The best restaurants in Avondale
Attention, ramen fans. This is your spot in Avondale. The Folk Art Restaurant Group has two locations of this soup spot in the city (the other one's in Hyde Park) and it's not to be missed. Tasty bowls of ramen are the food of choice here, whether you prefer an earthy mushroom selection or a spicy tonkotsu. But don't overlook the starters and drinks; house-made pickles are always a delight as is the rotating smoothie—you'll want to bring a group to get a whole pitcher.
A few things to note about Parachute—the menu changes constantly and you should definitely get a reservation in advance. Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark's Korean-American restaurant has gotten noticed by just about everyone, and for good reason. While you'll rarely find the same dishes on the menu from visit to visit (with the exception of the wonderful baked potato bread), each item is carefully thought out and the dining experience is always great. What's not to like when everything is reasonably priced in a comfortable space with great wine?
The servers here sport more ink than a Bic factory, and the metal is cranked up so loud you can’t hear yourself talking, but therein lies the charm. Squeeze through the ass-to-elbows crowds and up to the long bar, where you might be in for a lengthy wait. What’s the draw? Well, the Slayer burger, for one—a pile of fries topped with a half-pound burger, chili, cherry peppers, andouille, onions and Jack cheese on a pretzel bun. That, and the extensive menu of craft beers, including plenty of limited-edition local brews to get before they’re gone.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken has somewhat of a following in Chicago, which makes sense to anyone who's been there. Crisp skin engulfs juicy and tender meat that you can slather with sweet honey butter. We're suckers for the sandwiches, but whatever jumps out to you on the menu will be great, as long as you're grabbing a side of the creamy pimento mac and cheese—it's an absolute necessity. Pro-tip: Take this one to-go and head over to Revolution for an evening of beer and chicken.
Czerwone jabluszko means red apple in Polish, and this eatery on the far northwest side of Logan Square is the apple of the eye of anyone who wants to eat themselves into a stupor. (The red apple on the sign is a handy marker.) Chow down on an all-you-can-eat buffet that fills multiple rooms (and bellies) with classics like pierogi, stuffed cabbage and carve-your-own turkey. Alternatives to the sauerkraut-style savories include crêpes and cheese blintzes.
Rida Shahin’s soft and chewy salted ciabatta is good enough that you could eat it all by itself and have a perfectly satisfying lunch. But now that the popular wholesale baker has expanded to sandwiches and a full line of pastries, from crispy-and-chewy chocolate-chip cookies to apricot-cardamom tarts, you can have a nice lunch in his café. But a word to the wise: Don’t forget the bread for home.
This popular Dante's Inferno-themed chain is the neighborhood's go-to choice for grabbing a slice of pie. The whole pizzas at Dante's come in one size (gigantic), and two very hungry people would have trouble polishing one off. Order a slice and wait below a mural of Satan happily gobbling pizza while your huge New York style slices are crisped up in the oven to order. A daily special is hand-written on the wall next to the register, and is available in addition to the usual selection of pizzaria slices. We're partial to the pepperoni, scattered with huge, thin slices of the spicy salami and perfect for folding in half, the way pizza this big is meant to be eaten.
After his father passed away, Alan Yuen renovated his family’s chop suey house (even installing beautiful hardwood floors himself) and set about turning out solid Canto-American classics. Sesame beef and honey-walnut shrimp are joined by creations such as stir-fried seafood in a shredded potato “bird’s nest,” and boneless Peking duck with Grand Marnier sauce. Don’t want to go out? Take advantage of the brisk delivery service.
The name of this Avondale restaurant is pretty self-explanatory. The menu is filled with a variety of tacos, with fillings like spicy cochinta pibil and papa y epazote (crispy fried mashed potatoes). A bar serves up tequlia by way of strong house margaritas, including drinks with mezcal and fluorescent Blue Curacao. If you want to make an impression, order the queso fundito, which arrives at your table in a ball of flames.
Located just down the street from the Belmont Blue Line station, the Snack Shop has been serving up greasy diner fare for more than 50 years. It's open 24 hours a day so you can always sit down on a stool and order an omelette, a burger or a hearty meatloaf dinner.