Need dining suggestions for Lincoln Park
I'll be staying at the City Suites Hotel @ 933 W Belmont. I'm looking for few suggestions. First off, can anyone suggest a place with really good bar food (a great burger?) where I may be able to snag a bar seat on a Thur and eat solo?
Any suggestions for great hole in the wall lunch spots in the same neighborhood...perhaps something ethnic?
Finally, we definitely have real deal deep dish on the itinerary, but are there any other definitive "must have" Chicago meals? Thanks!
Re your neighborhood: Just a couple of blocks from your hotel at 3345 Clark is PS Bangkok which has a gargantuan delicious Sunday brunch buffet as well as regular menu,Thai of course, see their menu online. And practically IN your hotel at 929 W Belmont is Ann Sather's, a funky old home-cooking type place with Swedish origins; there are homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Also, if you want to eat in some other neighborhood, your hotel is next door to the Belmont station of the Red Line El that will quickly take you downtown or to Chinatown or to Argyle St (Vietnamese) or Loyola (outside station pick up Devon 155 bus and get off at Western Avenue to be in major Indian-Pakistani neighborhood, great food everywhere you look).
You know, I talk about TAC Quick and Spoon and some of the other great Thai restaurants in the city, and these days I often fail to mention PS Bangkok. I haven't been for a while but it has always been excellent, especially the Sunday buffet, and they offer many items not found on the standard American Thai restaurant menu. I'm glad you brought it up.
On the other hand, I think Ann Sather's is very overrated. The Cinnamon rolls are great if you love gobs of sugar, but that's about it. I think they're too similar to Cinnabon's. And the rest of the food is uninspiring. It's not a bad breakfast place in the area, but I wouldn't get excited about going there.
One other interesting place for a bite in the area is Baladoché, at 2905 N. Clark. Their Belgian zücker waffles are not cheap, but they're delicious and a great treat to have while walking. You won't find them many other places in the US.
For recommendations on some foods that are "quintessential Chicago", see this topic:
As for "must have" Chicago meals, there are plenty. Four unique restaurants are right in the Lincoln Park neighborhood:
1. Alinea is perhaps the best restaurant in the country right now, and was called exactly that by Gourmet magazine. Grant Achatz's cuisine continues to astonish. www.alinearestaurant.com
2. Charlie Trotter's is still outstanding and one of the finest restaurants in town. http://www.charlietrotters.com/restaurant/
3. North Pond is unique for its location. It is in the middle of Lincoln Park - the park itself, not just the neighborhood. It faces the pond, on the opposite side of which is the downtown skyline. The building formerly served as the place for skaters to rent ice skates in the winter. Bruce Sherman's contemporary American cuisine is absolutely wonderful. It's the perfect place for a special occasion, as well as to take out-of-town visitors (as I did this past weekend). www.northpondrestaurant.com
4. Sweets and Savories is another contemporary American restaurant worth considering. Their simple storefront looks like the metaphorical hole in the wall from the outside, but they serve very, very good cuisine. www.sweetsandsavorieschicago.com
The first two are expensive (typically $250-350 per person including alcohol, tax, and tip), and the second two are somewhat less so (figure $100 per person).
It's a bit of a walk from Belmont, but when I'm in the Lincoln Park area, particularly late at night, and in the need of a snack, I usually stop off at Wiener's Circle for a char dog (with everything) and fries. Kind of an iconic place for those looking for Chicago icons:
2622 N. Clark St.
Not the best neighborhood for dining, but there are some very worthwhile places. For a burger, I would suggest Irish Oak on the east side of Clark St., around Cornelia. irishoak.com. The burgers are excellent, and the Irish pub food is also very good -- shepherd's pie, fish & chips, chips w/ curry sauce, etc. It's less than a 10-minute walk from where you will be.
A little farther north (almost a mile) is a great Thai restaurant called TAC Quick (3930 N. Sheridan) and it's open for lunch and dinner. Here's a link to their translated Thai language menu and some pictures of their food -- I strongly suggest ordering from the Thai menu for excellent and less typical menu choices. http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=86439 and http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?....
About 3/4 of a mile south of you (Sheffield/Wrightwood/Lincoln) is Lou Malnati's for very good Chicago deep dish pizza.