We’ve lived in the center of the Lincoln Square, Ravenswood and North Center neighborhoods for four years. Curtis and I have tried a lot of restaurants in that time and found some gems that we’ve been frequenting since the beginning. I thought it was time to drop some wisdom on the blog so that everyone else can enjoy our favorite items too! The list is compiled in this order; breakfast/brunch/lunch, casual dinner, sit down dinner, and dessert.

  1.  Pannenkoeken
    • Favorite Item: Apple Pannenkoeken (Dutch pancake)
    • Go here for the Dutch pancakes but be aware that they also have quite the french toast selection. I always get a savory item as well and their omelets and breakfast sandwich are wonderful. It’s a very small place so expect a wait but it’s definitely worth it.
  2. Over Easy
    • Favorite Item: Blueberry Crunch Pancakes
    • They offer several Mexican inspired breakfasts as well as more basic breakfast items. Again, this is a very small place that is always on a wait but pick a day to put in the time. You won’t regret it.
  3. Baker Miller
    • Favorite Items: Ben breakfast sandwich and homemade cinnamon roll
    • They have a smaller menu with most of it consisting of bakery items and then a couple of daily specials. The biscuits on my benedict inspired sandwich were insane. The cinnamon roll is what they’re known for and it did not disappoint!
  4. Julius Meinl
    • Favorite Items: Brioche egg sandwich and almond croissant
    • These are all over the city but I still think of our neighborhood cafe as a stand alone treasure. Whether you want pastries, coffee, tea, lunch… they have everything here and I’ve never tasted something I haven’t liked.
  5. Spoken
    • Favorite Item: Xena the Warrior bagel
    • This place has a pastry case filled with bakery items, bagel sandwiches and a board full of lunch paninis as well. Everything is good. Everything!
  6. Costello’s
    • Favorite Items: Spicy Roscoe sub and Italian sub
    • Sadly the Lincoln Square location just closed but there is one not too far away in Roscoe Village. We always go on double punch Tuesdays and get boths subs then share. This is one of our staples!
  7. Taqueria el Asadero
    • Favorite Item: Carne Asada Burrito
    • I don’t think we’ve eaten anywhere in the neighborhood as much as we’ve eaten here. I don’t eat red meat anymore but I always get the veggie burrito which is my favorite and Curtis swears the carne asada is the best in the city.
  8. The Roost
    • Favorite Item: Chicken Sandwich Meal
    • This is our new favorite grubhub! Get the chicken sandwich meal (I get mine spicy with pickles) and then for the two sides don’t miss out on the mac and cheese or peach cobbler.
  9. Medee Cafe
    • Favorite Items: Pad Thai and Basil Fried Rice
    • There are thai places on every block in our hood but I’ve always loved the slightly sweet pad thai here more than anywhere else and they’re open all hours of the night which is a plus.
  10. Wah Sun
    • Favorite Items: Orange Chicken and Egg Rolls
    • In a neighborhood of thai restaurants I’ve been waiting years to find good chinese food with the kind of egg rolls I crave. So glad we finally tried this place! It had everything I wanted.
  11. Bistro Campagne
    • Favorite Item: Pork Chop
    • This is one of our special occasion spots. They have a seasonal French menu but if the pork chop is listed then get it! It’s been incredible more than once. Lovely, cozy and intimate atmosphere.
  12. Gather
    • Favorite Item: Charcuterie Board
    • This is also one of our special occasion spots. I’ve never had something I didn’t like while trying their small plates and we always get the charcuterie board to start. LOVE this spot!
  13. Miku
    • Favorite Items: Pork Belly Bun and Momo Maki Roll
    • We finally found our sushi spot! We’ve had an array of good rolls here but the service always tends to be a touch slow so give yourself time to enjoy the evening.
  14. First Slice
    • Favorite Items: Key Lime Pie and French Silk Pie
    • It took me years to realize there was a little cafe in the Lill Street Art Center. Ever since we found out we’ve sampled most of their pies and while those are our top choices I also love the peanut butter pie and the blueberry peach.
  15. Margie’s Candies
    • Favorite Item: Ice Cream
    • This is our go to spot for ice cream in the summer months. They have basic flavors but the portions are huge and no matter what you order it’s always delicious!


Farmer’s Market peach Dutch pannenkoeken


Lattes at Julius Meinl


Seasonal blueberry cobbler at Gather

Have you tried any of these spots? Is there a great restaurant that we missed? Let me know in the comments!