By RedEye staff
May 18, 2012
2056 N. Lincoln Park West 773-929-5363
Craving a bite of history? This is where Rich Melman’s restaurant empire, Lettuce Entertain You, started back in 1971. Fill up on milkshakes, half-pound burgers and platefuls from the massive salad bar.
676 W. Diversey Parkway 773-549-1773
This divey basement seafood house started shucking oysters more than 40 years ago, way before trendy hangouts such as The Publican and GT Fish & Oyster made it cool again.
The Wiener’s Circle
2622 N. Clark St. 773-477-7444
Known for Chicago-style hot dogs served with a side of sass, this late-night hot dog joint was recently the subject of a TruTV reality show. Ask for ketchup at your own risk.
1655 N. Sedgwick St. 312-266-1616
This barbecue restaurant’s epic reign of ribs—it opened in Old Town in 1932 in a building that was
reportedly once a speakeasy—has earned it status as an institution.
2207 N. Clybourn Ave. 773-327-1512
This popular pizzeria serves its share of meatball sandwiches, ravioli and plenty of garlic bread, but it’s
known for the addictive pan pizza, with its signature crust ringed with caramelized cheese.
215 W. North Ave. 312-202-0302
An Old Town fixture since 1989, this traditional Italian restaurant serves heart-warming classics such as risotto, veal marsala and lasagna. On a summer night, the best seats are on the piazza-style patio.
2350 N. Clark St. 773-528-2622
Though goth and punk aren’t quite as counterculture now as they were back when Neo opened in 1979,
this small, late-night club still pulls in a crowd for its hard-rocking dance nights featuring everything from house to ’80s New Wave to metal.
340 W. Armitage Ave. 773-281-9101
This classic fondue restaurant is a favorite for dates. Order a bottle of wine and dip by candlelight to the sounds of a flamenco guitarist.
1314 W. Wrightwood Ave. 773-296-0081
Since opening in the early ’90s, this cozy Italian restaurant has become a tried-and-true favorite
for first dates, wedding anniversaries and everything in between.
1901 N. Halsted St. 312-255-1590
Raw foodism in Chicago is synonymous with Karyn Calabrese and her mini-mecca of healthy
living. Pick up a quick nosh to take home in the cafe/market, or sit down for an all-vegan, all-raw,
often organic meal in the dining room.
506 W. Diversey Pkwy. 773-327-1717
Your parents may have partied hard at this basement bar, though it looks plenty different now
than it did in the ’60s and ’70s, thanks to a glossy wood bar top and tableside TVs. The famous
tangy wings—sold in orders sized from 10 to 100—are still the same recipe as always.
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