Don't be distracted by the wide-ranging menu of burgers, sandwiches, and assorted noshes: The youthful, upscale bar scene replete with boutique beers and fruity, high-octane cocktails is the real reason to visit this svelte branch of a Chicago-based watering hole. Weeknight happy hours attract a good-looking crowd, and with the kitchen open late, there's never any reason to go home hungry.
We won't swear they're the best gyros in the world, but they are undoubtedly the best gyros you'll find in Northfield at 4 a.m. on a Sunday. Beyond the namesake meat rollups, the big menu includes hot corned beef, burgers, subs, dogs, and a host of breakfast specials. Connoisseur-worthy French fries, too.
The club's logo -- a porker in a tie -- says it all. Down and dirty, but still kind of chic, the large, open Pig caters to an older, rock-oriented crowd, with cover bands. Never a cover.
A snug little hideaway just behind the Q, Cleats is part of a rapidly growing local chain of sports bars. Wings are the kitchen's claim to fame, but we've got our eyes on the fries fresh-cut cuties so good, we sometimes order them without the cheese and bacon.
For those who have come to this entertainment complex primarily to play the state-of-the-art games and then find that the starship piloting, dinosaur dodging, and race-car driving have left them peckish, meals in the lavishly appointed Grand Dining Room are generally good-tasting, satisfying, and reasonably priced conveniences.
Noisy and fun-loving, this 100-seat restaurant is part of the Corner Alley complex, a high-energy hangout featuring 16 lanes of bowling and a fashionable martini bar. With cheese here, bacon there, and deep-fried goodness nearly everywhere, spa cuisine this is not. But thanks to zesty flavors and often-imaginative preparation, the offerings still beat the standard bowling-alley lineup by a long shot.
The plastic and neon of the Montrose shopping district are two miles and several decades removed from this little roadhouse. But while the Alley's big menu of sandwiches, pizza and salads seems soothingly unfashionable, execution is above average, the car-themed decor is charming, and the attitude is hip.
A devastating fire put Grumpy’s out of commission for two years, but owner Kathy Owad has resurrected the beloved Tremont café in a cozy new space. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and late-night weekend dining, Grumpy’s pretty much has you covered morning, noon and night. Expect hearty plates of reasonably priced, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food served with cheerfulness.
The two-story guitar outside the Hard Rock is a beacon for music lovers, who pack the place every weekend to feast on mammoth burgers and music videos. The dining area is sometimes cleared for concerts, which typically feature rockers on the rise.
Yup, it's a little bar all right: dim and a tad dingy. But that said, it's worth seeking out for its first-rate burgers, juicy ribs, freshly cut French fries, and a daily "comfort food" special like chicken Parmesan over penne pasta.
The city’s best jazz club books headliners from every corner of the genre. The dining room where acts perform — you can have dinner while you listen — was recently redesigned for even better sound and sightlines.
The ornamental leprechauns may be suspect, but the rest of the Old Angle is more Dublin than Dublin. Folk and blues musicians play solo by the fireplace hearth at the end of the bar.
Known more for its ribs than its rock, Pacers features DJs on the weekends. A mammoth TV and lots of booths make it a good place to watch sports.
Town and gown unite behind the swinging doors of this venerable tavern, where the burgers sizzle, the French fries rock and the beer list goes on and on.
The lights are low and the vibe is friendly inside this snug neighborhood tavern, a recently remodeled gem where the kitchen belts out tasty riffs on all-American bar food, including fresh-ground burgers, zesty fried calamari, and saucy, spicy chicken wings. Besides a solid collection of artisanal brews, the bar serves up inventive cocktails — some with a seasonal twist. Come summer, the secluded patio is the place to be.
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