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Best Food In Chicago

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Best Food In Chicago

Postby John George Peppers on Wed May 16, 2007 4:11 pm

We've talked about good food in many threads and a lot of us are from Chicago. So, what's your pick for the best food in Chicago: cheep eat's, out of the way places, or just the best food in general. Hot Dougs need not be mentioned nor does Kuma's, as it has it's own thread. Damn you Kuma's, you're too good.

Alright, I'll start this off:

Sushi: Ginza Sushi 19 E Ohio St. (right next to Pizzeria Uno)

I used to live in Tokyo so my friends always are asking me for advice on good Sushi restaurants. There is only one answer, GO HERE!!! It looks like a dive from the outside but this place is the real deal. You will not find any specialty rolls with western ingredients like; cream cheese, cilantro,etc..etc. This sushi as it's served in Japan and the fish is really fresh. The staff are all Japanese, which is rare for Chicago. Here, 90% of Sushi restaurants are run by non-japanese(various other asian backgrounds) who are only trying to turn a quick buck and don't really care that much about quality. This is why Japanese Government is sending "Sushi Police" to give various seals of approval to sushi restaurants in America. Some of the stuff that passes is really bad, but I digress.

In America, sushi restaurant are set up more like clubs than restaurants: loud dance music, dark lighting, and a decor that matches the pretentious egos of the people around you. Ginza sushi is quite the opposite. Saying it's not pretentious is a major understatement. This place is SO low key. You'll most likely be sharing your meal with Japanese businessmen who are in town and staying in the hotel above the restaurant. In that case you won't here any english spoken in the restaurant. This place is the real deal.
Last edited by John George Peppers on Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Bubber on Wed May 16, 2007 4:16 pm

Best all-steak burrito of questionable standing with the CDC:
from the bright yellow La Pasadita (there are three or four La Pasadita places on the block) at Ashland and Division.

It also has the funniest restaurant mural inside: a cow with a disproportionately-large-tassled tail. If anyone can post a pic, I'd be grateful (I live in Mpls).
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Postby Mark Hansen on Wed May 16, 2007 4:43 pm

This could be a long list from me. It really depends on what I want, and how much I'm willing to spend.

A short list of inexpensive restaurants that aren't necessarily greasy spoons:
Wishbone (both locations)
El Presidente (on Ashland)
Kamehachi (on Wells) (not too expensive for Sushi)
Reza's (in Andersonville)
Pequod's Pizza (on Clybourn)

I'll have to think some more. I don't go to dinner in Chicago proper as much as I used to.
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Postby Marsupialized on Wed May 16, 2007 4:44 pm

JPG, since you seem to know an awful lot about Sushi tell me how Nohana on Broadway stacks up.
Is it bullshit Sushi?
I don't know shit about Sushi but I do enjoy me the happy hour prices there.
Is there a better place I can go to for inexpensive sushi? Really inexpensive like nohana, I mean I can stuff myself silly for less than 10 bucks there.

and I gotta go Pequods as well.
Home Run Inn lunch buffet is a steal for whatcha get as well.
I myself am fond of the one on Archer near midway.
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Postby Mark Hansen on Wed May 16, 2007 4:48 pm

The Pita Inn (in Skokie and Glenview) is really good for cheap Middle-Eastern food.
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Postby Colonel Panic on Wed May 16, 2007 4:53 pm

La Pasadita/De Pasada/Tacos Trespasada - Any of these locations are owned by the sam,e family and they all have great Mexican food.

Kaze on Roscoe & Hoyne (bit overpriced at $30-50 per person without drinks, but it's some of the best sushi I've ever had)
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Postby Marsupialized on Wed May 16, 2007 4:57 pm

anyone a fan of the Jabrito at the place on Western? Borinquen or whatever it's called
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Postby carlsaff on Wed May 16, 2007 5:01 pm

La Pasadita: the standard for steak tacos
Ethiopian Diamond: not sure any other Ethiopian restaurant can top this place
Hema's Kitchen: the original one off of Devon
Irazu: that veggie burrito is incredible
Gale Street Inn: cheesy place with amazing fall-off-the-bone ribs

Gah... so many great places. Chicago is an amazing city for eats.
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Postby jayryan on Wed May 16, 2007 5:53 pm

hot doug's
hema's
irazu
Hope I die before I get flu!
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Postby cwiko on Wed May 16, 2007 6:32 pm

Taqueria Moran (california just south of milwaukee)
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Postby Flaneur on Wed May 16, 2007 6:36 pm

The matrimonio at Las Tablas at Lincoln & Wellington -- steak and chicken, yucca, plantain, potato, served on a wood plank.
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Postby j_harvey on Wed May 16, 2007 7:48 pm

Smoque is a really good new BBQ place on Pulaski.

Al's Deli on Noyes in Evanston (I know, not techically Chicago) has the best soup, sandwiches and cookies.

Feed is also really good.
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Postby El Protoolio on Wed May 16, 2007 8:26 pm

Marsupialized wrote:Is there a better place I can go to for inexpensive sushi? Really inexpensive like nohana, I mean I can stuff myself silly for less than 10 bucks there.


The all you can eat sushi buffet place at Belmont, Lincoln and Ashland is a good deal and some of the rolls are pretty good. Some are traditional some are bullshit but it's all you can eat so fuck it. I'm not saying it's great sushi, just cheap.

It's one of those places that has windows on two streets, in this case Lincoln and Belmont, but the entrance is on the north side of Belmont. Since you live near Cali - Elston - Belmont this wouldn't be too far for you at all.
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Postby turnbullac on Wed May 16, 2007 9:47 pm

Alinea!

http://www.alinea-restaurant.com/

Totally awesome!
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Postby nick92675 on Wed May 16, 2007 10:00 pm

turnbullac wrote:Alinea!

http://www.alinea-restaurant.com/

Totally awesome!


stupid good. perhaps the best meal i've ever had in my life. all 24 courses or whatever it was.

caveat: my best friend from college now lives in new york and is a foodie. he used to cook at charlie trotters, then quit "the biz" to go into the stock market as the hours and pay were better. anyhoo, it's his tradition to start singing "prayer to god" by shellac when he gets drunk. at our dinner at alinea, this happened and our waiter starts talking to us about shellac/big black and says that he would love it if steve came in one day.

so steve - go to alinea - it would make the staff's day.

for a much more reasonably priced meal (yet totally awesome) i love Al Khayameih on kedzie @ lawrence - one of my favorites.

i should add that even though alinea is super expensive - i have to comment on the entire experience of the evening, and to say we arrived at 8 i think, and left at 1:30 am or something. it was an evening of assaulting the senses, not just taste buds, but smell - and even the architecture of the restaurant coming in. the whole evening unfolded like a living play - which sounds kinda gae, but really - it's something to experience. the pacing of the whole night was perfect - it just went way beyond "eating food". and when you divide the number of coures up, you're still at like only 9$/course for crazy elaborate shit, which isn't bad at all. they spared no expense at ANYTHING in the process - while remaining completely unpretentious and even cracking jokes at the table. totally classy but not stuffy at all.

it's one of those things maybe you can do once every 5 years or something.
Last edited by nick92675 on Wed May 16, 2007 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jodi S. on Wed May 16, 2007 10:11 pm

Mark Hansen wrote:Wishbone (both locations)

Last time I was in Chicago I did not have my traditional blackened catfish n' eggs breakfast here.

I was bummed.

But Ann Sather's was an acceptable substitution.

I also love Tecatitlan. Lengua tacos!
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Postby hench on Wed May 16, 2007 10:29 pm

expensive:

moto
alinea
schwa (haven't been yet - going for my birthday)
arun's
green zebra

inexpensive:

honey 1
handlebar
twisted spoke
horseshoe (did they ever re-open?)
bad dog
bricks
bistro campagne
red rooster
swim cafe
lula
dodo
spoon thai
cozy thai
feed
bite
flo
habana libre
cafe 28
rodan
volo
opera
marche
jerry's
jak's
coalfire

i spend far too goddam much money on food in this city... i know i'm missing some (and some like feed & wishbone were already listed), but this is at least a partial list of my favorites... hoping that i can soon add paramount room & crust to the list - both supposedly open in the next few weeks...
Last edited by hench on Wed May 16, 2007 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ERawk on Wed May 16, 2007 10:31 pm

For those that shun the meat (or not), I highly recommend Lakeside Cafe on Howard near Sheridan. I know Chicago Diner has the rep but I went there with some veg friends from NY and we were not impressed at all with what they had. Everything that I've ever gotten at Lakeside has been quality (mmm TAO-wrap). It's the perfect place to schlep to on a Saturday afternoon and get the hangover brunch. However, I think they shut down for the month of August into Labor Day, which is the only reason why I took my friends to the Chicago Diner... (Edit: minor grammatical stuff since I'm a nit-pick)
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Postby The Code is Almighty on Wed May 16, 2007 10:33 pm

Al's Beef
Hot Dougs for the specials
Coast Sushi
The Soupbox
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Postby benjaminwayne on Wed May 16, 2007 10:37 pm

ive only been to Chicago once and Chicago Diner knocked me for six. damn those thickshakes are incred!
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