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Sep 27, 2003 04:57 PM

good restaurants on North avenue ONLY NORTH AVE.!

  • t

I'm trying to start a thread that lists the best places on North Ave.

I'll start out.
2039 W. North Ave
Shawn McClain, who worked at Trio runs a cool seafood place. Decent prices.

Got any other places? It can be 100 E. North or 5000 W. North, I don't care, but North Avenue only!

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  1. River Forest Grill


    Cafe Absinthe



    i guarantee there are more, but I don't know north ave that well. the ones I listed are the ones in chicago (excluding river forest grill). All I did was go to the chicago health department reporting page and look up restaurants on "North" (note, this also finds restaurants on Northwest). And then looked for the ones that are decently chow-friendly.

    Others will fill in with more suggestions, no doubt.



    7 Replies
    1. re: Ed Fisher

      VI once proclaimed that one of his ambitions is to eat at every single place along North Avenue. North gets relatively good coverage on this board not only because it's the VI family's main route into the city; but of course, also because it's also one of the main route FROM the city to Johnnie's. I have posted on that rich rich stretch extending from about the Maternity BVM church/school (Taqueria Puebla-Mexico is here) to the North-Pulaski neighborhood. There's everything there from Guatemalan-Puerto-Rican, to another The Original Maxwell Street to a tamales specialist (Case del tamal) name it. In the North-Pulaski stretch, I think ReneG has written on the birria place on the south side of North, VI on Asi es Guerrero, and I have several posts specifically on the pozole verde at Asi es Guerrero. Pozole verde can also be enjoyed at a pozoleria one block south of North on Pulaski (VI wrote on that.) I think that VI and Zim had lunch once at the taqueria inside that excellent supermercado just west of Pulaski (Jimenez?) I did a quick evaluation once of the Jamaican jerk chicken at that place near Central. VI and I had an email exchange months and months back on all the "fast food" type places (lots and lots of them) between about Central to Harlem. Can't remember now if either of us posted anything on any of those places on the board. Around Kedzie, there's a VI post on the Puerto-Rican San Juan bakery (across from Roessler's). I did a post on the Dominican Tropical Taste. The Puerto-Rican vans at Humboldt Park are mostly located on a curving park road parallel to North and not too far away from it. They should probably be considered as a part of the North Avenue foodscape. Between Humboldt Park and Western is a stretch that remains largely unsurveyed: Ibis is the only restaurant that occasionally shows up on media lists. Going towards Wicker Park, you will find annieb and Paul T posts on Sultan's Market etc. East of Damen is pretty well-trodden territory.

      "Tom", if you are writing a piece on North Avenue for a newspaper or magazine, pls kindly credit this website as a courtesy. A simple mention would be very appreciated and would earn you the friendship and respect of the board.

      1. re: RST

        Richard, I believe that you are referring to the Guadalajaran cuisine of Birria Huentitan on the South side of North just west of Pulaski. I have made that a regular stop for myself when visiting the bank branch across the street.

        There was some debate some time ago about the "cuban" Sandwich at San Juan Bakery. While the roast pork component is excellent, the addition of Kraft singles ruins what could be an otherwise fine sandwich. It should be noted that others like the sandwich though I do not (not an infrequent occurence on Chowhound.)

        I don't care what anyone says about authenticity, I like Hi Rickey in Bucktown (Of course I recently admitted to liking Whoppers, too. So take that recommendation for what its worth).

        1. re: YourPalWill

          Yes Huentitan. A very good place: and I think there was some discussion about the al pastor there (which I haven't tried). Sorry, I blanked out on several of the names. I was running around while trying to do two posts while mulling over a third at the same time.

          1. re: YourPalWill
            Shannon Clark

            I agree with the Hi Ricky comment, not where I go for "authentic" but certainly where I go when I want a variety of Sateys and a wide range of options for the people I am eating with.

            A few others that come to mind:

            Barro - recently opened Tapas place serving a very unusual selection of Tapas (~190 W. North Ave).

            Soju - somewhat unusual Korean (unusual in that it is more Americanized than most, the food is very tasty)

            Wasabi - I have not eaten there myself, but have heard very good reports on it and want to try it (just east of Ashland)

            Certainly Johnies for Italian Beef and italian ices

            Just a few blocks west of Johnies there is also a very excellent Italian grocery and sub place, starts with a D' can't recall the exact name at the moment, but often when I am visiting my parents in Oak Park it is where we run out to get subs - possibly the best I've had in the city.

            North Ave is a great street for food in Chicago.

            Flattop Grill is an interesting option, personally I don't like it very much as I don't quite have the control that as a cook myself I would like to get the flavors just right, but it can be a lot of fun with the right group of people.

            also last night I tried Hong Sue a little hole in the wall Chinese place on the 400 w block of North Ave. Mostly typical fast food chinese selections, but the hot and sour soup is very very good, and they will customize dishes on request, so I got their Schezuan Green Beens which usually were a vegeterian dish with pork as well, very tasty and surprising for the type of place, I'll try it again over the next few weeks and see if they can continue to offer tasty Chinese options in a near to my home place.

            1. re: Shannon Clark

              FWIW, I think you meant "Watusi," not "Wasabi."

              1. re: Erik M.
                shannon clark

                yes, guess I haven't had my sushi fix...

          2. re: RST

            asi es guerrero is a exelent place to eat mexican food.

        2. Closer to Downtown, I'd list DiNotto just west of North and Wells, and Flat Top Grill....and how about Adobo Grill virtually at North and Wells....

          1. Thanks for the various suggestions guys. Oh and I'm not a reporter, I just have a friend who lives off North Ave. and we wanted to do a tour of all the places on the strip as far West and East as we could go!

            1. Here's every place in my list for which North Avenue is the nearest east-west street, listed roughly in east-to-west order. City is Chicago unless otherwise noted.

              Barro Cantina - 163 W. North Ave.
              Adobo Grill - 1610 N. Wells St.
              Di Notto Ristorante - 215 W. North Ave.
              Golden Dragon - 1617 N. Wells St.
              Cucina Bella - 1612 N. Sedgwick St.
              Glow - 1615 N. Clybourn Ave.
              Kabul House - 1629 N. Halsted St.
              Uncle Julio's Hacienda - 855 W. North Ave.
              Freddy's Ribhouse - 1555 N. Sheffield Ave.
              NYC Bagel Deli - 1001 W. North Ave.
              Pockets - 1001 W. North Ave.
              Hollywood Grill - 1601 W. North Ave.
              Watusi - 1540 W. North Ave.
              Cafe Ole - Ashland s. of North
              Soju - 1745 W. North Ave.
              Pot Pan - 1750 W. North Ave.
              Gallery Cafe - 1760 W. North Ave.
              Anthony's - 1825 W. North Ave.
              Las Palmas - 1835 W. North Ave.
              Bada Bing - 1840 W. North Ave.
              Hi Ricky - 1852 W. North Ave.
              Nola's 32nd Ward Seafood House - 1856 W. North Ave.
              Papajin - 1551 N. Milwaukee Ave.
              Big Horse - 1558 N. Milwaukee Ave.
              Souk - 1552 N. Milwaukee Ave.
              Barcello's - 1627 N. Milwaukee Ave.
              Piece - 1927 W. North Ave.
              Sweet Thang - 1921 W. North Ave.
              Taste - 1922 W. North Ave.
              Blue Fin - 1952 W. North Ave.
              Cafe Absinthe - 1954 W. North Ave.
              D'Vine - 1950 W. North Ave.
              Earwax - 1564 N. Milwaukee Ave.
              Estelle's - North / Damen
              Feast - 1616 N. Damen Ave.
              Flash Taco - 1570 N. Damen Ave.
              Half and Half - 1560 N. Damen Ave.
              Kudos - 1635 N. Milwaukee Ave.
              Local Grind - 1585 N. Milwaukee Ave.
              Pacific Cafe - 1619 N. Damen Ave.
              Red Hen Bread - 1623 N. Milwaukee Ave.
              Reservation Blues - 1566 N. Milwaukee Ave.
              Roong - 1633 N. Milwaukee Ave.
              Soul Kitchen - 1576 N. Milwaukee Ave.
              Square One Cafe - 1561 N. Milwaukee Ave.
              Subterranean - 2011 W. North Ave.
              Spring - 2039 W. North Ave.
              Sultan's Market - 2057 W. North Ave.
              Cold Comfort Cafe and Deli - 2211 W. North Ave.
              Handlebar - 2311 W. North Ave.
              Thai Lagoon - 2322 W. North Ave.
              Ibis - 2509 W. North Ave.
              San Juan Bakery - 3437 W. North Ave.
              Taqueria Puebla / Puebla Mexico - 3625 W. North Ave.
              Birria Huentitan - 4019 W. North Ave.
              Asi Es Guerrero - 4114 W. North Ave.
              Fat Doug's - North and Laramie
              3D Jerk Chicken - 5317 W. North Ave.
              A.P. Deli - 6311 W. North Ave., Oak Park
              Alpine Food Shop - 7538 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park
              Amarind - 6822 W. North Ave.
              Massa - 7434 W. North Ave.
              Onion Roll - 6935 North Ave., Oak Park
              Sparacino - 6966 W. North Ave.
              Capri Italian Food - 7323 North Ave., River Forest
              Old World Pizza - 7230 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park
              River Forest Grill - 7225 North Ave., River Forest
              Cafe Cubano - 7426 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park
              Johnnie's Beef - 7500 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park
              Jim and Pete's - 7806 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park
              Russell's Barbecue - 1621 N. Thatcher Ave., Elmwood Park

              1 Reply
              1. re: DB guy

                Great list! (I am just seeing this list for the first time at this delay)

                But you are missing a lot more, specially in the mid-strip section (around 4000W or North/Pulaski).

                I cannot dig up the old posts now, but we have mentioned on this board: Chilo's La Casa del Tamal (down the street from Birria Huentitan//tamales only + atoles), the bustling taqueria inside Supermercado Jimenez (there is a Zim/VI joint family visit + post), Guy's pizza near corner of Pulaski, Restaurante Santiago Papasquiaro, a Guatemalan-cum-Puerto-Rican place on the north side, about 3 blocks e of Pulaski, another "Maxwell Street Original"...

                I did a post on Big Ma's (just north of North, on Kedzie) but read something on chi.eats about it being closed already! Could it be a temporary closure? I know that the owners worked hard for months to get this going...

                Santullo's Pizza (North/Damen) got a huge thumbs down from CMC in an old post.

                There's the Dominican Tropical Taste of course (see recent thread on Dominican which has links to old posts on this place + to old posts on baseball players).

                And of course, the three Humboldt Park trucks on the North Ave end of the park should really be considered part of the North Ave streetscape. (See long threads on this.)

                There's more. Much more. But I'm blanking out for the moment.