Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chicago Restaurant Reviews: Best of 2009

As the year draws to a close it's time to do a restaurant roundup and mention some awards for a few places which not only caught my attention but have been consistently good places to eat in the city.

Best Lunch Spot in the Loop
: Hannah's Bretzel
233 N Michigan Avenue and 190 W Washington St
Chicago, IL 60605

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This is the best place for lunch in the loop in my opinion. Despite it being a bit on the expensive side($9-10) it is a great healthy option. A wall of Swiss and Belgium chocolate, organic ingredients, freindly staff and a choice of kettle chips or carrots. Beats fast food.

Best Italian: Trattoria Trullo

4767 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

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Quick Review:

Anterprima came close but this Lincoln Square spot is hands down the best (authentic) Italian restaurant I've been to in the city.

This isn't a pasta house with heavy tomato sauces, it's where the Italians go when they are on vacation. Go and enjoy.

Best Cafe: Julius Meinl

4363 North Lincoln Avenue

Chicago, IL
, 60613


4363 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618

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Yes, you can go to Intelligensia to get a decent cup of coffee but Menil's has some great European coffee's and dishes. People complain about the long waits to get in during lunch rush on the weekends but I like to go at night, especially in the fall or winter. Just like Vienna in Chicago.

Really, on my last visit there were a group of French friends all talking (in French) lively about various topics and behind me was a lone Italian man speaking on the cellphone. When the Europeans gather here, you know it's good.

If you cut out your to trip to Europe this year travel to Meinl's instead, almost the same thing.

Best Hot Dog: Jim's Original

1250 S Union Ave
Chicago, IL 60607

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This Near West Side Spot takes the prize for great hot dogs and burgers. People were lined around the block for their 70th Anniversary deal and I can see why; they have some of the best polish sausages in town.

In fact, they claim to be the home of original Chicago polish. Either way this is a spot to stop by.

If you're looking for a more comprehensive guide to Chicago restaurants check out Zagat 2009/10 Chicago Restaurants: Celebrating 30 Years (Zagatsurvey: Chicago Restaurants)

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