Food & Drink

The 12 cheesiest dishes in Chicago

Published On 02/21/2014 Published On 02/21/2014
Big Star
Bad Apple
Flickr/Hungry Dudes
Nuevo Leon
Geja's Cafe
Bar Pastoral
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1. Nuevo Leon Restaurant 1515 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Nuevo Leon is legit, authentic Mexican that has a stellar menu and impressive service.

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2. Cheesie's Pub & Grub 958 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Available in massive 12" iterations plus smaller chump-ready sizes, Cheesie's riffs on grilled cheeses include the Mac (American & Merkts w/ actual mac & cheese), and the bacon/ cheddar/ cream cheese Jalapeno Popper.

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3. Giordano's 223 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60606

Giordano's is a Chicago-area staple pizzeria, serving up deep-dish pies inspired by Northern Italian recipes.

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4. Greek Islands 200 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661

This Greek (how could you tell??) hotspot is one for the books. Their flaming saganaki is a must-try, as are their many other mains.

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5. Del Seoul 2568 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

Inspired by the Korean taco craze that's become a food truck staple across the land, DS is bringing that street ethos to a takeout-focused brick 'n mortar joint covered in food cart-esque sheet metal and three flat-screens touting the menu, so finally TVs'll actually help you stuff your face in front of them.

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6. The Anthem 1725 W DIvision St, Chicago, IL 60622

Because sports and nostalgia are natural companions so long as you aren't a Cubs fan, the folks behind Bangers & Lace are opening The Anthem, a retro-themed athletics bar decked with a 19thC American flag, reclaimed school lockers, and station-wagon-esque wood paneling along the L-shaped bar, which is presided over by a mere four flats and a couple of projectors, though just tell those bitter dudes to shut up and confront their dad, already!

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7. The Bad Apple 4300 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

The Bad Apple is a comfortable neighborhood tavern with a full menu of stacked burgers, sandwiches, and bar-appropriate snacks like fried cheese curds and poutine. The beer menu features a helluva -- almost 200 -- options of domestic and international craft beers.

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8. Big Star 1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

A lot of things about Wicker Park's Big Star will make you feel like you're in Texas. First, there's the taco-centric menu that features a dozen taco varieties and necessary sides like guacamole and queso. Then there's the drink selection, which is heavy on whiskey, tequila, and craft beer. The massive outdoor patio begs for you to order a margarita and drink the day away, especially during the summer when the seasonal music series is in full swing.

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9. Geja's Cafe 340 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

This Lincoln Park resto is one of Chicago's most romantic, because what could be more romantic than soft lighting, live music, and fondue?!

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10. Fat Willy's Rib Shack 2416 W Schubert Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

You can basically imagine what's going on inside here. Fat Willy's are hoping to pass on their condition to you by loading your plate full of delicious ribs and all sorts of other BBQ awesomeness.

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11. Longman & Eagle 2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Longman & Eagle, the Michelin-starred gastropub in Logan Square, has an exclusive whiskey selection (clocking in at over 400 labels), a craft cocktail menu, and an extensive beer list all fit for the most pretentious of drinkers, in the least pretentious of atmospheres. Longman takes a flavor-forward, honest approach to eating and drinking, and because it doesn’t accept reservations, there is always a wait for brunch, happy hour, and dinner alike. (And it is always worth it.) While whiskey may be king, the regional American fare has just as much to offer, hence the Michelin star. The menu changes often, but expect anything from beef tallow beignets and veal brains to wild boar sloppy joes, chicken and waffles, and a burger that, if you know what's good for you, you will order.

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12. Bar Pastoral 53 E Lake St, Chicago, IL 60601

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.