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Best Moroccan

Food & Drink, Irving Park No Comments »

With so few Moroccan spots in Chicago, winning this award feels like being dubbed the tallest man in the Smurf village. But, were there 100 Moroccan spots in town, we’re pretty confident the orange flower water-perfumed sweet-and-savory chicken bastilla and melting lamb-on-the-bone tagine would still hold its own.

Shokran, 4027 West Irving Park, (773)427-9130,

Best of Chicago 2012

Best dry cleaners with an antique museum inside

Goods & Services, Irving Park No Comments »

Pert Cleaners  

With walls full of washboards, this dry cleaners has its own “Antique Fabricare Museum.” It’s chock full of soaps and ironing boards and steaming machines that document the history of getting clothes clean. Look for the pink neon sign inside the cleaners’ plate-glass window. Rumor has it even Mr. Bubble and the Snuggle Teddy Bear once toured the joint. 

Pert Cleaners
4213 West Irving Park

Best of Chicago 2011

Best barbecue

Audience Choice, Food & Drink, Irving Park No Comments »

Smoque BBQ

After going to Memphis last year and chowing down at seven of their best BBQ spots, all we really wanted to do was get back to Chicago for Smoque’s sliced brisket and beans infused with the brisket’s molasses-like crispy burnt ends.

3800 North Pulaski

Audience choice:

Smoque BBQ

Best place to play darts

Culture & Nightlife, Irving Park, Sports & Recreation No Comments »


One of the great off-the-beaten-path pubs, the Northwest Side’s Sidekicks houses a supreme darts room (yeah, a whole room) with as high-quality equipment as you could expect, at least from a place where the waiters weave through the crowd offering test-tube-shots of buttery nipples. Sidekicks takes it a step farther and even sells dart supplies, so feel free to show up empty-handed. Of note: the karaoke is
equally topnotch.

4424 W. Montrose

Best of Chicago 2008