A great burger should be required of all neighborhood restaurants. Portage Park dwellers are lucky to have this double cheeseburger, with melted cheddar, grilled onions and a tangy sauce made with habanero, anchovy paste and ketchup. $16.
The cheerful truck launched this summer and instantly began serving one of Chicago’s best lobster rolls, with sweet, tender lobster slicked with mayo and butter and served on a burger bun for easy eating. $17.
Everything we ate at this Xi’an newcomer was a delight, but nothing moreso than this sandwich, stuffed with tender, cumin-spiced lamb and tucked into seared, crisp bread, which we’ve dreamed about pretty much daily since eating. $3.50.
Meat isn’t the only thing Smalls is smoking—the gently smoky, crispy tofu is terrific when piled between Texas toast and crowned with a fried egg. $9.75.
Lunch at Humboldt Park’s Boeufhaus is just as good as dinner. Proof: this cheesesteak, with tender shaved rib eye, caramelized onions and melted American cheese tucked into a D'Amato's roll. $11.
This pork belly and manchego bocadillo, served on Next’s patio this summer, was so good, so gloriously fatty and such a terrific drinking snack, it deserves a permanent place on the Aviary’s food menu. No longer available.
Avec’s lunch service didn’t come a moment too soon, since you need to eat as many slow-roasted pork sandwiches, decked out with marinated carrots, turnips and cilantro and spicy harissa aioli, as possible in this lifetime. $12.