The 28 Best Bars & Restaurants Along the 606
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
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Jay Gentile is a Thrillist contributor whose hiking adventures typically involve fried chicken and vodka tonics. Follow him on Twitter.