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Noteworthy Restaurants

What do Chicago’s critics consider a “noteworthy” spot? A classic restaurant that, while it continues to influence the city's dining scene and is worth knowing about, does not rise to the above-average level required for inclusion in Chicago's star-rated Best Restaurants guide. When you are craving a giant cinnamon bun (Ann Sather) or ribs where Sinatra ate (Twin Anchors), this is the list to turn to.

Ann Sather

909 W. Belmont, Lake View. 773-348-2378
Diner food It’s all about the cinnamon rolls—dense yet soft, drowning in a sugary glaze. (See annsather.com for all locations.)
B & L daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, free dinner parking, BYO (up to $5 corkage). ¢

Bistrot Margot

1437 N. Wells, Old Town. 312-587-3660
French Lyonnaise onion soup, escargots persillade, and all the classics are yours at this Parisian stalwart.
L Mon–Fri, D nightly. Br Sat, Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining, high noise level. $$$

Café Iberico

737 N. LaSalle, River North. 312-573-1510
Spanish Best bets at this lively tapas bar: thin ham with Manchego and tomato bread or the char-grilled octopus with french fries. Pintxos lounge upstairs on weekends.
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, high noise level, will seat past 11 p.m. $

Carson’s

612 N. Wells, River North. 312-280-9200
American, barbecue Dig in to slabs of hickory-smoked baby backs in a sweet sauce and creamy au gratin potatoes rich as Rockefeller. (See ribs.com for all locations.)
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining. $

D & J Bistro

466 S. Rand, Lake Zurich. 847-438-8001
French Between the classics and the specials, this popular boîte has plenty of winners, including a tender lamb shank and fine profiteroles. Small but solid wine list.
L Tue–Fri, D Tue–Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, free dinner parking, outdoor dining, high noise level. $$

Ed Debevic’s

640 N. Wells, River North. 312-664-1707
American Pseudo ’50s diner where oldies music and dancing waiters create a playful vibe for parents and rug rats alike. So does the menu of burgers, fries, and creamy malts.
B Sat, Sun; L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, high noise level. ¢

Edelweiss

7650 W. Irving Park, Norridge. 708-452-6040
German When the urge for a few steins, a heaping platter of sausages, and crackly-skinned roast duck strikes, this Teutonic stalwart and its oompah band await.
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, free dinner parking, outdoor dining. $

Francesca’s on Taylor

1400 W. Taylor, Little Italy. 312-829-2828
Italian Expect megaportions of beloved Italian staples at reasonable prices. While the menu lists mostly the usual suspects—fried calamari, veggie risottos, and cutlets of veal tenderloin—the specials list occasionally offers a colorful surprise, perhaps a pork chop smothered with bell peppers. Friendly service. (See miafrancesca.com for all locations.)
L Mon–Sat, D nightly. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, high noise level. $$

Goose Island Brewpub

1800 N. Clybourn, Lincoln Park. 312-915-0071
American Seriously good beer is the draw, and chitchat is easy in these casual digs. Create a four-beer flight ($10) from the 24 or so draft choices. Weekend brewery tours.
L & D daily. Br Sat, Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, free dinner parking, will seat past 11 p.m. (Fri, Sat). $

Harry Caray’s

33 W. Kinzie, River North. 312-828-0966
Steaks, Italian. Sports fans flock here to honor the Cubs legend and devour aged prime steaks, chops, and chicken Vesuvio. (See harrycarays.com for all locations.)
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining. $$$

Heaven on Seven

111 N. Wabash, Loop. 312-263-6443
Cajun/Creole. Chummy seventh-floor lunch spot renowned for its thick gumbos and po’ boys overflowing with breaded oysters, shrimp, and catfish. Cash only. (See heavenonseven.com for all locations.)
B & L Mon–Sat, D Thu–Sat. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly. ¢

Home Run Inn

4254 W. 31st, Little Village. 773-247-9696
Pizza Good old-fashioned sausage pizza is king at this South Side classic, where kids can be rowdy, adults can get a drink, and nobody goes home hungry. (See homeruninnpizza.com for all locations.)
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, free dinner parking. ¢

Le Colonial

937 N. Rush, Gold Coast. 312-255-0088
Vietnamese Go for the lovely colonial Vietnamese decor. Stay for the bistro-meets-Asian eats, including bouillabaisse, filet mignon with yams, and excellent curries.
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining, high noise level, will seat past 11 p.m. (Thu–Sat). $$$

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

6649 N. Lincoln, Lincolnwood. 847-673-0800
Pizza Since 1971, the Malnati family has run this deep-dish fave. Make room for a warm chocolate chip cookie “pizza” à la mode. (See loumalnatis.com for all 39 locations.)
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, free dinner parking, will seat past 11 p.m. (Fri, Sat). ¢

Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen

1141 S. Jefferson, University Village. 312-939-2855
Deli The Maxwell Street Market ain’t what, or where, it used to be, but Manny’s still has potato pancakes, Reubens, and diner faves galore.
B, L & D Mon–Sat. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, free dinner parking (free valet at lunch). ¢

Mike Ditka’s

Tremont Hotel, 100 E. Chestnut, Gold Coast. 312-587-8989
Steaks Da Coach himself often shows up here for wedge salads, Angus rib eyes, and banana cream pies at the manliest spot in the Gold Coast.
L & D daily. Br Sat, Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining, high noise level. $$$

Park Grill

11 N. Michigan, Millennium Park. 312-521-7275
American Here you will find the city’s largest patio in summer and coolest ice rink in winter. American classics—chopped salad, a burger, cheesecake—are always on target.
L & D daily. Br Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining. $$

Pegasus

130 S. Halsted, Greektown. 312-226-3377
Greek This sunny icon nods to dining on the shores of the Aegean. A meal of loukanika, a pastitsio and chicken riganati combo, and Greek yogurt for dessert remains a steal. Smart service and free valet parking.
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, free dinner parking, outdoor dining, will seat past 11 p.m. (Fri, Sat). $

Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta

864 N. State, Gold Coast. 312-751-1766
Pizza Rudy Malnati Jr. carries on the tradition of Chicago-style pizza in this fun spot. The buttery deep-dish remains among the best. (See pizanoschicago.com for all locations.)
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, will seat past 11 p.m. $

Pizzeria Uno

29 E. Ohio, River North. 312-321-1000
Pizza This is where deep-dish started, and it remains the place for the genre. If it’s crowded, check out Due a block away (619 N. Wabash, 312-943-2400).
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining, will seat past 11 p.m. (Mon–Sat). $

The Rosebud

1500 W. Taylor, Little Italy. 312-942-1117
Italian Reservations carry little weight at this flagship of a local empire; however, the zuppe di mare, calamari, and cavatelli mean everything. (For all locations, see rosebudrestaurants.com.)
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining, high noise level, will seat past 11 p.m. (Fri, Sat). $$

Russian Tea Time

77 E. Adams, Loop. 312-360-0000
Russian Eastern Euro hits such as lush beef stroganoff in a gracious Old World setting. Flavored vodkas add further intrigue. Good pretheater choice.
L & D daily. Tea service daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly. $$

Sunda

110 W. Illinois, River North. 312-644-0500
Pan-Asian People come to this sleek nightclubby place more for the flashy cocktails and the scene than the reimagined and goofily named Asian dishes. But as long as you’re here, don’t miss the Devil’s Basket of spicy soft-shell crabs.
L Mon–Fri, D nightly. Br Sat, Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining, high noise level, will seat past 11 p.m. (Fri, Sat). $$$

312 Chicago

Hotel Allegro, 136 N. LaSalle, Loop. 312-696-2420
Italian Theatergoers rely on this likable spot. Pastas are fail-safe, particularly Luca Corazzina’s doughy homemade gnocchi with goat cheese.
B daily, L Mon–Sat, D Tue–Sun. Br Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, BYO (up to $5 corkage; one-bottle limit), outdoor dining, high noise level. $$

Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap

1073 W. Vernon Park, Little Italy. 312-733-3393
Italian This iconic watering hole attracts locals, celebs, cops, and burbites alike. Order pasta, lemon chicken, or Vesuvio-style chops, but save room for tiramisù. Cash only.
L Tue–Fri, D Tue–Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining, will seat past 11 p.m. (Fri, Sat). ¢

Twin Anchors

1655 N. Sedgwick, Old Town. 312-266-1616
Barbecue On the same corner since 1932, this comfy tavern touts its slow-cooked baby back ribs as the world’s best. Maybe not, but they are the falling-off-the-bone sweet-sauced kind beloved by many Chicagoans.
L Sat, Sun; D nightly. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining, will seat past 11 p.m. (Fri, Sat). $

The Village

Italian Village, 71 W. Monroe, Loop. 312-332-7005
Italian Pretheater standby re-creates a villa downtown. Sop up the red sauce from your mussels marinara with crusty Italian bread, and slurp pasta to the sounds of Dino.
L & D daily. Child friendly, will seat past 11 p.m. $$

Vinci

1732 N. Halsted, Lincoln Park. 312-266-1199
Italian Plays come and go along this theater strip, but the curtain never falls on Paul LoDuca’s trusty trattoria or menu faves such as crispy polenta con funghi, juicy grilled hen, and creamy panna cotta. Free corkage if the vintage you bring in is at least 10 years old.
D Tue–Sun. Br Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining. $$

Walker Bros. Original Pancake House

153 Green Bay, Wilmette. 847-251-6000
American The stained glass merits a visit, but go for the sizzling apple pancakes, puffy omelets, and crisp and airy waffles. (See walkerbros.net for all locations.)
B & D daily Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, free dinner parking. ¢

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