List 3: Eating in Edgewater/Andersonville

I moved to Chicago 5 years ago and have always lived in the 48th Ward. Part of what I like about the neighborhood is the variety of good food nearby.

Below is a list of recommended items from 40 of my favorite food places in Edgewater and Andersonville. The locations range from specialty grocery stores to fine-dining restaurants. I’m sure I’ve missed some great places if only because I haven’t been to every restaurant in the area. (If I were to make a list of things to do before I turn 40, which I won’t, having the Beijing duck feast at Sun Wah BBQ would definitely be on it.)

The list starts with breakfast/brunch foods then moves onto lunch and dinner. If you want desserts scroll to the bottom. I’ve linked to web sites when I could find them.

  1. “Out of this world breakfast bread pudding” at M. Henry or M. Henrietta. I could recommend a lot of things from these menus (which are largely the same, although M. Henrietta also has dinner). This warm treat piled with fruit is always one of my favorites to share or have as my meal. It is only available on weekends.
  2. Dim Sum at Furama. Yes, Chicago has a great Chinatown, but I’m thrilled to have a place that does a good spread so close to home.
  3. Pancakes from Alexander’s Restaurant. Sometimes I just want a classic diner breakfast, and this is where I get it.
  4. Sausage and cheese bagel sandwich from JB’s deli, a quality version of the breakfast staple. I prefer mine without egg.
  5. The Silverland Breakfast at Taste of Heaven. Cornmeal biscuits, sausage gravy and scrambled eggs comprise this nice version of the southern classic.
  6. Montana Omelet from Uncommon Ground. Maybe I’m partial because I used to live in Montana, but this combination of bacon, potatoes, scallions, cheddar and sour cream can be appreciated even by those who have never been to Big Sky Country.
  7. Fruit scones at The Coffee Studio. This one may be a bit of a cheat since the scones actually come from Bennison’s Bakery in Evanston, but since they are served in Andersonville and Bennison’s is also a regular at the Andersonville Farmer’s Market I still think of these as a neighborhood treat.
  8. Jamaican Wrap at Waterfront Cafe. Go to this lakefront spot for the view and the breeze. Little kids enjoy the adjacent Berger Park playground. Bigger kids enjoy the beer, wine and sangria.
  9. DIY mezze platter from Middle East Bakery & Grocery. Grab some fresh pita, some containers from the cold case and a few things from the hot case: instant picnic!
  10. BBQ Pork Bahn Mi from Ba Le Sandwich Shop. I specified the BBQ pork, but we usually get a variety of sandwiches to share. I’m mostly in it  for the hot peppers and pickled daikon anyway.
  11. Pho ga from Pho Viet. My husband says to blame him for the restaurant choice. We tend to get pho as take out, and Pho Viet happens to be where he gets our from. I know there are many options close to Argyle, so feel free to suggest your favorite. A surprisingly good pho option also appears later on this list.
  12. Chicken Chawarma from Taste of Lebanon. Eat like Tony Stark.
  13. Homemade meatball sub from Piatto Pronto. I also like “The Boss” (roast beef and provolone). Regardless of which sandwich you choose the quality will be much higher than the “five dollar footlong” place down the street. Plus, you can pick up some gourmet treats from the rest of the store. They also have extremely good gummy bears.
  14. Quesadillas with tinga and chorizo from Huaraches Dona Chio. Huaraches are open-faced sandwiches made on fresh masa patties. They are delicious but messy. The quesadillas are made on the same masa patties and have the same topping options but are folded, which makes them a little easier to eat.
  15. Crepe Marrakech with Algerian lamb sausage from Icosium Kafe. Yes, they’ll fill a crepe with Nutella, but I’m usually too full from the savory selections to stick around for dessert.
  16. Gumbo Ya-Ya from Big Jones. Perhaps it’s because my parents live in the South (although I never grew up there), but I love Southern food. It was hard to choose a favorite from the Big Jones menu, but the gumbo is probably what I select most often.
  17. Beef koubideh from Reza’s. I like to get half white rice and half dill rice as my side. I like some dill flavor, but I find it a bit overpowering at full strength.
  18. CB&J from Hopleaf. Although they are known for their Belgian beers and mussels, I fell in love with this decadent sandwich, which is pan-grilled with cashew butter, fig jam and cheese. It is served with Stilton mac & cheese and house-made potato chips. Both are delicious sides, but be sure to get an order of frites to share. (Also, don’t let the play on PB&J fool you; Hopleaf is strictly 21 and over.)
  19. Moodyburger with cheddar from Moody’s Pub. My favorite go to when I want a classic, greasy burger (nothing fancy or gourmet). Weather permitting I love the patio as the indoors is cavelike dark, but in the winter the fireplace makes the inside cozy.
  20. Blue cheese and bacon fries from The Burger Philosophy. This is not a salad.
  21. Rotisserie chicken from Edgewater Produce. The same quick grab dinner concept as you can get at a big grocery chain but a lot more flavorful.
  22. Mongolian Beef from Mei Shung because every neighborhood food list needs some good Chinese delivery.
  23. Fried cheese curds from Hamburger Mary’s. Much like M. Henry/M. Henrietta I could recommend most of the menu at Hamburger Mary’s, but since this was the first place I ever had fried cheese curds I have to acknowledge that important discovery.
  24. Mozzarella sticks from Pete’s Pizzeria and Bakehouse. Every couple of months my husband gets a craving for mozzarella sticks. I’m sure the order of hot wings that accompanies them is just to meet the delivery minimum.
  25. Cheese pan pizza from Calo. When mozzarella sticks are not enough cheese, my husband indulges us with this delicious artery clogger.
  26. The Apart signature pie from Apart Pizza Company. A perfect balance of sausage, mushrooms and pepperoni.
  27. Whatever they are featuring at Great Lake Pizza. Yes, their reputation for long waits is merited, but so is their reputation for having some of the best pizza in the country. Their menu constantly changes depending on what fresh ingredients are available. (I once hit the jackpot by calling on a garlic snapes day.) Go with what they recommend, and be patient.
  28. 18-hour ravioli from Leonardo’s Ristorante. These ravioli stuffed with osso bucco and goat cheese are the very definition of umami.
  29. Yebeg tibs be berbere (“spicy juicy” lamb) at Ras Dashen. There are more than a handful of Ethiopian restaurants in or near Edgewater, but this specific dish is why Ras Dashen is my usual choice.
  30. Dak bulgogi at Jin Ju. Sure, I love to venture west for the more adventurous Korean BBQ experience of San Soo Gab San, but generally when I go to a restaurant I prefer that someone else do the cooking!
  31. Orrechiette at Anteprima. They serve the pasta with sausage, greens, chilis and cheese. I love the combination so much that I started making a version myself, but I leave the grilled octopus salad starter to the professionals.
  32. Pho at Pasteur. All the fancier Vietnamese and French dishes we had at Pasteur were delicious, but the pho that started our meal was a surprising stand out. (Perhaps we should try to start getting our take out there.)
  33. Tapas from Tapas Las Ramblas. Choose a variety of small plates and pair with a pitcher of sangria.
  34. Whatever is on the menu for Stew Supper Club. Once a month Co-op Hot Sauce and Crumb Bread host a themed dinner at their new Clark street location. I’ve been to both of the dinners they’ve hosted since coming to the neighborhood, and everything has been delicious. Tickets are limited, ant the event is BYOB.
  35. Compressed honeydew salad from Premise. The In Fine Spirits Lounge was one of my absolute favorite places to eat and drink in Andersonville, so when I heard it would be replaced by a new restaurant with a new chef I was disappointed. I’ve been to Premise once so far. It was good, but I still miss the IFS house flatbread (and the Moscow Mule).
  36. TBD from some Thai restaurant. My favorite local Thai dish was salt and pepper pork (extra spicy) from En-thai-ce. Since they shut down I’ve been getting Thai from various places. Most of it has been decent, but I have yet to find another stand out dish. Still, I love Thai food and we have so many Thai restaurants (too many for my non-Thai-food-loving husband’s taste) that it seemed odd not to have Thai food on the list. Consider this a placeholder, and please make suggestions in the comments.
  37. Michigan Sour Cherry Pie from First Slice. Great pie and a great charity that helps to feed the needy.
  38. Chimney cake from Chimney Cake Island. Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of a chimney cake. I certainly hadn’t. They are donut-like cakes baked around wooden rolling pins that give them their chimney shape. The finished cakes are rolled in a variety of coverings. I like the walnut. Yes, Nutella addicts, you can get them rolled in that too.
  39. Crazy Cake Concrete from Lickity Split. They take a cupcake of your choosing, blend it (frosting and all) with frozen custard and top it with sprinkles. The menu says vanilla custard, but they’ve never said no to substituting other flavors. Some favorites: death by chocolate cupcake with strawberry custard and salted caramel cupcake with chocolate custard.
  40. Heaps of Love from George’s Ice Cream and Sweets. I used to always get the Fat Elvis until I discovered this: vanilla ice cream filled with Oreos, brownies, caramel, pecans, chocolate ripple & cookie dough. Yum.

What would be on your list?

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