West of Halsted and River North, this is a fun area of Chicago to explore and find some really great food options!
You will first come to Flo, a fun spot for breakfast or brunch with New Mexican specialties. 1434 W. Chicago.
Habana Libre is the perfect spot for great Cuban specialties. The combination platter, which serves three people easily, is a wonderful value. They recently opened for brunch; it is also BYOB. 1440 W. Chicago. It is the perfect spot for a group dinner with friends. Reservations are taken for larger groups.
Mexique, in a sleek space, has good Mexican specialties. It received a Michelin Star in 2013. 1529 W. Chicago.
Whisk, at 2018 W. Chicago, recently opened and is a great spot for its daily brunch. Dinner is also served.
Located in the old West Town Tavern location at 1329 W. Chicago Ave. is Charlatan. They offer a very creative, seasonal menu. It was a perfect spot on a cold Chicago night with long-time friends. I enjoyed the escarole salad and the great cinnamon dusted scallops. It continues to get good reviews.
There are some great restaurants along Division Street also:
I recently tired the the casual Mana Food Bar, a Michelin Bib Gourmand recommendation, featuring vegan and vegetarian options. They have a large menu of salads, Indian dishes and Asian specialties. I enjoyed a casual dinner with a local friend.
Taus Authentic: I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to a new restaurant getting rave reviews. It has a warm, contemporary and sleek décor. I really enjoyed the panzanella kale salad with cherry tomatoes, Japanese cucumbers, dill croutons, blue cheese in a lemon-caper dressing and the sea trout entrée with spring pea risotto, honey-thyme carrot puree and baby carrots. 1846 W. Division.
Mirai Sushi at 2020 W. Division comes to mind as a fun spot for sushi. Bangers and Lace at 1670 W. Division is a fun spot for craft beer, sandwiches and salads. They do have a brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
For the best gelato, check out Black Dog Gelato at 859 N. Damen, just north of Chicago Ave. The goat cheese, cashew and caramel flavor is one of the best I have ever had anywhere! It is a must every time I am in the neighborhood.
Bite Cafe: At 1039 N. Western, this is a casual, neighborhood restaurant that is perfect for brunch. The menu is excellent.
Our most recent find is Homestead on the Roof. At 1924 W. Chicago Ave., this is a wonderful farm-to-table with a small indoor dining room. But the highlight is the 1,000 sq. ft. rooftop restaurant surrounded by its rooftop garden. It is the perfect spot on a Chicago summer night. The menu features farm-fresh seasonal fare in its dinner, desserts, and hand-crafted cocktails. They have a good selection small plates and large plates that can easily be shared. We loved gougeres and the smoked oxtail croquettes to start and equally enjoyed the scallops with the foie mousse, the duck entree and the walleye with the langoustine remoulade. The desserts were also excellent. We loved the nutella drumstick and the peach dessert.
Just west 2524 W. Chicago is Shokolad Pasty & Cafe which a Ukrainian cafe offering pastries, cookies and a savory breakfast/lunch menu with sandwiches,crêpes and pierogi. The sandwiches were huge and very good.
I also just tried enjoyed Tryzub at 2201 W. Chicago. They features pierogies, crepes, potato pancakes and other Ukrainian specialties. They serve brunch daily. I enjoyed a smoked salmon omelette and pierogies. The decor is attractive and somewhat formal.
Nearby, I recently tried A Tavola a small, cozy spot from 1995 that is known for its seasonal Italian menu from local ingredients. They have great gnocchi, pasta, fish, beef and more. They offer a tasting menu as well. 2148 W Chicago Ave.
At 2700 W. Chicago Ave. is Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar. Opened in 2017, this is a small, casual neighborhood spot that features cuisine from Chicago’s immigrant roots. They feature a number of appetizers including oysters, plus entrees like port goulash, wood-roasted duck and scallops. They also feature caviar where you can sample roe from more than a dozen types of fish. They also specialize in a large wine list and cocktail menu. I highly recommend it and enjoyed it with friends.
Another recent find is Windy City Cafe at 1062 W. Chicago Ave. Open for breakfast and lunch they feature a large selection of breakfast items from omelettes, benedicts, skillets, frittatas, pancakes, egg specialties and sides. The smoked salmon benedict was excellent.
I just tried Cafe Marie-Jeanne at 1001 N. California. They have a great brunch menu and is a fun neighborhood spot. The smoked trout omelette with creme fraiche and dill was a good choice.