Category Archives: Chicago Restaurants

Jim’s Polish

sro-jims1
Polish

Location: Various across the city
Hours: 24/7/365

The city of Chicago is well known for its hot dogs, polishes & pork chop sandwiches; but only few places cook ’em like the guys at Jim’s. Indeed there are various locations on just about every side of Chicago, but the original location near Maxwell Street is the truly great one. Open 24 hours, 365 days a year; the original Jim’s is a mecca for drunken bar goers of all ages, wasted college kids and pretty much anyone looking for good food at too cheap of a price (yes too cheap). That other place down the street (Maxwell’s) might have the best dogs on the block but Jims’ polishes & pork chops blow theirs out of the water. We’ve made many a drunken stops at Jim’s and I can’t remember an occasion when anyone was unsatisfied upon leaving, if you can’t find 1 thing on their menu that you like; you might not be human (or just vegetarian). If you’re ever near U.I.C’s campus or heading south on 94 from downtown, make the stop; it’ll be worth every penny.

The Weiners Circle

Weiner Circle
Weiner Circle 2

Location: 2622 N Clark Street, Chicago
P: 773-477-7444
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10:30AM-4 AM, Fri-Sat: 10:30AM-5 AM

The Weiners Circle is definitely a top 10 hot dog shack in the city of Chicago. Situated just south of Chicago’s bustling WrigleyVille corridor, this place can get pretty out of control around bar close, which makes for an interesting experience. During the day you’ll get the toned down version but venture here late on a Friday or Saturday night and i guarantee you’ll leave full and with a smile on your face. Obscene comments, offensive remarks and all; this place actually has some pretty good food. The char-broiled cheddar burger is a personal favorite but i’ve heard good things about their char-dog as well. The Weiners Circle recently inked a deal with Tru Tv for a reality show so be on the look out for that, check out the clip below if you want to see what you’re in for.

Philly’s Best

Philly's Best 1
Philly's Best 2
Philly's Best 3

Location: 907 W Belmont Ave, Chicago
P: 773-525-7900
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM-Midnight, Sat-Sun: 11AM-2AM

Philly’s Best is hands down one of the best restaurants that offer the Philly style cheese steak in the Chicago area. There are 3 locations, but our go to is the one on Belmont avenue; situated between Sheffield avenue & Clark street in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Once inside, any true philly steak enthusiast will quickly notice the authenticity of this place’s attitude; in comparison to OG steak places in Philly (Pat’s & Geno’s). The sandwiches themselves stack right up to the originals and they serve some pretty good pizza as well, if you’re on a budget don’t worry; you’ll leave full for about $10. If you’re ever near Wrigleyville or the Lincoln Park area i’d highly recommend a visit, you definitely wont be disappointed.

Lockdown Bar & Grill

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Lockdown 3

Location: 1024 N Western Avenue, Chicago
P: 773-451-5625
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM-2AM, Sat: 11AM-3AM, Sun: 11AM-Midnight

Best burgers in the city…hands down…the end…Seriously though, the burgers at this place could speak for themselves. Located on Western Ave in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, Lockdown is far from your average bar. For starters they strictly play heavy metal and the theme is half jail cell half dungeon; their beer menu is chalk full of craft brews, and they have down right awesome food. Take “The Death Sentence” for instance, 20 oz of beef, double stacked with bacon and yellow cheddar; topped with carmalized onions on a pretzel roll. They offer a wide variety of cheeses as well including Brie, Chevre, Gorgonzola and Merkts Cheddar to name a few. Top 5 burger spots dead or alive, that means EVER in Chicago, if you don’t believe go check out Lockdown yourself.

Paco’s Tacos

Pacos Tacos
Pacos Tacos 2
Pacos Tacos 3

Location: 6034 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago
P: 773-582-4244
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 9AM-10PM, Fri-Sat: 8AM-10PM

Chicago literally has a thousand different taco stands and restaurants spread out across the city, from the North side to the South side you’d be hard pressed to go a couple miles with out seeing one. The fact that the taco scene is so saturated has taken a little away from the truly great taco joints that the city has to offer. We previously mentioned La Pasadita, but this time around we’re posting a southside restaurant; situated in Chicago’s West Lawn neighborhood, Paco’s Tacos is by far one of the CHIs top ten taco spots. The taco’s here are some of the largest that i’ve seen around the city, they literally stuff their steak tacos; usually leaving enough meet on your plate for another one. The only pitfall of this place is their operating hours, the West Lawn is far different (crime) than Wicker Park so it’s understandable; but it would still be nice to be able to stop in late. All in all, I think Paco’s easily stacks up to other, more well known places like La Pasadita, Taco Burrito King & Zaca’s; if you’re ever on the southwest side in need of grub look no further.

El Cubanito

Cubanito
Steak
Cubaniiiii

Location: 2555 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago
Hours: Mon-Sat: 7AM-5PM, Sun: 9AM-3PM

Chicago is one of those cities where you can literally eat just about any type of food under the sun. Whether it’s Swedish pastries in Andersonville (really, that’s the name), Ethiopian food in Roger’s Park or tacos in Little Village; it’s all there. One of my favorite spots in the entire city is also probably one of the smallest, in the summer the line really stretches down the block. El Cubanito cooks up Cuban style steak sandwiches that could easily stand up to the traditional Philly that’s often favored. If you’re simply looking for a snack, they also make a damn good empanada; all of which can easily be had for under $10. Cuban food is often slept on, but one stop here and that’ll all change. If you’re ever near Logan Square and need a bite to eat, check out El Cubanito; you wont regret it.

Phil’s Last Stand

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Phils
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Location: 2258 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago
Hours: Sun: 10:30AM-10PM, Mon-Tue: 10:30AM-Midnight, Wed: 10:30AM-2AM, Thur-Sat: 10:30AM-4AM

Chicago’s hot dog game is on another level; red hots, char-dogs, grilled or raw onions, Chicago style toppings or old school style, poppy seed bun or plain, NO KETCHUP; it is it’s own madness. Last weekend we were out late in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood and decided to stop by Phil’s Last Stand to finally find out what all the hype’s about. {2:00am, Saturday}: Upon entering, the place was full of all sorts of Chicago’s finest, everyone from drunken college kids, fed up locals; and yes the odd bum or two. Classic atmosphere at any Chicago stand around bar close, the interior was packed but the picnic table filled patio was pleasantly vacant. Both the burgers and the hot dogs were awesome, and like my friend Blanco said, “This place doesn’t give a fuck about fries”; they literally filled the entire basket around the hot dogs. Phil’s easily earned it’s spot within my top 5 hot dog stands in the city, good food, decent prices and they offer more space than the average stand. If you’re ever in West Town or the Ukraine Village on an empty stomach, i’d highly recommend a stop here; you wont leave hungry.

Harold’s Chicken Shack

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Location: Numerous (Best are 87th & Kedzie, 83rd & Ashland)
Hours: Vary by location

Growing up in Minnesota, KFC and Popeyes were the marquis chicken places aside from a few token spots like El-Amins, Shorty & Wags, and Pizza Gallery. When i came to the city of Chicago, it was clear that one name rang loudest in the conversation over chicken; Harold’s. A Southside institution, Harold’s Chicken Shack has reached national acclaim for having some of the best wings, not only in Chicago; but in the entire United States as well. When driving on the Southside you’ll see a Harold’s in just about every neighborhood stretching down into the city’s south suburbs, you can find them all across the city but they are most prevalent out south. The chicken itself is great, Juicy, Crispy and lathered in a sauce locals have named “Mild Sauce”; it’s like a blend of BBQ, Honey BBQ and ketchup. They provide a variety of sauces but Mild is really the only way to go, if you’re ever in Chicago you CAN NOT leave without eating at one of the many around town. Thank me later.

Giordano’s Officially Open in Uptown (Minneapolis)

Location: 2700 Hennepin Avenue S, Minneapolis
Hours: Mon-Sun 11AM-2:30PM, 4:30PM-Midnight (?)
P: 612-444-3143

Legendary Chicago pizzeria, Giordano’s, is NOW OPEN in Minneapolis. The restaurant has taken up shop at 2700 Hennepin, exciting news for pizza lovers…Not so much for Green Mill. As a former Chicagoan, I’d argue that Giordano’s is far from Chicago’s best; but it will definitely fill the void for those looking to go big on pizza. They were insanely busy their first couple of weeks with wait times exceeding 2 hours for delivery (had to try), but business should be settled to a manageable pace by now. Click the link below to check out their official website.

Giordano’s Minneapolis

35th Annual Taste of Chicago Celebration Opens Today in Grant Park

Location: Grant Park, Chicago
Time: 11am-9pm Wednesday-Friday, 10am-9pm Saturday/Sunday
Admission: FREE!! (Food tickets must be purchased inside park)

Today marks the opening of the 35th Annual Taste of Chicago in Grant Park. The feast will run for 5 days (July 8th-12th) and features local Chicago favorites from 60 different vendors, including 5 food trucks and 8 pop-up restaurants. Several special events, including a 3-course meal at Buckingham Fountain and seating to see Weezer (who his headlining tonight) must be purchased online in-advance. Other music acts that will be appearing include The Chieftains, Spoon, and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. This year’s vendors that will be participating at the event all 5 days include Billy Goat Tavern & Grill, Chicago’s Dog House, Kasia’s Deli, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Miller’s Pub, and Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs, among many others. So if you are in Chicago be sure to keep the Taste in mind for this weekend! A full list of vendors and entertainment acts can be found at the link below. Enjoy!

Taste of Chicago 2015