Though Ravenswood is surrounded by more well-known culinary neighborhoods, it should not be ignored. Its borders are often conflated with Lincoln Square, North Center, and Uptown, but Ravenswood only officially exists within the boundaries of Montrose, Lawrence, Clark and Damen, according to DNAinfo. Check out 15 great places below to eat and drink within those borders, from a Michelin-starred brewpub to ice cream to outstanding Neapolitan pizza, listed from north to south.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink in Ravenswood
A Michelin-starred brewpub, Eater 38 Neapolitan pizza, and much more
1. Me dee Café
Thai snacks and street food abound at this Damen Avenue restaurant. Though Me Dee serves such standbys as red and green spicy curries and pad thai made with almonds, it also has a special nighttime congee menu with more traditional flavors.
2. Primo Chuki's Taqueria
Inside a small Lawrence Avenue storefront, Primo Chuki’s chefs assemble tacos, stuff burritos, and scoop bean dip into bowls. Other standouts include platters piled high with rice, beans, flautas, carne asada steak, and fajitas. Like any Chicago Mexican eatery worth its salt, the food here is cheap, plentiful, and tasty — and pair well with a sugary Jarrito soda.
3. CoCo Vietnamese Sandwiches & Pho
For less than $5, diners can fill up on sizable banh mi sandwiches bedecked with jalapenos, cilantro, ham, and pate. This Lawrence Ave. spot also has vermicelli bowls, fried rice platters, and authentic beef pho, all for less than $10.
4. Chez Simo Bistro
Chez Simo is a no-frills BYOB French bistro with an authentically compact menu. The seared steak au poivre and poulet roti arrive from the kitchen hot, fresh, and soon after ordering. While waiting for their server (and, true to form, it might take a bit), diners can sate themselves on butter and crusty bread. It’s not uncommon to see owner Simo Yacobi gliding about the dining room, taking orders, slinging dinner, and chatting.
5. Budacki's Drive-In
Every neighborhood seemingly has a beloved hot dog stand with picnic tables and a flashy paint job, and Budacki’s is Ravenswood’s. The menu here includes, you guessed it, Vienna dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, and pizza pockets. But don’t let the meaty fare fool you: Budacki’s also has a selection of vegetarian options.
6. Band of Bohemia
This Michelin-starred brewpub pairs its seasonal dinner menu with a rotating lineup of beers brewed onsite. The eatery also has a popular weekend brunch menu that includes delicacies such as brioche donuts, fried chicken and French toast, and heaping helpings of duck confit hash.
7. Shanghai Inn
For more than four decades, Shanghai Inn has served heaping helpings of classic Americanized Chinese food to hungry Ravenswood diners. The cuisine here isn’t fancy or flashy, but it will fill you up. Orders of General Tso’s chicken and beef chow mein overflow take-out boxes to the point that they sometimes arrive sheathed in a plastic bag to prevent spillage, for example.
8. The River Valley Farmer's Table
Though it’s easy to fill up on free samples in the grocery store adjacent to River Valley Farmer’s Table, diners should keep their appetites handy for the kitchen’s farm-fresh fare. Brunch, which is available every day, includes meaty omelettes, mushroom tacos, and bottomless mimosas. At dinnertime, the kitchen churns out pesto amish chicken breasts, grilled cheese paninis, and red potato salad.
9. O'Shaughnessy's Public House
Pub grub and pints reign supreme at this neighborhood hangout. Diners can sidle up to the long wooden bar for dishes like bangers and mash, shepherd's pie, and curry chips. O'Shaughnessy's also serves a long list of scotch and Irish whiskey.
10. Caro Mio
Plates full of homemade ravioli and gnocchi glisten under candlelight at this cozy neighborhood Italian restaurant. Though much of what’s served here is starch, sauce, and cheese, the menu also includes seafood, fish, and veal. Though Caro Mio is BYOB only, there’s no corkage fee.
11. Spacca Napoli Pizzeria
This rustic Ravenswood spot serves Neapolitan pizzas baked to bubbly perfection in an oven crafted by Italian artisans. Charred pies topped with gooey mozzarella and blended San Marzano tomatoes pair perfectly with spumanti from behind the bar. Another highlight is Spacca Napoli’s burrata cheese, which arrives in a chilled gooey mound flanked by warm toasted bread.
12. Glenn's Diner & Seafood House
Cereal and seafood might make for an odd breakfast, but that’s exactly what Glenn’s Diner serves — though not in the same bowl. The diner serves 16 varieties of fresh fish each day such as red snapper, swordfish, Alaskan halibut, and Maryland mussels. Diners can also ogle a selection of around 25 classic breakfast cereals, all of which are served drowned in ice cold milk.
Fountainhead is one of the area’s only rooftop restaurants, making it ideal for warm summer evenings. Bartenders here serve a sizable list of cocktails and beers while chefs prepare plates of mussels, spare ribs, and mac and cheese.
14. Margie's Candies
On hot summer nights, locals line out the door to get a cold treat from this beloved candy and ice cream shop’s Ravenswood offshoot. Margie’s staffers serve all the classic confectionaries, including bowls of ice cream and root beer floats. It also serves jumbo-sized cherries jubilee and “the world's largest terrapin.”
Marmalade’s chefs whip up brunch bites such as egg and chorizo breakfast burritos served alongside crispy house potatoes, plate-sized hot cakes, and “Texas Bennies” topped with slow-cooked pork belly, pineapple chutney, and pesto hollandaise. The restaurant also serves a breakfast sandwich named after Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, who has confessed his love for the eatery on Twitter.