15 Best Restaurants in Lincoln Park Chicago

Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood is constantly growing and changing, as new restaurants and shops open up and leave town overnight. In an neighborhood like that, it is hard to find a spot that will stick around long enough for you to make it your regular spot.

Here are some of the best restaurants in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, both old and new.

Sweet Tamarind, 1408 West Diversey
One of only a couple Thai places in Lincoln Park, Sweet Tamarind has both great food and ambience. Huge serving of traditional Thai food and seasonal favorites are huge part of the draw at Sweet Tamarind. I go for the Shrimp in Tamarind Paste and several of the Tamarind appetizers, if you are familiar with tamarind you will understand why.

Sweet Tamarind is open for lunch and dinner on Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m.-10:00p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Reservations are accepted, but most of the time are not needed as there is usually seating available or not a very long wait. Dress is casual to business casual. Entrees average ten dollars and appetizers average six dollars each. www.sweettamarindthaicuisine.com

Maza, 2748 North Lincoln Avenue
If you have never had Lebanese cuisine, or don’t get to often, Maza is the place to go. I love eating at Maza because it reminds me of my tapas bar hopping days, before the entrees arrive order several of the tapas style plates that the table can share.

Maza only serves dinner and reservations are highly recommended; dress is business casual. Hours are Sunday to Thursday 5-11; Friday and Saturday 5-midnight. Entrées average twelve dollars and appetizers eight dollars. www.mazarestaurant.com

See also  Top Five Things to Do in Mexico City

Bacino’s, 2204 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago is a pizza town, and Bacino’s is the place everyone in Lincoln Park goes to for a piece of pie. The spinach pizza with low fat mozzarella cheese is supposed to be healthy, but it does not taste like it, still half of Lincoln Park tells themselves that it fits into their diet plan as they chow down.

Bacino’s is always packed, so make reservations beforehand. Entrees average ten to fifteen dollars. Bacino’s is open Sunday to Thursday 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. and Friday to Saturday 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. www.bacinos.com

Athenian Room, 807 West Western Avenue
One of the best Greek restaurants outside of Greektown, and definitely a cheaper menu. Athenian room serves all the traditional favorites and the dishes are always fresh, the Greek burger will make a regular customer out of you.

A hot lunch spot, Athenian room is usually busy, but I have never had to wait to eat. Plates average less than ten dollars and the atmosphere is very casual. Lunch and dinner are served from 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

Merlo, 2638 North Lincoln Avenue
Walking into Merlo is like walking into someone’s home….in Italy. The home cooked Italian meals fit perfectly, everything you are served is made from scratch and very fresh. While the menu is seasonal, the perpetual favorite, tagliatelle with bolognese ragu is usually available.

Merlo is a fine dining restaurant so reservations are requested, there is also a dress code in place, jacket and tie should get you in fine and expect entrees to average about twenty five dollars. Dinner is served Sunday to Thursday from 5:30-10:00 and Friday and Saturday from 5:30-11:00. www.merlochicago.com

See also  Best Spots for a Romantic Dinner in Phoenix

Mon Ami Gabi, 2300 North Lincoln Park West
A very unpretentious little French bistro that is part of the Belden-Stratford Hotel. Everyone goes to Mon Ami for the steak frites and moules, the chef won’t let you down.

Reservations are required and the dress code is business casual. Entrees average twenty dollars each during dinner which is all that is served in the bistro. Hours are Monday through Thursday 5:30-10:00 p.m.; Friday 5:30-11:00; Saturday 5:00-11:00; and Sunday 5:00-9:00.www.monamigabi.com

Café Bernard, 2100 North Halsted Street
Café Bernard make a perfect date spot with its intimate dining and countryside French cooking. The dishes are all very traditional French meals, the fillet mignon and duck confit always get the nod from diners, but I love the grilled seas scallops.

Reservations are not required or always necessary, but I do recommend making them because Café Bernard does have its nights. For two entrees, appetizers and a bottle of wine for two expect to spend around one hundred dollars. Dinner is served Monday to Thursday 5:00-10:30; Friday and Saturday 5:00-11:30 and Sunday from 5:00-10:00. www.cafebernard.com

Via Carducci Trattoria, 1419 West Fullerton Avenue
Authentic Italian cooking from the southern Calabria region fill a small corner of Lincoln Park. This growing spot is further away from the park and most of the crowds, but is definitely worth the short trek for a taste of the gnocchi al pomodoro.

Reservations are accepted for both lunch and dinner, dress is casual to business casual for both meals and takeout is available. Hours are Monday to Thursday 11:00-10:00 p.m.; Friday 11:00-11:00; and Saturday and Sunday 4:00-11:00. www.viacarducci.com

See also  The Most Romantic Las Vegas Restaurants

Café Ba Ba Reeba, 2024 North Halsted
Tapas await you in the colorfully painted building Ba Ba Reeba occupies. This is definitely one of Lincoln Parks hottest spots to meet friends, have a drink and share a few plates of tapas. I love the paella and can pop the chicken empanadas all night.

Every time I go there is a wait, reservation or not. This is a casual setting but most of the crowd goes for a dress to impress look. Dinner is served Monday to Thursday 5-10; Friday 5-12; Saturday 11:00 a.m-12:00 a.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. -10:00 p.m. www.cafebabareeba.com

Original Gino’s East, 2801 North Lincoln Avenue
A Chicago Institution, there is an ongoing who makes the best Chicago deep dish that I don’t think will ever be answered. But you can sample the offerings yourself and start at Gino’s East. www.featuredfoods.com