The second location of the late-night hot dog and fried shrimp joint is a little glitzier (televisions, seats), but the most important difference is that it also offers burgers, thin, griddled patties with perfectly melted cheese, LTO and special sauce. The Depression Dogs are just as good as at the original, and fried shrimp dunked in spicy cocktail sauce is just what we want to eat after a night of drinking.
With hundreds of tin robots, wind-up toys and other kitschy tchotchkes covering every inch of wall space, your short wait for lunch here will be spent giggling about Pez dispensers you had as a kid. Entrées typically zoom out of the kitchen, especially on busy weekend nights. Start with the spring rolls, which are light and crisp enough that you’ll have plenty of room for a heaping plate of rama, with its rich peanut sauce, crunchy steamed broccoli and perfectly fried cubes of firm tofu.
The pizza-by-the-slice joint caters to the young, drunk Wrigleyville crowds, who will noisily wait in line for mac and cheese, gyro or buffalo wing pizza. These toppings sound like they shouldn't work, but surprisingly, they do. It's BYOB, so off hours, it's not a bad spot to meet up with friends before or after a Cubs game.
The second location of this gourmet leaning quick-service fish and taco spot is a little slicker than the original. It’s run by former Hell’s Kitchen contestant Tony D’Alessandro, the standout fish in the fish and chips is breaded and fried to order, burgers are made from Angus beef and the French fries are larded with hunks of foie gras.
Located at the crossroads of Clark and Halstead, Clark Street Dog’s flashing, sausage-shaped sign beckons Cubs fans, concertgoers and hungry patrons, usually in various states of intoxication. The location serves up a familiar menu, replete with Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and crispy fried shrimp. If you need a drink, the adjacent Clark Street Bar usually has Goose Island on tap and a few stools where you can finish your meal while plotting your next move.
5411 is the city's most stylish food truck, so the clean lines and mod furniture in its storefront are no surprise. It's tight in here—there are only 13 seats—but if you can score a four-top and bring some wine, you've got the makings for a good BYOB dinner. Start with veggie options, like the thyme-heavy mushroom-and-blue-cheese, and ease into the heavier meat options (beef simmered in malbec). And don't cheap out on the sauces. These empanadas are flaky, but they're nothing without chimichurri.
Don’t get us wrong, we love the fresh toppings, including meaty chunks of mild sausage and fresh vegetables that are crisp and crunchy when you bite into them. But it’s really the sauce—full of fresh tomato flavor, speckled with oregano, basil and the faintest hint of red pepper—that’s made this pizzeria an institution. Both the deep-dish and the (not very thin) thin-crust resist sogginess after a night in the fridge, making them the breakfast of champions.
You can’t walk a dozen blocks in this town without bumping into a Chicago-style hot dog, so what’s so special about this one? We think it’s owner Jim Murphy, who takes a lot of pride in greeting regulars and walking new customers through their orders—this man clearly loves his job. Polish sausages and Italian beef are on offer, but we keep it sweet and simple with a red hot, grilled and dragged through the garden, with a side of hand-cut, skin-on fries, dropped in bubbling oil only when you order them to ensure freshness.