Ricobene’s

Ricobene’s remains an old-school Chicago comfort food staple, most famous for their breaded steak sandwich.

The Duck Inn

The Duck Inn is a cozy, retro inspired gastro-tavern located at Loomis Street and the Chicago River. It combines locally sourced dining with creative duck dishes and other American menu items. It has a delicious menu of craft cocktails and local beers.

A Meat Lover's Meat-less Adventure

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It’s Lent, I’m Italian, and I’m from Bridgeport. Like so many other devoted lapsed Catholics, some vestigial Catholic guilt requires me to refrain from eating meat on Fridays. Truth be told, with the selection of non-meat products that surrounds me, it’s not really much of a sacrifice. The South Side (and Bridgeport in particular) is teeming with options.

Gio’s Café

Gio’s Café will surprise you. As you enter the deli, you’ll discover a cozy Italian kitchen with checked table cloths and a delicious menu of meat, chicken, seafood, and pasta dishes. Other offerings include freshly prepared Panini sandwiches, sausage and peppers, and arrancini. Portions are large and the price is right. A BYOB restaurant.   

Good Slurps

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The Slurping Turtle (TST) is a Japanese noodle shop and bincho bar, attempting to recreate Chef Takashi’s Japanese childhood culinary experience. It is a sleek room – a room that you might expect to see in Tokyo – with clean lines, direct lighting, two bars (one with a bartender and one at the open kitchen), and both high and low top seating. The high top seating is all communal. There are a couple of giant murals of Takashi’s childhood on the walls, and otherwise the room is pretty sleek and modern looking.

Hooray for Headcheese

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Vera's Head CheeseThere are a few phrases that I never thought I would write. The phrase that probably leads the pack is: “Try the headcheese.” Had you asked me in the entirety of my life if I would ever try headcheese, the answer would have been a resounding “NO”! And yet, here I am saying just that.

Hong Kong Dim Sum

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Cai is a typical Hong Kong style dim sum restaurant. It has no décor to speak of, and is brightly lit with plastic tablecloths to allow for quick and easy cleanup. It is a massive open space on the second floor of the Chinatown Square mall, making it fairly loud on weekends just from conversation.

No Bull

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The first time I walked into the Del Toro Tequila Bar, I didn’t know what to expect. A ton of new restaurants were popping up in Pilsen and Bridgeport, each fulfilling its own niche. In addition to Nana and its excellent organic fare about a mile south on Halsted Street, there was also Jason Vincent’s outstanding Nightwood , a mere thirty feet from Del Toro’s front door.

Pleasant House Bakery

Everything about this truck is more than pleasant. The pies are delicious and owners Art and Chelsea Jackson are delightful.  

Nana

Nana is a farm-to-table organic restaurant focused on sustainable and seasonal ingredients. This family-owned restaurant serves delicious breakfast and brunch dishes with Mexican influences. The atmosphere is warm and cozy with exposed brick walls and butcher block tables. They offer fresh squeezed juices and house-made chorizo. Nana also has a full bar with a wide selection of daytime cocktails and beverages.