Location: 500 E Lake Street, Minneapolis Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11AM-11PM, Fri-Sat: 11AM-Midnight
Located in Minneapolis’ Phillips West neighborhood, A&Js is far from new to any southsider with a craving for fried chicken. As a loyal customer I may be biased, but I’ve grown to appreciate this place for it’s consistency. They offer the gamut of “southern cooking” including fried chicken, tilapia, catfish, collard greens, mac & cheese, perch, and even fried okra. This isn’t your crowd funded, yuppie hangout where “world class” chefs find their roots, it’s simply good ass street food that fills a much needed greasy void in our new, ritzy surroundings. You wont be paying $9 for 4 wings here, and you wont have 8 sauce selections, but you can rest assured that your wings will be good! Their menu is expansive and they have a surprisingly large delivery range, your best bet is the wings or the catfish, but there are definitely a few hidden gems. Phillips West & East are often overlooked, but A&J’s is worth a visit for anyone in the area looking for a quick bite. Click the link below for a peek at their menu.
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.
As Minneapolis’ bar scene becomes more and more introverted, the old diamonds in the rough are beginning to reclaim their old shine. Dive bars like Liquor Lyle’s, Mortimer’s, Gringo’s & C.C Club are busier than ever proving that it’s not all about the trendy spots. Situated on 28th Street and Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis’ Lyn-Lake neighborhood, the C.C Club maintains a staple, statue like presence in the area. Popular for it’s happy hour specials (2 for 1s) the corner bar also serves up some damn good “dive” food (cheese curds, burgers etc). Pool tables, dart boards, and video games complete the scene; along with plenty of thirsty locals looking to have a good time. A perfect place to pregame or grab a last call, don’t be surprised if you bump into someone you know after a few visits. If you’re ever near 28th & Lyndale and in need of a drink, stop on into the C.C Club.
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.
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.
Location: 825 Washington Ave SE #104, Minneapolis P: 612-378-3243 Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10:30AM-10PM, Fri-Sat: 10:30AM-Midnight
Cane’s is one of those places that you might pass everyday without noticing it, but once you stop in you’re hooked, possibly for life. Situated in Minneapolis’ Stadium Village neighborhood, Cane’s has quickly become a local favorite among hungry University of Minnesota students. Originally based solely in Louisiana, Cane’s specializes in premium chicken; they only have chicken strips and chicken sandwiches…that’s it. The simplicity of the menu adds to the greatness of the restaurant, you know the chicken’s good when that’s all they serve. For all my sauce savvy eaters beware, Cane’s strictly prohibits any other condiment but their own “Cane’s Sauce” which tastes like a mixture of familiar flavors (Thousand islands?), but is still very much a mystery. This place wont put too much of a beating on your wallet either and I’ve found it to be a great hangover cure as well. Stop in and get a taste of what you’ve been missing.
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.
Decent burger joints are not dime a dozen. Sure, you can grab any old burger just about anywhere, but a quality patty with quality ingredients surrounding it isn’t always the easiest find. Over the last few years, Red Cow restaurants have began to make their mark in neighborhoods across the Twin Cities, one visit and you’ll understand exactly why. At their downtown location, rustic meets trendy decor envelops the dining room, kind of awkward at first; but really easy to get passed, especially when the food arrives. The proscuitto topped Barcelona and the bacon filled 60/40 are my favorites, but the Ahi Tuna and Vegey burgers are great, healthier options. The restaurant walks a tight wire, the dining room is perfect for date night, while the not so far bar doubles as a solid back drop for a few early drinks with friends. I can only imagine this location becoming even more crowded as the North Loop and Saint Anthony Main neighborhoods continue into full scale gentrification, but you can bet they will ALL be fed well. Cost comes with quality and location, this is not your $5 corner burger joint, but I assure you that your $12 will not be spent in vain. Check one of their locations out for yourself, click the link below for more information.
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: 244 Cleveland Avenue S, St. Paul Hours: Sun-Wed: 11AM-8AM, Thurs-Sat: 11AM-9PM
Minnesota’s burger scene is at an all time high, but you’ll probably get a different answer 9 times out of 10 when you ask people how they feel about our current situation. On one hand you’ve got $15 (sometimes more) behemoths, with amazing ingredients being slung in trendier areas like Uptown and the North Loop. On the other, you’ve got places like Snuffy’s Malt Shop in St. Paul. Inspired by 1950s diners of the past, Snuffy’s is a Minnesota classic with absolutely zero pretension, simply good food. You can probably guess by their name that the malts are good, but the burgers are a thing of lore. The menu is straight forward diner format, your burger options are wide and they also offer a plethora of other sandwiches for those looking to switch it up. Their most expensive burger falls at $8 and you can make it a double for only $2, convinced? If you happen to be near the river or St. Thomas make sure to stop by for a bite, click the link below for more info on their other locations.