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The Waterfront Cafe in Edgewater
Waterfront Cafe

Where to Eat and Drink in Edgewater

Travel north for a wide variety of eating options, from diners to dives to fine dining.

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The Waterfront Cafe in Edgewater
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Edgewater contains multitudes: Edgewater Beach, Edgewater Glen, Magnolia Glen, even, some claim, Andersonville. It also contains a multitude of eating options: old school diners, newfangled Thai and sushi restaurants, regional Mexican spots, a fast food joint that serves Korean chicken wings, dark dive bars, bright and cozy coffee shops, and an outdoor cafe with a spectacular view of the lake. But what almost all these restaurants have in common is that they’re family owned and staffed by people who want to share they food they love.

As of August 20, the city has mandated that everyone wear facial coverings while indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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The Waterfront Cafe

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Patrons at Waterfront Cafe can sink their teeth into brats, charcuterie, and lobster rolls while feasting their eyes on views of Lake Michigan. This outdoor cafe is open seasonally and housed in a landmark coachhouse attached to an equally historic lakefront mansion. The eatery usually reopens for the summer in May.

George's Deep Dish

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George’s Deep Dish has been a revelation for Chicagoans tired of the same old pizza. There are top-notch topping combos, such as the Carlin’s Layover with jalapeño, pineapple, and pepperoni. But the secret is the ferment in the dough that gives the crust a puff reminiscent of a Greek pastry. This is destination-worthy pizza and will make deep-dish doubters shut up while they’re enjoying these wonderful slices of life.

Sovereign Liquors

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Every neighborhood has its favorite dive bar, and the Sovereign is Edgewater’s. The beer is cheap (and available for purchase in six packs), the vibe is friendly, and the jukebox is great. What more does anybody need?

Dak’s Korean chicken wings arrive steaming hot and bathed in soy garlic or spicy-sweet red pepper sauces. Orders also include a side of house-made pickled radish. Though chicken wings are the house specialty, Dak also serves bulgogi, spicy barbecue pork, and dukbokki (rice cakes covered in Korean red pepper sauce and topped with bulgogi).

Metropolis Coffee Company

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This family-owned coffee company does mostly wholesale business these days — its roastery is in Avondale — but the cafe where it all began is still on Granville, where it’s been for the past 18 years, and it’s still a friendly place to sit with a laptop or a book or a friend and sip coffee and maybe nibble a pastry (from Phlour) and watch the world go by.

Alexander's Restaurant

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Here is an old-school diner in the classic manner, with a long counter and vinyl stools that probably haven’t changed in the past 60 years. The menu still lists pancakes, omelets, burgers, shakes, and a section of “Grecian specials,” and the place is still family-owned, by the Mizhquiris, whose patriarch, Luis, began working in the diner in the ’80s and took over in 2019.

Beard & Belly

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The bar food is excellent at this Broadway pub, which began as a pop-up from chefs Kyle Schrage and Jim Torres at the Long Room in Lakeview, and the beer list is seemingly endless. But the real attraction here is the pie, provided by partner Honeypie, a Milwaukee import; get it whole or by the slice.

Milo's Pita

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Milo’s serves up falafel, shawarma, and kabobs in pitas or on plates, but it also offers protein bowls, loaded fries, and saj, a traditional pressed sandwich. Stop by on Tuesday or Friday for the shawarma or falafel specials: at $2.99, they may be the best bargain in the neighborhood.

Ethiopian Diamond

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Eager eaters flock to this roomy Ethiopian restaurant for homemade dishes featuring lamb, chicken, beef, and lentils. The restaurant also offers homemade honey wine and pots of Ethiopian coffee.

Lickity Split Frozen Custard

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This retro-style frozen custard and candy shop carries treats and drinks from across the sweet spectrum. The menu includes signature banana splits, concretes, and “OMG” concoctions blended with brownies, hot fudge, and peanut butter. Be sure to check out the display of novelty sodas, which includes some mind-boggling flavors.

Huaraches Doña Chio

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As the name suggests, huaraches, thick masa ovals topped with a choice of meat, cheese, or vegetables, are the signature dish at this tiny Mexican joint just off Clark Street, but don’t skip the enchiladas or the fresh-fried tortilla chips.

Cookies & Carnitas/Cafe by Ruca

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When chef Brad Newman opened his new location on Broadway, he created two spaces in one: first a cafe serving tacos, pizza, and cookies, and then a more formal sit-down restaurant and bar offering more substantial entrees like cioppino, flank steak, and cassoulet. And also tacos. Both operations use the same ingredients sourced from local farmers markets, a recognition of where Newman got his start.

Moody's Pub

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This longtime Edgewater staple has everything one needs to cure seasonal depression: two roaring fireplaces, boozy “pub potions,” and juicy pub burgers. The kitchen also churns out pork chops, steaks, and breaded fish sandwiches. In the warmer months, Moody’s opens a fantastic and massive outdoor patio.

Mas Alla del Sol

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At this sister restaurant to Lincoln Square’s Los Nopales, chef Adan Moreno’s menu explores Mexican cuisine beyond street food like tacos and quesadillas. There’s steak here, and fish and shrimp prepared using recipes from various regions of Mexico, and seasonal specials like chiles en nogado.

Mango Pickle

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Mango Pickle as we knew it — a multiyear Michelin Bib Gourmand honoree serving contemporary Indian food — has gone on hiatus for the rest of 2021. Instead, owners Marisa Paolillo and Nakur Patel will be serving up 21 Days of Thali, a quarterly dinner series. On weekends, a pop-up cafe, NonNative, offers samosas, waffles, chai, and other breakfast and lunch fare.

Alice & Friends' Vegan Kitchen

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Alice & Friends serves a menu of Asian-inspired cuisine made entirely from plant-based ingredients. Toothsome entrees include vegan poke bowls made with chana masala and marinated tomatoes, spicy potato stew, and pan-fried soybean protein with housemade teriyaki sauce.

Herb’s kitchen highlights modern Thai fine dining. The eatery focuses on seasonal menus, healthy ingredients, and prix fixe meals in a concept it dubs “Thai food redefined.” This has earned it a spot on Michelin's Bib Gourmand list for the past six years.

Pearl's Southern Comfort

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Edgewater might be a long way from the bayou, but that doesn’t stop Pearl’s Southern Comfort from bringing cajun and creole cuisine to the neighborhood. Diners here can pair hearty orders of jambalaya and shrimp and grits with potent sazerac and hurricane cocktails.

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The Waterfront Cafe

Patrons at Waterfront Cafe can sink their teeth into brats, charcuterie, and lobster rolls while feasting their eyes on views of Lake Michigan. This outdoor cafe is open seasonally and housed in a landmark coachhouse attached to an equally historic lakefront mansion. The eatery usually reopens for the summer in May.

George's Deep Dish

George’s Deep Dish has been a revelation for Chicagoans tired of the same old pizza. There are top-notch topping combos, such as the Carlin’s Layover with jalapeño, pineapple, and pepperoni. But the secret is the ferment in the dough that gives the crust a puff reminiscent of a Greek pastry. This is destination-worthy pizza and will make deep-dish doubters shut up while they’re enjoying these wonderful slices of life.

Sovereign Liquors

Every neighborhood has its favorite dive bar, and the Sovereign is Edgewater’s. The beer is cheap (and available for purchase in six packs), the vibe is friendly, and the jukebox is great. What more does anybody need?

Dak

Dak’s Korean chicken wings arrive steaming hot and bathed in soy garlic or spicy-sweet red pepper sauces. Orders also include a side of house-made pickled radish. Though chicken wings are the house specialty, Dak also serves bulgogi, spicy barbecue pork, and dukbokki (rice cakes covered in Korean red pepper sauce and topped with bulgogi).

Metropolis Coffee Company

This family-owned coffee company does mostly wholesale business these days — its roastery is in Avondale — but the cafe where it all began is still on Granville, where it’s been for the past 18 years, and it’s still a friendly place to sit with a laptop or a book or a friend and sip coffee and maybe nibble a pastry (from Phlour) and watch the world go by.

Alexander's Restaurant

Here is an old-school diner in the classic manner, with a long counter and vinyl stools that probably haven’t changed in the past 60 years. The menu still lists pancakes, omelets, burgers, shakes, and a section of “Grecian specials,” and the place is still family-owned, by the Mizhquiris, whose patriarch, Luis, began working in the diner in the ’80s and took over in 2019.

Beard & Belly

The bar food is excellent at this Broadway pub, which began as a pop-up from chefs Kyle Schrage and Jim Torres at the Long Room in Lakeview, and the beer list is seemingly endless. But the real attraction here is the pie, provided by partner Honeypie, a Milwaukee import; get it whole or by the slice.

Milo's Pita

Milo’s serves up falafel, shawarma, and kabobs in pitas or on plates, but it also offers protein bowls, loaded fries, and saj, a traditional pressed sandwich. Stop by on Tuesday or Friday for the shawarma or falafel specials: at $2.99, they may be the best bargain in the neighborhood.

Ethiopian Diamond

Eager eaters flock to this roomy Ethiopian restaurant for homemade dishes featuring lamb, chicken, beef, and lentils. The restaurant also offers homemade honey wine and pots of Ethiopian coffee.

Lickity Split Frozen Custard

This retro-style frozen custard and candy shop carries treats and drinks from across the sweet spectrum. The menu includes signature banana splits, concretes, and “OMG” concoctions blended with brownies, hot fudge, and peanut butter. Be sure to check out the display of novelty sodas, which includes some mind-boggling flavors.

Huaraches Doña Chio

As the name suggests, huaraches, thick masa ovals topped with a choice of meat, cheese, or vegetables, are the signature dish at this tiny Mexican joint just off Clark Street, but don’t skip the enchiladas or the fresh-fried tortilla chips.

Cookies & Carnitas/Cafe by Ruca

When chef Brad Newman opened his new location on Broadway, he created two spaces in one: first a cafe serving tacos, pizza, and cookies, and then a more formal sit-down restaurant and bar offering more substantial entrees like cioppino, flank steak, and cassoulet. And also tacos. Both operations use the same ingredients sourced from local farmers markets, a recognition of where Newman got his start.

Moody's Pub

This longtime Edgewater staple has everything one needs to cure seasonal depression: two roaring fireplaces, boozy “pub potions,” and juicy pub burgers. The kitchen also churns out pork chops, steaks, and breaded fish sandwiches. In the warmer months, Moody’s opens a fantastic and massive outdoor patio.

Mas Alla del Sol

At this sister restaurant to Lincoln Square’s Los Nopales, chef Adan Moreno’s menu explores Mexican cuisine beyond street food like tacos and quesadillas. There’s steak here, and fish and shrimp prepared using recipes from various regions of Mexico, and seasonal specials like chiles en nogado.

Mango Pickle

Mango Pickle as we knew it — a multiyear Michelin Bib Gourmand honoree serving contemporary Indian food — has gone on hiatus for the rest of 2021. Instead, owners Marisa Paolillo and Nakur Patel will be serving up 21 Days of Thali, a quarterly dinner series. On weekends, a pop-up cafe, NonNative, offers samosas, waffles, chai, and other breakfast and lunch fare.

Related Maps

Alice & Friends' Vegan Kitchen

Alice & Friends serves a menu of Asian-inspired cuisine made entirely from plant-based ingredients. Toothsome entrees include vegan poke bowls made with chana masala and marinated tomatoes, spicy potato stew, and pan-fried soybean protein with housemade teriyaki sauce.

Herb

Herb’s kitchen highlights modern Thai fine dining. The eatery focuses on seasonal menus, healthy ingredients, and prix fixe meals in a concept it dubs “Thai food redefined.” This has earned it a spot on Michelin's Bib Gourmand list for the past six years.

Pearl's Southern Comfort

Edgewater might be a long way from the bayou, but that doesn’t stop Pearl’s Southern Comfort from bringing cajun and creole cuisine to the neighborhood. Diners here can pair hearty orders of jambalaya and shrimp and grits with potent sazerac and hurricane cocktails.

Related Maps