June 12, 2006
Looking for a Restaurant in Chicago’s Wicker Park?
Named for the triangular-shaped park donated to the public by Charles and Joel Wicker in 1870, Wicker Park was once the home of many breweries, as well as manufacturers of furniture, musical instruments, and cigars. The Pritzkers, Saul Bellow, and Nelson Algren are all notable Wicker Park luminaries, and some of the city’s best examples of Victorian architecture can be viewed along Pierce and Hoyne Streets.
After a period of decline, Wicker Park is enjoying a major resurgence. Avant-garde galleries and hip boutiques dot the streets once dominated by heavy industry, and the neighborhood has become a high-profile destination for well-designed restaurants and fine dining.
2005 W Division St
Upscale Mexican in an upbeat atmosphere—guacamole is made fresh tableside in the traditional molcajate.
Bin Wine Café
1559 N Milwaukee Ave
Sister-space to Bin 36 offers a seasonably inspired menu including thin crust pizzas and flights of wine and cheese.
1805 W Division St
Authentic Japanese cuisine in a hip upscale environment with a cool warehouse feel.
2111 W Armitage Ave
Originally opened in Cuba in 1950—try the house specialty paella valencia.
1824 W Wabansia Ave
Club Lucky is a 1940s-style supper club and cocktail lounge serving handmade pastas and signature martinis.
Coast Sushi Bar
2045 N Damen Ave
Delicious sushi amid minimalist upscale décor—this intimate low-lit restaurant is BYOB.
(Spanish Small Plates)
1520 N Damen Ave
Chef Andrew Zimmerman serves up small plates for dinner and Sunday brunch, while a selection of cocktails and Spanish wines keep the party going into the early morning hours on the weekends. Influences from Antonio Gaudi and Spanish Art Nouveau abound, and the red marble bar and saddle leather seating speak to the bull and matador referenced in the restaurant’s name.
**IN THE KNOW: Designer Suhail also designed the MTV “The Real World Chicago” house.
2144–46 W Division St
Pair homemade pasta with wine from the extensive bottle menu.
Feast Restaurant & Bar
1616 N Damen Ave
A funky Wicker Park favorite with bohemian trimmings.
1434 W Chicago Ave
Urban cooking with a Latin twist based on the flavors and ingredients of Sante Fe.
Friendship Chinese Restaurant
2830 N Milwaukee Ave
Top-notch traditional Chinese with French influences.
Green Dolphin Street
2200 N Ashland Ave
Fresh innovations on a medley of classically grounded creations.
2050 W Division St
Upscale dishes prove that Chinese food is not just for takeout.
1747 N Damen Ave
Seasonal, organic American fare celebrating local farmers, organic meats and wild-caught fish.
1958 N Damen Ave
This cozy spot complete with green and white tile floor and lace curtains keeps the regulars coming back time and again for simple French classics
1413 N Ashland Ave
A taste of Morocco and live belly dancing Friday and Saturday nights.
1670 W Division St
Mas embraces the spirit and soul of the Latin lifestyle.
Meritage Café and Wine Bar
2118 N Damen Ave
A romantic casual setting with an extensive menu of mainly California wines and an all-weather outdoor veranda for al fresco dining.
2020 W Division St
Sip cocktails, eat sushi, and unwind in the futuristic upstairs lounge.
1824 W Division St
Try a signature thin and crispy green chili pizza while reminiscing about Chicago’s days of gangsters and bootleggers.
1745 W North Ave
Traditional steakhouse fare is joined by creative interpretations.
1560 N Milwaukee Ave
Traditional Spanish tapas bar with a rustic old-world atmosphere.
(Brewery & Pizzeria)
1927 W North Ave
A lively pizza joint and bar in a former garage.
(South American/Asian Fusion)
1530 N Milwaukee Ave
Named after the 1950s Japanese sci-fi classic “Rodan! The Flying Monster,” this space functions as a gallery, lounge, and restaurant all at once. The menu of simply presented exotic fusion of Asian and South American cuisine includes plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, as well as tasty wasabi fries.
**IN THE KNOW: Check Rodan’s online calendar for evening jazz performances and cult film screenings.
Salud Tequila Lounge
1471 N Milwaukee Ave
Tequila is the name of the game at Salud Tequila Lounge. The menu presents over 80 varieties, all 100-percent agave, from small artisanal producers to time-honored favorites alike. Executive chef Jose Gonzales turns out Salud specialties like the Tequila Cheeseburger, among other upscale Mexican/American favorites.
**IN THE KNOW: The Salud Tequila Club hosts special tequila-paired dinners and private tastings.
1466 N Ashland Ave
New on the Wicker Park dining scene, Schwa relies on local growers and sustainable production.
(Seafood / Mediterranean)
1952 N Damen Ave
Low ceilings, pillowed banquettes, and ruby colored walls.
1552 N Milwaukee Ave
A fusion of Middle Eastern, North African, and Mediterranean flavors. Souk serves both spicy foods and fruit flavored tobacco pipes.
2039 W North Ave
What was once one of Chicago’s most storied bathhouses is now a restaurant.
1540 N Milwaukee Ave
Summer herbs are grown in the garden at sister restaurant Thyme, ensuring the freshest fare.
501 N Ogden Ave
Enjoy a margarita on the rooftop deck, or try a Jim Beam on tap from the impressive bourbon menu.
Vintage Wine Bar
1942 W Division St
A sophisticated neighborhood spot with over fifty wines and champagnes plus a menu of cheeses, entrees, appetizers.