Emmit’s As seen on Turks and Early Edition. Of course it’s crazy on the weekends, but even on weekend afternoons, regulars gather at this bilevel, wood-heavy pub to watch the game and—judging from the bottles of Jameson suspended upside-down above the bar (all the easier to pour)—drink a lot of Irish whiskey. 495 N Milwaukee Ave (312-563-9631). El: Blue to Grand. Bus: 8, 56, 65. Mon–Thu 4pm–2am; Fri 3pm–2am; Sat 11am–3am; Sun 11am–2am. Average beer: $5.
Francesca’s Forno As seen on The Beast. This Wicker Park outpost from the Francesca’s chain packs in the hungry and hip for small plates of simple Italian fare for dinner, and then again (though to a slightly lesser extent) for Saturday and Sunday brunch. The steak sandwich goes above standard with herb butter on roasted onion bread, plus a handful of pecorino and truffle oil–laced fries, while the signature Traviata pizza comes stuffed with herbed robiola cheese, mixed greens and sea salt. And while we’re not sure why it’s called “panettone” French toast, since the Italian cakelike bread isn’t used, it’s a good dish nonetheless, topped with sweet mascarpone cream, fresh berries and thick, aged balsamic vinegar. 1576 N Milwaukee Ave (773-770-0184). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72. Brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch (Mon–Fri), dinner. Average small plate: $8.
Piece As seen on The Real World: Chicago. Every Thursday, drunken wanna-be rock stars elbow for space against just-post-college frat types to choose from the karaoke book’s 20,000 songs. Brave it, or head in early in the week to sample the great brews made on premises alongside New Haven–style thin-crust pizzas. 1927 W North Ave (773-772-4422). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72. Mon–Thu 11am–1:30am; Fri 11am–2am; Sat 11am–3am; Sun 11am–1am. Average beer: $4.
Pizzeria Uno As seen on Top Chef: Chicago. Drawn by tales of this pizzeria originating Chicago deep-dish, tourists and new transplants often flock here for their first Windy City meal. Around lunchtime, a crowd can be found in the lobby ordering their pizza in advance while waiting for one of 18 tables that are packed into the small building. Each pizza takes at least 45 minutes to cook, but it’s worth the wait when the waiter finally arrives with the steaming pan and dishes out your first cheese-heavy slice. If you’ve got a larger party or just can’t stand the wait, head down the street to Pizzeria Due (619 N Wabash Ave), Uno’s more spacious sister. 29 E Ohio St (312-321-1000). El: Red to Grand. Bus: 29, 36, 65. Lunch, dinner. Average main course: $7.