When it comes to freshly made Middle Eastern foods, Nate's is great. Especially beloved for its thick, smooth hummus with a texture like whipped butter, Nate's also makes smoky baba ghannouj, crisp fried kibbeh, and tender, plump meat or spinach pies. If your tastes run to more traditional deli fare, try a king-sized corned-beef or pastrami sandwich. Service is casual and friendly, and the place has the feel of a neighborhood cornerstone.
A laid-back alternative to the Warehouse District's pricey haute spots, this nautically themed tavern specializes in fish, seafood, and plenty of beer, in bottles and on tap. One of downtown's best happy hours.
The eclectic, globally inspired menu at this fine-dining venue (a thoroughly renovated 1850s farmhouse) focuses on intensely flavored preparations assembled from extravagant ingredients. From fanciful salads to lush meats and seafood, the food is muscular, creative, and generally delicious. Out-of-the-ordinary wine list.
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.
Upscale, casual dining emphasizing fresh, seasonal foods in pizzas, pastas and seafood. An extensive wine and cocktail list is available for the grownups; a kids' menu features smaller portions for little stomachs.
The atmosphere at this upscale Chinese restaurant is relaxed and friendly, and the refined cuisine goes far beyond won ton soup and egg rolls. Imaginative preparations include dishes like ginger-spiced sea bass, scallion-studded strip steak, and lamb served with pineapple-piqued fried rice, although classics like egg-drop soup and mu shu pork are also on hand.
Fun and funky, downtown's only Japanese-style ramen house offers an array of noodle bowls ranging from the traditional to the contemporary. Creative sides and add-ons allow slurpers to customize their bowls in almost endless ways, while a tight selection of cold sake, beer, wine, and creative cocktails adds to the merriment.
When it comes to value, this neighborhood bistro delivers, with a well-crafted array of contemporary preparations think dishes like sautéed mango shrimp or pan-seared duck breast with strawberry vinaigrette at moderate prices. Smart selection of martinis and wine.
This colorful Mexican restaurant offers a large menu of well-prepared standards like burritos and enchiladas, and a few traditional dishes like shrimp in garlic and chicken in mole.
Like a golden yolk buried in the center of a moon cake, the tastefully decorated #1 Pho is a bright spot in the sometimes-gritty neighborhood around East 31st and Superior. Among the many tasty Vietnamese dishes on the well-organized menu, our fave is pho big bowls of traditional noodle soup served with basil, lime, hoisin and other aromatic go-withs. But items such as chicken-cabbage salad and spicy squid are also fragrant, subtle and full of nuance. Plenty of vegetarian options.
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