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Brazilian Bowl
Brazilian Bowl/Facebook

Where To Eat and Drink in Albany Park

From Filipino to pho to Persian, the Northwest Side neighborhood has possibly Chicago’s most diverse food

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Brazilian Bowl
| Brazilian Bowl/Facebook

Albany Park has one of the highest percentage of foreign-born residents in the city of Chicago and is one of the most diverse zip codes in the entire country. For decades, this Northwest Side neighborhood has been a port of entry for new Americans, especially those of Latin and Asian descent.

What does this mean for diners? A treasure trove of global eats within just a few blocks’ walk. Many of the area’s restaurants are small and family-owned and BYOB is a popular option. But eaters can also sample some of the finest cocktails in the city here and even enjoy one of Chicago’s most elegant tasting menus. Here are 16 of the best places to eat and drink in Albany Park.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tre Kronor

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3258 W Foster Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 267-9888
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Located across the street from North Park University, Tre Kronor is a cozy bistro serving a curated selection of Nordic breakfast and lunch dishes. Even after 25 years, Tre Kronor remains a neighborhood standby, especially for seniors lingering over mugs of coffee and young families inhaling the crepe-like Swedish pancakes with lingonberry jam. While sweet options abound, do not neglect the traditional sausages and house-made pickled herring. 

Tre Kronor atmosphere is reminiscent of its Nordic food
Tre Kronor/Facebook

2. Jaafer Sweets

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4825 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 463-3933
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Behind the imposing glass case at Jaafer Sweets lies an enticing array of fried doughs, buttery cookies, and honey-soaked pastries. The selection is slightly overwhelming, but one cannot go wrong with the sticky-sweet baklava, the chocolate walnut squares and the cinnamon fingers. While there are even some vegan options, nearly everything contains nuts, so allergy sufferers beware. 

Outside Jaafer Sweets
Jaafer Sweets/Facebook

3. La Michoacana Premium

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3108 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 754-7265
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Expect long lines at this colorful paleteria and neveria, so use the wait to narrow down selections from the enormous menu. Will it be ice cream, one of the many fruit-flavored paletas or a chamoy-soaked mangoneada? Anything that combines sweet and spicy, like the mango-chile paleta, is a winner. If eaters aren’t ready for dessert, there are plenty of street food snacks, including elotes and tostilocos.

La Michoacana has colorful decor
Danny K./Yelp

4. BRAZILIAN BOWL - Brazilian Grill

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3200 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 961-7399
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With samba music blaring and large-screen TVs showing Brazilian soccer matches, Brazilian Bowl wears its national pride on its sleeve. The menu offers a few Brazilian standards (feijoada, pao de queijo) as well as more mundane salads and sandwiches. The real excitement however, comes from the fresh smoothies and acai bowls which feature tropical ingredients such as passion fruit and guarana. 

One of Brazilian Bowl’s bowls
Brazilian Bowl/Facebook

5. Great Sea Restaurant

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3254 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 478-9129
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Great Sea draws fans from all over the city for its famous lollipop chicken wings, which come bathed in a sweet-tangy sauce. The restaurant changed hands in 2016, but fortunately the new owners inherited the recipe for the wings. The rest of the menu is a mix of familiar Chinese-Korean dishes.

Great Sea’s popular lollipop chicken wings
Great Sea Chinese Restaurant/Facebook

6. Rojo Gusano

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3830 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 539-4398
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Tacos and margaritas are a winning combination at the original location of Rojo Gusano. Among the tacos, the al pastor pescado with pineapple salsa, pork belly with tamarind and the Korean-inspired barbecue beef with kim chi stand out. The guacamole trio makes a perfect starter for a group. 

One of Rojo Gusano’s popular tacos
Rojo Gusano [Official Photo]

7. Pupuseria & Restaurant "El Cuscatleco"

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3125 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 539-0977

While there are plenty of Mexican restaurants in Albany Park, for a taste of Central American cuisine, stop into this no-frills pupuseria. Pupuseria Cuscatleco’s version of the Salvadoran corn cake stuffed with meat, cheese or beans is outstanding with a crispy exterior and plenty of filling. Go for the cheese and chicharron pupusa and don’t skimp on accompanying curtido — a pickled cabbage salad — and spicy red and green salsas.

Pupusas
M O./Yelp

8. Kabobi - Persian and Mediterranean Grill

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4748 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 583-1400
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Generous platters of rice and kabobs — easily enough for two to share — are the stars at this casual Persian eatery. Wash them down with a glass of the refreshing mint yogurt doogh. Among the appetizers, the zaytoon parvadeh, a dip of crushed walnuts and olives, and the eggplant-based kashkeh bodemjan, are also worth trying. Night owls praise the late-night menu as an especially good value. 

One of Kabobi’s platters
Kabobi/Facebook

9. Marie's Pizza & Liquors

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4129 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60630
(773) 725-1812
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This Chicago institution is known for its retro interior — think red vinyl banquettes — as much as for the ultra thin-crust pizza. Lean into the old-school vibe and order a classic cocktail — something Frank Sinatra wold approve of — to go with garlic bread and mozzarella sticks. Or pick up a bottle of Chianti from the attached liquor store. It also has live music with no cover on Thursdays and Sundays.

Marie’s throwback building
Marie’s Pizza & Liquors [Official Photo]

10. Nighthawk Chicago

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4744 N Kimball Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(872) 888-8361
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Coffee all day, beer and cocktails all night — that is the idea behind Nighthawk, an old-fashioned neighborhood tavern complete with exposed brick walls and pressed-tin ceiling. During the day, the friendly baristas offer refills to freelancers and telecommuters working on laptops. At night, locals coming off the Brown Line stop in for a beer or one of the imaginative mixed drinks before heading home.

Nighthawk’s bar
Nighthawk [Official Photo]

11. LD Pho

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4722 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 961-8551
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Sometimes, eaters just need a big bowl of pho, especially during Chicago’s seemingly endless winter. LD Pho delivers the goods with a rich, flavorful broth with just the right amount of oil. The sliced beef pho comes with thin, tender slices of meat and a generous portion of noodles. 

LD Pho has popular spring rolls too
Tomoko I./Yelp

12. SUBO Filipino Kitchen

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4712 N Kimball Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 478-2599
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The decor may be minimal at this counter-service Filipino restaurant, but the friendliness of the service and the low prices more than make up for it. Torn between the chicken adobo and the lechon? The owner happily provides samples. SUBO’s regular menu has all the Filipino classics, but many customers prefer to focus on the rotating daily specials posted by the cash register. Don’t leave without trying one of the traditional desserts. 

Subo’s lumpia and other Filipino dishes
Subo Filipino Kitchen/Facebook

13. Semiramis Lebanese Restaurant

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4639 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 279-8900
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After dipping the sumac-dusted steak fries at Semiramis into the accompanying garlic mousse called toum, eaters may turn their back on ketchup forever. This Lebanese eatery also offers a wide selection of hot and cold mezze, sandwiches, and classic Middle Eastern grilled meats. Most snack on the complimentary pink pickled turnips, known as torshi left, while they wait for their food.

Semiramis’ Lebanese roasted fish and vegetables
Semiramis Restaurant Chicago/Facebook

14. Ixcateco Grill

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3402 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 539-5887
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Chef-owner Anselmo Ramirez worked for Chicago luminaries Sarah Stegner and Rick Bayless before opening Ixcateco Grill, which highlights the cuisine of central and southern Mexico. The small menu changes frequently, but the picaditas, ensalada de pulpo and pollo en mole negro are among the standout dishes. Regulars love the BYOB policy and friendly service.

Inside Ixcateco Grill
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

15. Twisted Hippo

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2925 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(708) 844-7768
Visit Website

Twisted Hippo garnered a lot of attention when it opened earlier in 2019 for the all-inclusive pricing structure which allows the owners to offer higher pay and benefits to staff. But it’s the brewery’s upbeat decor, creative beer offerings and tasty pub grub that have been drawing praise from neighborhood residents. 

bar at the Twisted Hippo
Twisted Hippo’s colorful interior
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

16. Arun's Thai Restaurant

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4156 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 539-1909
Visit Website

Renovated in 2017, Arun’s Thai Restaurant is this neighborhood’s fine-dining destination. For a hefty price tag, diners can choose a 10 or 12-course tasting menu with each plate more beautiful than the last. For a more manageable, and more affordable, dining experience, try the 6 or 8-course menus available on weekdays only. The inspired wine pairings belie the common misconception that Thai food and wine do not mix.

Arun’s serves Thai with fine-dining sensibilities
Arun’s Thai Restaurant/Facebook

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1. Tre Kronor

3258 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Tre Kronor atmosphere is reminiscent of its Nordic food
Tre Kronor/Facebook

Located across the street from North Park University, Tre Kronor is a cozy bistro serving a curated selection of Nordic breakfast and lunch dishes. Even after 25 years, Tre Kronor remains a neighborhood standby, especially for seniors lingering over mugs of coffee and young families inhaling the crepe-like Swedish pancakes with lingonberry jam. While sweet options abound, do not neglect the traditional sausages and house-made pickled herring. 

3258 W Foster Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

2. Jaafer Sweets

4825 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Outside Jaafer Sweets
Jaafer Sweets/Facebook

Behind the imposing glass case at Jaafer Sweets lies an enticing array of fried doughs, buttery cookies, and honey-soaked pastries. The selection is slightly overwhelming, but one cannot go wrong with the sticky-sweet baklava, the chocolate walnut squares and the cinnamon fingers. While there are even some vegan options, nearly everything contains nuts, so allergy sufferers beware. 

4825 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

3. La Michoacana Premium

3108 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
La Michoacana has colorful decor
Danny K./Yelp

Expect long lines at this colorful paleteria and neveria, so use the wait to narrow down selections from the enormous menu. Will it be ice cream, one of the many fruit-flavored paletas or a chamoy-soaked mangoneada? Anything that combines sweet and spicy, like the mango-chile paleta, is a winner. If eaters aren’t ready for dessert, there are plenty of street food snacks, including elotes and tostilocos.

3108 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

4. BRAZILIAN BOWL - Brazilian Grill

3200 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
One of Brazilian Bowl’s bowls
Brazilian Bowl/Facebook

With samba music blaring and large-screen TVs showing Brazilian soccer matches, Brazilian Bowl wears its national pride on its sleeve. The menu offers a few Brazilian standards (feijoada, pao de queijo) as well as more mundane salads and sandwiches. The real excitement however, comes from the fresh smoothies and acai bowls which feature tropical ingredients such as passion fruit and guarana. 

3200 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

5. Great Sea Restaurant

3254 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Great Sea’s popular lollipop chicken wings
Great Sea Chinese Restaurant/Facebook

Great Sea draws fans from all over the city for its famous lollipop chicken wings, which come bathed in a sweet-tangy sauce. The restaurant changed hands in 2016, but fortunately the new owners inherited the recipe for the wings. The rest of the menu is a mix of familiar Chinese-Korean dishes.

3254 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

6. Rojo Gusano

3830 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
One of Rojo Gusano’s popular tacos
Rojo Gusano [Official Photo]

Tacos and margaritas are a winning combination at the original location of Rojo Gusano. Among the tacos, the al pastor pescado with pineapple salsa, pork belly with tamarind and the Korean-inspired barbecue beef with kim chi stand out. The guacamole trio makes a perfect starter for a group. 

3830 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

7. Pupuseria & Restaurant "El Cuscatleco"

3125 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Pupusas
M O./Yelp

While there are plenty of Mexican restaurants in Albany Park, for a taste of Central American cuisine, stop into this no-frills pupuseria. Pupuseria Cuscatleco’s version of the Salvadoran corn cake stuffed with meat, cheese or beans is outstanding with a crispy exterior and plenty of filling. Go for the cheese and chicharron pupusa and don’t skimp on accompanying curtido — a pickled cabbage salad — and spicy red and green salsas.

3125 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

8. Kabobi - Persian and Mediterranean Grill

4748 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
One of Kabobi’s platters
Kabobi/Facebook

Generous platters of rice and kabobs — easily enough for two to share — are the stars at this casual Persian eatery. Wash them down with a glass of the refreshing mint yogurt doogh. Among the appetizers, the zaytoon parvadeh, a dip of crushed walnuts and olives, and the eggplant-based kashkeh bodemjan, are also worth trying. Night owls praise the late-night menu as an especially good value. 

4748 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

9. Marie's Pizza & Liquors

4129 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60630
Marie’s throwback building
Marie’s Pizza & Liquors [Official Photo]

This Chicago institution is known for its retro interior — think red vinyl banquettes — as much as for the ultra thin-crust pizza. Lean into the old-school vibe and order a classic cocktail — something Frank Sinatra wold approve of — to go with garlic bread and mozzarella sticks. Or pick up a bottle of Chianti from the attached liquor store. It also has live music with no cover on Thursdays and Sundays.

4129 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60630

10. Nighthawk Chicago

4744 N Kimball Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Nighthawk’s bar
Nighthawk [Official Photo]

Coffee all day, beer and cocktails all night — that is the idea behind Nighthawk, an old-fashioned neighborhood tavern complete with exposed brick walls and pressed-tin ceiling. During the day, the friendly baristas offer refills to freelancers and telecommuters working on laptops. At night, locals coming off the Brown Line stop in for a beer or one of the imaginative mixed drinks before heading home.

4744 N Kimball Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

11. LD Pho

4722 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
LD Pho has popular spring rolls too
Tomoko I./Yelp

Sometimes, eaters just need a big bowl of pho, especially during Chicago’s seemingly endless winter. LD Pho delivers the goods with a rich, flavorful broth with just the right amount of oil. The sliced beef pho comes with thin, tender slices of meat and a generous portion of noodles. 

4722 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

12. SUBO Filipino Kitchen

4712 N Kimball Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Subo’s lumpia and other Filipino dishes
Subo Filipino Kitchen/Facebook

The decor may be minimal at this counter-service Filipino restaurant, but the friendliness of the service and the low prices more than make up for it. Torn between the chicken adobo and the lechon? The owner happily provides samples. SUBO’s regular menu has all the Filipino classics, but many customers prefer to focus on the rotating daily specials posted by the cash register. Don’t leave without trying one of the traditional desserts. 

4712 N Kimball Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

13. Semiramis Lebanese Restaurant

4639 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Semiramis’ Lebanese roasted fish and vegetables
Semiramis Restaurant Chicago/Facebook

After dipping the sumac-dusted steak fries at Semiramis into the accompanying garlic mousse called toum, eaters may turn their back on ketchup forever. This Lebanese eatery also offers a wide selection of hot and cold mezze, sandwiches, and classic Middle Eastern grilled meats. Most snack on the complimentary pink pickled turnips, known as torshi left, while they wait for their food.

4639 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

14. Ixcateco Grill

3402 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60641
Inside Ixcateco Grill
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Chef-owner Anselmo Ramirez worked for Chicago luminaries Sarah Stegner and Rick Bayless before opening Ixcateco Grill, which highlights the cuisine of central and southern Mexico. The small menu changes frequently, but the picaditas, ensalada de pulpo and pollo en mole negro are among the standout dishes. Regulars love the BYOB policy and friendly service.

3402 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60641

15. Twisted Hippo

2925 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
bar at the Twisted Hippo
Twisted Hippo’s colorful interior
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Twisted Hippo garnered a lot of attention when it opened earlier in 2019 for the all-inclusive pricing structure which allows the owners to offer higher pay and benefits to staff. But it’s the brewery’s upbeat decor, creative beer offerings and tasty pub grub that have been drawing praise from neighborhood residents. 

2925 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

Related Maps

16. Arun's Thai Restaurant

4156 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Arun’s serves Thai with fine-dining sensibilities
Arun’s Thai Restaurant/Facebook

Renovated in 2017, Arun’s Thai Restaurant is this neighborhood’s fine-dining destination. For a hefty price tag, diners can choose a 10 or 12-course tasting menu with each plate more beautiful than the last. For a more manageable, and more affordable, dining experience, try the 6 or 8-course menus available on weekdays only. The inspired wine pairings belie the common misconception that Thai food and wine do not mix.

4156 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

Related Maps