Strings Ramen – Lakeview

Interior
Interior
Sriracha Broccoli with Bacon Bits
Sriracha Broccoli with Bacon Bits
Tonkotsu Ramen with pork loin
Tonkotsu Ramen with pork loin
Mojo ice cream and tiramisu
Mojo ice cream and tiramisu

***** (5 stars)

This cozy ramen shop serves… well, ramen. There are also some interesting appetizers. The Sriracha Broccolli and Bacon was excellent. Broths are savory, and there is plenty of whatever ingredient you order it with. Service is friendly.

Strings Ramen – Lakeview
919 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 661-6442
https://www.yelp.com/biz/strings-ramen-lakeview-chicago-3

Mixteco Mexican Grill

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Exterior
Interior
Interior

***** (5 stars)

This counter-serve place is a lot better than many of the sit down Mexican restaurants in the area.

Nachos are particularly good, with a hearty serving of real cheese and plenty of jalapenos.

The fire-grilled quesadilla is also excellent, but beware that the habanero sauce is not messing around!

I also really enjoyed the Al Pastor toca prepared in authentic Mexican style. I prefer my Pastor without pineapple chunks, which is how this is made.

Service was friendly and everything was prepared to order quickly.

Mixteco Mexican Grill
847 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 904-9723
https://www.yelp.com/biz/mixteco-mexican-grill-chicago-3

Bagel Restaurant & Deli

Interior
Interior
Exterior
Exterior
Vegetarian Chili Soup
Vegetarian Chili Soup
Pastrami on Rye
Pastrami on Rye
Roast beef on Onion Roll
Roast beef on Onion Roll

***** (5 stars)

This is the deal, a NY style Jewish delicatessen. All the sandwiches you'd imagine, and more. Plus free pickles!

The half sandwich combo offers any sandwich, plus any soup or salad. The chili counts as soup, and boy it was delicious. Pastrami had just the right amount of fat, and the rye bread was super fresh.

Excellent friendly service.

Bagel Restaurant & Deli
3107 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 477-0300
https://www.yelp.com/biz/bagel-restaurant-and-deli-chicago

El Jardin

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Chilaquiles Breakfast
Chilaquiles Breakfast
Enchiladas
Enchiladas

***** (5 stars)

This place is divided into a number of varies seating areas, including dining rooms, a bar, and a garden.

The margaritas all seem to be made with lemon juice rather than lime, which is odd; I needed to order a shot of Cointreau to restore the balance.

The appetizers were the best part of our meal. We ordered the nachos without the beans. As described, they can with exactly seven large tortilla chips! They also come with a dab of guacamole, so we really didn't need the extra order of guacamole, but it was good.

The entrees were less exciting. Chicken enchiladas had a rather odd flavor, and the contents seemed to be ground up. Chilaquiles were also unusual, in that instead of being topped with a fried egg there was a scrambled egg mixed in; the chile verde sauce was good, though.

Service was not particularly attentive considering we were the only table seated for Thursday lunch.

El Jardin
3335 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 528-6775
https://www.yelp.com/biz/el-jardin-chicago

Ora

Interior
Interior
Scallop Volcano
Scallop Volcano
Dynamite, albacore tatami, snake eye
Dynamite, albacore tataki, snake eye
Wasabi Tail
Wasabi Tail
Menu
Menu

***** (5 stars)

Very good creative rolls. We liked all of them, but I think my favorites were the wasabi tail and the snake eye.

It’s BYOB, but their glassware is pretty clunky.

Ora
5143 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 506-2978
https://www.yelp.com/biz/ora-chicago

Chicago Bagel Authority

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Exterior
Interior
Interior

***** (5 stars)

CBA offers a HUGE assortment of sandwiches served on bagels. I usually avoid bagel sandwiches because they are a bit tough, but CBA steams them, which makes the bagel perfect for a sandwich.

There's a large seating area in a separate room that has a great chill vibe.

Chicago Bagel Authority
955 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 549-1982
https://www.yelp.com/biz/chicago-bagel-authority-chicago-4

Bites

Interior
Interior
Menu
Menu
Menu
Menu
Drinks
Drinks
Wine
Wine
Cocktails
Cocktails
Garlic chili wings
Garlic chili wings
Garlic Edamame*
Garlic Edamame*
Thai-Rish Coffee
Thai-Rish Coffee
Coconut Shrimp
Coconut Shrimp
Maki Fresco
Maki Fresco
Crazy Dragon
Crazy Dragon
Banana Wontons
Banana Wontons

***** (5 stars)

Most Asian Fusion places aren't really doing much fusion, they're just serving a variety of Asian cuisines, but at Bites there is some true fusion going on.

Edamame turned into gyoza was an interesting starter, and the Thai chicken wings were deliciously sweet and spicy.

Coconut shrimp were huge, with a delicate, not oily coating.

My favorites were the two elaborate sushi maki rolls we tried, the Maki Fresco and Crazy Dragon. Both were unique, and I'm not sure which I liked better.

Banana Wontons were a great way to finish.

There are some very creative cocktails, served with spherical ice and thoughtful garnishes. They take their bar work seriously.

I'll definitely be back to this great find.

Bites
3313 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 270-5972
https://www.yelp.com/biz/bites-chicago-2

bopNgrill Belmont

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
BNG Burger And Kimchi Burger
BNG Burger And Kimchi Burger

***** (5 stars)

bopNgrill offers a nice combination of Korean classics such as bibimbop plus creative burgers. I tried the kimchee burger, which was a nice think patty, perfectly cooked, and topped with kimchee and a sunny side up egg. This is not a food to consume on a first date, because you will end up wearing it, but it was delicious!

bopNgrill Belmont
921 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 799-8868
https://www.yelp.com/biz/bopngrill-belmont-chicago

IDOF Fresh Mediterranean

Interior
Interior
Pita with hummus and falafel
Pita with hummus and falafel

***** (5 stars)

I love the way you can specify your pita sandwich here, ingredient by ingredient. I was first introduced to falafel pitas many (many) years ago, and there's a certain way I like them, and IDOF lets me design mine just the way I prefer. The falafel and hummus are both top notch, and the other ingredients are fresh.

Of course they have a whole array of other items that come in pitas or platters.

Service was fast and friendly.

IDOF Fresh Mediterranean
851 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 672-2780
https://www.yelp.com/biz/idof-fresh-mediterranean-chicago-12