Just keep the scissors away from children.
Can an empanada restaurant take over the world? Probably not, but 5411 is trying. What started as a food truck has expanded into multiple stores. But you can't complain, because the variety of baked Argentinian empanadas is excellent, from the classic ham and cheese to the new age of banana and Nutella. They're a decent size, but they're only $3.29 each, so try some.
DMK Burger Bar offers exactly what you would expect based on the name. There's a variety of burgers, ranging from the classic McD's Big Mac style to a salmon burger, and it's a very bar-like atmosphere. It's full of people walking, eating burgers and drinking beers. The shakes are also great so be sure to grab one.
DMK is very handy with restaurant names, because next to the Burger Bar is the Fish Bar. It would be funny if the Fish Bar served pizza, but it doesn't. Come sit at the counter and enjoy a grilled fish BLT.
Bread Bread Coffee
Neighborhood that serves sandwiches with homemade bread. Panes is the kind of place you need to know exists because its location in Sheffield, north of Wellington, will never be obvious to you. But now you know it's there and you know where to go if you're around and need a quick bite.
BopNgrill is a stand that does two things: burgers and bibimbap, and it does them very well. But we come here for the Asian style burgers, which are the right kind, hard to eat as they are sloppy but still manageable. Top your fries with caramelized kimchi and cheese, which somehow manage to stay crispy the entire time you're eating them.
If you're looking for quality steakhouse food without the steakhouse prices, Tango Sur is the place to go. This Argentinian steakhouse cooks up great steaks in a dark BYOB space. The fact that you can get quality meat and BYOB for under $50 is a steal.
If you're trying to get into Tango Sur and the wait is two hours, consider ringing the bell and heading to Bodega Sur next door. You'll have to get rid of that bottle of wine you brought with you (they have a full bar, so it's not BYOB), but since they're owned by the same people, they have delicious Argentinian steak and honey chimichurri. I am looking. . They're also open for brunch Friday through Sunday, which is more than Tango Sur can say.
Art of Pizza is one of the few places in Chicago that offers deep dish slices. The best is the stuffed pizza, in the same style as Lou Malnati, but with a lot more cheese. It's a counter-front operation, it's BYOB, and it looks like a partially finished basement from the 1980s. The large space is great for groups or even a solo portion or two.
This is a real family place that caters to many needs. Crosby's is perfect when you want to go out and enjoy a comfort meal without the ordeal. There is something for everyone and a huge dessert pan for everyone to share.
the new mexican
There are many great places to grab a burrito or taco on the run, but Nuevo Mexicano is the place to sit down and enjoy Mexican food and drinks. Try one of the tickets and buy pitchers of margaritas with your friends.
Big & Little's continues to expand, now with four locations, and this laid-back Lakeview spot serves up everything from burgers and tacos to top-notch Cajun and truffle fries. We hope you continue to share these potatoes with the world.
When we want a Thai meal in this part of town, Andy's Thai Kitchen is the perfect choice. The menu has a lot of options, but feel free to ask for anything because it's good. We usually like to try a bit of each menu item, making sure it includes some soup. Bring cash because that's all they take.
The table of Ceres
This restaurant moved from Uptown to Lakeview a few years ago and has always traveled with quality Italian food. You can keep it simple with pasta, fish and meat, but don't be afraid to include pizza.
dough of joy
A cozy Thai restaurant in the middle of the Boystown section of East Lakeview. Want to feel and act like a regular in the neighborhood? Order takeout or BYOB at Joy's, because that's what everyone in the neighborhood is doing.