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Egg Rolls at Orange Garden

Egg Rolls at Orange Garden

Orange Garden opened in this relaxed North Side enclave in 1926, just as most of Chicago’s nascent Chinese community was moving from the Loop to the South Side neighborhood that would become Chinatown. By most accounts, this is the oldest Chinese restaurant in the city, and it has two things fans can’t get enough of. … Read more

Mr. G at J.P. Graziano Grocery

Mr. G at J.P. Graziano Grocery

While the Graziano family’s deli and grocery may feel incongruous with its flashy West Loop surroundings, the shop, which has been in operation since 1937, has held its own as a lunchtime destination. That’s thanks in part to its signature offering, an intricately layered sub named after the owner’s father. Provolone, soppressata, prosciutto, and Genoa … Read more

Rib Tips and French Fries at Lem’s Bar-B-Q

Rib Tips and French Fries at Lem’s Bar-B-Q

Sisters Carmen Lemons and Lynn Walker Harvey keep the flames of Chicago-style ’cue alive at the city’s oldest Black-owned barbecue joint. Everything in the aquarium-style cooker gets a gentle bath in hickory smoke, but it’s the pork rib tips that exemplify Chicago’s contribution to the barbecue canon. A study in textures, the rib tip is … Read more

Patty Melt at Top Notch Beefburgers

Patty Melt at Top Notch Beefburgers

Butchered and ground in house, this Beverly favorite’s surpassingly juicy griddled beef is much too good for the limp bun that encloses the burgers here. The superior choice is the patty melt, which pairs that delicious meat with jammy grilled onions, sharp American cheese, and crisp buttered rye for an excellent texture and pleasant notes … Read more

Chorizo-Stuffed Medjool Dates at Avec

Chorizo-Stuffed Medjool Dates at Avec

Eighteen years, a second location, and 2 million stuffed dates after this pioneering West Loop spot opened, the same cook, Jorge Ruiz, continues to assemble each of these delicious tapas-style snacks, which are based on a recipe from owner Paul Kahan’s father-in-law. The fat medjool dates are big enough to accommodate just the right amount … Read more

Hot Fudge Sundae at Margie’s Candies

Hot Fudge Sundae at Margie’s Candies

The original location celebrates its centennial this year, and as the neighborhoods surrounding it have changed, Margie’s has remained a constant, a beacon for teenagers who cluster in groups and for older couples on dates, everyone outside waiting for a booth. Inside is a diner/candy shop/ice cream parlor, its walls covered in memorabilia, much of … Read more

Fishwich at Dock’s

Fishwich at Dock’s

Eugene S. Qahhaar’s Calumet Heights restaurant, which he opened in 1973, mostly offered hot dogs and burgers until he decided to add a breaded whitefish sandwich to the menu to shake things up. A fitting addition to a spot called Dock’s (the name is actually an homage to Qahhaar’s father, Dock Meadows), the dish took … Read more