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Half Shell

Photograph: Erica Gannett
Crab at Half Shell
Lincoln Park

“We close when we feel like closing” and “Nothin’ but cash, no exceptions” are among the oh-so-perfect-for-the-setting sayings we overheard in just one night at this 40-year-old subterranean spot. Grab a table in the tiny Christmas light–strewn room, and start out with the “Mulligan stew” and an order of crispy calamari. For more fried goodness, have the “Thirty-Two Pointer” for an entrée—a crunchy pile of smelts, perch, frog legs, clam strips and fat shrimp. And if you’re looking to crack some crab, splurge on the massive, meaty king legs.

Venue name: Half Shell
Address: 676 W Diversey Pkwy

Cross street: at Orchard St
Opening hours: Lunch, dinner
Transport: El stop: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Diversey. Bus: 8, 22, 36, 76.
Price: Average main course: $20
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