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.
Location: 800 Washington Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Hours: MON-FRI 8-8 SAT-SUN 9-5
Be’Wiched is a full on gourmet deli located in the warehouse district of Minneapolis. On a hungry afternoon driving around, this place happened to catch my eye. Come to find out, the place has been rated the #1 deli to grab a sandwich by multiple critics. Mike Ryan and Matthew Bickford are the master chefs behind the place. Both have culinary backgrounds which they decided to use to create these delectable sandwiches. I ended up ordering the classic pastrami, and god damn I have never tasted something so fresh and delicate. The sandwiches are priced around $10 a pop, so they are a little spendy, but worth it in my eyes.
Before Eat Street was well…..Eat Street, The Bad Waitress stood prominently at the corner of 26th & Nicollet as a sign of things to come. As the strip grew (Icehouse, Eat Street Social, Black Sheep etc) The Bad Waitress maintained it’s glory as the areas go-to diner. Minneapolis’ Whittier neighborhood has always been known for it’s wide range of international eats, Thai & Chinese places sit side by side with Mexican & Middle Eastern eateries; while The Bad Waitress embodies the American diner style of restaurant. As with most diners, cool nostalgic posters, toys & records from America’s past adorn every wall; giving you plenty to look at while waiting and eating. Setting itself apart from other diners in Minneapolis, The Bad Waitress strictly buys local; assuring you that everything you eat was in fact produced in the great state of Minnesota. Another cool touch is the comic book & monster themed tables (The Invisible Girl table is primo) that allow for super quick service, our food was laid before us in what felt like one blink of the eye. With all of the great things that can be said about The Bad Waitress, i did leave with 1 pretty insignificant gripe. Other breakfast places like My Kitchen, Uptown Diner & Mickey’s offer more bang for your buck, we know ridiculously large portions are now frowned upon; but when you’re hungover and in need of a monster meal, having to order twice can be dissappointing. All in all, The Bad Waitress is a great place to eat with great service and a cool atmosphere (prime location); however, if you find yourself looking for a feast on a budget, you may want to look elsewhere.
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.
The cheeseburger is about as American as it gets, whether you’re kickin back at a dive bar or eating at one of the fanciest places in town, you’re sure to find one on the menu. As we all know, Minneapolis is home to a unique brand of burger, the Jucy Lucy. While Marquee restaurants like Matt’s Bar and 5-8’s Club fight over inventors rights, one place in the Twin Cities has created an entirely new lane for the cheese-filled burgers. The Blue Door Pub has quickly risen the ranks to becoming the “go to” place to get “Minneapolis’ burger” or the popular blue-cheese filled Blucy, the good people at The Blue Door are taking things to the next level. The original St. Paul location is great (a tad small), but Minneapolis’ Longfellow location has them beat by a mile. The dining room is much larger resulting in shorter wait times and a more enjoyable atmosphere. Throw in $2 drafts from local brewers (Indeed, Summit) during happy hour (2PM-5PM) and a clear cut winner starts to emerge. The menu is chalk full of tasty Frankenstein like burgers, take the “Hawaiian” for example. This Jucy Lucy comes stuffed with pineapple, Canadian bacon and mozzarella cheese making for an extremely daunting sight when placed in front of you. Bacon Lucy? Sure, stuffed with cheddar and bacon it’s definitely a favorite among regulars. All in all, The Blue Door Pub is for the adventurous; Matt’s Bar retains it’s true spot as THE home of the Jucy Lucy, but The Blue Door Pub is for people who want to spice things up. If you’re ever in the Longfellow area, or if you some how manage to get a table in St. Paul; stop in and grab yourself one of the Cities’ best burgers.
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.
This little establishment is a must stop for Chicago dog lovers and cheeseburger fiends. Uncle Franky’s, the original establishment, offers a legit Chicago style menu at a reasonable price. The food itself is absolutely on point. Whether it’s a Chicago dog, a Juicy Lucy, Italian Beef, Philly Cheese Steak, or some freshly cut fries; Uncle Franky’s does it right. The tiny building is located smack dab in the neighborhoods of NE, and can easily be missed. Next time you are cruising down Broadway, keep yours eyes peeled, you might want to make the stop.
The Dogwood Coffee Bar is one of the premier places to get a cup of joe. Freshly roasted beans and experienced baristas make for a great local brew. Located in the heart of uptown, Dogwood coffee can often times be overlooked by all the other shops. It doesn’t help that they put the coffee bar in the mall, which makes it rather hard to see from the outside. When it comes down to it, the Dogwood Coffee Company certainly knows their stuff. Each individual cup of coffee is brewed with care through a “manual” brewing process, where they use a Chemex coffee maker or a Clever Coffee Dripper. Dogwood coffee is freshly roasted in NE, Minneapolis, making for some of the best beans around. This is a highly recommended stop for coffee drinkers.
When people living in Minneapolis think of where to get a good cup of coffee in a comfortable setting, most would probably name one of the numerous shops in Uptown or the Northeast neighborhoods. Nestled in the Stevens Square neighborhood sits one of the city’s best kept secrets, the Boiler Room. Situated on 3rd Avenue near 19th street, the Boiler Room is slowly establishing itself as the areas “go to” coffee shop. Providing 3 house blends along with a plethora of other drinks including mochas, espressos and a variety of teas; I’ve found the Boiler Room to be much better than your average Starbucks or Caribou. They also serve up some awesome waffles, rice crispy treats, brownies, cookies and amazing muffins; the chocolate chip banana nut being a favorite. Free Wi-Fi (of course) and a homey atmosphere like your best friend’s basement will have you wondering where the last 4 hours went. If you’re ever near 3rd ave or the Stevens Square neighborhood make sure to stop in for a cup of Joe, you wont be disappointed.
The Twin Cities’ BBQ scene has been lacking for quite some time, but things have began to change around the metro. One place that has been doing it’s thing for years is John Hardy’s down in Rochester. The small, shack style restaurant sits right off highway 52 for any wayward traveler looking to fill up while on the road. If you came here for decor and fine dining service, you came to the wrong place. Here you’ll lineup to order just like everyone else and you’ll receive the same awesomely prepared food, just like everyone else. The ribs are a crowd favorite, but the sampler is also worth tackling if you want variety. Dry rub guy/gal? Do you like a plethora of sauces? They’ve got you covered. If you happen to be in the Rochester make sure to stop by 1 of their 2 locations for some of the best BBQ in the state. Click the link below for more info.