One of the great things about coworking is exploring dining options in the surrounding neighborhood, so we’ve compiled a round-up of some seriously tasty restaurants in close proximity to our space in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. We’ll be doing the same for Wicker Park in a future post, so to our Wicker Park members, don’t worry: you’re up next.
Ravenswood Restaurants & Nearby
Bad Apple: 4300 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-360-8406
Straight forward menu fare and well-made drinks make the Bad Apple a serious contender for lunch or dinner on any given day. From the Montreal Poutine (fries topped with gravy and cheese curds) to the Truffle Shuffle (a burger with truffled cream spinach, sautéed wild mushrooms and green onion), it seldom disappoints.
Beans & Bagels: 1812 W. Montrose Ave., 773-769-2000
Situated right around the corner from us, Beans & Bagels is no doubt our go-to coffee shop of choice. But they also serve stellar sandwiches at very affordable prices AND they just remodeled so it’s a win-win-win (coffee, sandwiches, atmosphere). Specials like “The Tom Joad” illustrate our point: chopped turkey breast salad with crushed garlic, halved red grapes and toasted walnuts on grilled ciabatta with plum tomatoes and Wisconsin Swiss cheese.
Cho Sun Ok: 4200 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-549-5555
An authentic Korean restaurant in business for more than 30 years, Cho Sun Ok is a great spot for entertaining a client or a quick, tasty lunch. Tabletop cooking provides a unique option (try the BulLak Gui, beef and octopus marinated and cooked in a stone pan) or let them do the cooking and have the Mul NaengMyeon (buckwheat noodles in chilled beef broth). The soup entrees also make for a filling and flavorful meal.
Fountainhead: 1970 W. Montrose Ave., 773-697-8204
This artisanal-focused restaurant concentrates on from-the-source food, beer and spirits. If you like to know from whence your edibles spring, a.k.a. farm to table, it’s for you. Menu items change regularly, but for example: grilled Berkshire loin shop with sorrel butter, rosemary fingerlings and roasted vegetables OR chicken fried chicken with buttermilk-marinated chicken, apple-sausage gravy, gruyere mashed potatoes and coal slaw. They also offer sandwiches including “The Foutainhead Burger,” which comes with a range of available options the likes of smoked gouda, roasted jalapenos and/or a fried egg. They also have a rooftop garden that we highly recommend.
La Amistad: 1914 W. Montrose Ave., 773-878-5800
This family-owned Mexican restaurant covers all the basics: sopes, gorditas, tostadas, burritos, tacos and more. They also serve breakfast and a very flavorful horchata you don’t want to miss. They also cater.
Marmalade: 1969 W. Montrose Ave., 773-883-9000
Stepped up breakfast, brunch and lunch fare replete with imaginative twists on the American morning-time dining basics we’ve all come to know and love, Marmalade is a little different than the rest in a good way. The flavors are BIG: think Al Forno French Toast, oven-baked French toast casserole stuffed with cream cheese, strawberry and pineapple compote and imported Greek figs topped with streusel and powdered sugar.
Me Dee Café: 4805 N. Damen Ave., 773-989-4444
One thing that makes this spot stand-out? It’s open after midnight (DYK our coworking space is available to members 24/7?). Me Dee Café has wide-ranging and hyper-affordable menu that includes soul-stirring curry and noddle dishes but it’s the Thai custard and mocha ice creams that keep us coming back. They’re also perfect for an afternoon treat when it’s time to step away from your computer and take a stroll.
Mixteco Grill: 1601 W. Montrose Ave., 773-868-1601
A Frontera Grill- and Rick Bayless-inspired Mexican restaurant, Mixteco Grill combines the owner’s passion for the culture of Mexico with sophisticated culinary techniques. It achieves both of those goals very admirably with dishes like the Camarones al Morita: wood-grilled black tiger shrimp bathed in a morita-honey glaze on top of a creamy morita sauce served with white rice, garnished with grilled asparagus and roasted red pepper.
ORD Pizzeria: 1607 W. Montrose Ave., 773-327-9200
Open for lunch and dinner, ORD Pizzeria offers a wide range of specialty pies and salads. Also, they deliver, so it’s perfect for an eat-while-you-work kind of thing or for meetings in our conference room. What do we suggest when it comes to their featured pizzas? How about the Colt: herb-roasted chicken, smoked bacon, sliced tomatoes, mushrooms, roasted garlic, mozzarella and crushed tomatoes or create your own pie—the’re flexible.
Real Kitchen: 1433 W. Montrose Ave., 773-281-2888
Expect made-from-scratch, wholesome cooking at this food-first spot. It’s a favorite of Platform Coworking owner Jeff Park. “Their whole ethos is making fancy food accessible and unpretentious, hence the strip mall location,” says Park. They also place great emphasis on sustainability and they cater, making it a solid choice for your next business meeting at Platform Coworking.
Roong Petch: 1828 W. Montrose Ave., 773-989-0818
A local favorite serving Thai cuisine and sushi, we find ourselves stopping by Roong Petch on a regular basis. You’ll find both Thai and Japanese items on the menu here and they offer a $5.95 lunch special that makes this an affordable option for repeat dining. There’s a lot to choose from on the menu, like the Pad Woon Sen (stir-fried glass noodles with egg, onions, bean sprouts, baby corn, carrots and green onions, served with chicken, beef, tofu, mock duck, vegetables or shrimp). Their Thai ice coffee is also a solid afternoon pick-you-up.
Royal Thai: 2209 W. Montrose Ave., 773-509-0007
Family owned and serving fresh, authentic Thai food, Royal Thai is yet another reason we enjoy dining in our neighborhood. The noodle soups are especially tasty. For example, the Kow Soy is at the top of our list: ramen noodles in a yellow curry broth served with lime and red onion, your choice of chicken, beef, pork, tofu or vegetables. Most menu items go for under $10, so you can’t go wrong here.
Eats and Sweets Café: 1636 W. Montrose Ave., 773-293-7013
Taking the place of our beloved Angel Food Bakery, Eats and Sweets Café serves breakfast, lunch and early dinner (closes Mon.-Sat. at 7 p.m.). It’s just opened but we’ve had good experiences there and it’s definitely worth a try. If you do give it a go, let us know what you think.
Taqueria El Asadero: 2213 W. Montrose Ave., 773-583-5563
One of our favorite and affordable Mexican spots, the steak is awesome, they make their own guacamole and the menu is wide-ranging but not so large that it takes a half-hour to check it out and make a decision. The Al Pastor, a marinated pork torta, is SO good.
Wild Goose Bar & Grill: 4265 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-281-7112
Make no mistake, the Wild Goose serves up straightforward bar food and does it well. They also have 24 beers on tap. It’s a perfect after-work spot for hard-charging coworkers. TIP: They serve up 10-cent wings on Monday nights and they’re completely tasty—just don’t go on a Chicago Cubs game night unless you’re in little to no hurry or are there to watch the game on one of their 15 flat screen TV’s and/or their two giant projection screens.