Where To Eat In EdgewaterOur favorite restaurants in the neighborhood.
If Chicago is a car, Edgewater is the middle seat. Andersonville and Lake Michigan always get the windows, and Edgewater is stuck in between, with nowhere else to go. But this small neighborhood has plenty of spots worthy of your attention. Here are the best places to eat in Edgewater.
Consider yourself very lucky if you’re in Edgewater because that means you’re close to Huaraches Dona Chio. This tiny spot is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago, and the specialty here is (unsurprisingly) huaraches. But anything involving their housemade masa is delicious—like the tacos, sopes, and mole enchiladas. You get to pick your toppings (with options like pastor, steak, or calabaza), plus your salsa (red or green), and all of it is fantastic. There are only six tables here, but in the summer they also have a cute side patio which is right next to a park.
Our favorite thing about Ethiopian Diamond is that their menu has a section called the “Taste Of Ethiopia”. This is exactly what it sounds like—sampling of delicious things like kay wat with spicy slow-cooked beef or the dinich alicha, an incredible potato and carrot stew. You can decide if you want meat, vegetarian, or tibs—an assortment of grilled chicken, lamb, and beef. Also important: It comes with two sambusas, and the flaky pastries filled with meat or vegetables are our favorite appetizer here.
Pequod’s has been our favorite deep dish for a long time, but as the ’90s Bulls can attest, dynasties end. The reason that George’s is so good is that this carryout spot uses a 48-hour cold-fermented sourdough. It creates a deliciously yeasty crust that’s very similar to focaccia, and has a crispy cornmeal base. There’s a fantastic balance of cheese to sweet tomato sauce, and like a traditional deep dish, the cheese is underneath the sauce. Just be aware that these pizzas are made in very limited quantities, so you might need to order a week in advance to get yours.
Sauce and Bread Kitchen (SBK in Edgewater-speak) is a small cafe owned by hot sauce maker and bakery Co-op Sauce and Crumb. They have great pastries, occasionally host prix fixe dinners, and do pizza on Fridays. But one of the best things here is their bagel sandwich. The Bagel Du Jour starts off with an everything pretzel bagel as a foundation for things like fried chicken, smoked brisket, or krautchi: a hybrid of sauerkraut and kimchi. You can build it however you want, but definitely make sure to try the dozen different hot sauces on every table.
Every neighborhood should have a Chengdu Impression. But until this casual Sichuan spot truly takes over the entire city, you can only find them in Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, and the corner location in Edgewater. This one is the largest and least busy, making it perfect for taking a bunch of friends out for some great spicy Chinese food. Wontons in chili sauce and chewy dandan noodles are a must, and when deciding between dry chili chicken or tart and spicy stewed rabbit feels impossible, just get both.
At the back of this Asian market, you'll find a couple of plastic tables and a cash-only food stall with fantastic Thai food. Everything is served cafeteria-style, and you get two or three entree combos with a side of steamed rice for around $10. From sweet stewed pork with hard-boiled eggs, to pad prik with crispy pork and green beans, to creamy massaman curry, there are always plenty of choices. Just don't get too clingy—dishes rotate daily.
This grocery store in Rogers Park also has a great Latin American restaurant inside. This means that you can eat an excellent Cubano with sweet plantains for lunch, and then pick up ingredients for some dinner later. You can also just stop by for a massive plate of stewed oxtail that’ll make you wonder why you even considered making dinner in the first place.
Herb has some of our favorite Thai food in the city. It’s a small BYOB restaurant, and the menu is prix fixe. You can choose three courses for $65 at this small BYOB spot, or five courses for $85. The spicy fish soup is fantastic, with a light coconut broth that has a lot of heat, and even the boring-sounding grilled tofu is delicious, with roasted ground chili, shallots, and mint giving it lots of flavor. The chef will probably come to your table during the meal to make sure you’re happy, and luckily, you won’t have to lie.
Unfortunately, the Red Line doesn’t directly pull into Falafel Kebab Station, but considering that it is right next to the Granville stop, it’s close enough. And the reason we want a direct route to this counter-service Middle Eastern spot is because the food is great. Whether it’s a lemony chicken shawarma wrap tattooed with beautiful griddle marks, or a giant rice plate with beef, lamb, and chicken kabobs, the menu is full of hits. Plus, the food comes out fast and there are plenty of booths and high tables.
Brasserie by C&C’s menu looks a little like a potluck—tacos, pasta, croquettes, and pork belly crispy rice. But unlike your last office potluck, this spot actually has good food. The French onion soup is rich and cheesy, the short rib pappardelle is al dente, and the foie gras croquettes have a crispy chicharron crust. The space matches the menu—an eclectic mix of mirrors, a tangram-esque chicken mural, and golden bars dividing the dining space that might make it feel like you’re eating in a birdcage. It might feel a little chaotic, but since there aren’t many nice sit-down places in the area, it’s great if you want a more upscale experience.
This barstaurant’s cozy brick space, long bar, and dark wooden accents feel like a traveler’s lodge. It's also strewn with positive affirmations that a restaurant would say to itself in the mirror. But we can confirm that Beard and Belly does, in fact, have “good food” and “fun times.” The crowd of Edgewater lifers and temporary Loyola students creates a busy, friendly atmosphere that’s welcoming for everyone. And after eating some crispy beer-battered pickles, chicken pot pie hand pies, and a burger with creamy Butterkäse, you too might get on board with the generic sayings.
For more of a sit-down restaurant vibe than Talard, but without the time and money commitment of Herb, there’s Jin Thai. And every meal here should start with kanom buang. The delicate crepe is perfectly crispy and full of shrimp, tofu, and coconut flakes. Follow up with the kao soi and make sure to get mango sticky rice topped with coconut milk for dessert. This relaxed spot normally isn’t busy, so you never have to worry about waiting for a table.
Despite its small size, Kohoku-ku Ramen has plenty of personality. The dining room is decorated with colorful koi kites, empty sake barrels, and little curtains hanging from private booths that are great if you’re self-conscious about your noodle slurping. Their simpler shoyu and tonkatsu bowls are tasty, but if you want a bowl that matches the space’s personality, the spicy specialty ramen with soft shell crab and fried shrimp is good, too. Kohoku-ku isn’t too busy, so it’s a reliable place for a relaxed dinner.
This counter-service Sicilian spot has fantastic arancini that are perfect for a quick breakfast, lunch, or a light bite. Each order comes with a duo of crispy golden rice balls stuffed with fillings like robust beef ragu, garlic, or roasted red peppers. They also have some solid pre-made sandwiches like a muffuletta, as well as very cheesy Sicilian pizza-by-the-slice. Taking things to go is the best option, but if you want to avoid spilling ragu on your steering wheel, they have a few seats inside.
Sayuri Sushi Bar is a sushi restaurant that doesn’t have much going on in terms of atmosphere, but has solid sushi and is a good choice for takeout or casual dinner. The dining room is divided into two areas: a cozy space with a couple tables plus seats at the sushi bar, and a second larger section. There’s a wide variety of maki, like a dragon roll with crispy tempura and unagi, or a tangy spicy scallop roll with fresh scallion. But if you just want some no-frills rice and fish, the nigiri is great too.
This relaxed Italian spot took over the old Income Tax space, which means Regalia feels more like a bar than a restaurant. But more importantly, the food is really good. The bone-in veal parmigiana is a must-order, and the meatballs with polenta and creamy cacio e pepe are also delicious. This spot is a great choice for a casual dinner date in the neighborhood, or for a solo meal at the bar with a glass of wine.
This casual Serbian restaurant is an impressive one-woman operation. At any given moment, the chef-owner might be taking orders, bussing tables, or grilling up some cevapi—all while frequently stopping by your table to see how you’re doing. And while the smoky cevapi is great, there are plenty of other delicious dishes, from large bowls of stuffed cabbage and mashed potatoes to flaky spinach and cheese burek. The diner-esque interior with old-school tables and booths is pretty sparse, with the exception of a TV playing infomercials. But you won’t care about the undecorated space when you’re busy dipping some housemade bread in a comforting bowl of rich bean stew.
With a steady stream of regulars and a retro diner look full of Naugahyde booths, this corner restaurant is indeed cozy. But more importantly, their long menu has all the classic diner food staples. Eggs, crispy hash browns, fluffy pancakes—it’s all here and it’s all great. Lunch-ish things like chicken wraps or their cheeseburger are solid, too. Their bright space has plenty of seating, but be sure to get there early on the weekend because it’s always packed.
This is a casual vegan restaurant with great Asian-inspired food. The menu is long, with things like dumplings, seitan satay skewers, and spring rolls. They do a nice job with vegan proteins—for example, they have a fantastic shrimp substitute that really tastes like shrimp. The food here is enjoyable enough for non-vegans, too, but be aware that you will be surrounded by motivational quotes like “share the world with all beings.” Also, it’s BYOB.
You come to Moody’s for two reasons—their burgers and their fantastic patio. This spot has been around since 1959, and the atmosphere doesn’t feel like it’s changed much since then. The food menu is short, focusing on drinks and a small selection of sandwiches and burgers, all of which are solid. But what makes Moody’s particularly special is the space. The patio is huge, with plenty of seating available, and surrounded by large trees and twinkly lights. If you’re here when it’s cold, though, the inside is cozy—it feels like a hunting lodge, with dark wood and two fireplaces. Whenever you’re here, come with a group and plan to stay a while.
Lickety Split is a retro-styled sweets and ice cream shop that makes its own frozen custard fresh every day. They have candy brands you might have forgotten about, like Necco and Cow Tales, and antique metal signs decorating the space. It’s pretty theme-y and none of this stuff is actually vintage, but it’s still a charming spot. Also, the frozen custard is really good.