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A restaurant painted turquoise and cream on a shady street corner
Le Sud is one of many neighborhood restaurants in North Center.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Where to Eat and Drink in North Center

Come up to the North Side neighborhood for beer, pizza, and great food from all over the world

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Le Sud is one of many neighborhood restaurants in North Center.
| Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

North Center, a sprawling and historic neighborhood on the city’s North Side, contains the communities of Roscoe Village, St. Ben’s, and Bricktown, and several major cultural corridors, including Lincoln Avenue and Roscoe Street. It’s also home to some of Chicago’s best neighborhood restaurants, live music venues, pizzerias, taquerias, Asian restaurants, German beer halls, kebabs, vegan brunches, and more. Here are 16 spots diners won’t want to miss.

As of January 3, the city has mandated that those ages 5 and up be fully vaccinated and masked at public places indoors while not actively eating or drinking. 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; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID 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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Taqueria El Asadero

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There’s a reason this neighborhood Mexican joint continues to draw praise. The flavor-packed menu features classic tacos like al pastor and lengua, as well as traditional staples like burritos, quesadillas, and tortas. With tacos priced at $3.25 and the most expensive menu options hovering around $12 before add-ons, it’s easy to chow down here.

The Bad Apple

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Reliable American grub and a plethora of beers on tap make the Bad Apple a standby in North Center. With more than 15 gourmet burgers and dozens of beers, plus starters like fried cheese curds, this is a bar that means business.

Robert et Fils

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The hotly anticipated Robert et Fils was finally able to open its doors for a French tasting menu of seven to 10 courses in November 2021, and the preliminary reviews have been glowing. An intimate dining room of 20 seats, coupled with a meticulously curated menu and chic interior design, make Robert et Fils a destination.

A dining room with green walls and wooden tables and a banquette in the foreground and a white-painted bar in the background and a chandelier overhead Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Cho Sun Ok Restaurant

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Cho Sun Ok has been a North Center staple since its debut in 1980 due to the quality of its food and the enduring popularity of the tabletop cooking option, which includes octopus, tripe, and sliced beef. Also on the menu are traditional Korean fare like bibimbap and a large selection of noodle dishes.

Sticky Rice

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A no-frills Thai cafe on the western edge of North Center, Sticky Rice is a smaller space with a jam-packed menu that includes all sorts of pad thai variations, curries, noodles, and more. While guests can find all the Thai classics Americans are accustomed to, Sticky Rice pays dedicated attention to the cuisine of northern Thailand, which adds a unique set of dishes to the menu such as nam prik nhum and ap pla.

Laschet's Inn

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True to North Center’s German heritage, Laschet’s Inn is a great spot for huge steins of German and Austrian beer, as well as gigantic soft pretzels, currywurst, schnitzel, and so much more. This is a perfect spot to while away the hours with friends.

Basant Modern Indian Restaurant

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Modern takes on classic Indian food in a smart, contemporary setting make Basant a North Center no-brainer. Don’t miss out on the modestly sized but impressive cocktail program, which pairs perfectly with the spacious outdoor patio on sunny days.

Borinquen Lounge

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If you’ve been looking for Puerto Rican food that hits the spot, look no further than this inviting lounge filled with Puerto Rican flags and tons of natural light. Borinquen Lounge proudly markets itself as the home of the jibarito, and after trying one it’s easy to understand why.

Bartoli's Pizzeria

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Consistently named one of Chicago’s best pizzerias, Bartoli’s is as historic as it is delicious. Brian Tondryk, Bartoli’s owner, adapted his grandfather’s pizza recipe and knew Chicago had to try it. And Chicagoans keep coming back for more.

Lucy’s Cafe

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Lucy’s has a vegetarian and vegan menu everyone can enjoy. Gorgeous French toasts and a smorgasbord of pancake options are just the beginning of a wonderful brunch at this breezy Roscoe Village spot.

Volo Restaurant Wine Bar

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Roscoe Village’s Volo is more than a wine bar: It’s built a reputation for both having impressive share plates and generous mains as well as one of Chicago’s best patios for crushing bottles in good company. Look no further if you seek oysters on the half shell, wine on tap, housemade desserts, and a great happy hour.

Piazza Bella

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A Roscoe Village standby, Piazza Bella has been serving handmade pastas in a relaxed and inviting Tuscan-inspired space for nearly two decades. Be sure to try the homemade burrata, which is true to the traditional incarnation with a solid outer casing of mozzarella stuffed with curds of creamy stracciatella di bufala. The menu is marked with chef’s recommendations, but even if it weren’t it would be difficult to make a wrong choice.

Turquoise Cafe & Restaurant

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This Turkish restaurant serves classic dishes, including mucver, imam bayildi, lahmacun, and more. The space itself has a timeless cafe ambience, with doors that open onto a large and inviting patio. And yes, there are plenty of delicious kebabs.

The only thing that could possibly make a Mediterranean French restaurant with a contemporary menu, tin ceiling, sleek bar, and solid wine list even better is an open-air rooftop patio. Luckily, Le Sud has that too, and it’s open year-round with a winterized, infrared heating enclosure.

Sinya Mediterranean

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Sinya prides itself on using fresh ingredients, and the difference in quality is apparent. The falafel is an obvious and popular favorite, but just as delicious are the shawarma, kebabs, and traditional Mediterranean salads.

90 Miles Cuban Cafe

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With a stacked menu featuring Cuban classics, it’s no wonder why 90 Miles Cuban Cafe is so beloved. The sandwich menu alone features the Cubano, pan con lechon, and frita Cubana. The sunny patio and intimate indoor bar make this small-but-mighty counter service spot in Bricktown an excellent option for great Cuban food in an intimate setting. There are two other locations in Logan Square and West Town.

Taqueria El Asadero

There’s a reason this neighborhood Mexican joint continues to draw praise. The flavor-packed menu features classic tacos like al pastor and lengua, as well as traditional staples like burritos, quesadillas, and tortas. With tacos priced at $3.25 and the most expensive menu options hovering around $12 before add-ons, it’s easy to chow down here.

The Bad Apple

Reliable American grub and a plethora of beers on tap make the Bad Apple a standby in North Center. With more than 15 gourmet burgers and dozens of beers, plus starters like fried cheese curds, this is a bar that means business.

Robert et Fils

A dining room with green walls and wooden tables and a banquette in the foreground and a white-painted bar in the background and a chandelier overhead Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

The hotly anticipated Robert et Fils was finally able to open its doors for a French tasting menu of seven to 10 courses in November 2021, and the preliminary reviews have been glowing. An intimate dining room of 20 seats, coupled with a meticulously curated menu and chic interior design, make Robert et Fils a destination.

A dining room with green walls and wooden tables and a banquette in the foreground and a white-painted bar in the background and a chandelier overhead Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Cho Sun Ok Restaurant

Cho Sun Ok has been a North Center staple since its debut in 1980 due to the quality of its food and the enduring popularity of the tabletop cooking option, which includes octopus, tripe, and sliced beef. Also on the menu are traditional Korean fare like bibimbap and a large selection of noodle dishes.

Sticky Rice

A no-frills Thai cafe on the western edge of North Center, Sticky Rice is a smaller space with a jam-packed menu that includes all sorts of pad thai variations, curries, noodles, and more. While guests can find all the Thai classics Americans are accustomed to, Sticky Rice pays dedicated attention to the cuisine of northern Thailand, which adds a unique set of dishes to the menu such as nam prik nhum and ap pla.

Laschet's Inn

True to North Center’s German heritage, Laschet’s Inn is a great spot for huge steins of German and Austrian beer, as well as gigantic soft pretzels, currywurst, schnitzel, and so much more. This is a perfect spot to while away the hours with friends.

Basant Modern Indian Restaurant

Modern takes on classic Indian food in a smart, contemporary setting make Basant a North Center no-brainer. Don’t miss out on the modestly sized but impressive cocktail program, which pairs perfectly with the spacious outdoor patio on sunny days.

Borinquen Lounge

If you’ve been looking for Puerto Rican food that hits the spot, look no further than this inviting lounge filled with Puerto Rican flags and tons of natural light. Borinquen Lounge proudly markets itself as the home of the jibarito, and after trying one it’s easy to understand why.

Bartoli's Pizzeria

Consistently named one of Chicago’s best pizzerias, Bartoli’s is as historic as it is delicious. Brian Tondryk, Bartoli’s owner, adapted his grandfather’s pizza recipe and knew Chicago had to try it. And Chicagoans keep coming back for more.

Lucy’s Cafe

Lucy’s has a vegetarian and vegan menu everyone can enjoy. Gorgeous French toasts and a smorgasbord of pancake options are just the beginning of a wonderful brunch at this breezy Roscoe Village spot.

Volo Restaurant Wine Bar

Roscoe Village’s Volo is more than a wine bar: It’s built a reputation for both having impressive share plates and generous mains as well as one of Chicago’s best patios for crushing bottles in good company. Look no further if you seek oysters on the half shell, wine on tap, housemade desserts, and a great happy hour.

Piazza Bella

A Roscoe Village standby, Piazza Bella has been serving handmade pastas in a relaxed and inviting Tuscan-inspired space for nearly two decades. Be sure to try the homemade burrata, which is true to the traditional incarnation with a solid outer casing of mozzarella stuffed with curds of creamy stracciatella di bufala. The menu is marked with chef’s recommendations, but even if it weren’t it would be difficult to make a wrong choice.

Turquoise Cafe & Restaurant

This Turkish restaurant serves classic dishes, including mucver, imam bayildi, lahmacun, and more. The space itself has a timeless cafe ambience, with doors that open onto a large and inviting patio. And yes, there are plenty of delicious kebabs.

Le Sud

The only thing that could possibly make a Mediterranean French restaurant with a contemporary menu, tin ceiling, sleek bar, and solid wine list even better is an open-air rooftop patio. Luckily, Le Sud has that too, and it’s open year-round with a winterized, infrared heating enclosure.

Sinya Mediterranean

Sinya prides itself on using fresh ingredients, and the difference in quality is apparent. The falafel is an obvious and popular favorite, but just as delicious are the shawarma, kebabs, and traditional Mediterranean salads.

Related Maps

90 Miles Cuban Cafe

With a stacked menu featuring Cuban classics, it’s no wonder why 90 Miles Cuban Cafe is so beloved. The sandwich menu alone features the Cubano, pan con lechon, and frita Cubana. The sunny patio and intimate indoor bar make this small-but-mighty counter service spot in Bricktown an excellent option for great Cuban food in an intimate setting. There are two other locations in Logan Square and West Town.

Related Maps