If you know where to look, Lakeview actually has way more to offer than just places to post up before and after a Cubs game. But if you don't know where to look, you can start with these 12 restaurants. From treasured crêperies to 24hr diners, you won't have trouble finding a place to celebrate how amazing Wrigley Field is after the Cubs lose.
Best French: La Crêperie
2845 N Clark St
This French family-owned classic has been a total institution since 1973 and sadly almost saw its demise a few years back due to financial strains. Rescued at the 11th hour thanks to a partnership between with the original owner Germain Roignant and Duke of Perth proprietors, it’s back to dishing up traditional Breton crêpes.
Best sushi: ANI
3056 N Lincoln Ave
Brother of Arami, one of the 21 best sushi spots in America, this is not an entry-level sushi restaurant -- Chef Shin Matsuda’s innovative yet authentic Japanese fare is probably not for the California roll-exclusive crowd. Start with the Tako Yaki -- octopus beignets -- and follow with a three-for-$4 sake flight.
Best cheap food: Byron's Hot Dogs
1017 W Irving Park Rd
Even the combo meals that come with thin, crispy fries, and a soda are under $10, which means it’s totally financially feasible for you to buy two to three combo meals.
Best steakhouse: Tango Sur
3763 N Southport Ave
Ribeye, strip, filet -- whatever you fancy, Tango Sur’s got it, and for a relatively decent price. Booze, however, is on you. So bring your own 40oz, as they are also a relatively decent price. Actually, just bring wine.
Best chicken wings: Crisp
2940 N Broadway
Twice-fried Korean chicken coated in the Seoul Sassy sauce of ginger, soy, and garlic ensures bar wings will never be the same again.
Best pizza: The Art of Pizza
3033 N Ashland Ave
Deep-dish or thin-crust, you’re still getting a slice of one of the 10 best pizzas in Chicago. Go for Art's Meaty Delight with sausage, bacon, ground beef, pepperoni, and sliced beef. It seems like a lot of animal products, because it is. Delicious, delicious animal products.
Best Thai: Andy's Thai Kitchen
946 West Wellington Ave
Helmed by Chef Andy Aroonrasameruang, formerly of the much-loved Tac Quick, ATK leads as one of the 11 best Thai spots in Chicago with seriously bold flavors. Try the boat noodles, a conglomeration of rice noodles, beef brisket, and pork rind complete with Chinese broccoli and bean sprouts in a sweet and spicy broth.
Best diner: Diner Grill
1635 W Irving Park Rd
Built from an ancient railroad dining car with one counter and zero tables, this 24hr eatery is a perfect, no-nonsense old-school diner -- and one of the best in all of Chicago. See if you can stomach the legendary Slinger -- a giant pile of eggs, hash browns, chili, grilled onions, and burger patties with cheese -- or opt for the off-menu Dick Burger, complete with a runny egg and hash browns.
Best date spot: Bar Pastoral
2945 N Broadway
A great li'l wine and cheese bar with a huge emphasis on the cheese part, Bar Pastoral is the bistro outpost of one of the multiple cheese-shop only locations. Take your date to the winter prix-fixe dinner of raclette -- a Swiss dish of melted cheese paired with potatoes and charcuterie -- just maybe not the first date, as dairy is quite gaseous. Just looking out for you.
Best breakfast/brunch: Southport Grocery Cafe
3552 N Southport Ave
Stroller moms and their cavalry are inevitable, but if this is cause enough to avoid the amazing brisket and gravy or streusel stuffed French toast, they win even more. If you can’t beat 'em, join 'em, or something.
1. La Crêperie2845 N Clark St, Chicago
2. Dryhop Brewers3155 N Broadway St, Chicago
3. Ani3056 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
4. Byron's Hot Dogs1017 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago
5. Tango Sur3763 N Southport Ave, Chicago
6. Crisp2940 N Broadway, Chicago
7. The Art of Pizza3033 N Ashland Ave, Chicago
8. Andy's Thai Kitchen946 W Wellington Ave, Chicago
9. Fish Bar2956 N Sheffield, Chicago
10. Diner Grill1635 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago
11. Bar Pastoral53 E Lake St, Chicago
12. Southport Grocery & Cafe3552 N Southport Ave, Chicago
This French restaurant has been a total institution since 1973 and sadly almost saw its demise a few years back due to financial strains. Rescued at the 11th hour in a partnership between with the original owner Germain Roignant and Duke of Perth proprietors, it’s back to dishing up traditional Brittonic crepes.
Dryhop Brewers is more than just a brewery; it's complete pub with great food like bacon-wrapped scallops, skillet mac & cheese, and buttermilk fried chicken. Brewmaster Brant Dubovick has brewed more than 150 in-house beers since the Lakeview spot opened in 2013, and the styles range from seasonal IPAs to traditional Belgian farmhouse ales.
Ani (which means older brother in Japanese) is the sibling of Arami. The 40-seat dining space sports clean lines and minimalist décor, letting Chef Shin Matsuda’s innovative-yet-authentic Japanese fare do the talking.
On the side of this tiny Lakeview hot dog stand is written: “You are about to have the best hot dog in town" -- and that's no exaggeration. Byron's sticks to tradition, keeping its menu the same since it opened in 1975. The dogs here come in three sizes: an 1/8lb, a 1/4b Jumbo Dog, and a half-pound Dogzilla. They come with mustard, relish, onions, tomato slices, a pickle spear, celery salt, and hot peppers. Not enough toppings for you? You can also throw on some cucumber, lettuce, and green pepper. Be sure to order a scrumptious shoestring fries, too.
This Argentinian restaurant offers an eclectic mix of a menu, serving everything from steak and pasta to empanadas. The place is BYOB, so you can go for the prime cuts without worrying about keeping the bill low. The restaurant is incredibly popular so expect a wait, but also know that it'll be well worth it.
Objectively speaking, the only thing better than a fried chicken wing is a jumbo fried chicken wing, which explains why the not-so-jumbo Crisp -- a Korean counter-serve in Lakeview -- is always packed. Everyone wants a taste of those juicy, jumbo Sassy Seoul wings (the sauce is just a garlic-sesame-soy glaze, but Sassy Seoul is more fun to say). There are other sauces, and also other Korean comfort dishes like kimchee and bibimbap-like Buddha Bowls, but those jumbo wings are unequivocally the main event (it’s called Crisp for a reason). It’s BYOB, so be sure to bring something that pairs well with sass.
This simple and unfussy counter-serve pizzeria in Lakeview serves quality deep-dish pizza without the tourists and crowds. The Art of Pizza gets everything right, from the flaky crust to the brightly spiced tomato sauce on top, and even serves pan pizza by the slice for those who don't want to commit to the entire thing. Even though the spot is known for its deep-dish pies, it also makes thin-crust and stuffed pizzas.
It’s possible that Andy’s Thai Kitchen of Lakeview is BYOB because Chef Andy would rather you choose what potion you use to douse the Thai hot spice in your throat. Powerful flavors bathe Andy’s dishes, from the appetizers, salads, soups, entrees, curries, to, most of all, the slurp-worthy noodles. Speaking of noodles, hop the pad Thai fence and explore new noodle terrain, with the boat noodle, a dish complete with beef brisket, thin rice vermicellis, Chinese broccoli, bean sprouts, garlic, onions, pork skin, and cilantro.
Fish Bar's celebrating the classic Italian holiday meal with dishes like sausage-stuffed calamari w/ salsa verde and Alaskan black cod w/ San Marzano tomatoes 'n capers, also avail on a six-course tasting menu that mercifully eschews seafood on the Bartlett pears w/ aged balsamic and vanilla gelato.
Slinging diner-style fare in Lakeview, The Diner Grill features 'merican grub staples like burgers and breakfast.
Cheese lovers (so, everybody) get ready for your utopia! Bar Pastoral is adorned with cheeses sourced from across the globe and local independent farms so you can drop that Mini Babybel now. Wine, sandwiches, and select items are also served.