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Where to eat near Belmont and Clark/Halsted

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My fiancee and I will be moving to Chicago (from Manhattan) soon and we will be living in the Belmont/Clark/Halsted area. Please tell us where we should dine nearby. Walking distance would be ideal but we will also have a car.

I'm look forward to hearing about upscale restaurants as well as local dives. Please tell me about good delivery options as well. We eat everything. We love all sorts of ethnic food but we also like good old American pub food. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Welcome to Chicago!
    I used to live up in that area, and my favorite restaurant by far was Ping Pong, up north on Broadway. Great asian food at reasonable prices. They've tripled in size since I moved from the area and are no longer BYOB. Still great food! They also have a sister sushi restaurant across the street that's wonderful. In addition, check out Orange for brunch and Mia Francesco for great Italian (both on Clark north of Belmont)

    1. Welcome! My suggestion (and I don't mean this in a snippy way) is to read the board here :) Check around, and you'll find a LOT that covers just what you are asking - which is, after all, amazingly broad. Kind of like saying "I'll be living near NYU, tell me where to eat nearby but I'm also willing to take the subway to go somewhere - and it can be any price" ;)

      If you can narrow your question a bit you'll probably get better results (and again, browse through the board and read a bunch).

      Also check out lthforum.com for a slightly different focus on eating in Chicago. Lots of us hang out on this board and on that one too.

      3 Replies
      1. re: leek

        Leek, thanks for the response. I don't take it as snippy, in fact I've said the same to many people that post on the NY board. I guess that the difference is that I see Chicago and NY as being different (and please correct me if I'm wrong) based on distances and the reintroduction of driving instead of just walking. Walking a mile or two in Manhattan allows one to cover numerous neighborhoods but in Chicago it doesn't seem to be the case. In NYC people are very neighborhood focused whereas in Chicago those neighborhood borders seem vague. I guess my point is that I'm used to not having to walk more than a couple of blocks to get everything I need and I was hoping that some locals could tell me what they like in the immediate vicinity. Speaking of, what grocery stores do people recommend nearby? I will be sure to share my experience on this site as we are very excited to explore this new area.

        Also thanks for recommending that other site, I will certainly check it out. Do you have any other recommendations for Chicago sites that discuss food, dining, nightlife, and various other events?

        1. re: Hatori Hanzo

          For certain sections of Chicago, walking will take you past a lot of places to eat, but you're right I guess that our neighborhood borders are vague and perhaps larger areas. Plus a lot of areas are more mixed, with shops right next to restaurants. I'm not nearly as familiar with food in your new 'hood because it's so busy over there I tend not to go over unless I have to (and if there's a Cubs' game? Forget it!) - though I am often at the Petco on Halsted just S. of where it crosses Clark (as a volunteer).

          So, over toward that way, but not quite there, I like TAC for Thai (byo) - check out the specials board, Tango Sur for Argentine steak (byo), Vinci for Italian. There are so many pubs that you'll have to find which one you like the best :) Many of them have college affiliations, I'm told the Globe is very good if you are into Soccer.

          1. re: Hatori Hanzo

            On Belmont about half a block west of Clark is Ann Sather's, a neighborhood article of faith with Swedish homestyle food, big breakfasts, and great cinnamon rolls. On Clark just north of Belmont (3345 N Clark) is PS Bangkok that has a vast Thai Sunday brunch buffet. Chicago is laid out on a grid with a major street every six blocks; every major street has a bus line. The next major street north of Belmont is Addison, and just before Addison on Broadway you will find both a Jewel (big supermarket) and a Treasure Island (slightly fancier supermarket but not as big as Jewel). On Broadway just above Addison a WholeFoods (expensive organic supermarket) is now being built. Almost next door to Ann Sather's is the Red Line (EL/subway) Belmont station so you can conveniently get all over very fast, for example on Saturday mornings head in direction of Dan Ryan and get off at Clark & Division for an excellent farmers' market on Division Street (better as the summer progresses and local vegetables show up there). Go online to CTA Chicago for public transportation information. We are very much a city of neighborhoods; yours is called Lakeview although its pet name is Boystown. And you'll find the city very walkable. Welcome to Chicago.

        2. Jack's on Halsted is really great on that corner. That Boystown area doesn't have a ton of standout restaurants, but lots of gay-centric neighborhoods seem to have that problem. This is all my opinions, but I say take a pass on Yoshi's. HB is really good and the price fixe wednesday is a great deal. Socca I have just done once, but really enjoyed it. Stay away from Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club. That's some of the walking distance places.

          1. There's a terrific Lebanese restaurant about 5 blocks south called Fattoush. Their dinner combos with toum are not to be missed. It's become our favorite spot for Middle Eastern food in the area, if not the city.

            New York Deli is about 3 blocks south on Clark and has pretty good sandwiches, the "apprentice" in particular.

            I'm a fan of PS Bangkok for delivery thai although others might disagree. Their ram currey is great

            Dunlay's at Wrightwood and Clark (about 6 blocks south) has terrific bar food with their club sandwich being really darn good.

            Fattoush
            www.fattoushrestaurant.com
            2652 N Halsted St
            (773) 327-2652

            New York Deli
            2921 N Clark St
            (773) 549-3328

            PS Bangkok Restaurant
            3345 N Clark St
            (773) 871-7777

            Dunlays on Clark
            2600 N Clark St
            (773) 883-6000

            1. If you walk north on Clark, there's a ton of restaurants, including the aforementioned Mia Francesca, which offers really cheap, tasty Italian food. Not fancy and it packs them in, so be prepared to wait if you show up after 6 or so. A bit further north is Matsuya, another real value for Japanese food and sushi. There's also Ethiopian and Mexican, but they're pretty mediocre. Then there's two blocks of really obnoxious Cub-oriented bars, with Goose Island Brewery plunked in the middle. It has really decent pub grub, including good fish and chips.

              A block above Wrigley, there are a couple of nice little bistros.

              On Belmont, near the El, there's Ann Sather's, a Swedish breakfast place (it serves all day, but it's known for its breakfasts).

              And south of Belmont on Clark, there are small and good Chinese (Yen's, I think), sushi, Mexican, and The Duke of Perth, a great Scottish pub with fantastic fish and chips (all you can eat on Wed. and Fri.). A bit further south, in the Landmark theater building (Chicago's best movies, IMO) is Eatzi's, a combo specialty grocery and takeout restaurant with a great cheese shop and other stuff.

              And if you go a bit further south, past Diversey, it's restaurant row, with Vietnamese, Jewish deli, more sushi, a Viennese bakery, noodle shops, and at the corner of Fullerton, Hema's Kitchen, a great Indian place.

              All easy walking distance. 10-15 minutes, mostly.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Pete Oldtown

                I am looking for a particular Belmont-Halsted restaurant that probably no longer exists. It was called J and J's and it was a Greek restaurant I believe. The short of it is that my birth father owned it in the 1950's. Would like to find out more....

                John Kornfeind

              2. Welcome to Chicago and to a great neighborhood, variously known as Lakeview East and Boystown. I've lived in the area (Belmont/Broadway) for almost 20 years, and I think you're picking one of the best spots in the city to live and dine! There are dozens of restaurants at all price points within a couple of blocks of Clark/Belmont, and a hundred or so within a mile's radius. Some of my favorites:

                - Zad (new, Mediterranean, excellent, good value)
                - Nohana (sushi, reasonably priced, especially during happy hours)
                - Joy's (basic, but good, noodle shop, quite inexpensive)
                - Ping Pong (seconding Satchmo's recommendation)
                - Philly's Best (OK, it's fast food, but great burgers & pizza)
                - Mi Tierra (best Mexican restaurant in the area, IMHO)
                - Erwin (great American food, excellent Sunday brunch)
                - Duke of Perth (fun and good English pub)
                - Ricebox (fast food Korean, cheap and good)
                - The Bagel (Jewish deli & diner)

                2 Replies
                1. re: mjrutherford

                  I'm sorry mjrutherford. I agree with several of your recommendations, but I have to disagree about Nohana. The worst sushi experience I've ever had. I could go into detail, but I'll refrain. They have no shortage of customers though—it always seems pretty busy. New Tokyo, just across the street, is far better. Also, a couple of blocks north is Wakamono which is fantastic.

                  1. re: mjrutherford

                    I'd have to disagree about Mi Tierra as I've had nothing but mediocre experiences there.

                    I'll second Philly's Best though. They really do make (and deliver) a heck of a cheesesteak.

                  2. Across from the Landmark movie theater that someone just mentioned is Le Creperie. As advertised, they serve crepes (savory and sweet), and they have a good by-the-glass wine selection. Nice brunch, as well.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Dedalus

                      I love Le Creperie but the service can be spotty, just a heads-up. They also have a really charming outdoor garden lit up by lanterns and christmast lights at night.

                      After many years of chiding Germain (the owner) for Lillet, they finally stock it now.

                      I would however avoid the escargot. Unless you like really overcooked snails.

                    2. Walk South down Clark to Barry and then head East to Broadway for Stella's,(3042 N Broadway) long time (formerly named Lake Front and before that for you old timers, The Wagon Wheel) family owned coffe shop type restaurant. I like their Turkey Clubs.

                      For a real coffe shop... trot across the street for Intelligentsia (3123 N Broadway) http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/

                      On the same side of Broadway on the corner is The House of Fine Chocolates (3109 N Broadway) Great cookies, dessersts and um...chocolates! http://www.houseoffinechocolates.com/...

                      Welcome to Chicago! My S/O is from NY and he loves it here.

                      1. Hatori, you're moving into my old neighborhood, altho I haven't lived there for a VERY long time now, I do visit pretty regularly. Many of my old familiar places are not there any more, but all up and down Halsted you will find restaurants of all sizes, varieties and prices. You will be pleased that most are quite a bit less expensive than what our neighborhood restaurants in Manhattan have become, altho the pricy places in Chicago are every bit as expensive as the pricy places here. There's lots of authentic Mexican in chicago, and if you're willing to travel a bit, Polish, and Greek, as well.

                        1. If you like Indian Food and don't want to schlep up to Devon Street, try Standard Indian on Belmont, a block or 2 west of Clark- Most opt for the Buffet which is stocked with Tandoori Chicken, papadums, samosas- and usually a couple of additional vegetarian and meat entrees- also , great Rice pudding- all for aboout $10

                          1. I would like to thank everybody for the multitude of responses. The Chicago Hounds put the NY ones to shame. If any of you guys ever find yourself in NYC and need a suggestion, let me know. I will make sure to post once I have gone through the places everybody here has given me.

                            One last request is for good Sushi nearby. My fiancee is addicted to Sushi so please recommend to me places that are nearby and/or places that deliver. A couple have been mentioned so far but I didn't know if there was a consensus. Thanks again!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Hatori Hanzo

                              You practically can't swing a dead cat around that neighborhood without hitting a sushi place, but I really like the sushi at Matsuya on Clark. Very reasonable prices, and a huge selection without getting into all the trendy, inauthentic stuff that's hot right now...at $15 a roll. Yuki Hana south on Clark, near Wellington, is good too. Just DO NOT GET THE SPECIAL MEALS. You get what you pay for. But the regular sushi is very good, if a bit overpriced, IMO.

                              1. re: Hatori Hanzo

                                Lower your expectations for sushi in Chicago. If you're looking for something at the level of Sushi Yasuda, you're just not going to find it.

                                In terms of the neighborhood, I don't think anything in the immediate area is that good. I try to stick to Tsuki (near Fullerton & Southport) or Mirai (a cabride away in Bucktown).

                                1. re: jesteinf

                                  I used to live in Chicago.

                                  For sushi try Katsu on Peterson (which is a drive from where you are living, but so worth it)

                                  Katsu is the owner, from Japan, and usualy behind the sushi bar. You will probably be seated by his wife.

                                  We had some spectacular meals there, both the sushi and the other items off of the menu are just wonderful. Really beautiful sushi.

                                  1. re: Enorah

                                    There are two other good Sushi restaurants nearby. Wakamono (3317 N. Broadway, 60657, www.wakamonosushi.com) is one of our faves for it's high quality sushi and reasonable prices and comfortable, hip atmosphere. That will be a 5-10 minute walk east from your new place. Also, Kaze (2032 W. Roscoe St., 60618, www.kazesushi.com) is excellent if you're willing to spend a little more and take a 5 minute cab ride for some innovative flavor pairings (not traditional like Pete Oldtown's recommendations, but pretty damn yummy nonetheless).

                                    Some other non-Sushi recommendations include:
                                    Yummy Yummy Asian Cuisine (2901 N Broadway
                                    )Bolat African Cuisine (3346 N Clark St)
                                    Eatzi's (2828 N Clark St)
                                    Toast (746 W Webster Ave) - Breakfast, Brunch
                                    Bobtail (2951 N. Broadway) - Ice Cream, Soda Fountain

                                    1. re: fishstank

                                      I agree!!! I'll also chime in a few othersk, likes and dislikes.
                                      Likes:
                                      Twisted Spoke (Clark and Roscoe under the L tracks) great brunch and fantastic bloody mary's, also great burgers and pulled pork sandwiches!Outdoor seating
                                      Pick me up Cafe (Clark and Roscoe, northwest side) Good brunch!
                                      Uncommon Ground (Clark and Grace NW corner) coffee shop/pretty good food, live music and outdoor seating!
                                      I LOVE Wakamono, Ping Pong, Bolat, TOAST(yummers!), Yumm Yummy Asian (although I liked their old menu a LOT more), Kaze is fantastic as well and has great Lyche Martini's.

                                      Dislikes:
                                      Nohana, for me it's horrible quality sushi. I have been there 2 times, months apart (once for dinner and once for happy hour) and been pretty much disgusted. Rolls were premade (WTF) AND the fish was like rubber. It may have a well priced happy hour but those prices are there for a reason, bad quality.

                                      I'm also not a big fan of Zad, although I have only had it once. I thought it was overpriced, their atmosphere does not go with the pricing. Also I just wasn't crazy about the food. Maybe it's gotten better.

                                      Also Mama Desda (ehtiopian), I hear they used to be good but when I went it was a disaster. We ordered the steak tartar and a chicken dish and nothing looked fresh. Also the side vegetables were obviously all canned, no good at all!

                                      For good sushi in the area, definitely Wakamono
                                      For good ethiopian (a car or bus or cab ride north) Ras Dashen, this place will NOT disappoint.

                              2. Addendum: From Belmont if you walk north on Clark you will soon run into all the bars and restaurants that cluster around Wrigley Field (Clark & Addison). If you walk south from Belmont on Clark, Broadway, or Halsted you will pass a zillion casual eating places. If you get to Diversey, just east of Broadway is Panera that has good paninis and soup and sells VERY good cinnamon raisin bread that makes excellent cinnamon toast.

                                1. On the corner of Grace and Lincoln there is a Trader Joe's right next to CB2 (Crate and Barrel's "hip" store). There is a parking lot, though it does get very busy at all the expected times.

                                  1. I agree with Enora about the Katsu recommendation. Katsu has hands down the best sushi in Chicago. Other places might have better decor and ambiance. But Katsu is where you would go if you want the best.

                                    As for cheaper sushi places in your neighborhood, I like Blossom Cafe on Barry at Broadway and Torajiro on Diversey east of Broadway.
                                    Also, Fattoush on Halsted, south of Diversey has great Lebanese. Can't go wrong with anything there, but the shish taouk and falafel are especially wonderful.
                                    For Indian, try Raj Darbar on Halsted south of Diversey.
                                    There are tons of Chinese and Thai close to you but none are stellar.
                                    For Chinese, I think your best bet is Yen's on Clark at Diversey.
                                    For Thai, try TAC Quick Thai on Sheridan, or for something a little closer, Jitlada on Halsted around Addison.

                                    1. Casbah byob mid eastern near intersection of Belmont and Broadway. Check out reckless records almost next door. Sheffields for drinks (beer) right near Belmont stop.

                                      The links below should get you started. Might see you at the Twisted Spoke for Smut and Eggs.

                                      http://centerstage.net/virtual-el/bel...
                                      http://centerstage.net/virtual-el/add...
                                      http://centerstage.net/bars/piattini.... (so Chicago- you have to stop talking when the trains go by
                                      )http://centerstage.net/virtual-el/ful...

                                      1. Reply to old post by John Kornfeind who inquires about a restaurant from the 1950s: Try posting your query on the forum board of the Forgotten Chicago website. That's exactly the kind of question that people there answer all the time. Good luck in your search.

                                        1. Clark, Halsted, and Broadway all run sort of parallel, more or less, and are just a couple of blocks apart, so walk over to Broadway and find The Bagel, at the corner of Barry and Broadway just below Belmont. This neighborhood icon is one place you MUST find. As soon as you sit down the server brings you a basket of delicious breads and a plate of dill pickles to sustain you while you consult the extensive menu of hot meals, hot soups, sandwiches, and everything. Jewish comfort food at its best.

                                          1. A lifelong resident of Chicago, the best Thai food I've had was at Thai Classic at 3322 N. Clark. I haven't been there in many years, but they're still open, www.thaiclassicrestaurant.com

                                            Seafood/veggie kabobs served on a bed of rice were terrific, it was BYO, probably still is. Value and quality of food were terrific.

                                            Clarification: Thai Classic has, or had, a small parking lot behind the cafe. I parked there, and thugs broke the window and stole my radio. I live downtown Chicago and have Thai cafes near me, moreover, the Clark/Belmont area is a parking nightmare. That's why I haven't returned to Thai Classic, not the quality of food or service. They have a wonderful menu, nicely appointed decor, etc.

                                            All of that said, and it's a bit of a hike, Yoshi's has terrific food, 3527 Halsted, I think, upscale continental/fusion cuisine. Yoshi has been in business a long time, and prepares a Japanese style bouillabaisse that's terrific, delicious, makes it worth fighting the headache of trying to find parking in that neighborhood.

                                            The neighborhood where you will reside has a great many cafes. Best to avoid the bars near Wrigley Field, they're not about food, but otherwise, you'll have great fun exploring the cafes. Chicago is a terrific food town, and my friends from New York laugh out loud when they see Chicago prices.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Greg in Chicago

                                              >> I haven't been there in many years,

                                              That's okay, the rest of this discussion is almost all six years old anyway. :)