Nothing beats October in Lakeview. You have the changing leaves in Lincoln Park, the cool breeze off the lake, the Cubs quite literally hitting it out of the park at Wrigley Field and, oh yeah, some of the best eats in the city of Chicago.
Though Lakeview is often overlooked in the grand scheme of Chicago neighborhoods, it is definitely one to watch. Having grown up just off Broadway and lived in the constant bustle of Boystown and Wrigleyville, we (the authors of this article) know exactly what it's like to be a Lakeview native.
From the friendly faces of the local dives and the trendy baristas at the local coffee shops to the comfort food of candle lit dinners and the best burgers in the city, Lakeview has it all. So with that, here are 31 things to eat in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood before the Cubs win the World Series:
And, yes, we do think the Cubs are gonna win, and, yes, these are listed alphabetically, because we could never play favorites in Lakeview.
1. Andy’s Thai Kitchen's Thai Food
Let's start with the basics here, Thai food. Andy's Thai Kitchen is located underneath the Wellington brown line L stop. Though you would never think this place is whipping up some of the best Thai food in the city, it 100% is.
From crispy onchoy and udon to egg rolls and satay and cold healing soups, this place will most definitely have the Thai food of your dreams. If you're looking for a recommendation, you can't go wrong with the basil fried rice. Basil, mushrooms, shrimp—what more could you ask for?
2. The Art of Pizza's Deep Dish
How could we not have deep dish pizza on this list? The Art of Pizza has been voted number one deep dish in Chicago on numerous occasions, so yes, they really have mastered the art of making pizza. Though their menu is extensive, you really shouldn't be walking into this fine establishment unless you plan on going full Chicago-style.
3. The Bagel's Bagel & Lox
If you’re looking for comfort food, The Bagel is definitely your place. Whether it be for an everything bagel with lox, a steaming bowl of matzo ball soup, or a fat stack of French toast, The Bagel will never disappoint.
#SpoonTip: Always get a side of hashbrowns even if you don't get an omelette because they are ridiculously good.
4. Bar Pastoral's House-made Charcuterie
We didn't think Pastoral could get any better, but when they opened Bar Pastoral, we were all proven wrong. Add a nice glass of wine to the already great selection of charcuterie and cheese and you've got Bar Pastoral. Perfect for pre-dinner drinks and apps or for late night desserts and wine, this cozy wine bar is a great addition to Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.
5. BIG & little’s Restaurant's Tacos
BIG & little's Asian fusion tacos are addicting. The mango chutney pork, the lamb gyro, and the beef short rib are arguably among the best cooked tacos in the world. Their ahi tuna taco has a signature special sauce on it that could literally make anyone drool.
We're honestly trying to use some self-control to not write an entire essay on the menu, but here are a few of the things we love: soft shell crab po'boy, fish and chips, truffle fries, al pastor burger, samurai taco, and the shrimp taco (fried, of course).
6. Bobtail's Cubby Crunch
You really can't go wrong with Bobtail's ice cream, but 'tis the season for Cubby Crunch. Yes, this flavor is dedicated to our very own Chicago Cubs. Think vanilla ice cream with sprinkles, Oreos, chocolate chips, and toffee. We love this ice cream almost as much as we love the Cubs. Yes, that's saying a lot.
7. Chilam Balam's Authentic Mexican Food
Pretty sure we spent at least two nights a week here during our senior year of high school, seeing as we didn't even have to cross the street to get to this neighborhood Mexican hotspot. Though you may walk by Chilam Balam three or four times before you realize you have to walk below street level to get to the entrance, we promise this place is some of the most authentic Mexican food in the city and will leave you dreaming of memelas and peanut butter empanadas for days after you leave.
The owners are some of the nicest people we know and have almost as great a taste in music as they do taste in food. Chilam Balam is the perfect neighborhood spot for any occasion, and you'll be almost as heart broken as our families when you realize it may not be acceptable to go three nights in a row.
8. City Press Juice & Bottle's Cold Pressed Juice
Upon returning from any trendy workout class, City Press Juice & Bottle is exactly what you need. Using all organic produce and all-natural ingredients, City Press presses their own juice in house and makes superfood blends to order all day long.
If you are a member of our families, you can't start your day without the Mother Nurture—the quintessential green smoothie. We might be biased, seeing as we live for coconut and kale, but this combination of coconut meat, maca, kale, banana, and pear is exactly what we all need to be the best, organic versions of ourselves.
9. Coda di Volpe's Pizza
Newly opened in the summer of 2016, Coda di Volpe's Southern Italian food offers a casual sophistication to Lakeview's Southport area. With a satisfying menu of all our Italian favorites, we highly recommend one of their many pizzas. From crowd pleasing margherita pizza to our personal favorite salsiccia, Coda di Volpe will answer your everyday Italian needs.
Best of all, you cut your own pizza with a huge pair of scissors...
10. Crisp's Fried Chicken
Pretty sure Crisp has catered our families' Super Bowl party for the past six years, and that means a lot. If you can join the ranks of Doritos, green goddess dip, and the deep fat frier, you know you've become a family specialty. Crisp serves up the best of the best in regards to Korean fried chicken. Whether you like your chicken plain Jane or Seoul sassy, Crisp will make the fried chicken of your dreams.
11. Crosby’s Kitchen's Iron Skillet Cornbread
If you are looking for casual outdoor seating, Crosby's Kitchen is the place for you. With tables both on Southport and Cornelia, you get a taste of Lakeview living while enjoying cornbread and to-die-for salads with your friends. Head over to Crosby's Kitchen ASAP to see the W flying above their front door. Cubs fans, you know this place must be great based on their Northside spirit.
12. Dimo’s Pizza's The Mac
Next time you are out in Wrigleyville (which should be this weekend since the Cubs will be playing at home) and need a late night snack, head to Dimo's for a slice of pizza. In particular, a slice of The Mac. Picture your grandmother's homemade mac and cheese piled onto thin crust pizza. Amazing, right? And, if you're looking for dessert, try a slice of the s'mores pizza. Think Teddy Grahams, chocolate, and marshmallows.
13. DMK Burger Bar's Burger
You can't go wrong with any one of the fifteen burgers on DMK Burger Bar's menu. If you need a recommendation, we are personally fans of numbers 2, 3, and 11, but to each his own because everything here is great.
#SpoonTip: When you are feeling like living large, add one of DMK's legendary milkshakes to your order—with or without added booze.
14. Dry Hop Brewers' Burger
Yes, we had to add another burger to the list. What about a burger with a truffle bun and a sunny side up egg on it doesn't appeal to any human with taste buds? Dry Hop is an awesome addition to the Lakeview neighborhood and has great vibes with their wide open windows and endless beer and appetizer options. Nothing like a gourmet soft pretzel on game day.
15. 5411 Empanadas' Empanadas
We didn't understand the power of the empanada until we moved to Lakeview. 5411 Empanadas is not only a rad storefront restaurant, but it's also a food truck that circulates the city spreading the greatness.
From sweet to savory, this empanada shop is the ultimate crowd pleaser. To attest to the force of the empanada, we debated catering senior treats—a very big deal where we went to high school—solely with 5411 Empanadas. Though we were forced to go in a different direction, we're counting down the days until 5411 shows up at my next event.
16. Fish Bar's Anything Fish
When looking at the menu before you order at Fish Bar, it becomes evident that you have more options involving fish than you even knew was possible. Tots and garlic bread are about your only options if you are not down with fish, but if you are you'll be more than elated with your choices between baked fish, raw fish, fried fish, and fish on a bread roll. You can't go wrong at Fish Bar.
17. HB Home Bistro's New American Fare
HB Home Bistro defines "neighborhood restaurant." This cozy bistro serves up new American food and makes you feel right at home every time. Having lived just around the corner from this Lakeview spot, we can attest to the fact that this place is packed every day of the week. The mussels with truffle fries and the artichoke edam fritters are to-die-for, and we highly recommend anything they serve with a fried egg.
18. Intelligentsia Coffee's Coffee
Yes, you may be able to find Intelligentsia's coffee all over the country, but, as you may not know, their original location is in Lakeview. Take that.
The trendy coffee trend may be somewhat overrated, but Intelligentsia is actually that good. Their coffees, teas, and swag—yes, we do have Intelligentsia t-shirts—never fail to deliver, and we wouldn't want to spend our summer days writing Spoon articles anywhere else.
19. Joy’s Noodle and Rice's Noodles
Joy's chicken pad thai and crab rangoon are arguably the best you can find in all of Chicago. We love the crab rangoon so much that we will call in simply to order that for pick-up if we need a quick, flame snack.
20. Kanela Breakfast Club's Brunch
Kanela Breakfast Club is the perfect neighborhood spot for breakfast and lunch—i.e. brunch—any day of the week. With a mix of sweet and savory items on the menu, you will surely find the brunch of your dreams on the menu. This Greek-infused American breakfast and lunch spot is the perfect setting for families and friends and is a generally pleasant way to start your day.
21. Left Coast's Greens and Grains
Left Coast has taken not just Lakeview, but all of Chicago, by storm. This place is amazing. Simple as that. One Off Hospitality has done it again with Left Coast by whipping up awesome food that makes all of Chicago drool. This healthy hotspot on Lincoln has something for everyone: from greens to grains and avocado toast to smoothies, Left Coast is the full package.
Our families may or may not have a representative at Left Coast every day—extended family included, we promise. You can't help but smile when you walk in here. Try it. No questions asked.
22. mfk. Restaurant's Seafood
This neighborhood hotspot defines Lakeview's intimate restaurant scene. With only a few tables and seats at the bar, you know you've #madeit if you make it in. Located in what some may call the basement of a building on Diversey, mfk. serves up fresh fish that never fails to deliver. We highly recommend ordering the tortilla española with salt cod brandade and manchego and potato croquettas for the ultimate Spanish food cravings.
23. Mia Francesca's Pasta
Mia Francesca is the perfect place. Period. From a low-key bowl of rigatoni with tomato cream sauce and fried calamari to a graduation party on the back patio with loads of bruschetta, Mia Francesca has it all.
With endless variations of sauces, meats, and cheeses on any shape of pasta imaginable, this place is the ultimate crowd pleaser. Basically, anywhere you can wear leggings and a t-shirt or a cute dress to is a winner in our minds. We may not always be well-dressed, but we're always hungry for a dope bowl of pasta.
24. Mortar and Pestle's Avocado Toast
Mortar and Pestle is definitely the cutest new addition to the Lakeview neighborhood. Between the aesthetics and the creative menu, it is impossible not to walk out the door feeling satisfied.
They fulfill all your expectations of the avocado toast trend, but if you’re feeling more sweet than savory, the Fruity Pebble funnel cake is beyond revolutionary. Stop by Mortar and Pestle for a trendy neighborhood spot that delivers just as much on the food as they do on the cool vibes.
25. New Tokyo's Specialty Rolls
Ever since we've been old enough to remember, we've been going to New Tokyo for all our sushi needs. With their fresh fish sushi bar and amazingly nice staff, you could get any roll you could ever dream here. Even if you are not a fish person, the negi maki beef rolls or chicken teriyaki will make you want to suggest "sushi" from New Tokyo to your friends for dinner—or even order in if you're feeling lazy.
26. Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine's Sandwiches
The number of times us authors have gotten home from school and gone to Pastoral to share a caprese sandwich is countless. For real. We live for this tomato, mozzarella, and pesto.
Though we're all about picking up some spicy copa and brie from the artisan cheese and charcuterie for our parents' next dinner party, you will never be disappointed with their array of sandwiches. We'd do anything for a Pastoral sandwich.
27. Snaggletooth's Cured Fish
Born from a love of all things seafood and all things Midwest, Snaggletooth channels the vibe of the old school delis we all know and love. If you are looking for some stellar gravlox or anything in the cured fish department, Snaggletooth is the place for you. With a menu that changes almost every day, Snaggletooth ensures you'll find the cured fish of your dreams and the schmear to go with it.
28. Southport Grocery and Cafe's Brunch
You can't go wrong with brunch from Southport Grocery and Cafe. Whether you're looking for sweet or savory, this neighborhood spot is sure to fill your Sunday mornings with the brunch of your dreams.
#SpoonTip: In addition to everything on their menu, we highly recommend you order a side of their legendary mashed potatoes.
29. Uncommon Ground's Brunch
Think seasonal and organic comfort food, and you have Uncommon Ground. We highly recommend the uncommon cocoa or the "no hitter" mocha with your order. You will be feeling ready for Wrigley after a drink and brunch from Uncommon Ground.
#SpoonTip: Order the sweet potato fries. No questions asked.
30. Yummy Yummy's Bubble Tea
Though you’d never think to walk into this random hole-in-the-wall Asian restaurant, their bubble tea is arguably the best snack on Broadway. Their smoothies are made with fresh fruit and tapioca pearls right in front of you and are most definitely the best refresher on a hot day—and surely worth the brain freeze on a cold day. We have made all of our friends Yummy Yummy converts and have quite literally driven across the city for this bubble tea.
31. Wrigley Field's Chicago-Style Hot Dog
Yes, we do know that Y comes after W, but this one definitely has to end our list. Nothing says Lakeview like Wrigley Field, and nothing says Wrigley Field like a Chicago-style hot dog. So if you are going to eat anything in Lakeview before the Cubs win the World Series—major fingers crossed—you have to eat a Chicago-style hot dog.
Take a Vienna Beef hot dog and a steamed sesame seed bun, top it with yellow mustard, bright green relish, chopped onions, tomato wedges, a kosher-style pickle spear, a couple of spicy sport peppers and a dash of celery salt, and there you have it: the ultimate Chicago-style hot dog—a Wrigley Field classic and the defining feature of Lakeview eats.
Now, if you aren't drooling over these 31 must-try eats, we don't know what to tell you. Lakeview has it all—great food, great sports and great people. Though you may not be able to try all these neighborhood spots before the Cubs win, we promise they are all worth a try.
Happy eating, and go Cubs go!