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Mar 8, 2008 11:31 AM

pre-concert dinner near Old Town School of Folk Music

Hello Chicagoans,
It's been 5 years since I lived in Chicago, and husband and I are visiting next weekend. Mostly we'll be hanging out in my old haunts (Ravenswood/Andersonville area) but we're going to a Saturday night concert at Old Town School of Folk Music. I suspect there are lots of options, but don't remember the area that well. My goal is a moderately priced dinner for 2 with lots of vegetarian options for husband, and a noise level that permits conversation--but with a dash of style. Any suggestions would be welcome; also any friendly local bars to catch a drink afterwards.
Thanks much!

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  1. Concerts are at their 4544 North Lincoln location, just south of Lincoln Square. There are lots of good, stylish, and moderately-priced restaurants in that area, including Bistro Campagne, Tank Sushi, and Fiddlehead Cafe right on Lincoln, and Cafe Selmarie and Spoon Thai in/near Lincoln Square. Of these, I think Bistro Campagne (a French bistro just a few doors down from the Old Town School) may be the best choice for what you're looking for; you can see their menu at If that's not moderate enough in price, then maybe Cafe Selmarie - Slightly more expensive than these but still mid-priced, and a place that really has a dash of style (I love the contemporary decor) is Sola ( ). It's slightly further, but still not far, about 3/4 mile south on Lincoln, just past Irving. You can view menus, including prices, on all three websites.

    1. Essence of India on Lincoln & Wilson.Plenty of vegetarian options here. A stones throw from The Old Town School of that place!! Lincoln Square is a pretty cool neighborhood too. Enjoy.
      Greek and Italian options too at Lawrence and Lincoln

      1. Are you going to the Magnetic Fields show? I will be at the 10:30pm show that night, and my husband and I are also figuring out where to eat. I work at Sola, so you can take my positve revue of it with a grain of salt if you wish, but I do agree with nsxstasy that it is a great place. Make a reservation if you want to go there, it fills up on Saturday nights. Chalkboard has wonderful food, but it might already be full. We were thinking of going to Bad Dog, which is a more hip tavern type place with really good food, but it is pretty noisy, so it might not be up your alley. I also really like Jury's, which is a little more family comfort food-ish. All are on Lincoln.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kstaigs

          P.S. In case you decide to go to Sola, please note that the entrance is on Byron (the side street) even though the street address is on Lincoln. It's easy to drive right by it on Lincoln without even noticing it!

          You can check availability and make reservations for Sola, Bistro Campagne, and Fiddlehead Cafe on

          1. re: kstaigs

            Yes, we'll be at the 10:30 show too! The first "real" date my husband and I went on was to a Magnetic Fields concert, and our best wedding present was a ukulele signed by Stephin Merritt.

          2. I truly believe the most taleented kitchen is at Fiddlehead Cafe on the northwest corner of Wilson and Lawrence. They brought in a new chef a couple months ago and the food has been phenominal and extremly creative. His vegitarian options are great and he always includes a couple on each weekend specail.

            2 Replies
            1. re: CGC

              Oops! I'm sure you meant to say that Fiddlehead Cafe is on the northwest corner of Wilson and LINCOLN (the former Square Kitchen location)... :)

              1. re: CGC

                I've heard mixed reviews about Fiddlehead...with the old chef. I may have to make a stop there to try out the new chef's creations.

              2. Thanks for all the suggestions! I still don't know yet where we'll be come Saturday night, but these are great ideas....