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Albany Park favourites?

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I've lived in Albany park for about 8 months, and to my dismay i still havent found very many restaurants that i'd want to return to! I keep wishing for my old, go-to favourites of logan square! But lets be honest, theres got to be some decent places, and ive just been trying all the wrong ones.

Food wise im looking for american-chinese , great mexican tacos (the meat, onions,cilantro, lime variety)- pizza, thai, falafel! indian... almost anything really- with dishes under or about 10$.

Bar wise- ive found NOTHING! All i want is a good cheap dive, thats close enough that i could bike home from at the end of the night (since theres not much transit running).

Does anyone have any suggestions for close-by eats or drinks? I am near lawrence and california- and am almost always on bike.

Thanks so much!!

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  1. Albany Park / Irving Park has to be the most underrated "foodie" neighborhood in the city! Here are a few of my favorites ...

    FALAFEL:
    Oh, man, Albany Park is the best place in the city to get a falafel. Check out the falafel strip on Kedzie:
    Semirami's
    4639 N Kedzie Avenue

    Noon O Kabab
    4661 N Kedzie Ave

    MEDITERRANEAN:
    Zebda
    4344 N. Elston Ave.
    (An incredible lunch-time deal)

    CHINESE:
    Great Sea Chinese Restaurant
    3254 W Lawrence Ave
    (People come here to chow down on the chicken wings, but be sure to explore menu items like their Black Noodles)

    SUSHI:
    Lawrence Fish Market
    3914 W Lawrence Ave
    (Incredible sushi, and super affordable)

    LATIN AMERICAN ROTISSERIE CHICKEN:
    La Brasa Roja
    3125 W Montrose Ave

    D'Candela
    4053 N Kedzie

    BARS:
    The Montrose Saloon
    2933 W Montrose Ave
    (A divey place w/ an outdoor area)

    Lizard's Liquid Lounge
    3058 W Irving Park Rd
    (Longtime favorite bartender of the Edgewater, Liz, opened up this place a couple of years ago -- it's got a decent beer selection and Liz makes a killer martini)

    Good luck -- and welcome to the 'hood (I've been working in the area for the past few years), hopefully you'll find some new favorites in the coming months ...

    1. I no longer live up around that way, BUT, if I was looking for what you're looking for:

      Taqueria LP Express 4968 N. Elston Chicago. Tiny place - some stools for dining in.
      Get the steak. Please get the steak. If the steak is not great, go a few weeks later. If you like flame grilled skirt steak, you'll be pretty happy. If you like griddle fried chuck steak that's been cut into pieces before cooking the day before you go - then you should have no problems finding decent steak tacos. Even though it's a lil bit W of you, If you like steak, I think you'll be happily making the trek.

      ===========
      Ameri-Chinese - I'd assume there has to be someplace, but I don't know of any. hopefully others can chime in.

      ===========
      Thai:
      Spoon Thai Restaurant (you should really check this joint out)
      4608 N Western Ave

      Indian - I think in your area, you might be outta luck, but again, hopefully others can chime in
      ====
      Mid eastern:
      Salam, Semiramis and Al-Khayameih, Dawali Mediteranean - all on Kedzie around or a few block north of Lawrence - there are plenty of other Mid-eastern joints in that area.

      ===========
      Pizza - Hopefully someone else can help you there also.

      1. Pizza Doc's not too far away (2251 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL‎ ), and depending on who's manning the ovens they can often come up with an excellent traditional pizza.

        1. Pretty sure the House of Wah Sun will deliver by you. They are on Lincoln/Cullom. Good Ameri-Chinese food.

          Marie's for thin crust pizza.

          Al Pastor tacos - I think it is called La Rosita. In the strip mall of California/Lawerence. Super good. Super cheap. No cheese, etc.

          Second the recs on Kedzie. Just nose around and you'll find some treasures.

          Can't think of dive bars because I'm closer to Lincoln Square and tend to hang out at Richoets. That is a long ride in the winter time.

          1. Keep on rolling...just a short bike ride away:

            For the very best Middle Eastern cuisine:
            Al Kayameih for great Lebanese. The lentil soup, stewed veggies, shawerma, kabobs, are great! Kedzie at Lawrence.
            Mediterranean Grill for Iraqi cuisine...is sooooo gooood! The shawerma and lentil soup are amazing. Lincoln Ave at Wilson.
            Noon-o-Kabob for the best Persian food. The ground chicken kababs, Polo koubideh entree, and the mashed eggplant with kurds and whey are standouts.
            Mexican: Los Nopales on Western is quite good.

            Taqueria El Asadero on Montrose at Lincoln & Leavitt serves the very best char-grilled steak tacos and burritos in the city!!

            Great dive bars:
            Montrose Saloon is a great dive bar! Blue Grass jams on the occassional Wednesdays. Love the outdoor patio.
            Huttenbar in the Square is great fun too!!
            The Tar Bar on Western at Lincoln.
            The Oakwood on Montrose at Damen is a great underground late night bar!

            1. One reason there may be a lack of Indian food in Albany Park itself is that you're only two miles south of the stretch of Devon Avenue with all the Indian restaurants (roughly 2400W-3000W).

              3 Replies
              1. re: nsxtasy

                There might be some mom/pop storefront somewhere. There just aren't gonna be many at all. I'd suggest that the op do a search, or maybe ask a few neighbors - ya just never know.

                1. re: gordeaux

                  Paprika on Lawence and Rockwell-ish. In a strip mall. Haven't been yet but I heard good reviews and it always smells nice walking past,.

                  http://www.centerstagechicago.com/res...

                  1. re: lbs

                    I've always assumed the same as gordeaux, and that its probably more worth it to just go up to devon. mmm Udupi.

                    However, i did go to Paprika once, and unfortunately i dont think ill ever go back. Prices were pretty standard for Indian restaurants, but everything tasted like it was from a dried spice packet. Not complex, not fresh. So upsetting, because i was really hoping there was an amazing indian place right next to me! To be fair, it was late in the evening after new years and the place was dead, so who knows what its like at peak hours.

                    Thanks so much for all the suggestions so far! I cant wait to try some of these places.