Welcome to Logan Square, a mainly residential neighborhood brimming with tree-lined streets and bustling strips peppered with bars and restaurants. When it comes down to where to eat, Logan Square’s got you covered; choose from the likes of a hit sandwich shop, a vegetable haven and a British pub slinging bangers and mash.
Bar, Sandwich Shop, Pub Grub, Fast Food, American, $$$
At Wyler Road, it’s all about the sandwiches. The menu is divided into three categories – cold deli, hot deli and melts – so you’ll find things such as chicken salad and sprouts tucked into wholegrain bread, a sky-high reuben bursting with corned beef and pickles, and a deluxe grilled cheese with three kinds of cheeses. There are also a few salads and soups, but most people order a side of cheese curds, flanked by a pot of ranch. Add in a sudsy pint of beer, and you’ve got yourself a perfect meal.
The menu at this BYOB establishment is sweeping, with dishes including charred tandoori chicken, yellow lentils swirled with tomatoes and cumin seeds, and curried lamb. Mop it all up with warm hunks of garlic and butter naan or a platter of biryani strewn with spices and vegetables.
Once upon a time, the elusive Mott St burger was only served at the bar or during brunch. Nowadays, the very same burger – a crisped-up patty crowned with American cheese, hoisin aioli, sweet potato frizzles, pickled jalapeños, pickles, miso butter and onions – is the star at Mini Mott. Everything is served on light pink trays, from garlic fries to the katsu chicken sandwich and the brunch tacos.
Lula Café has been standing in Chicago since 1999, so it’s no wonder that Logan Square has taken such pride in its beloved farm-to-table establishment. You can stop by for breakfast, brunch and dinner, where you’ll be greeted with seasonal dishes such as flank steak drizzled with fava bean chimichurri, wholewheat french toast loaded with rhubarb compote and sausage-stuffed quail brightened with slices of orange. You’d be remiss to leave without trying any of the house-made pastries and desserts – the chocolate crepe folded with bee pollen, hazelnut, huckleberry sorbet and chocolate ice cream is a particular highlight.
Try some of the city's best pies at Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits | Courtesy of Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits
As the name suggests, everyone’s coming here for slices of pie and warm biscuits. There may only be a few varieties of pie a day, but that’s OK; after all, they come in flavors such as lemon lavender brimming with blueberry white chocolate mousse and strawberry rhubarb on a base of oat brown sugar crumble. Each slice is slipped on blue gingham paper – a nod to summertime picnics. On the biscuit side, the squat, golden brown cubes can be paired with seasonal butter and jam, drenched in gravy or stuffed with pimento cheese and maple-glazed ham. In the warmer months, move everything outside and dine at the picnic tables in the backyard.
The space at Giant may be small – room for 44 squeezed in yellow and gray booths – but the food is far from it. Here, you’ll find a mix of cheffy and comfort Midwestern food, including griddled calamari, ricotta gnocchi cloaked in bolognese and pecan-smoked baby back ribs. Plus, the restaurant is all about giving back; for each order of king crab and chili butter tagliatelle, Giant donates a dollar to Kitchen Possible, an organization that empowers kids in the kitchen.
Everyone comes for the outdoor patio at Mi Tocaya Antojeria, a snug Mexican restaurant off Logan Boulevard. Groups congregate outside, picking at an assortment of small plates, including brussels sprouts showered with queso, citrus-cured pork belly and guacamole dusted with chile ash. There are $4 tacos, too, with corn rounds piled with smoked beer can chicken, chorizo and squash, and beans. Wash it all down with a draft cocktail, such as the Mala Vida, which is swirled with Tromba Blanco, jalapeño, orange, lime and agave.
Little distracts from the coat of arms hanging above the entry of this British pub – except the famed burger and chips. But even the rest of the pub food here is reminiscent of actually being in England, with scotch eggs, cornish pasties, bangers and mash, and fish and chips. Just knock back a beer (or two), and soon enough, you’ll really feel British.
Chicago may be the home of deep-dish pizza, but even purists are fans of this Brooklyn import’s Neapolitan pies. Tucked in the kitchen are two Napoli ovens, which fire up all the pies. With over 20 pizzas, plus a sprinkling of vegan ones, there’s always something new to try; some are covered in Canadian bacon and Mike’s Hot Honey, others with pickled pineapple and kimchi.
A partnership between brothers is what makes Daisies stand out from the crowd. Chef Joe Frillman runs the restaurant, trucking in produce from Frillman Farms, operated by his brother Tim. So it should come as no surprise that vegetables take center stage once they make their way into the kitchen. Nosh on asparagus toast, fried mushrooms and cheese curds, and roasted cabbage. Even the pasta – and there is a lot of pasta – swim with vegetables. For example, tiny puffs of agnolotti are jammed with beets and dill, and beef ragu is swapped for mushrooms in the pappardelle.
Fat Rice has been a Chicago go-to since it first flung open its door, serving up Macanese and Portuguese fusion food. The house specialty is the arroz gordo (fat rice), loaded with chili prawns, beef, sausage, curried chicken and char siu pork. Try the Singapore-style omelet, too, and then make your way to the bakery section to snag a smattering of Portuguese egg tarts.
Enjoy authentic Latin American cuisine at 90 Miles Cuban Cafe | Courtesy of 90 Miles Cuban Cafe
Most people are ordering the griddled cubano at 90 Miles Cuban Café, powered down at the year-round patio out back. But there are plenty of other things that make the place so popular, including golden-brown empanadas, sweet café con leche, crispy ham croquettes and slow-roasted pork with citrus mojo. It’s BYOB, but 90 Miles Cuban Café happens to have an assortment of sodas and juices prepped to be swirled with your liquor of choice.
Quiote is a bi-level establishment. A mezcal bar, shaking and stirring strong drinks, is hidden downstairs, while upstairs, a kitchen shuttles out bright Mexican plates, including lamb carnitas tacos, crab tostadas and cornish hen swiped with mole. For dessert, spoon into a soft tres leches cake laced with burnt cinnamon, or dunk churros into ice cream.
Reno Chicago is absolute carb heaven. Mornings are all about wood-fired bagels, pastries, breakfast sandwiches and wood-oven pizzas. At night, the pizza list expands (with a make-your-own option), and there’s house-made pasta ready to be twirled. The alcohol list is just as diverse, brimming with cocktails, brown liquors, beers and wines.