Boystown & East Lakeview favorites
The best stops for banh mi, burgers, gelato, pizza and more
Paciugo's Broadway location serves rotating flavors of gelato and sorbet. (Lenny Gilmore/RedEye / June 15, 2012)
Nhu Lan Saigon Subs (602 W. Belmont Ave. 773-857-6868). It’s hard to beat the banh mi at this sandwich shop. The only challenge is deciding what fillings—ginger tofu, sugar-cane shrimp, lemongrass turkey and more-should go between your sliced baguette.
Soupbox (2943 N. Broadway 773-935-9800). This small but mighty shop ladles out soups ranging from rich lobster bisque and white cheddarbroccoli to soothing chicken noodle, plus vegetarian and vegan options. In the summer, its alter-ego Icebox comes out of hibernation to serve Icyfruit, its version of Italian ice.
Flub A Dub Chub’s (3021 N. Broadway 773-857-6500). This subterranean hot dog joint serves up burgers that belie their fast-food foil wrappers with juicy patties, pretzel buns and toppings such as avocado and thick slices of bacon.
Pie Hole Pizza Joint (3477 N. Broadway 773-525-8888). At this pizzeria, big eaters can take advantage of the Wednesday night $8.99 “All You Can Shove” deal: Slices of cheese, pepperoni, veggie and sausage pizza keep coming until you can’t take any more.
Crisp (2940 N. Broadway 773-697-7610). The bright orange awning will catch your eye, but it’s the tasty Korean fried chicken that will keep you coming back to this addictive eatery. The shop’s take on traditional bi bim bop, called the Buddha Bowl, is also popular.
Baladoche (2905 N. Clark St. 773-880-5090). This tiny waffle shop forgoes the traditional Brussels-style Belgian waffle and instead specializes in sweeter Zucker-style waffles from Liege, which are made with pearl sugar that caramelizes as they cook. Bonus: It’s open until midnight for late-night waffle runs.
Falafill (3202 N. Broadway 773-525-0052). Do-it-yourselfers will love customizing their falafel-stuffed pita with myriad toppings—from pickled turnips to spicy harissa sauce—at this counter-service spot, which also recruits local chefs to guest-star by designing a different sandwich wrap each month.
Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea (3123 N. Broadway 773-348-8058). Espresso purists, pour-over nerds and latte lovers alike can find their caffeine fix at this coffee shop, which works directly with growers to develop its coffees and roasts its own beans locally.
Paciugo (3241 N. Broadway 773-248-8433). This sweet shop stocks about 36 kinds of gelato and sorbet on any given day. Sea-salt caramel and panna cotta are the most popular flavors of gelato, while fruit sorbets change daily.