We are moving through the city with this Summer Hot Spot Series. This week, we are taking it to Bucktown, Logan Square, and Roscoe Village-- neighborhoods with cuisine from countries all across the globe. If you love Chicago too much to leave, but still want to live the life of a jetsetter, these spots are for you!
Many, many thanks to Anne Szkatulski, Emily DeYoe, and Cathy Yu --fellow legislative attorneys and Chicago enthusiasts-- for their amazing contributions!!
Buzz: Killer Espresso. 1644 N Damen Ave (btw Concord Pl & Wabansia Ave).
Not a lot of personality to this coffee shop but delicious artisanal coffee, clean design, and free wi-fi. The front of the store has a nice bar for people-watching and is open to the street, but the back has a quiet room or two where you could study or work. Great service too, the baristas really know their stuff.
Silver Cloud. 1700 N Damen Ave (between Wabansia Ave & St Paul Ave).
The absolute, hands-down best for comfort food. Their motto is something like “food your mom would make for you.” Mac and cheese, chili, burgers, the best on a chilly fall afternoon. I would suggest going on a Sunday for a big, hearty late lunch, or better yet on a hungover Saturday morning. They also have pretty ample outdoor seating if you’re up for it.
Hot Chocolate. 1747 N. Damen.
CY: Definitely worth it if you get up early enough so you don’t have to wait, otherwise, there are better options. My favorite in this area.
ED: Dinner over brunch. Get the peanut butter cup dessert.
VW: Great spot for dinner or just dessert. Nice for an evening with friends...even better for a date!
Le Bouchon. 1958 N. Damen.
Closest thing to Paris in Chicago.
Irazu. 1865 N Milwaukee Ave.
Costa Rican – delicious and great with a group of friends. Good patio.
Jane’s. 1655 W. Cortland.
My favorite all-purpose restaurant in Chicago, not the all time best food, but generally a very reliable, solid choice for all events/company.
Duchamp. 2118 N Damen Ave (between Charleston St & Dickens Ave).
It takes a lot for me to really love a restaurant, and this is my favorite one in Chicago at the moment. It’s fancy food without being too fussy or expensive, and something for everyone on the menu. The décor is a lot like the food: super sleek without being too cool or off-putting. Fabulous outdoor seating area in the summertime.
The Bristol. 2152 N. Damen.
Pig face. Go early-ish, get a cocktail, eat the monkey bread and some pig face.
Danny’s. 1951 W Dickens Ave.
Nothing beats it. I could move in here and live happily ever after. Some of the best nights of my life have taken place at Danny’s. I shall now quote a blackout BBM that I sent to Caroline one drunken night: “Danny’s is ON FIRE. I never want to leave.” I have no idea why I sent that but let me tell you, I was definitely having fun.
Gallery Cabaret. 2020 N. Oakley.
$6 pitchers of Leinenkugel, and you GET to listen to hilarious high school bands! Plus I made out with train boy here and it was super fun.
Spa Soak. 1733 N Milwaukee Ave (at Wabansia Ave).
Got a better-than-average massage here a few years ago and have been meaning to go back. It’s more laid back than other spas but with just as good of service and ambiance. I would say about average prices as well, definitely pricier for a manicure than walk-in places but on par with the more expensive services at bigger salons.
Revolution Brewery. 2323 N. Milwaukee.
Bacon popcorn, house-brewed beer – a really fantastic place to spend a winter afternoon.
Lula Café. 2537 N. Kedzie.
Maybe my favorite restaurant when taking into consideration the combination of casualness and quality of food. Locally sourced food.
Longman and Eagle. 2657 N Kedzie Ave.
Pig cheeks on brioche topped with a sunny side up duck egg. ‘nuff said.
90 Miles Cuban Café. 3101 N. Clybourn.
ED: Feels like you’ve left Chicago – delicious, cheap, fun, fast.
CY: Delicious sandwiches and awesome shakes (not with ice cream, with just straight up cream, so good). The second location on Armitage in Logan Square has more space for larger groups but it’s not as cool inside as this one.