Northdown Cafe and Taproom

Photograph: Jason Little
Roscoe Village

Let other bars emulate the experience of drinking in Belgium; Northdown has rolled into town to evoke the Midwest. It may not seem this way from the onset—the place doesn’t lookparticularly Midwestern (it’s generically, pleasantly cozy), and the menu, with its housemade pickles and Growing Power vegetables, suggests not Midwesterness but trendiness. But the heartland is found in the details: the Wisconsin beef in the burger. The Midwestern cheeses that come with the bread. The fact that it’s perfectly normal for you to sit here, drink from the always-evolving craft beer list and eat nothing more than some mashed potatoes with gravy. And the pies. A chicken pot pie with a biscuit crust is nothing you’ll go crazy for, but the cream pies, topped with unsweetened whipped cream and sporting thick, crumbly graham-cracker crusts, are the stuff of Midwestern fantasies. One slice is worth a night at Northdown. The fact that you can precede it with pork fries and follow it with pinball is just a bonus. 3244 N Lincoln Ave (773-697-7578).

By David Tamarkin

Venue name: Northdown Cafe and Taproom
Contact:
Address: 3244 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago

Cross street: between School and Melrose Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 11am–2am; Sat 11am–3am; Sun 11am–2am
Transport: El stop: Brown to Paulina. Bus: 9, 77.
Price: Average beer: $7
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