Food & Drink

The 28 Best Bars & Restaurants Along the 606

Published On 06/05/2015 Published On 06/05/2015
Jennifer Bui/Thrillist

Since the city has transformed the Bloomingdale Trail from an abandoned section of rail line into a brand-new 2.7-mile recreation path stretching through Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square, and Humboldt Park, there’s one all-important question left to answer: where are the best spots to eat and drink along the way? Well, these 28 places along every access point on the path should make walking/jogging/biking (anything but roller blading) the 606 that much better.

Flickr/Eric Bartholomew

Walsh Park

Hollywood Grill (address and info)
1601 W North Ave
What you’re getting: Countryside skillet
While you may not be used to setting foot in this place in daylight, it seems as good a place as any to power up with a breakfast-packed menu including the bacon/sausage/ham/country gravy skillet creation known as the Countryside. Or carbo-load on some fettuccine Alfredo, if that’s how you exercise.

Choppers (address and info)
1659 N Ashland Ave
What you’re getting: The Choppak
Sure, you could go for the FIVE-BEEF-PATTY monstrosity that is the Quad Burger (one of the many ways Chicago is trying to kill you), but let’s be honest, you’re not moving afterwards. The “adult happy meal” known as The Choppak, a double cheeseburger with fries and slaw, should be just about right.

Bucktown Pub (address and info)
1658 W Cortland St
What you’re getting: $5 PBR tallboy + a shot of Early Times
Nothing starts the day like a PBR and shot of that whiskey you used to steal from your old man’s liquor cabinet before you knew any better. Call it an eye opener. Or just relax in the chilled-out back patio with a $10 pizza, your call.

Louie’s Pub (address and info)
1659 W North Ave
What you’re getting: Daisy Cutter
Grab a Daisy Cutter from its craft brew selection and hit the stage for some karaoke if you know what’s good for you. Hey, you’ve earned it.

Sean Cooley/Thrillist

Wood St

Lillie’s Q (address and info)
1856 W North Ave
What you’re getting: Pulled pork sandwich
You can’t really go wrong with any of the fine BBQ creations on offer, ordered Southern-style and paired with some cornbread and pickles marinated in Kool-Aid. Cherry flavor, obviously.

Las Palmas (address and info)
1835 W North Ave
What you’re getting: Pollo en mole
Get a little more upscale at this romantic date spot. Split an order of French-cut polle en mole over a few mojitos and hit the trail together. There are definitely worse ways to get to know one another.

Flickr/Andrew Seaman

Damen Avenue

Lottie's Pub (address and info)
1925 W Cortland St
What you’re getting: Biscuit sandwich
Stop by on weekend and pregame for the trail, brunch-style, with a fried egg/bacon/cheese/jalapeño jam delight biscuit sandwich. Or stop by after dark and run into at least 15 people you know from college, who still party like it’s college.

Piece Brewery & Pizzeria (address and info)
1927 W North Ave
What you’re getting: Plain pizza
Go New Haven-style (Parmesan cheese, oregano, olive oil) with its famous pizza and down its Munich-style A Special Place In Helles from the tap. Come on Saturday nights for live band karaoke.

Mindy’s Hot Chocolate (address and info)
1747 N Damen Ave
What you’re getting: Cinnamon sugar donuts
Best known for sweets and hot chocolate, the Slagel Farm beef burger here is the best you’ll find in Bucktown and comes topped with a sunny-side-up fried egg. But you know you’re not leaving here without satisfying your sweet tooth with cinnamon sugar donuts dipped in hot fudge.

Lemming’s (address and info)
1850 N Damen Ave
What you’re getting: Booze
Lemming’s remains one of the neighborhood’s most underrated bars, and it likes it that way. One of the few regulars joints (along with The Map Room) in a constantly changing area, we’re hesitant to even mention it for fear you might ruin it. But you wouldn’t do that, would you?

Presidio (address and info)
1749 N Damen Ave
What you’re getting: 8 Track Mixtape
Across the underpass from Lemming’s lies a diametrically opposed drinking experience, but one that’s just as good. Only instead of beers in a can you’ll be sipping fancy cocktails like the whiskey and chocolate bitters-infused 8 Track Mixtape. Pinky out, if you must.

The Map Room (address and info)
1949 N Hoyne Ave
What you’re getting: Beer!
One of Chicago’s finest beer bars is also one of its finest establishments for trying to locate Kyrgyzstan on a map while leafing through bookshelves of old National Geographics (and yes, looking for nudie pics). Bonus points for properly identifying the Chilean flag on the wall.

Flickr/PPoHio

Milwaukee Ave

Roxie's by the Slice (address and info)
1732 N Milwaukee Ave
What you’re getting: Cheeseburger
Brendan Sodikoff’s Roxie’s by the Slice is transitioning from serving Brooklyn-style pizza slices to classic stacked American cheeseburgers as a summer pop-up called Roxie’s Burger Shop. Stop in to experience a retro burger shack featuring cheeseburgers, fries, chocolate & malted vanilla shakes, plus artisanal condiments.

Irazu (address and info)
1865 N Milwaukee Ave
What you’re getting: El Tico
Ever look at your friends and say, “I feel like Costa Rican tonight?” If not, you’ve probably never been to this delightful hidden gem with a cool little patio and even cooler authentic Costa Rican eats. Try something new like the El Tico steak or chicken platter, or you can always trust the all-around great burrito.

Silom 12 (address and info)
1846 N Milwaukee Ave
What you’re getting: Thai Coon
Sure, you could get the pad Thai here. And while it’s good, it’s criminal to overlook the more creative offerings at this top-of-the-line Thai joint, including Osso Buco and the shrimp/crab meat/fried eggplant mouthgasm-inducer known at the Thai Coon.

Flickr/Zeke Franco

Western Ave

Handlebar (address and info)
2311 W North Ave
What you’re getting: Catfish tacos
Handlebar is both a top hipster bar and top hipster restaurant, and the only thing cooler than this bar’s taste in music is its yard-style back patio, the perfect place to tell tall tales of your urban hiking adventures over craft beers and catfish tacos.

Belly Shack (address and info)
1912 N Western Ave
What you’re getting: Belly Dog
Don’t even think twice about it. Get the Belly Dog (all-beef hot dog topped with egg noodles, pickled green papaya & togarashi-spiced fries) and thank us later.

Green Eye Lounge (address and info)
2403 W Homer St
What you’re getting: Booze!
This cozy neighborhood joint under the El tracks claims to serve “cheap drinks for reasonable people.” Pretty much sums it up.

Flickr/sp1365

Rockwell St

90 Miles Cuban Café (address and info)
2540 W Armitage Ave
What you’re getting: Cubano
It’s hard to truly appreciate what a globe-spanning culinary experience cruising the 606 Trail really is until you set foot in this joint. Serving authentic Cuban cuisine (and therefore Cubano sandwiches!) in a bright, colorful setting with live jazz and flamenco, 90 Miles features a pig roast buffet on Thursdays, so stop by and consider yourself lucky.

TITUS RUSCITTI/THRILLIST

California Ave

El Nuevo Borinquen (address and info)
1720 N California Ave
What you’re getting: Steak jibarito
One of Chicago’s top Puerto Rican restaurants is also one of its finest purveyors of the legendary steak jibarito with fried plantains for buns. The morcilla (blood sausage) fritters and Puerto Rican tamales are also must-trys.

Flickr/esimpraim

Humboldt Blvd

Parson's Chicken & Fish (address and info)
2952 W Armitage Ave
What you’re getting: Parson’s Hot
With the Parson’s outdoor patio transforming into such a packed hipster scene in the summer months, it’s hard to imagine the food matching the hype. But it does, easily, with chicken so good they might as well call it crack. Skip the Negroni slushy and opt for the Stiegl-Radler-and-shot-of-Malort Raddy, instead. Consider it your Gatorade.

Dante's Pizzeria (address and info)
3028 W Armitage Ave
What you’re getting: Geryon Specialty Pie
If you’ve hiked all the way from Ashland, it might be time to call it quits. And after devouring a Geryon Specialty Pie (extra-large 20in with sausage, spinach, red sauce, and ricotta), the only movement you’ll have left in you is ordering up an Uber for the way back.

Flickr/Edsel Little

Spalding Ave

Scofflaw (address and info)
3201 W Armitage Ave
What you’re getting: One Way Ticket To Bangkok
One of the leading cocktail bars in the country is putting the gin back in your summer drink repertoire with enticing offerings like the One Way Ticket To Bangkok and Chattanooga Outlaw. Soak it up with a fried eggplant po-boy and s’mores.

Sink | Swim (address and info)
3213 W Armitage Ave
What you’re getting: Lobster
A date walk may call for some great seafood, like an order of lobster with hand-cut pappardelle from this new fish-focused spot from the Scofflaw crew. Or just booze with a light snack like the killer shrimp toast.

Roeser’s Bakery (address and info)
3216 W North Ave
What you’re getting: Strawberry donut
While best known for creative cakes from barber pole cakes to Wonder Woman since 1911, one of Chicago’s oldest restaurants is also one of its finest donut vendors. Opt for the actual strawberry-topped strawberry or the PB&J and coconut cake donuts.

Zoku Sushi (address and info)
1616 N Kedzie Ave
What you’re getting: New York maki
From BLT to sweet potato, the ridiculous variety of inventive sushi rolls here can be overwhelming. Stick to the “City Maki” section of the menu and you won’t be disappointed, with on-point rolls named after cities like the eel/cucumber/avocado/jalapeño sensation New York.

La Encantada

Drake Ave

La Encantada (address and info)
3437 W North Ave
What you’re getting: Chile Relleno de Queso
Expand your horizons beyond the taco truck at this artful neighborhood gem offering things like elote soup, flan, and banana enchiladas. For something new, try the Chile Relleno de Queso, a poblano pepper stuffed with Chihuahua cheese, deep fried in egg butter, and topped with tomato sauce.

Flickr/Joselito Tagarao

Ridgeway Ave

Weegee's Lounge (address and info)
3659 W Armitage Ave
What you’re getting: A buzz on
One of the area’s more unsung cocktail spots is the perfect place to toast with a low-key martini and a game of shuffleboard. With the western end of the trail just a few blocks away, this place is about to be discovered.

Sign up here for our daily Chicago email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Jay Gentile is a Thrillist contributor whose hiking adventures typically involve fried chicken and vodka tonics. Follow him on Twitter.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Hollywood Grill 1601 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622-2246 (Wicker Park)

Open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, Hollywood Grill is for when late nights roll into early mornings, if you follow me. Like, you were out partying, and it got late, and now it’s morning. And you want a side of grilled chicken fettuccine Alfredo with your pancakes.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Choppers 1659 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Bucktown)

Choppers fills your belly with deliciously simple burgers, topped with basics like lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and bacon. Get your authentic Chicago burger experience card punched with the Choppak, "The Happy Meal for Adults" -- a double cheeseburger with fries and homemade slaw.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Bucktown Pub 1658 W Cortland Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Nothing starts the day like a PBR and shot of that whiskey you used to steal from your old man’s liquor cabinet before you knew any better. Call it an eye opener. Or just relax in the chilled-out back patio with a $10 pizza, your call.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Louie's Pub 1659 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

Participating or people watching, it’ll be a good time so long as you have a table to call home base. Otherwise you’ll be swept up in a sea of Fugee crooners killing you softly.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Lillie's Q 1856 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

LQ's a patio-abetted 60-seat temple of slow-n-low BBQ, decked with butcher's hooks outfitted with Edison bulbs, tables made from reclaimed barn boards, and seriously delicious barbecue-style smoked, fired-up meat. We think that Lillie's serves up the best BBQ in Chicago, and locals agree.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Las Palmas 1835 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Go just a little more upscale at this romantic date spot. Split an order of French-cut polle en mole over a few mojitos and hit the trail together. There are definitely worse ways to get to know one another.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Lottie's Pub 1925 W Cortland St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Bucktown)

Born in 1934 as a destination for Chicago’s mobsters to gamble and indulge in prostitution, the modern-day Lottie’s promises its guests beer, bar snacks, and a little slice of history. The pub has, obviously, undergone renovations, but its exposed brick walls, wood paneling, and various memorabilia help maintain its old-time, neighborhood atmosphere. Now offering a full menu of bar food favorites -- chicken tenders, nachos, burgers, pizza, and the like -- and a large selection of cheap beer, the two-story dive draws a mixed demographic to its corner in Bucktown.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Lemming's 1850 N Damen, Chicago, IL 60647

Lemming’s remains one of the neighborhood’s most underrated bars, and they like it that way. One of the few regulars joints (along with Map Room) in a constantly changing area, we’re hesitant to even mention it for fear you might ruin it. But you wouldn’t do that, would you?

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Presidio 1749 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Bucktown)

This cocktail-focused lounge in the old Bluebird space keeps things California breezy with exposed brick walls, plush couches and chairs, and a West Coast-leaning beverage program. Pick your poison from a selection of CA wines, beers, and cocktails inspired by Bay Area classics such as the Tommy’s Margarita and Pisco Punch. The food menu (crafted by Chef Shaun Connolly) is similarly influenced, with California-grown ingredients like sunchokes, kumquats, and Meyer lemon adding interesting touches to dishes like scallops, wild salmon, and olive oil cake.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. The Map Room 1949 N Hoyne Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Bucktown)

With flags and world maps decking the walls, Bucktown's The Map Room is a self-described "traveler's tavern." Appropriately so, it's a drinking destination for any beer geek passing through Chicago. Since opening in 1992, the bar has struck up deep ties in the brewing community, and the rare and varied brews on its insanely long beer list are proof of its status as a beer mecca. The Map Room takes tastings to the next level with "Beer School," a 20-plus year tradition hosted by various brewmasters that will teach you everything you need to know about beer.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Roxie's by the Slice 1732 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

Brendan Sodikoff checks "pizzeria" off his restaurateur bucket list with Roxie’s, a cozy, 56-seat, brick-fired ‘za mecca in the former Café Con Leche space, where Chefs Cameron Magee and Chad Anderson are slinging 28in Brooklyn-style pies by the slice. Toppings include hot coppa, serrano ham, pork salami rolled in black pepper, sweet peppers, and more. Thirsty? Snag a cold one from the shop’s selection of craft beers.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Irazu 1865 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Bucktown)

Irazu has a blend of surprises and reliable standards that make it a solid place to stop for eats. Dishing out mouth-watering pepito sandwiches (ribeye steak or chicken), a unique oatmeal shake (surprise!), and a number of delicious empanadas and burritos, this Bucktown Costa Rican spot is perfect for any occasion.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Silom 12 1846 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Bucktown)

Sure, you could get the pad Thai at this trendy spot. And while it’s good, it’s criminal to overlook the more creative offerings at this top-of-the-line Thai joint including Osso Buco and the shrimp/crab meat/fried eggplant mouthgasm-inducer known at the Thai Coon.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. The Handlebar 2311 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

This hipster-approved restaurant and bar in Wicker Park serves a vegan and vegetarian menu of American classics. Breakfast is served daily until 3pm (don't worry, there are plenty of egg dishes) but expect seitan sausage instead of bacon. The rest of the menu (it serves lunch and dinner too) is filled with meat-free bar bites like fried avocado tacos, chili cheese fries (available with vegan queso), soy-based sloppy Joes, all of which taste especially good when paired with a drink in the beer garden.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
15. Belly Shack 1912 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Opened by the Urban Belly folks, Belly Shack is Chicago's best (and possibly only) Korean-Puerto Rican restaurant, a cozy spot nestled underneath the Blue Line in Logan Square. Designed with industrial-feeling black and white graffiti'd murals adorning gray walls and a menu of options like lemongrass chicken sammies and hot & sour soup, it's no wonder Belly Shack has become a cult favorite amongst even the most chi-chi Logan Square foodies.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
16. Green Eye Lounge 2403 West Homer St, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Conveniently located under the Western Blue line stop, this unassuming neighborhood joint has a retro fridge filled up with old school games like Uno, and a $5 shot-and-beer combo everyday. If you’re lucky, the tamale guy will show up.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
17. 90 Miles Cuban Cafe 2540 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

There're plenty of reasons to love this easygoing Cuban cafe (with a sibling in Roscoe Village). You'll find tasty Cubano sandwiches and ropa vieja, hearty chicken and skirt steak, and really good seafood soups here. It's also BYO, and if you bring your own rum, you can get a pitcher of mojitos.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
18. El Nuevo Borinquen 1720 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Humboldt Park)

Home of the Jibarito, El Nuevo Borinquen is still regarded one of the best spots for authentic Puerto Rican cuisine. Even with a new look and management, patrons can still enjoy classics like the Jibarito and empanadas.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
19. Parson's Chicken & Fish 2952 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Parson's Chicken & Fish in Logan Square knows a thing or two about deep-frying -- the menu features chicken, fish, hush puppies, and cheese curds in all their breaded and battered goodness. Not everything is deep-fried though; there's a small raw bar selection and small plates to share. The spot is upscale for a quick-serve spot, and its large outdoor patio is one of the top summer hang spots in Chicago.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
20. Dante's Pizzeria 3028 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

This Logan Square pizzeria -- with another location in Avondale -- serves New York-style pizza with a quirky punk rock/heavy metal-themed vibe. Available in extra-large 20" pies or by the slice, the pizzas are made with a notoriously strong and foldable crust ready to handle an abundance of toppings. Though cheese, sausage, and pepperoni pizzas are on the menu, Dante's speciality is unusual pies topped with anything from shrimp and prosciutto to sausage and broccoli rabe. Your best bet is to trust whatever the kitchen is cooking up and order the slice of the day. The spot is super laid-back and has some old-school arcade games to play while you wait for your pizza.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
21. Sink | Swim 3213 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

From the good people that brought you the gin-focused Scofflaw and the dance-ready Slippery Slope, nautical-themed Sink|Swim proves its seafood game is on point with affordable yet refreshingly inspired offerings like a shrimp toast tea sandwich and monkfish liver torchon. As for the digs? Charming, with whitewashed walls, teal tufted seats, and framed ocean-themed paintings hung along the perimeter.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
22. Zoku Sushi 1616 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

From BLT to sweet potato, the ridiculous variety of inventive sushi rolls here can be overwhelming. Stick to the “city maki” section of the menu and you won’t be disappointed, with on-point rolls named after cities like the eel/cucumber/avocado/jalapeno sensation New York.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
23. La Encantada 3437 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Expand your horizons beyond the taco truck at this artful neighborhood gem offering things like elote soup, flan, and banana enchiladas. For something new, try the Chile Relleno de Queso, a poblano pepper stuffed with chihuahua cheese, deep fried in egg butter and topped with tomato sauce.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
24. Weegee's Lounge 3659 W Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

One of the area’s more unsung cocktail spots is the perfect place to toast with a low-key martini and a game of shuffleboard. With the western end of the trail just a few blocks away, this place is always on the verge of being discovered.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
25. Scofflaw 3201 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

This classy bar in Logan Square will make a gin lover out of even the most gin-averse of clientele. It's one of Chicago's top cocktail bars because it proves that the versatility of gin extends far beyond the usual G&T and because it's outfitted with antique sofas that are palatial AND comfortable. Scofflaw also serves a menu of better-than-basic small bites, and the kitchen is open until 1am daily.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
26. Mindy's Hot Chocolate 1747 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

Pastry chef Mindy Segal's Bucktown restaurant is synonymous with comfort food from both the sweet and savory sides of the spectrum. Open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, Mindy's Hot Chocolate serves soul-warming dishes, like the Slagel Farm beef burger topped with a fried egg, creamy mac & cheese, and daily soups with crusty sourdough bread. Of course, a meal here isn't complete without dessert, which should include an order of the amazingly rich hot chocolate and a slice of the daily cake (or anything off the dessert menu -- it's all addictive).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
27. Roeser's Bakery 3216 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Humboldt Park)

This historic family-owned bakery is known for its ultra-creative custom cakes (ie. hot dog, barber pole, and Wonder Woman cakes). They also offer traditional wedding cakes, cookies, tortes, and low-glycemic options.

Clickbait