Ten best places I ate in 2016
Chicago is a great food town. Since the 1850’s, when French and German chefs flocked here to cook in the new hotels, Chicago garnered a culinary reputation. From cheap eats to fine dining, Chicago has the best food scene in the country.
Here are ten of my favorite places from this past year.
Palace Grill: I used to eat breakfast here regularly when I was a cop. Except for the expansion and liquor license, the place has not changed much. Good, hearty diner food. I loved their Sloppy Joe sandwich.
Bistro Voltaire: This River West restaurant serves classic French bistro fare in a relaxed venue. The food is very good and service is excellent. They have a good wine list. Prices are reasonable. It is close to the L and other entertainment venues for after dinner explorations.
Mythos: I love Greek food. I eat in Greek restaurants several times a year. Mythos, in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, is one of the best. Mythos was featured on Check, Please. The food is Ateninian style. Everything is cooked with love and passion. The staff is exceptional. Mythos is BYOB, so bring some good Greek wine. Mythos is slightly more expensive than other noted Chicago Greek restaurants, but the food is well worth every penny.
Daley’s Restaurant: Established in 1892, Daley’s is the oldest continuing operating restaurant in Chicago. It is a diner. Good, hearty diner fare. If you love food and history, you must eat at Daley’s.
Ahjoomah’s Apron: I found this place by accident while wandering around Chinatown. Ahjoomah’s Apron is a Korean restaurant. Their bowls are hearty mixes of meat, fish, and fowl with noodles. Service is good. Prices are reasonable.
Slurping Turtle: If you like slurping ramen noodles, Slurping Turtle, in the River West neighborhood is the place to go. The menu looks daunting, but the servers know it well and can guide you. Their bartenders know how to mix a mean Bloody Mary. Furious Spoon and Strings are also good choices.
Falafel Island: This Middle Eastern place, on Adams between State and Wabash, is one of the least expensive places to eat in the Loop. Their entree plates are enough for a light lunch for two people. Falafel Island is a no-frills joint. It is fast food that tastes good. Falafel & Grill in Wicker Park is another good choice.
Tank Noodle: If you like Pho or other Vietnamese specialties, Tank Noodle is the place to go. Their soup and noodle menu is extensive. This place gets crowded, especially on weekends. Sometimes there is a line out the door. This is a sign that good stuff awaits you.
Maxwell Street Market: If you like Mexican street food, head to the Maxwell Street Market on Sundays. Located on Des Plaines between Roosevelt and Polk, the market has the best and only street food in Chicago. The food vendors arrive early to make everything from scratch, including the tortillas and tamales. Get there around 11 a.m. as the lines start forming.
Margie’s Candies: There is no better place to get your ice cream fix than at Margie’s, an institution since 1921. Margie’s Candies has two locations, the original at Armitage, Milwaukee, and Western, and one in Ravenswood at Montrose and Ravenswood, next to the Brown Line.