2956 N. Sheffield Ave. 773-687-8177
This speck of a seafood shack serves decadent lobster rolls and oysters on the half shell, plus punchy cocktails served in Mason jars. Parties of three or less should head to the first-come, first-served counter seating, while parties of four can call ahead to reserve one of a handful of booths. Parties of more than four, unfortunately, are outta luck.
Southport Lanes & Billiards
3325 N. Southport Ave. 773-472-6600
What looks like your average corner tavern actually houses a four-lane bowling alley under the same roof. Expect old-school pencil-and-paper scoring and staffers lurking behind the alleys to set your pins and send balls rolling back down the lane for a new frame.
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.
2943 N. Broadway 773-935-9800
This small but mighty shop ladles out soups ranging from rich lobster bisque and white cheddar broccoli to soothing chicken noodle, plus vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free 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.
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.
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.
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.
3241 N. Broadway 773-248-8433
This sweet shop stocks about 32 kinds of gelato and sorbet on any given day. Sea-salt caramel and panna cotta are the most popular flavors of gelato, while lemon and chocolate are the highest sellers in the sorbet department.