This high-tailin’ sausage shop is just a short walk away from the B&B. With daily specials and small sides of cole slaw, mac and cheese or baked beans they can also make some tofu/vegan dogs with whole wheat buns. Dogs run about $3.5 to $5 – cash only. Limited seating. Just walk north of Division on Damen 2 blocks to this corner sausage shop.
This old-fashion tiny slice of a pizzeria and deli is located just south of Wicker Park on Damen and they make their pizzas to order with hand-tossed dough. Best meatball sandwiches ever – the secret family recipe: Meatball Matti in 6″ or 9″ versions! Just 3 tables inside and a few more tables al fresco, they are BYOB with late Fri/Sat hours until 2 am. They also deliver. 773-904-7455. 1341 N. Damen Avenue.
Delish offers regular diner fare, burgers, tuna melt, reuben, shakes and sundaes in a retro decor complete with 2 sets of 1940′s kitchen table and chairs in the front windows. A very respectable burger for $7, they have daily specials, too. 2018 W Division Street – just west of Damen. (773) 276-5200
We sometimes have a hard time squeezing in last minute to this wonderful, very Italian trattoria, offering authentic home-made pastas and great Italian hospitality by the owner, Dario, who generally greets you at the door. Luca is a wonderful server and don’t miss out on their Limoncello – a great way to end their delicious Italian fare. It feels like Italy when we walk in here. Kalina loves the gnocchi with gorgonzola and Kapra’s favorite is the Fettuccini Bolognese. Al fresco dining during good weather, but it is always better to make a reservation in advance 773-486-2636. Located a short walk from Two Urns, just past Damen at 2114 W. Division. www.nandomilano.com
Artopolis is our family favorite cafe for late night nibbles and delectable desserts. Try a slice of hazelnut or mango mousse – you can also pick up a cake to-go or butter cookies or freshly baked breads. This lively cafe has open windows to the sidewalk during summer and is cozy and warm in the winter serving dinner or desserts.
This ship-shape restaurant has lots of fresh fish in true Mexican style. Their “coctel de camaron” reminds Miguel and me of Xipolite: hanging in hammocks, ordering beer and “coctel” as we watched the sun set on the wild surf of the Pacific. Served with totopos or saltines (de rigeur table side) it’s a great way to get the night started and we also love their ceviche – freshly prepared and never disappoints. A pitcher of Mango Margaritas is the best way to really quench your thirst on a warm summer’s night in Chicago followed by the feast of one of their Parrilladas – grilled chicken, steak, seafood and vegetables for 2, 3 or more; easily shared between 3 or 4. This is simply great, authentic “mariscos” and always takes us back to memories of relaxing vacations by the sea.
This Lettuce Entertain You restaurant serves fresh fish including a wide range of fresh oysters in a formal, dimly lit, dining room or a more casual oyster bar where all the action occurs. We celebrated Miguel’s birthday at their Sunday brunch in the oyster bar, with four stations of food:
- chilled seafood with ceviche, sushi, lobster and shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, chopped salad and bagels
- omelette and waffles made-to-order
- breakfast meats, eggs, eggs benedict, potatoes, crabcakes, breaded shrimp, potatoes au gratin and roast beef carving station
- mini desserts that included hand dipped chocolate strawberries, key lime tart, pot au creme, fresh fruit, cookies, mini cupcakes, creme brulee and truffle pops
‘O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,
‘You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none –
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.
… and you will want to join Lewis Carroll in eating one of everything, so take an empty stomach.
Live music in the evenings and it is just next to one of Chicago’s top Jazz venues: Andy’s so walk a couple of doors west to Andy’s for a Chicago Classic Jazz club. Shaw’s Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard Street (312) 527-2722
Cemitas Puebla, 3619 W. North Avenue, received a special mention as best Cemitas (a Mexican sandwich on a sesame seeded bun) in “Bon Appetit” so Miguel and I though it was worth a trek, even after a late February snow storm to see for ourselves.
We loved the “pastor” sandwich, with Oaxacan string cheese, avocado and tasty pulled pork meat. Their chipotle sauce in the yellow bottle was great on the sandwich, just as Antonio had suggested; followed by a tasty Jamaica (hibiscus tea) and Horchata (rice milk drink) we were happy and all for about $10/person.
The North Avenue bus is just 3 blocks north of us and will take you directly to Central Park where you are 1/4 block away from cheery Antonio and Cemitas Puebla.