Between brick-row houses, serene parks, upscale shopping, and peaceful, tree-lined streets, there’s a lot that to love about Lincoln Park. Add a surplus of impressive eats and drinks to this list for a lovely day or night. From the Indonesian-inspired to the prix-fixe splurge of a lifetime, here are 15 of the best bets for dining in the North Side neighborhood. New additions for 2019 include Pizzeria Bebu, Galit, and more.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink in Lincoln Park
One of the world’s-finest restaurants, a Chicago deep-dish icon, and much more.
1. mfk. restaurant
At just 25 years old, mfk chef Alisha Elenz has already garnered a 2019 Jean Banchet Rising Star Chef award and was a finalist for the 2019 James Beard Rising Star Chef title—and one taste of the Midwest native’s take on Spanish coastal cuisine explains why. Start with a round of citrus-rich boquerones before moving on to other flavor-packed hits, from a Spanish tortilla with salt cod brandade to saffron-infused seafood fideos.
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2. Avli Taverna
The folks from Avli Winnetka opened their second location in Lincoln Park earlier this year, where they’ve been putting forth a menu of Greek cuisine with a contemporary twist. Bring a group to sample through a variety of small plates, from melted cheese atop honey and figs (saganaki) to grilled eggplant stuffed with tomatoes, onions, and peppers (papoutsakia). A Mediterranean wine list serves as good company throughout the dining experience, along with a Greek-inspired cocktail program by local libations pro Peter Vestinos.
3. North Pond
Take a walk through Lincoln Pork proper and discover a pristine setting with views of the Chicago skyline, and local American cuisine from chef Bruce Sherman (for the summer, that means sweetcorn soup or an heirloom tomato salad). Sherman’s vision has helped give this fixture major staying power since 1998.
4. Chengdu Impression
Lincoln Park is surprisingly home to some of the best Chinese food in Chicago. Owner Ryan Hu learned about the restaurant world while working with his famous uncle at Lao Sze Chuan. That style of sichuan cooking has evolved at Chengdu Impression with stand-out items like twice-cooked pork and dry-chili chicken. It’s where to get a true dose of “mala” outside of Chinatown.
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After earning two James Beard Awards for his work at New Orleans’ Shaya, chef Zach Engel came to Chicago and graced the city with Galit, a restaurant offering Middle Eastern cuisine with modern day flair. Try it in favorites like shakshouka with coal-roasted sweet potatoes, falafel with Persian pickled turnips, and smoked lake trout with lemon and chermoula. Even the hummus packs big flavor—and big comfort, for that matter (credit the warm, billowy pita bread that accompanies it).
6. Pequod's Pizza
The lines are so long inside this two-level Chicago deep-dish pizzeria that management opened a bar/waiting area two doors down (Whale Tale). The caramelized “burnt” crust is addicting, and taunt tourists’ dreams. Discerning Chicagoans shun the downtown pizza spots for Pequod’s, an Eater Chicago 38 member.
Nearly every item on the plate at this neighborhood restaurant can be traced back to a
Midwestern producer—an everyday practice that informs the local, seasonal approach
employed by chef Luis Pindter. Case in point are orders like beet tostadas (with black beans,
cilantro pesto, and lime-oregano cabbage slaw), stuffed broccoli (with pickled carrots and
caramelized onion puree), and, for indecisive diners, the Range platter, an array of Midwest-
sourced products like cheeses, fruits, and house-made jams. Sample your way through post-
dinner sweets, too—a flight offers a taste of all three desserts du jour.
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The team behind this corner fixture has spent the past decade serving the Lincoln Park community crowd-pleasing plates that span the globe, from Thai curry mussels and chicken tinga nachos to Greek lamb meatballs and ahi tuna tataki. Despite that worldliness, the menu showcases a Midwestern sensibility at its core, thanks to local purveyor standouts like Nichols Farms and Catalpa Grove.
9. Blue Door Farm Stand
The philosophy behind this new café is a simple one. Expect options like the brussels and kale salad or pan-seared walleye (complete with green beans and honey-roasted cherries). That approach extends to breakfast and lunch hours, too, when lighter choices like oatmeal, wraps, and tartines are the highlight.
10. Quality Crab & Oyster Bah
Oyster fanatics are in good hands at this elevated seafood shack — the ultimate retreat for all things on the half shell. A menu delves deeper than just mollusks, too, ranging to include the likes of a poke sampler, crispy cod tacos, fish and chips, and fried chicken. Their bloody mary, a flavor-packed rendition with cocktail shrimp and a beer back, is totally worth its salt. There’s also a delivery/carry-out only menu from Seaside’s, the virtual restaurant that shares the same kitchen.
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11. The Kennison
This neighborhood newcomer brings the talents of executive chef Bill Walker and pastry chef Maree Rogers to the ground floor of the Lincoln Hotel, where they’re serving contemporary American cuisine by way of plates like pastrami-spiced carrots, a house burger, and brown sugar cheesecake. Seasonal drinks help kick things off — including the “Hard to Please,” with tequila, watermelon, lime, and Tajin.
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12. Willow Room
New American bistro cooking is the focus at this corner spot, where chef Marissa Janz has become best known for dishes like roasted cauliflower served with buttermilk ranch and champagne currants, and rainbow trout served with basmati rice, mint peas, and malt vinegar. Come brunch, locals fill the house for a.m. fixes like crab omelets and waffles with lavender butter — classed up alternatives to the habitual bacon and eggs.
This restaurant, the first from Boka Restaurant Group, has no shortage of accolades — including six consecutive Michelin stars and a Jean Banchet "Chef of the Year" win for chef Lee Wolen. There’s a modern approach to seasonal American fare, as evidenced by favorites like roasted chicken with summer beans and garlic scapes, heirloom carrots, and Spanish octopus with sorrel and potatoes. Desserts from Meg Galus are just as decked out — be sure to spring for two, at least.
This culinary destination has been attracting serious food lovers from around the world for more than a decade for its groundbreaking and against-the-norm tasting menus. After a five-month renovation, chef Grant Achatz and his team are back and at it again, this time offering guests a choice of three different dining experiences that range from 10 to 18 courses.
15. Pizzeria Bebu
Those seeking a diversion from classic Chicago pizza will find it at Pizzeria Bebu, where its team serves a menu of crispy and charred thin crust pies. Toppings range from the traditional to the decadent, as evidenced in favorites like the funghi (with panna, wild mushrooms, and pecorino) and the white squall (with clams, bacon, and hot sauce). While most diners come primarily for the pies, small plates like meatballs, shishito peppers, and roasted cauliflower are just as notable.