Recs near Clark & Foster
Coming to Chicago for Northwestern graduation ceremonies next weekend. We are renting a place near Clark & Foster. . We do have plans to visit the Hopleaf since I love beer but need some help on other places.
Here are the recommendations I am hoping for:
1. A good grocery store
2. Mexican or middle eastern lunch spot
3. Breakfast diner
4. Restaurant for dinner that can handle a larger group - 10 people. Italian or steak would be cool. Moderate price level.
5. Neighborhood bar with good food.
We will have a car and can take taxies but would like to stay closer rather than spend too much time in the car.
Ye gods, I can't believe nobody has responded to you yet as Clark & Foster is one of the most interesting neighborhoods in the city and a rich venue for eating. 1) Middle Eastern Grocery & Bakery on Foster just west of Clark has all kinds of Middle Eastern deli items and pastries, bakes its own pita and spinach pies, makes its own felafel etc. 2) SVEA is the neighborhood choice for breakfast but Ann Sather also has a breakfast following. 3) Both Reza's and Andie's have their partisans as both offer excellent and reasonable Middle Eastern food. 4) Wikstrom's is a wonderful Swedish deli (neighborhood was Swedish before it was Middle Eastern). 5) Swedish Bakery is a famous and popular bakery. 6) I forgot the name, but there is a new, fancy, excellent Italian pastry shop just north of Balmoral next door to the Brown Elephant thrift shop. 7) Keep going north almost to Bryn Mawr to Edgewater Produce on east side of street, arguably one of the best produce stores in the city, which also has meats and Mexican products, very clean. 8) Across Clark from the produce store is a big Jewel supermarket. 9) Corner Clark & Foster has good Algerian crepe restaurant, sorry I don't recall name. **AND THERE'S MORE...Just start strolling north along Clark and you will find more resources than you can use...I haven't mentioned about a dozen more good restaurants. Also, google "Chicago menus" and click onto Andersonville for actual menus of restaurants in this neighborhood. And congratulations on your wise choice of neighborhood: you couldn't have done better.
I would argue that Edgewater Produce is far from being one of the best produce stores in Chicago. Unless there has been massive expansion recently, it is smaller than the other store with the same owners, HarvesTime Foods, was before it's size more than doubled several years ago. There are quite a few stores more or less on a par with HarvesTime for produce, such as Andy's Fruit Ranch and Chicago Produce in Albany Park. These are all minor league compared to the Cermak Produce store on Kedzie or A&G Fresh Market. If you were argung that Edgewater Produce is the best produce market that is north of North Avenue and east of Western Avenue, you would have a case.
2632 West Lawrence Avenue
2634 North Kedzie
A&G Fresh Market
5630 West Belmont Avenue
Huey's Hot Dogs for great hot dogs, fries, and bleu cheese char grilled burgers (Clark and Balmoral).
Taste of Lebanon for felafel and schwarmera wraps. (Clark and Foster across the street from the Middle Easter Grocery = two thumbs as well)
Hopleaf for beer and mussels. Gets wicked crowded however (Clark and Foster, south)
I live in the neighborhood and would like to mention some of my favorites...
jin ju (korean), great lakes (pizza), ante prima (italian), in fine spirits (wine bar), and M Henry (brunch)
As others have mentioned... middle eastern bakery and hopleaf. rezas and andies both good for middle eastern
Unfortunately, I dislike the groceries in the area and travel to the Whole Foods on Halstead or Trader Joes on Grace.
Ante Prima - Italian (Calo is good, but the typical Italian place you find everywhere)
Andies - Middle Eastern (great vegetarian menu)
M. Henry - Brunch
Kopi Cafe - Coffee, tea, surprisingly good food (vegetarian, bagels and pastries) for their minuscule kitchen
City Olive, Fine Spirits, and Pasticceria Natalina are truly superb little specialty shops.
Middle Eastern Bakery is very good.
Jewel is awful.
Edgewater is pretty good but the produce is cheap rather than local or organic and often tastes like it was ripened in the storeroom. Still - vastly superior to Jewel.