As one of the city's best spots for new bars, the stretch of Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square is hopping. Anyone logging a lot of late-night hours there will definitely—or, at least, should—get something to eat.
We rounded up some key local spots for after-hours eats based on the only criteria that matters: What's still open when your craving strikes.
Gringo at L’Patron Tacos, 2815 W. Diversey Ave.
When you’re just a few drinks in—enough that you’re willing to justify trekking a bit for higher-quality food but still need something that sops up the alcohol—this is the prime moment to go to L’Patron Tacos, only half a mile from the Fullerton and Milwaukee nexus and arguably the neighborhood’s best taqueria. The spot is tiny and cash only, but there’s a Chase ATM tucked into the Walgreens next door and there are expansion plans in the works. Their house specialty, the Gringo (two masa patties stuffed with carne asada and melted cheese), is tasty enough to make any inconvenieces moot points.
Tamales from the Tamale Guy, various locations
It’s a total crapshoot whether the Tamale Guy himself will wander into whatever bar you’ve stationed yourself in (we’ve spotted him with some regularity at The Whistler, and the @TamaleTracker Twitter account is dedicated to his whereabouts, though it's been suspiciously quiet recently.) But when you hear the siren call of a man yelling “Tamales!” and offering up a Ziploc baggie of a half-dozen warm, chicken-stuffed snacks out of a portable cooler for pocket change, you obey the call and take them.
Slice from the Boiler Room or Classic Double Burger from Parts & Labor, 2210 N. California Ave.; 2700 N. Milwaukee Ave.
These are like the Logan Square drunk-food bookends, so go for whatever’s closest (Boiler Room is just off the California Blue Line stop; Parts & Labor is around the corner from the one at Logan Square)—plus, after the dinner-hour crowds have died down, you’ll get your food pretty fast. And maybe skip the complimentary shot of Jameson or Fernet Branca they’ll give you if you end up needing to use the ATM at these cash-only spots. Just get a bite to eat first, you maniac.
Pretzel with Welsh rarebit at Longman & Eagle, 2657 W. Kedzie Ave.
If you plan your night right, you won’t even have to move from your barstool to get a chewy pretzel ready to be dipped in a gooey beer cheese sauce. Go for an order of puffy gougères with a Gruyère-based Mornay sauce if you need extra sustenance.
3 a.m. and beyond
Burrito at El Charro, 2410 N. Milwaukee Ave.
So you talked yourself into one final stop at a super-late-night bar (no judgment here). But now, it’s past last call, and you’re hungry enough to consider eating gas-station roller food by the handful. This is the raison d'être for El Charro, the thing of beauty that is the a 24-hour taqueria at Milwaukee and Fullerton. You can snag an extra-large super burrito with scrambled eggs and chorizo, maybe some nachos to split, too. Against your better judgment, you will eat all of it. And because of it, tomorrow will be tolerable.