Eating Out in Chicago

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Clark Street Dog

Clark Street Dog

Angelo Velliotis

If you are interested in what Korean fried chicken is, then a Chicago restaurant to check out is Crisp on 2940 N. Broadway. The barbeque chicken, Crisp BBQ, is tangier than the usual barbeque sauce. The chicken is dipped in the barbeque sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. The other sauce Crisp is well known for is "Seoul Sassy." A sweet sauce, this chicken is sprinkled with chopped green onions. Chicken orders can be half, whole, or wings. Lighter lunches are "buddha bowls" filled with veggies, rice, and topped with a fried egg. Check out the lunch specials too.

There are many BBQ restaurants on the south side, but one Chicago restaurant to visit is Captain Curt's at 8212 South Cottage Grove. This Mom and Pop eatery has been here for over 35 years. Favorites here are rib tips, chicken wings, hot links, broasted chicken, jumbo turkey leg, and a slab. Sides are not french fries, but macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs, greens, potato salad, spaghetti, and cole slaw. Orders come in half, whole, and also combo meals. Don't leave without ordering some homemade desserts like peach cobbler, banana pudding, strawberry cheesecake, and nine different kinds of layer cakes.

When you want some good down home soul food, a Chicago restaurant to visit is Army & Lou's at 422 E. 75th Street. Army & Lou's have been in existence for over 40 years. People come to enjoy fried chicken, smothered chicken, greens, turkey & dressing, macaroni & cheese, smothered cabbage, corn bread, candied yams, green beans, pot roast, black eyed peas, baked chicken, pinto beans, and chopped steak. For dessert, enjoy peach cobbler, coconut cake, pound cake, chocolate cake, red velvet cake, and caramel cake. All are homemade and can be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

These are hard times, so it would only be fitting that you should make time to eat at Captain Hard Times. This Chicago restaurant serves some of the best soul food in the Windy City. They are well known for their chicken and waffles. Other favorites here are the catfish, perch, macaroni and cheese, and beef short ribs. Breakfast is served as french toast, grits, cheese eggs, pork sausage, turkey bacon, and pancakes. They have numerous buffets throughout the year such as a champagne buffet. Be ye forewarned: this place is always crowded. Reservations are recommended and necessary.

Chicago is known for its pizza. There are numerous pizza parlors around the city. One of the best well known Chicago restaurants is Connie's Pizza at 2373 S. Archer. Connie's is so good, that it is a regular restaurant vendor at The Taste of Chicago each year.

The middleweight crust is between thin and deep dish. Toppings include bbq chicken, special (sausage, onions, mushrooms & bell pepper), super (sausage, pepperoni, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, & black olives), veggie, and italian meat loverz (italian sausage, pepperoni, salami, & capicolla). There are sandwiches and salads too, but the pizza is the draw.

There are a whole lot of pizza places serving stuffed pizza nowadays. But one of the original Chicago restaurants to serve this is Giordano's. Their stuffed pizza is well known around the country. Two of the most popular ingredients is stuffed sausage and stuffed spinach. Other ingredients include mushrooms, extra cheese, veggie, pepperoni, black olives, bell pepper, onion, canadian bacon, ground beef, and hot peppers. If you are looking for something to eat for lunch, try their personal baby stuffed pizza. For a set price, you get the pizza and a nice salad.

It is one of the oldest Chicago restaurants there is to serve pizza. Italian Fiesta Pizzeria at locations throughout the Chicagoland area. Their thin crust is what they are well known for. Pizzas come in all sizes from personal to large. Topping include anchovies, mushrooms, bell pepper, chicken, black olives, pepperoni, and extra cheese. If you are not in the mood for pizza, there are sandwiches such as italian beef, italian sausage, meatball, and italian combo. There are pasta dishes and chicken and fish dinners. A suggestion: phone in your order ahead of time as this place is always crowded.

David Burke's Primehouse is one of the premier Chicago restaurants for steaks. Customers can enjoy prime cuts of aged meats like sirloin, New York strip, porterhouse, filet mignon, and t-bone. Seafood like lobster, shrimp, and salmon is on the menu as well. Sides dishes are french fries, baked potatoes, mixed grilled vegetables, or mashed potatoes. Besides steaks, this restaurant has an excellent dim sum. Customers can dine on smoked salmon, beef carpaccio, mini chicken drummette with macaroni and cheese, mini filet mignon, oysters, red velvet cake, panna cotta, flan, mini cupcake, and key lime pie.

A well known Chicago restaurant for good thai food is Star of Siam at 11 East Illinois Street. Not only is the food excellent, but the prices are what makes this a great place to eat. Appetizers like spring egg rolls cost around $3.00. Popular menu items include vegetable and shrimp tempura, shrimp fried rice, orange chicken, shrimp pad thai, crab ragoon, and lemon chicken delight. A fun note is that Star of Siam is a regular vendor at The Taste of Chicago each year. If you are interested in trying their food, check them out when the Taste opens.

A famous and well known Chicago restaurant, Billy Goat's is known for its cheeseburgers. But this eatery also has a good breakfast menu. Customers can enjoy entrees such as steak & eggs, sausage & eggs, salami & eggs, bacon & eggs, cheese omelet, ham omelet, eggs & cheese, ham, egg, & cheese, sausage, egg, & cheese, and salami, egg, & cheese. Lunch time brings corned beef, polish, chicken sandwich, italian beef, single/double/triple hamburger or cheeseburger, rib eye steak sandwich, hot dog, and ham & cheese. There are several locations throughout the Chicagoland area, including one at O'Hare Airport.

One of the top Chicago restaurants for pizza is Pizzeria Due at 619 North Wabash. This place always has a crowd whether it's summer or winter. Their biggest draw is the deep dish pizza. In Chicago, none can compare. Everything about this pizza is excellent. The sauce is light, but with a lot of flavor and seasoning. The crust is crunchy and buttery. Favorites include the cheese & sausage deep dish and the deep dish special. There are always plenty of ingredients in the pizza. Appetizers are garlic breadsticks, cheesy garlic bread, and anti-pasto salad.

Harold's Chicken has been a Chicago restaurant serving fried chicken for over 30 years. There are numerous locations throughout the city and suburbs. The chicken here is done right. It's crispy and comes with mild or hot sauce. Orders can be a 1/4 (2 pcs.), 1/2 (4 pcs.), or whole (8 pcs.), white or dark meat. Sides are fries and cole slaw. But Harold's also sells fish. Catfish, buffalo, perch, smelts, and shrimp dinners are available. Chicken livers and gizzards are a favorite at this restaurant too. There are lunch and dinner specials, but they vary according to location.

There are plenty of Chicago restaurants serving pizza. One good choice is Home Run Inn at 6221 S. Archer. Their pizza is so good that it is sold in grocery stores in the city, and they are sold out most of the time. What makes this pizza is the ingredients. While some pizzas mince their onions and peppers, Home Run Inn uses big pieces of vegetables and meats. The result is a great tasting pie. Varieties are cheese, sausage, sausage & roasted vegetables, sausage & pepperoni, plum tomato, and sausage & mushrooms. Also, try one of their subs or salads.

Chicago restaurants are some of the best when it comes to steakhouses. Lawry's at 100 East Ontario not only serves excellent steaks, but is known for the best prime rib in the city. Steaks come as porterhouse, filet mignon, t-bone, sirloin, and rib eye. Besides beef, customers can enjoy seafood such as lobster, shrimp, salmon, and crab. Sides include baked potato, salad, french fries, and mixed vegetables. Lawry's serves lunch as well. Menu favorites are the prime rib sandwich, steak sandwich, or chicken sandwich. Combo lunch special is a half of a sandwich, soup or salad, drink or homemade cookie.

Cupcakes seems to be the thing these days. If you like them, then a Chicago restaurant to drop by is Sugar Bliss at 115 North Wabash. The cupcakes here are excellent and there are so many varieties to choose from, depending on the day. Flavors are chocolate, double chocolate, banana, lemon, vanilla, carrot, strawberry, red velvet, orange, and white. The frosting is buttercream and it is so good. There are two sizes: mini and regular. A tip for you: if you want a flavor on a certain day, get there early! Sugar Bliss will run out.

If you are looking for cheap eats in the Windy City, a Chicago restaurant to check out is Baisi Thai on 900 North Michigan Avenue. Besides having great sushi and an a la carte menu, this eatery offers one of the best Chinese buffets in town. The food is always fresh and the restaurant has a very nice decor. For a flat price, you can eat all you want. Items vary daily, but usually find chicken wings, vegetable fried rice, teriyaki beef, crab ragoon, vegetable tempura, beef lo mein, chicken egg rolls, fresh fruit, and chinese chicken salad.

One of the top Chicago restaurants for pizza is Gino's East at 633 North Wells. This place always has a crowd whether it's summer or winter. Their biggest draw is the deep dish pizza. This is one of the original pizza places in the city. Everything about this pizza is outstanding. The sauce is great, with a lot of flavor and seasoning. The buttery crust is soft and chewy. Favorites include the cheese & sausage deep dish and the deep dish pepperoni. There are always plenty of ingredients in the pizza. Appetizers are garlic breadsticks, cheesy garlic bread, and anti-pasto salad.

For good Italian food, a Chicago restaurant to check out is Pompei at 2955 N. Sheffield Avenue. Customers come for their pizza which you can buy by the slice or parts of a pie. Favorites are sausage, spinach, black olive, stuffed sausage & ricotta, and pepperoni. But Pompei other good items as well. Try the Italian fries, chopped chicken salad, grilled vegetable salad, bbq chicken pizza strudel, bruschetta, eggplant parmigiana sandwich, meatball sandwich, and baked mostaccioli. If you have room for dessert, go for the lemon knot, cannoli, or the Taylor Street cheesecake.

If you are a vegan and you like Indian cuisine, one Chicago restaurant to check out is Uru Swati at 2629 W. Devon Avenue. This eatery caters to vegetarians. Popular menu items here are vegetable makhani, takda dal, alu jeera, chana masala, baigan bhatha, malai kofta, paneer bhurji, palak paneer, and navratan korma. All dishes come wiht basmati rice, raita, & pickle. There are also mini meals and quick bites if you don't want a whole entree. Favorites include paneer roll, paper masala dosa, sevi puri, onion pakoda, samosa chat, vegetable omelet, mung dal childa.

For good Mexican food, a Chicago restaurant to stop by is Taqueria El Ranchito. Customers' favorites for breakfast are huevos rancheros, huevos con chorizo, huevos a la mexicana, and french toast. There breakfast skillets are excellent. Try the Denver skillet, Mexican skillet, vegetable skillet, country skillet, meat lover's skillet, chorizo skillet, and ham skillet. If you don't want breakfast food, there are many other good items to choose from. Enjoy their enchiladas, fajitas de pollo, carnitas, pico de gallo, pollo relleno, milanesa de puerco, fajita mix, camarones a la veracruzana, ostione en su concha, camarones ranchero, and carne asada.

Eating at a four star Chicago restaurant doesn't have to cost a fortune. The Signature Room at 95th in the John Hancock Center offers a daily lunch buffet at a lower price than what you would expect from a restaurant on Michigan Avenue. Besides having the amazing view of Lake Michigan, this elegant, upscale establishment offers great service and beautiful decor. The lunch buffet features a carving station with roasted turkey, chilled shrimp, a baked potato bar, smoked salmon, mixed greens with salad fixings, and a huge choice of deserts. Reservations are required and can be done online at

Chicago restaurants has a Brazilian steakhouse that is right on the money. Brazzaz at 539 North Dearborn is an elegant Chicago restaurant in the beautiful Gold Coast area. Here, the menu consists of top sirloin beef, garlic steak, rack of lamb, pork tenderloin, bacon wrapped filet mignons, and grilled pineapple. Sides include mashed potatoes and the best fried plantains in Chicago. Your dinner also includes the salad bar which offers such delectables as smoked salmon, cheese tortellini, and mushroom and truffle risotto. Brazzaz has a daily lunch buffet Monday-Friday. For prices and menu items, visit their website at

There are plenty of Chicago restaurants serving sushi, but a new place in town is Oysy at 50 East Grand Avenue. Everything here is always fresh and the presentation of the food is beautiful. For suggestions, try the shrimp tempura, vegetable tempura and the spinach salad with sesame dressing. Popular maki favorites are Oregon, Philadelphia, California Sunset, Arizona Summer, Red Dragon, Amber, Miami, Chicago Crazy, and Fashion. Sushi comes in many varieties like mackerel, octopus, sweet shrimp, crab, smelt, squid, scallops, and urchin. You can see their full menu and make reservations online at their website,

What Chicago restaurant offers jumbo size glazed donuts freshly made every morning? Dat Donut, part of Leon's BBQ, at 8300 South Cottage Grove is where you will find these delights. Other favorites are caramel and chocolate glazed. Come back in the evening to pick an order of BBQ turkey legs, a slab of ribs, or an six-piece wing dinner. All dinners come with fries and slaw. Leon's has recently added more healthier choices to their menu for those watching their weight and for vegetarians. Macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes are now offered by themselves or as a side dish.

Many Chicago restaurants are represented at the Taste of Chicago, but one that is a yearly favorite is Guey Lon. Guaranteed, any day you are at the Taste, the line for food at this booth is a mile long. Everyone favorite is the shrimp and vegetable tempura. Piled high on a plate and served with duck sauce, it is very good. If you come back, and believe me, you will, try the orange chicken with fried rice, mongolian beef, or egg roll. The piece of chicken are huge. Another thing is that their food isn't greasy like some chinese food.

Chicago restaurants are known for having the best pizza. Ricobene's is the place to get terrific pizza slices for carry-out. When you order a sausage slice, it is put into the pizza oven for about five minutes and comes out piping hot. They are also known for their breaded steak sandwich. It comes with marinara sauce, but you really don't need it. The sandwich is good all by itself. Italian beef and/or sausage is sold also. The hand-cut french fries are some of the best in town. Vegetarians have something as well: a delicious breaded eggplant parmesan sandwich.

If you got your mouth set for a steak dinner, but are low on cash, the Chicago restaurant to go to is Ronnie's Steak House at 100 West Randolph. A eight ounce sirloin, baked potato, chef salad, and garlic bread will run you $7.00. If you want a steak burger, it will cost $5.00. Other menu items are grilled salmon, rib tips, slab of ribs, and grilled chicken. They also offer salads as main entrees as well. In the morning, the big breakfast is sold for $5.00. It comes with bacon, sausage, hash browns, grits, eggs, and toast. Very cheap.

Harry Caray has a special place in every Chicagoan's heart. Who can forget the seventh inning singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at the Cubs games? Well, Mr. Caray lives on at his Chicago restaurant bearing the same name at 33 West Kinzie Street in the Printer's Row area. All kinds of memorabilia about Harry Caray and his time as sportscaster for the Cubs can be found here. And there is also some good eating. Fans favorites include wings, cheese fries, steak sandwiches, fried dough, homemade potato chips, cheese ravioli, and homemade chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies.

It's Sunday, and you are looking for a great buffet with some southern cooking. B.J.'s Market & Bakery on 8734 South Stoney Island is the Chicago restaurant for you. This place offers an all-you-can-eat dinner as well as carry-out. Fried chicken, mustard fried catfish, collard greens, black-eyed peas, corn, sweet potatoes, dressing, baked chicken, biscuits, wings, okra, green beans, and bbq ribs. Their carry-out dinners are basically the same: chicken, turkey, fish, ribs, turkey burgers, wings, and chicken tenders. The peach cobbler is the best here. They open at 11 and this place is always crowded, so get there early.

Eli's Cheesecake at 6701 Forest Preserve Drive is a Chicago restaurant that has been around for a long time. It is so much a favorite that it is invited back to the Taste of Chicago every year. At their headquarters and one and only Chicagoland store, you can see how they make the cheesecake by taking a tour. Ordering can be done online or by phone. Popular flavors include vanilla, chocolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, oreo cookie, turtle, snickers, toffee, strawberry, and sugar-free key lime. Besides cheesecake, Eli's sells brownies, cookies, and regular cakes as well.

Sweet Baby Ray's Barbeque is such a well known Chicago restaurant that everyone nationally knows how good their sauce is. The food is even better. For their holiday buffet at 800 East Higgins Road in Elk Grove Village, reservations are excepted almost six months in advance. Customers can look forward to salmon, rib tips, catfish, hand carved turkey and ham, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, pulled pork, short beef ribs, hot links, barbeque chicken, barbeque turkey legs, green beans, baked beans, potato salad, and cole slaw. If you even have room for dessert, try the bread pudding.

If you want to splurge a little at a Chicago restaurant, visit Gibsons at 1028 N. Rush Street. The wait staff is attentive and the service is great. Start your dinner off with the shrimp with spicy marinade or the spicy lobster cocktail. Next, live it up and order the giant Australian lobster tail with turf, which will run you well over $100.00. If you don't want to spend that much, try the roasted prime rib, grilled swordfish, or one of their steaks or chops. Side dishes are excellent as well. Favorites are creamed spinach and asparagus with hollandaise sauce.

Chicago's stunning architecture and absolutely amazing restaurants are its claim to fame, so it should come as no surprise that not one, but two Chicago restaurants made The S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list for 2008. Yet another not so surprising fact - Chicago was chosen as the setting for Bravo Network’s Top Chef (fourth season).

Back to the world's best 50: Alinea ranked #21 and Charlie Trotter's ranked #38. Charlie Trotter's has made the list every year since 2002, when it was ranked at #11. Charlie Trotter's is located in Lincoln Park at 816 W. Armitage Avenue, Ph: 773-248-6228, Alinea, also in Lincoln Park, is located at 1723 N. Halsted Street, Ph: 312-867-0110,

Other top Chicago restaurants include:

MK -

Café Spiagga -

Morton's Steakhouse -

Signature Room at the 95th -

Spring -

Tru -

And for vegetarians and vegans, check out:

Chicago Diner -

Green Zebra -

Soul Vegetarian East - 205 East 75th Street, Chicago IL, 773-224-0104

Victory’s Banner -

Heartland Café -

Cadwell’s Grille -

June 09, 2008 change by mcburton
July 05, 2009 change by annc

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King Fortune Chinese Rstrnt

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address:4027 W Irving Park Rd


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address:200 E Chestnut St

Porter's Steak House

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address:8201 W Higgins Rd

Fresh Choice

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This small restaurant in Old Town serves fresh, healthy food made to order, including smoothies, juice, sandwiches, soups, and frozen yogurt. Dine in front or in back during warmer months and expect to pay about $10 for a delicious meal using premium ingredients.

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address:1534 N Wells
tel:(312) 664-7065

Wiener Circle

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This clssic late-night fast food joint specializes in Chicago style hot dogs, cheese fries, and sassy attitudes. Come here for a truly singular hot dog stand experience.

type:Fast food
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address:2622 N Clark St
tel:(773) 477-7444

The Cheesecake Factory

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The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory is located in the lower level of the John Hancock Center on Michigan Ave.

 The Cheesecake Factory is a unique, upscale casual dining restaurant offering more than 200 menu selections including Appetizers, Pizza, Pasta, Seafood, Steaks, Salads, Sandwiches and more. Our menu also features specialty dishes like Chicken Madeira, Miso Salmon, Cajun Jambalaya Pasta, and The Factory Burger.

But save room for dessert! Try one of our 50 delicious cheesecakes and desserts such as our White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle® Cheesecake or our new more..

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tel:(312) 337-1101
address:875 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Palette Bistro

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Palette Bistro is a romantic American restaurant in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.  They serve dinner Tuesday through Sunday starting at 5pm and brunch on the weekends. Palette Bistro has a full bar and affordable wine list. Outdoor seating is available in the summer.

Palette Bistro is located close to the Athenaeum Theatre, St. Alphonsus Church, The Theatre Building, the Elbo Room, and the shopping areas along Belmont and Southport.

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tel:773 477 2565
address:2834 N Southport Ave, Chicago IL, USA
PriceOfMenu:entrees: $14-29


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address: 250 W 26th St


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Superdawg Drive-in at Night
Superdawg Drive-in at Night
photo by: Tom Zurek

Drive-in Style Superdawg(Hot Dog) and Burger hot dog stand.  Look for the Superdawgs on the roof with a winking eye.


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tel:(773) 763-0660
address:6363 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago 60646
PriceOfMenu:About $6 per person with drink

Beggars Pizza

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address: 3277 W 115th St

Mr Shrimp

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Excellent fresh fish in a location where you would never expect such a place to survive, but survive it has.  Has been there for at least 40 years serving great fish, shrimp, and fries.

The fish is fresh, the atmosphere is stale.  The employees all appear to be looking for other work and bored at Mr. Shrimp.

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address:7157 W 63rd St

Annie's Mandarin

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Nice vegetarian restaurant.

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address:1544 W 69th St

Bourgeois Pig

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This cafe might as well be straight out of Paris; there's even a model Eiffel Tower outside the window. Tucked away on the outskirts of the DePaul University campus, the Pig swelters with intellectualism. Stacks of books, jars of loose tea, and vintage trinkets line shelves on the walls while muffins, cookies, ice cream, bagels, and other baked goods are piled up around the counter. The cafe offers a variety of soups and salads, but the best items are the sandwiches. You can build your own sandwich or chose a premade option named after books, like Hamlet or the Egg and I. more..

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address:738 W Fullerton Pkwy
tel:(773) 883-5282


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Samah is both a middle eastern restaurant and hookah lounge. Sit in a private booth seperated by curtains on sofas or pillows on the floor around a low table. Hookahs are $15 with 21 and growing tobacco flavors to chose from. Be sure to make a reservation in advance.

type:Middle East
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address:3330-A N Clark St
tel:(773) 248-4606

Abondanza Restaurant & Pizza

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address:5054 W Fullerton Ave

Gaylord India Restaurant

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address:678 N Clark St

Klay Oven

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address:414 N Orleans St

Antojitos Mexicanos

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address:2500 S Whipple St,

Aiello's Golden Crust Pizza

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address: 4358 N Elston Ave

Ken's Mandarin Restaurant

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Ken's is a great restaurant tucked into the Lincoln Village Mall and it is quite easy to miss it. While not fancy inside their food is some of the best in the far north side of Chicago. Particularly recommended are there Mandarin Stir Fried Noodles, Kung Pao Chicken and Cashew Shrimp. Appetizers are good standard fare. Excellent neighborhood restaurant. Much higher quality than the standard greasy swill you often find in most northside Chinese food restaurants.



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address:6261 N Mccormick Rd
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