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Oct 23, 2010 12:15 PM

Recs in Old Town without car

Can anyone suggest some good spots near the Old Town School of Folk? Any good cheap eats, hot dogs, italian beef, markets, bars, etc? I won't have a car or much time to hoof it to other neighborhoods so a 10-15 block radius is probably the limit.

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  1. The recommendations in these discussions about places near Second City (right in the middle of Old Town) are still applicable:

    1. I'm confused. Are you asking for Old Town or something near an Old Town School location (there's more than one). None of the Old Town School locations are classically "Old Town." You need to clarify a bit.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ferret

        Oops, good catch, ferret. The title made it sound like they were interested in Old Town.

        The Old Town School of Folk Music originally started out in Old Town (at 333 West North Avenue, now gone) but is no longer located in that neighborhood. It now has two locations. 909 W. Armitage is in Lincoln Park. 4544 North Lincoln is in the Lincoln Square area. Both have lots of places to eat nearby. Let us know what area you're interested in and we'll provide recommendations nearby.

      2. There are some very good spots to eat near the Old Town School of Folk Music on Lincoln St. in Lincoln Square. Is that what you are looking for or is it the Old Town neighborhood? Good restaurants there also.

        Can you clarify?

        9 Replies
        1. re: chicgail

          whoops. yes I meant near the Old Town School of Folk Music on Lincoln. Thanks!

          1. re: tummyache

            Some great options.

            On the same block:
            Bistro Campagne -- some of the best casual French food in town. Heavy interest in locally grown organic food from sustainable farms.
            Tank for sushi
            Tullulah across the street east and Fiddlehead Cafe across the street northwestwest for creative American
            The Grafton and Bad Dog tavern are pubs for beer and a burger.

            Spoon Thai is very authentic and excellent Thai food about two blocks west on Western Ave.
            Los Nopales is excellent Mexican on the same block at Spoon Thai
            Selmarie is a lovely cafe that serves brunch, lunch and dinner behind a bakery. It's about three blocks west on Lincoln

            And that's really just the start.

            Check out these threads for more:

            Spoon Thai
            4608 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

            Bistro Campagne
            4518 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

            1. re: chicgail

              Tallulah closed over a year ago. LM Restaurant opened in the same spot about a year ago. They are contemporary French.

              Although both Bistro Campagne and LM prices are moderate by downtown and Wicker Park standards, they are the two most expensive restaurants in Lincoln Square with most main course prices in the 20s. Farther south along Lincoln in North Center (south of Montrose) there are other restaurants at comparable price points.

              Many of the restaurants in the two linked threads as well as this one are not open for lunch on weekdays. OP should indicate which meals and days of week are involved because it could be very important.

              Spoon Thai is a good option that is open for both lunch and dinner seven days a week. Their menus now have sections for the standard menu, a list of items featured in the Chicago Tribune some time back, the translated Thai menu and the lunch specials available Monday through Friday. The basic and translated menus are available on their web site: Spoon Thai would meet many standards as cheap eats.

              A relatively recent restaurant at 4609 Lincoln would also qualify as good cheap eats. Mediterranean Grill is primarily Middle Eastern and appears to be Assyrian or other Iraqi. BYOB and open for both lunch and dinner. Prices are slightly higher than common along Kedzie a little over a mile west but not enough to pay a CTA fare for the difference.

              Los Nopales is in the block south of Wilson on Western while Spoon Thai is in the block north of Wilson.

              There are a bunch of cheap diverse restaurants along Lawrence from 2500 to 2800 west as well as an interesting cluster in the building at Levitt and Montrose which may have the most diverse set of restaurants in a single building outside a mall: Bowman's Bar and Grill, Drew's Eatery (mostly organic) (, Apart Pizza, Royal Thai and Taqueria el Asadero.

              Spoon Thai
              4608 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

              Bistro Campagne
              4518 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

              Royal Thai Restaurant
              2209 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

              Drew's Eatery
              2207 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

              Mediterranean Grill
              4609 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

              1. re: Eldon Kreider

                You're right, of course about Tallulah. Isn't LM the same management?

                1. re: chicgail

                  Eve has the same management Tallulah did. Apparently people behind Tallulah own the building and lease it to LM, which has a different operator and staff.

          2. re: chicgail

            >> There are some very good spots to eat near the Old Town School of Folk Music on Lincoln St. in Lincoln Square.

            I think you mean Lincoln AVENUE. :)

            1. re: nsxtasy

              I do. As a former Evanstonian, I sometimes say Lincoln St. when I mean Lincoln Ave. Sorry for any confusion that may have caused.

              1. re: chicgail

                thanks for all your help! I had a great day in the lincoln square area (was in town playing concert at the Old Town School) Went for an afternoon snack/coffee at Cafe Selmarie...sat outside and had a tasty mac and cheese, intelligentsia coffee, and a lemon rosemary cookie. After that, stumbled upon Half Acre Brewery and took a growler of their brown ale to take on our tour bus (will be gone in about 10 seconds after opening) after show, got some takeout from Spoon. I loved the crispy rice salad with pressed ham. Tried the Shrimp soup that came recommended. it was kind of a boring soup with a nice broth and baby other words, not worth the hefty $16 price. I've now tried a few Chicago thai places that have gotten good mentions on this board: seems like they each have some standouts...but as far as consistent deliciousness, I don't think Sripraphai in NYC can be matched.

                overall, a great day in chicago! thanks for your tips.