Dishin’ Up Knowledge: Wayward Chicago’s Favorite Lunch Spots
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day but lunch is easily the best. At lunch, anything is on the table. Tacos? Sure. Falafel? Yes, please. Pizza? Slice it up. While going out to lunch too often is the quickest way to find negative sums in your bank account, picking and choosing when and where can be ultimately rewarding to both mental and physical well-being. Our Chicago store is located in Wicker Park, known for its plentiful nightlife and dining options, therefore making it a going-out-to-lunch hot spot. But as with traveling to any new city, sorting out the good local spots from the tourist traps can be difficult. For this list of our favorite lunch spots, we turned to the staff at Wayward Chicago, who spend their days plugged into the neighborhood, helping customers and visiting many a restaurant, food truck and lunch counter.
En Hakkore 2.0
If you love sushi and also love tacos, there’s no reason to believe combining these two amazing foods wouldn’t be even better. En Hakkore 2.0 has discovered this equation and makes phenomenal sushi tacos. The poke bowls and sushi burritos are great too, but the sushi tacos at this restaurant are a real problem, in a good way. A Korean family owns and operates this and the original En Hakkore in Bucktown, but the Wicker Park location is always a good lunch escape.
1467 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60622
Sultan’s Market is a Wicker Park staple and according to a piece of paper taped to the register, “Cash only since 1995”. For some reason the best spots are always cash only and this is no different. Grab a good-sized falafel sandwich for $5 and try to dodge a food coma for the rest of the day with a post-lunch coffee. Great options if you’re a vegetarian, on a budget, or both.
2057 W North Ave Chicago, IL 60647
With a really cool, vintage-inspired diner atmosphere and Tex-Mex-meets-Southern-Comfort food options, you can always expect a good meal at Dove’s Luncheonette. An added bonus to the food is it’s served by interesting people who can give some local intel about the next place to visit. A little more involved than a quick bite, Dove’s is good if you have a little more time to appreciate lunch.
1545 N Damen Ave Chicago, IL 60622
While barbecue might not be the first thing that comes to mind for a mid-day lunch, Lillie’s Q is not something to sleep on. With southern favorites and sides like shrimp & grits, fried pickles, smoked chicken wings, baked beans and mac & cheese, Lillie’s offers elevated food at a reasonable price.
1856 W North Ave Chicago, IL 60622
On a cold, blustery Chicago day, nothing warms the spirit and soul quicker than a bowl of ramen. Fast and delicious, Furious Spoon provides homemade ramen noodles and plenty of broth options for a digestible price. Known for serving up steaming hot bowls in under ten minutes, Furious Spoon is a great place to grab a quick bite if the clock’s running out on your lunch break.
1571 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60622
Contrary to initial name impressions, Antique Taco serves up updated Mexican lunch fare with a twist! From horchata milkshakes to creamed elote, there are tons of fun items to try. The interior is cute and casual, adorned with fun vintage items worth checking out while you wait for your food. Kim from Wayward Chicago swears by the fish tacos.
1360 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60622
Piece Brewery and Pizzeria
First off, not everyone in Chicago only eats deep dish. Piece Brewery and Pizzeria is a great spot for thin crust pizza and drinks with a sports bar feel and is a local favorite. Their BBQ pizza is especially good, and they have a pretty impressive selection of in-house brews. They also do karaoke every Saturday night.
1927 W North Ave Chicago, IL 60622