5310 N. Clark St., Andersonville
Half the pleasure in coming here for dinner is just looking around: Original building features have been restored and a huge thirty-foot mural of Mexico dominates one of the many brick walls. Seats are a rich blood red, and wood floors are interspersed with colorful tiles. Soft tortillas are handmade in the kitchen before being blistered over the grill and filled with all manner of slow-stewed meats and quick-fried fish. Margaritas come in pitchers, and there are great slushies for the kids.
5420 N. Clark St., Andersonville
In Andersonville, chef (and Chicago native) Jennifer Kim has created a unique eatery, combining the cuisine of her Korean-American heritage with a distinct central Italian influence. It’s hard to picture what that means, but you’ll appreciate it when you sit down to dishes that are unlike anything you’ve tasted before: Kimchi Pajeon Farinata, a crisp chickpea pancake with charred scallions and baby garlic pesto; cavatelli with nori butter, asparagus and pickled ramps; and a lamb ragu with dubokki (spicy stir-fried rice cakes). The space is remarkable, too: a cavernous, brick-walled, slightly industrial room with a long marble bar decorated with vintage David Bowie prints and Korean ceramics
The Coffee Studio
5628 N. Clark St., Andersonville
Beautifully modern, this is one of those spots that has everything going for it. The only issue, really, is that you're afforded only an hour of free Wi-Fi with purchase. It still makes our list, though, because the lattes and iced coffees are the liquid equivalent of a punch in the face.
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