There Goes the Neighborhood

Chicago is made up of neighborhoods, all of which maintain their own strong identity and culture. Because of this, driving from one neighborhood to another in Chicago can feel like you’re traveling to different parts of the world. Due to Chicago’s high density rate, one neighborhood might have multi-million dollar condominiums with a yuppie population, and another bordering neighborhood could have an impoverished immigrant ethnic contingency with street side fruit and vegetable marketplaces. Neighborhoods overlap and change, and often a person will say they live in one neighborhood, while their neighbor believes they live in another. I’ve mastered downtown and River North, just because I’ve worked there for 4 years. I know my way around Lakeview for the most part, but I really couldn’t tell you whether I live in Lakeview, North Center, or Ravenswood.

I’ve set a goal to visit most of the neighborhoods in Chicago through culinary adventures. Here’s a list of restaurants I’ve never been to. Take heed, this is not all inclusive; I’ve been eating my way around this city for years now, so some of my old standbys aren’t included. As always, drop me a line if there’s a jewel in the rough I may have missed. Better yet, use this as a guide to build your own restaurant wish list!

No Olives Eats Chicago!

Ole Ole-Nuevo Latino
La Tache-French
La Cocina de Frida-Mexican
Il Fiasco-Italian

Kuma’s Corner-Burgers
Mia Francesca-Italian

Lincoln Park
Soiree Bar and Bistro-Amer/French
Rose Angelis-Italian
Alinea-Fine Dining
Que Rico-Mexican
Charlie Trotter’s-Fine Dining
Sweets & Savories-Amer/Contemp.
Forno Diablo-Mexican

Devon Avenue
Viceroy of India-Indian
Udopi Palace-Indian
Hyderabad House-Indian

Marigold Indian-Indian
Vee Vee’s-Nigerian
Alice and Friends Vegetarian Cafe
Viet Bistro-Vietnamese/Asian
Tweet-American Contemporary

Rogers Park
Woo Chon-Korean

Lincoln Square
Fiddlehead Cafe-American
Erba-Northern Italian
La Bocca Della Verite-Northern Italian
Los Nopales-Mexican
Silver Seafood-Chinese
TAC Quick Thai Kitchen-Thai
Tre Kroner-Scandinavian


Bucktown/Wicker Park
Arun’s-Fine Dining/Thai
Between Boutique Cafe and Lounge-Amer Contemp
Irazu-Costa Rican
Schwa-Amer Contemp
Rio D’Sudamerica-South Amer
Le Bouchon-French
Marrakech Cuisine-Morrocan
Bin Wine Cafe-Amer Contemp
Cafe Matou-French
Rodan-S. American/Asian
Spring-Amer Contemp

Ukranian Village
Crust-Organic Pizza

Humboldt Park/Logan Square
Treat-Amer Contemp
Lula Cafe-Amer Contemp
Think-Amer Contemp
Friendship Chinese-Chinese

Gold Coast
Coq D’Or-Amer Traditional, French
Nomi-Fine Dining, French
Coca Pazzo-Italian
Le Petit Paris-French
Tru-Fine Dining, Amer
Spiaggia-Fine Dining, Italian

De la Costa-Nuevo Latino

River North
Brasserie Ruhlmann-Steakhouse
Karyn’s Cooked-Vegan/Veg
Naha-Amer Regional
Roy’s-Hawaiian Fusion
Klay Oven-Fine Dining/Indian
Le Lan-French/Asian
Kevin-French (Closing soon)
Blue Water Grill-Seafood
Cyrano’s Bistro and Wine Bar-French

Russian Tea Time-Russian
Shikago-Fusion, Pan-Asian
Aria-Fine Dining, Pan Asian
Everest-Fine Dining, French

South Loop
Custom House-Amer/Steak

West Loop
One Sixtyblue-Amer Contemp
Moto-Fine Dining, Japanese
Blackbird-Amer Contemp
Sepia-Amer Contemp

Near South Side
Cuatro-Nueva Latina
Joy Yee Noodles-Chinatown

Hyde Park/South Side

La Petite Folie-French
Yassa African Restaurant-Senegalese

Oak Park
Cafe Le Coq-French


add to : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook


11 responses to “There Goes the Neighborhood

  1. Have you ever been to m. henry in Andersonville? I loved that place. Also really like Over Easy by the Damen Brown line stop. Both are brunch places.

    Wah–I miss Chicago food!!

  2. I have been to M Henry, cute place but SO CROWDED! Haven’t tried Over Easy. Thanks for the tip Natalie!

  3. I’ve been meaning to try Terragusto in Roscoe Village. Have you been? It’s supposedly Italian fare, focused on seasonal, locally grown ingredients.

    A place called “Piccolo Sogno” just opened up in the Thyme restaurant space in River West. It is also similarly themed.

  4. Hi Anna, I have tried Terragusto. Its an interesting place…the food is absolutely delicious. The space is pretty raw and minimal, and the best part is-its byob!

  5. Skokie has an actual restraunt worth visiting for you Urban folks? Wow?! But not Evanston? Who decides?

  6. I’ve always wanted to try Chalkboard in Lincoln Square. And whaddabout Takashi?

  7. Great list! Took Nick to May Street Market last night for his birthday – it was delicious! Have you been?

  8. I’d like to add 2 more:

    River North: Elements Cafe (lunch only). Very discreet cafe tucked in the back of this elegant shop that sells expensive baubles. Yummy bbq chicken paninis and cute outdoor sitting area.

    Wicker Park: Mana, A Food Bar. Just opened, from the same people who do De Cero in the West Loop. Great vegetarian place with a bohemian-swanky NYC vibe!

  9. Great list! But I’m afraid you missed your chance at Il Fiasco – they closed recently. I only ate there once, but it seemed like their entire menu was made from the same four ingredients.

    And I’m assuming you’ve already been to Anteprima in Andersonville? If not, I’d definitely add it to your list.

    I recently ate at Kuma’s for the first time… YUM! But be sure to wear something black and/or studded. 🙂

  10. Just thought I’d throw this out there. It’s an alternative way to give back to Chicago and preserve the culture of the Humboldt Park Community. My organization is an online storefront where people can purchase everyday items for families in need in Humboldt Park. For the holidays, we are also offering gift cards so that parents can purchase holiday dinners and presents for the children. All the items we purchase are new, high quality, brand-name items from eco-friendly and fair trade retailers. Go to our site, listen to the families’ stories, and start giving. Plus, for every $20 donation you get a free personalized certificate and organic T-shirt! We are asking that this year instead of secret Santa and the traditional gift exchange individuals and companies consider donating in someone’s name at Please take a look at our storefront or read our blog at for more info.

  11. Nice post, good work. I have recently started my own blog so its good to pickup tips from what you have going here. Many Thanks. Jeanie W

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s