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Best place to dance samba

Culture & Nightlife, Roscoe Village No Comments »

On the soccer field, Brazil and Argentina are fierce rivals but in Chicago the two countries have been teaming up to produce one of the most entertaining venues. Every Tuesday from 10pm, the Argentine bar Ñ—from the same folks who brought us Tango Sur and Folklore restaurants—is hosting Bossa Tres, a Brazilian group who knows how to throw a party. Led by the singer Dill Costa, the trio mixes classic bossa nova with vibrant Brazilian rhythms such as samba and pagode. Be prepared to join an energetic crowd that might drag you on the dance floor to teach you how to shake. You can then chill drinking mojitos, margaritas and pisco sours, or choosing typically Brazilian drinks like caipirinha and guarana. So enjoy the party, but do not start a soccer conversation.

Ñ, 2977 North Elston,  (773) 866-9898 ,,

Best of Chicago 2012

Best fish and chips

Audience Choice, Food & Drink, Lakeview, Roscoe Village No Comments »

New England Seafood Company
The Mazza brothers, transplants from New England, serve up scads of flaky haddock blanketed in a crispy robe of fried batter along with golden shoestring-style spuds. Although for our money, while the fries are good, get some of the freshly shaved and fried potato chips. Though that might not be authentic, even English punters would be impressed.

New England Seafood Company, 3341 North Lincoln, (773)871-3474,

Audience choice: Duke of Perth, 2913 North Clark, (773)477-1741,

Best of Chicago 2012

Best Cubano

Food & Drink, Logan Square, Roscoe Village No Comments »

90 Miles Cuban Café
Unlike Miami, Chicago is no ninety-mile flight from Cuba, so we’re lucky the best Cubanos this side of the Sunshine State are still in Roscoe Village and Logan Square. And where else can you order a tableside pig roast (yes, snout-to-tail) for a party of ten? But for those craving a faster pork fix, stick with the Cubano. The sub-style sandwich is filled with ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, dill pickles and yellow mustard. The sammie sounds standard enough, but there’s just something about the bread, which is made by Humboldt Park bakery Biondillo.

90 Miles Cuban Café, 2540 West Armitage, (773)227-2822; 3101 North Clybourn, (773)248-2822,

Best of Chicago 2012

Best all-you-can-eat sushi buffet

Food & Drink, Lakeview, Roscoe Village No Comments »

House of Sushi and Noodles
The best thing about getting uncomfortably full from sushi is that it can be done for under twenty bucks. For more than ten years, House of Sushi and Noodles, whose back dining room apexes the Belmont-Lincoln intersection, has remained a Lakeview and Roscoe Village fave with its various all-you-can-eat specials. In the evening you can order maki galore, as well as appetizers, from a buffet menu that offers around twenty different rolls and six (sometimes more) apps for $16.95. If nigiri is essential in quenching your desire for raw fish, the price of the buffet jumps up two dollars. But the real deal goes down at weekday lunch. All-you-can-eat for $14.95, or choose from one of a few box-lunch specials for $9.95. And since HOSAN is always busy, their fish is the freshest.

House of Sushi and Noodles, 1610 West Belmont, (773)935-9110,

Best of Chicago 2012

Best sports bar named after an Irish playwright who wrote in English as well as French

Culture & Nightlife, Roscoe Village No Comments »


The beer and conversation flow, and Nebraska fans munch on gourmet burgers beneath wide-screen TVs. But this sports bar is unique, and not because it has 200 craft beers. Beckett’s is infused with, well, Samuel Beckett. A giant portrait of the Irish playwright glares from the wall. His silhouette decorates the dinner plates. A sketch of his face comprises the restaurant’s logo. And the dining area feels like a library with its wood paneling, captain’s chairs and shelves of books. Flip through one while you’re watching the Bears or waiting for Godot.

3210 North Lincoln

Best of Chicago 2011

Best place to make going to the dentist dreamy instead of dreadful

Goods & Services, Roscoe Village No Comments »

Perfect Smile Dental Spa

Before your exam even starts you get a complimentary “tune-up” upper-neck-and-back massage from one of their licensed therapists, a free paraffin hand-wax and, if you want, free medical-grade nitrous oxide. You heard us right. For longer visits why not watch “Iron Man 2” on their stereo movie goggles (they also have satellite radio if you just want some tunes). The waiting room has complimentary bottled water, gourmet coffee, tea and hot chocolate (plus an Xbox and a foot massager). That’s not even counting things like free second opinions, complimentary oral cancer screening and “Whitening for Life” free for new patients. And did we mention the nitrous?

2155 West Roscoe

Best of Chicago 2010

Best pancakes

Audience Choice, Food & Drink, Gold Coast, Hyde Park, Lincoln Park, Little Italy, River North, River West, Roscoe Village, South Loop, Wicker Park No Comments »

Stax Café

We’ve probably had as many pancakes as Wilt Chamberlain had ladies and to pick amongst them is a disservice of sorts. For the Walker Bros. Pancake House in Wheeling’s Dutch Baby is just as solid as the Butterfinger-larded Bongo Room flapjack. It’s really just a matter of mood. No matter our temperament though, the light ricotta pancakes slathered with tart-sweet rhubarb strawberry compote at Stax Café always seem to fit the bill.

1401 West Taylor

Audience choice:

Bongo Room, Orange, Original Pancake House (TIE)

Bongo Room
1470 North Milwaukee

1152 South Wabash

738 North Clark

730 West Grand

2011 West Roscoe

2413 North Clark

Original Pancake House
2020 North Lincoln Park West

22 East Bellevue

1517 East Hyde Park

Best of Chicago 2010

Best Turkish restaurant

Food & Drink, Roscoe Village No Comments »

Turquoise Café

Venture beneath the turquoise-diamond sign. Carrots with yogurt and fresh-baked bread will start you off on an evening of gastronomic delight. Feast on herb-crusted rack of lamb. Let the joy of kazandibi—a caramel custard topped with ice cream—melt in your mouth for dessert.

2147 West Roscoe

Best of Chicago 2010

Best Sunday comfort food

Food & Drink, Roscoe Village No Comments »

Four Moon Tavern

Handmade pierogis, meatloaf sandwiches and saucy sloppy joes charm guests daily at this corner drink-and-dine gem. Johnny Cash croons on the juke, obscure microbrews chill in the coolers and on Sundays, slow-cooked pot roast rules the “specials” chalkboard. Leave room for a finely crafted bloody and conversation with some of the best bar and wait staff in Chicago. Sweet home, indeed.

1847 West Roscoe

Best of Chicago 2010

Best designer cake shop

Food & Drink, Roscoe Village No Comments »


Striped, solid or flowered purse cakes—they look so real! Fancy cakes for large parties are available, too. Just call the designers at Cakegirls (sisters Mary and Brenda Maher) and tell them what you have in mind. They’ve created cakes in the shape of a baby carriage, Eiffel Tower, sushi dinner, boxing gloves and green eggs & ham. They’ve made Queen Latifah and countless brides smile.

2207 W. Belmont

Best of Chicago 2008