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Help!!! Need a Restaurant Recommendation near the Congress Theater (Milwaukee and Armitage)

Los Angeles Hound coming into Chicago for a concert this month. I need a solid restaurant to eat at before a concert at the Congress Theater. I heard Smoke is good, but are there any other places nearby that are tasty?

All Help is Appreciated!!!

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  1. Smoque is not really near the Congress Theater; they're about three miles apart.

    For recommendations in the vicinity of the theater, see this previous discussion:

    Dinner near Congress Theater -- HELP!! - www.chow.com/topics/671918

    Two of the places mentioned there, Mado and Cafe Matou, have closed, but the other recommendations are still current.

    You should be aware that some of the places mentioned in other replies in this topic (the one you're reading now) are a mile or more away from the theater. Maybe that's okay, maybe it's not (such as if you're driving and you want to avoid having to park your car twice). You can refer to the map to your right, and I've made sure all the recommendations in both topics show up there so you can see for yourself which ones are where. You may want to zoom in on the map to get a better view, given how many markers there are.

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    Irazu
    1865 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

    Bonsoiree
    2728 W Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647

    Lula Cafe
    2537 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647

    Honey 1 BBQ
    2241 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

    Smoque
    3800 N Pulaski Rd Ste 2, Chicago, IL 60641

    Bin Wine Cafe
    1559 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

    Real Tenochtitlan
    2451 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

    Fuego Mexican Grill & Marguitia Bar
    2047 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

    Las Asadas
    2045 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

    90 Miles Cuban Cafe
    2540 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

    Lillie's Q
    1856 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

    Belly Shack
    1912 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

    Cumin
    1414 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

    2 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Usagi Ya is Pan Asian/sushi and is very close, but if you have a hankering for bbq, there's a great new place on North Avenue called Lillie Q.
      There's also the Southern (yes, southern comfort food) about a block east of Lillie Q.
      Bin (related to Bin 36) does a really nice dinner.
      Cumin has excellent and authentic Nepalese and Indian food.
      A little further up Milwaukee Ave is Francesca's Forno, part of the Francesca's Italian chain (mentioned in the earlier thread, but recently re-opened with a new menu).

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      Francesca's Forno
      1576 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647

      Usagi Ya
      1178 N Milwuakee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

      The Southern
      1840 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

      1. re: nsxtasy

        Incidentally, it wasn't clear from your post exactly what kind of restaurant you're looking for. If you're looking for an upscale place, the Asian-inflected Bonsoiree is less than a five-minute walk from the theater. 90 Miles Cuban Cafe and Belly Shack (Korean-Puerto Rican) are both less than a five-minute walk as well. Fuego is only a block from the theater, but it (as well as Big Star and Las Asadas) might not appeal to you, since you're coming from perhaps the only other U.S. city with as vibrant a Mexican dining scene as Chicago's. These are the closest restaurants to the theater, all within a few blocks.

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        Big Star
        1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

      2. Las Asada's, I've also walked from Honey 1's many times (last time when I saw DEVO)

        http://honey1bbq.net/

        1. Hi Scweinhaxen. Nice name. I was in Munich a few weeks ago and had some Scheinhaxen myself. So between the name and your interest in Smoque, I'd guess you're a meat lover? The Congress is to the Northwest of Bucktown with tons of great restaurants, so if you give a better idea of what you like I oculd give a better recommendation, but if you're looking for BBQ, LillieQs is great. A bit of a walk to the theater, but you could always grab a cab. They have a wonderful pulled pork snadwich on Brioche and come to the table with 5 kins of sauce you can pour on top. Nice collard greens too. Gets real busy on weekends.

          Maybe the closest good option is Belly Shack which is run by a real talented Kroean American cook that runs the even better Urban Belly noodle shop in a different neighborhood. Its pretty casual, a big open industrial type room under the El tracks with counter service, but an interesting mix of sandwiches, rice dishes, and a number of sides that mix together mexican and korean influences. And of course some great kimchi.

          Anyway, there are probably 50 good restaurants in the Bucktown/Wicker park area, so you're in a good place for a good meal.

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          Smoque
          3800 N Pulaski Rd Ste 2, Chicago, IL 60641

          Urbanbelly
          3053 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

          Belly Shack
          1912 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

          1. I'm sorry. I was thinking of the Chopin Theater that is a bit further east ans south. Here are my revised recommendations for you:
            Big Star for insanely good tacos and beer or margaritas.
            90 Miles for Cuban food.
            Irazu, the only Costa Rican restaurant in town. (BYO)
            Belly Shack for really good Latin/Asian fusion. (BYO)
            Honey One BBQ is close, but spotty in quality.

            -----
            Irazu
            1865 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

            Honey 1 BBQ
            2241 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

            Belly Shack
            1912 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

            1. The area around the Congress is a little sketchy as far as dinner before a show goes.The good news is you aren't far at all from tons of places.If your staying downtown take the blue line train to Damen ave. or cab it to Milwaukee ave. and Damen ave.The Congress is the next stop at Western ave. on the blue line or less than a five minute cab ride from Milwaukee and Damen.You can walk from there if you wish.It's about a mile.Sometimes your better off walking some of that food off.If you know what I mean.Go to Lillie Q if you want BBQ (shrimp and grits,fried chicken.Yum!)you won't be disappointed.Either way it's a fun area to go for dinner before the show and lots of places to go after the show also.