Lincoln Park - new every week?
My husband and I are moving to Chicago from Boston in a few weeks. We will be living in Lincoln Park and in order to get to know the neighborhood haunts, we would like to eat at a new place weekly that's near our house. Here's where you come in - any recommendations for east Lincoln Park (Lincoln Park West/Dickens) would be greatly appreciated! No concen for budget or style, we like it all and since it's a weekly thing, we'd be changing it up so options are good...I think that walking less than 1 mile would be preferred, so truly neighborhood-round-the-corner type places.
Help us get on the Chicago Chow board! Thanks!
Welcome to the neighborhood! I live about a block away from your new place. We tend to wander down Lincoln to North Wells more often than not. Besides a bread store, The Spice House, a fudge and candy store and a great supermarket(Treasure Island), there is a wide variety of dining and drinking establishments for you to sample. Some of our favorites are:
Adobo Grill-upscale Mexican,
Topo Gigio-Italian,great atmosphere
O'Brien's-steaksand burgers, nice patio
Burton Place-local dive bar,
Orso's-semi-decent Italian with a great garden in back and Prosecco by the glass,
The Old Town Ale House-local legend of a bar,
Old Jerusalem-middle eastern,
Strolling down Wells through Old Town on a summer's night is very pleasant, it's like a small stretch of Newberry Street.
We love the aforementioned Mon Ami Gabi and Four Farthings.
Welcome to Chicago! I live in the area, so I'll chime in with just a few of the many places to visit in East Lincoln Park (and maybe a bit of Old Town, just South of Lincoln Park). None of these are "fine dining," or necessarily outstanding food, but all are suitable for weekday/night dining, won't require a reservation, and fit the bill when you don't want to cook dinner.
Baccino's on Lincoln--Stuffed pizza--try the stuffed spinach
Galway Arms--Irish bar/restaurant with outdoor seating--on Clark North of Fullerton--Live Irish Music on Sunday nights--menu is more upscale than normal "bar food"
Geja's--one of the original and longstanding fondue restaurants--also known for its romantic atmosphere-- a lot of wedding proposals take place here-- a bit cellar like
Frances'--one of Lincoln Park's oldest restaurants known for breakfast
Weiner's Circle--classic Chicago Hot Dog stand--serves Chicago dogs (steamed) as well as grilled dogs--great place to go at 1AM on a Saturday night when things really start to get going--on Clark North of Wrightwood
R. J. Grunts--The original Lettuce Entertain You (LEYE) restaurant--If you don't know who Rich Mellman is, or about Lettuce Entertain You, it's time for you to do a little research--1 block West of Clark on Dickens--www.rjgruntschicago.com
Le Creperie--technically in Lakeview (vs. Lincoln Park), but still a short walk for you--on Clark just North of Broadway--Parisian atmosphere--outdoor patio in back
Basil Leaf Cafe--popular, tasty casual Italian--1 block North of Fullerton on Clark
Green Tea--small, popular sushi place on Clark just North of Webster
Minnie's--on Halsted, South of Armitage--everything is "minnie," order 3 minnie sandwiches, get a Coke or a Beer in a mini bottle
Half Shell--old classic neighborhood seafood place--at the corner of Orchard and Diversey
Four Farthings--a bar and restaurant--nice dining room with American cuisine--has some outdoor seating (street side) during the summer
You're also walking distance from Charlie Trotter's.
There are many more, just take a walk around!
If you need more info on Lincoln Park, just ask.
I have to respectfully disagree with you on Weiner's Circle. Food is average at best. But if you want to be yelled at by purposefully rude counter folk (they think it's funny and cute) all in the name of a mediocre dog and fries, by all means, go.
But I will agree with you on Geja's. I've only since found two other places that serve fondue -- The Fondue Stube waaaay north (Devon? Touhy?), and the Melting Pot in the north loop. But Geja's is the best. Only five hour meal I've ever eaten.
There's a joint on Lincoln Ave. about two blocks north of Fullerton called Lucille's. Great cocktails, atmosphere, and tapas. Paul mixes a fantastic margarita and martini, at least when I lived above it.
I've heard great things about Boka too, but is that Lincoln Park? It's by the Steppenwolf and Royal George Theaters, 1700-ish North on Halsted.
Skip RJ Grunts....it's not all that interesting.
Green Tea's got some interesting sushi selections.
Basil Leaf cafe has a great salad with fresh berries
Piatinni is one of my favorite italian places around that area. Great gnocchi.
Boka has an ever changing menu with really creative dishes.
Chicago Pizza Oven Grinder is WAY over rated.
Galway Arms is fun in the summer for the patio, and cozy in the winter bc of the two fireplaces inside.
These aren't all necessarily within 1 mile of LPW and Dickens, but Lincoln Park is a big neighborhood and once you get accustomed to public transportation, it should be pretty easy to get around!
- BOKA - a more upscale place with a good outdoor patio
- L20 - an new upscale seafood oriented restaurant...from what i hear, this is a splurge!
- Chicago Pizza and Ovengrinder - a casual neighborhood place. People love their pizza "pot pies" but there's always a long wait.
I'm a fellow Lincoln Park-er. Below is a list of places to check out. They're all in LP. Warning: I've given you a wide variety price and decor-wise.:
- Toro Sushi - BYOB, small place, but very good sushi, reasonable price
- John Barleycorn - Standard bar, but good food and I LOVE their patio, so plan on going during the summer.
- Webster Wine Bar - small plates/pizzas, nice wine selection, go there before seeing a movie at Webster Place
- Toast - Good brunch, but go early, it gets crowded
- Alinea - Award winning, new "It"- restaurant. If you're foodies and have a special occasion, consider this place.
- Enoteca Piattini - Good food, wonderful wine selection, check out the specials (they have 1/2 wine nights, champagne nights, etc)
- Mon Ami Gabi - French bistro, nice decor, I went recently with my parents and was hugely and pleasantly surprised.
- North Pond - Gets mixed reviews, but I enjoy. It's a nice venue. The building used to be a warming house for ice skaters. A little pricey.
My suggestion would be to get out there and do some exploring. To get you started try out Gaslight Bar & Grille and chat it up with the locals. It's a slightly upscale bar/lounge with a fun vibe and a great place to meet people. Guessing by your name you probably like Italian cuisine so try out Luna Caprese or Riccardo Trattoria. And don't forget that nothing beats a home cooked meal at home with your husband.
Good luck in Chicago! It's a great city.