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TriBecca’s Sandwich Shop
Photograph: Colin Mohr

The 18 best restaurants in Avondale

This Northwest Side neighborhood is home to inventive Korean cuisine, killer fried chicken, laid-back bars and more.

Jeffy Mai
Written by
Elizabeth Atkinson
&
Jeffy Mai
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Just a stone’s throw away from Logan Square, Avondale is one of Chicago's most up-and-coming neighborhoods for dining. The Northwest Side community area is backed by an impressive lineup of restaurants and bars, many of which have sprouted up in the past few years. From the finest Korean cuisine to the coolest cocktails bars, there’s a plethora of places to enjoy for the first or tenth time. Want to be wowed? Head to Parachute or Eden, where the chefs use quality, seasonal ingredients to create extraordinary dishes. If an unfussy burger is more your style, Kuma’s and Ludlow Liquors are happy to oblige. You can even grab a snack or full meal while shopping for groceries at Joong Boo Market. The options are virtually limitless so check out our guide to the best restaurants in Avondale and see what the buzz is all about.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Avondale

The best restaurants in Avondale

  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • Avondale
  • price 2 of 4

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, each item is carefully thought out and the dining experience is always fantastic. What's not to like when the food is paired with a comfortable space and great wine?

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Avondale

Farm-to-table specialist Eden relocated during the pandemic to a new space in Avondale. The restaurant is now open from breakfast through dinner and features a greenhouse that provides fresh produce for the kitchen, private dining rooms and an outdoor patio. The revamped menu changes seasonally but is centered around dishes coming out of the wood-burning oven, such as grilled berbere-spiced carrots jazzed up with goat cheese purée.

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Avondale
  • price 1 of 4

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's taproom for an evening of beer and chicken.

  • Bars
  • Avondale

Whether it’s your first or last stop of the night, Ludlow Liquors is always the right move. This retro-chic spot is a refined version of the neighborhood dive so you can expect craft cocktails, like a pomegranate margarita, alongside “low life” beers and shots of Malört. The spacious backyard patio, decked out with picnic tables and stadium seating, is a must-visit in the summertime. And the smash burger is the perfect way to help soak up all the booze.

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Jeffy Mai
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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Avondale

For Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark’s follow-up to their lauded Korean-American restaurant Parachute, the couple went in a slightly different direction. Instead of an a la carte selection, chef de cuisine Tayler Ploshehanski presents a four-course menu that changes daily to highlight what’s in season. One night you’ll enjoy Iberico pork collar while another visit may yield duck breast with raspberries and mustard greens. No matter the evening’s offerings, though, rest assured you’re in good hands.

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Avondale
  • price 1 of 4

From the looks of it—booths, a counter/bar, coffee cups upturned on saucers—this bright, homey spot could pass for an all-American diner. Crackly skinned house-made sausage, stuffed cabbage and pillowy potato pierogi can be found on the “Polish plate,” piled together with mashed potatoes and drowned in a tomatoey sour cream sauce that’s the best part of the dish.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Avondale

The flavors of Mexico City shine bright at Con Todo. You’ll find the usual suspects: al pastor tacos—the pork cooked as it should be on a trompo—and mouthwatering carne asada plus creative items like a pambazo-burger mashup. Quench your thirst with a margarita or paloma, which anchor the beverage program.

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Avondale
  • price 2 of 4

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 10-ounce 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.

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  • Bars
  • Avondale

After two years of anticipation, New York cocktail bar Mother’s Ruin finally made its way to Chicago in 2022. If the bustle of River North and Wicker Park don’t seem appealing, come here instead for a low-key evening full of craft libations, spiked slushies and elevated bar fare like a falafel burger amped up with harissa sauce. Prefer to day drink? You’re in luck—Mother’s Ruin is one of the few places serving brunch every day of the week.

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Sandwich shops
  • Avondale

Honey Butter Fried Chicken vet Becca Grothe flew the coop and opened her own sandwich shop just a couple of blocks away this past year. The Cubano is impeccable and made with quality ingredients including Twin Oaks ham, Slagel Farm pork and ciabatta bread from pHlour. But the menu also pays tribute to Midwestern classics like the horseshoe and Maid-Rite sandwich. Grothe’s husband, Cam Waron, creates potato-based Tuber’s Donuts to enjoy for dessert.

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  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Avondale
  • price 2 of 4

Do as the Irish do and head to this traditional pub for Guinness pints and hearty plates. Chief O’Neill’s has been a neighborhood staple since 1999, comforting guests with Emerald Isle favorites like fish and chips, corned beef and shepherd’s pie. The lively space also has multiple fireplaces and a verdant back patio, and hosts live music and a popular Sunday brunch buffet.

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Argentinian
  • Avondale
  • price 2 of 4

Argentinean and Italian flavors collide at La Nonna, a rustic-chic gem hidden away on an Avondale side street. Inspired by his family’s heritage, chef José Rivero delivers empanadas filled with ham and cheese, prosciutto-topped pizzas, choripán sandwiches, steak and chicken milanesa and much more. It’s BYOB, too, so take advantage by bringing a bottle to pair with the food.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Avondale
  • price 1 of 4

This new Avondale bakery and cafe has been making waves for its exceptional breads and pastries. You’ll spot the loaves of the day behind the counter and you’ll definitely want to order a tasty breakfast sandwich, served on either an English muffin or croissant. Loaf Lounge owner Sarah Mispagel also worked as a pastry consultant on FX hit The Bear and her chocolate cake, which was featured on the show, is on the menu as well.

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Avondale

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 margaritas, including a version with house-made chamoy. If you want to make an impression, order the queso fundido, which arrives at your table in a ball of flames.

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  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Avondale

Though the Guinness flows freely, don’t expect to see corned beef on the menu at this Irish-influenced restaurant. But that’s quite alright because we relish a full Irish breakfast for dinner. The traditional dish consists of sausage, bacon, black and white pudding, fried eggs and a whole lot more. You can even order it in pizza form for a one-of-a-kind slice.

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
  • Shopping
  • Grocery stores
  • Avondale
  • price 1 of 4

One of the most popular Asian grocers in the city isn’t solely convenient for stocking shelves. It’s also a great place for a cheap and delicious bite. Tucked away in the back of the space is a tiny restaurant, dubbed Snack Corner, that offers Korean favorites like bibimbap and sizzling bowls of tofu stew. A stand in front of the store also sells steamed buns and on Wednesdays and Fridays, and the $30 sashimi platters are an unbeatable value.

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Assistant Editor
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  • Restaurants
  • Turkish
  • Avondale
  • price 2 of 4

You don’t have to be familiar with 20-sided dice to have a good time at this Dungeons & Dragons-inspired restaurant and bar. Owners Shawn Podgurski and Phil Naumann opened Dmen Tap in 2017 as a brick-and-mortar home for their popular food truck, DönerMen. German street food is the focus of the menu and you’ll get to devour warm Bavarian pretzels, currywurst served with fries and the signature döner—chicken cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Wash it down with a glass of mead or whiskey from the extensive collection.

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Avondale
  • price 1 of 4

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 chicken in Grand Marnier orange sauce. Don’t want to go out? Take advantage of the brisk delivery service.

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