Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Jun 20, 2009 07:29 PM

Lincoln Square Area Restaurant

I need help!! I need to find a decent restaurant in the Lincoln Square area. It does not need to be fine dining but not a diner or fast food. Would be okay with Chinese or italian please. Any ideas??

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Lincoln Square is brimming with good restaurants. Spoon Thai on Western Avenue by Wilson is one of the best, most authentic Thai restaurants in Chicago.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chicgail

      Is Spoon Thai pretty easy to get into on a Friday evening or should I prepare to wait??

      1. re: briehon

        what time? i went last Friday at around 6:30 (2 people) and got seated right away. It did fill up pretty quick but no one was standing around when we left around 7:45

        1. re: briehon

          I would suggest a reservation, but they are not always essential. Also, it's byo but there's a liquor store at Leland/Western, about a 2 minute walk away. Some more advice: the standard Thai offerings at Spoon (pad thai, noodles, etc.) tend to be pretty ordinary. Spoon Thai really separates itself with its translated Thai language menu items (they'll give you this menu, and another with what they call Chicago Tribune recs I believe). From these menus, I recommend Thai style fried chicken, Isaan style sausage, banana blossom salad, beef jerky, omelette, catfish curry custard, various curries including duck curry and softshell crabs in curry sauce, one bite salad, crispy pork with Chinese broccoli, shrimp paste rice with pork, omelette and apple . . . well, there are many others but that's a pretty good start.

          1. re: BRB

            another liquor store at Eastwood and Western - about 30 steps away.

      2. Spoon Thai is good, Tank has very good sushi and (check the times) has half price maki during weekend afternoons. Fiddlehead is also pretty good, and has a good wine selection. Tallulah is good and a little more intimate if that's what you're looking for. If you want to stretch out a little further towards Lincoln Ave, Sola is awesome, and I've heard that Chalk is excellent.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Shaggy

          I think you meant Chalkboard cuz I couldn't find a restaurant named CHALK in that area. I looked at the website and it DOES look excellent! I may try that too on a different day!

        2. Spoon Thai is by far my favorite place in Lincoln Square. I find that a lot of the restaurants in Lincoln Square are often hit or miss. Pretty consistent but not what you want is Trattoria Trullo ( The Grafton has pretty good bar food options same with Bad Dog Tavern. Fiddlhead used to be my favorite place but it has gone downhill and I haven't been back in about year. Garcia's is good for non-authenic greasy Mexican food.

          1. Below are three foodie suggestions for Lincoln Sqaure. I have been Fiddlehead Cafe & Tallulah and think they are excellent. I have heard excellent comments about Bistro Campagne.

            Bistro Campagne
            4518 N Lincoln Ave
            Chicago, IL 60625
            (773) 271-6100

            Fiddlehead Cafe
            4600 N. Lincoln Ave
            Chicago, IL 60625
            (773) 751-1500

            4539 N Lincoln Ave
            Chicago, IL 60640
            (773) 942-7585

            4 Replies
            1. re: Chicagoomnivoire

              Chicagoomnivoire - when was the last time you ate at Fiddlehead? I stated upthread that it used to be one of favorites in that area (would go at least once a month) and then had 3-4 really bad meals along with diminishing portions of the cheese samples and just cut my losses. I noticed yesterday that the menu hadn't changed since the last time I went. I am *hoping* that you had a better experience recently and that they finally got their act together again. Please let me know if you have a chance

              1. re: Chicagoomnivoire

                Personally i don't really like Fiddlehead. I went about 2,3 times during its first 6 months. The food is just so so. I don't live in the neighborhood, so it is not a place i would go to as destination, since Lincoln Square has far better options.

                Tallulah is good, but i think Eve is even better. You can see how both the chef and the business has matured. But this is not a Gold Coast thread, so i'm digressing.

                Campagne is hands-down my favorite French bistro in the city. Great, great space, excellent food, local organic ingredients, efficient staff.

                1. re: ms. chow

                  I'm with the majority on Fiddlehead. Two visits, both with very mediocre (at best) food.

                2. re: Chicagoomnivoire

                  I've had good experiences at all three. By far, Campagne is my favorite for reasons in Mrs chow's post. Sorry to hear the negative comments about Fiddlehead.

                  But I think the OP was not looking for fine dining, which I consider all three of those to be.

                3. It's interesting that there has been a few Lincoln Square threads lately, but no one mentioned Cafe Selmarie. It's a great neighborhood bakery/cafe that also serves good dinner certain nights of the week.

                  Cafe Selmarie
                  2327 W Giddings St, Chicago, IL 60625

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ms. chow

                    I didn't know they did dinner. I think of Selmarie as a breakfast/brunch/lunch place. Good to know.

                    1. re: ms. chow

                      You're right, it's also really tasty. And the pastries are discounted after 6 or 7 o'clock.