Three Sisters Delicatessen
If you want to get an idea of what Russian food is all about and not spend a fortune, Three Sisters on Devon is the best place to start. The store has the ABCs of Russian cuisine, and sells prepared dishes (salads and stews), ingredients for them (such as roasted buckwheat), Russian sweets (ginger cookies, waffles and jams), souvenirs, and even brightly painted, generously sized teacups. The store itself has an old-fashioned, Soviet look to it, and is a good change from ultra-modern, super-efficient American supermarkets.
Three Sisters Delicatessen, 2854 West Devon, (773)973-1919
Best of Chicago 2012
Argo Georgian Bakery
In Russia, red caviar has always been a symbol of ultimate success in life. If you can afford to eat caviar with spoons, you have reached the proper heights of wealth. Even Russians who are not rich buy caviar for special occasions and enjoy its salty taste no less than the powerful oligarchs and magnates. Chicago Russians who know their caviar go directly to the Georgian bakery on Devon Avenue and get a big, hearty container of the delicacy for a price that is widely considered to be the lowest in the city.
Argo Georgian Bakery, 2812 West Devon, (773)764-6322
Best of Chicago 2012
Stars Motel sign
The stars no longer twinkle. The neon doesn’t light up anymore. And the motel itself was demolished in 2006. But the Stars Motel sign remains, a faded relic from a bygone era. The dark brown and pale yellow sign towers over North Lincoln Avenue, boasting “Air Conditioning… Switchboard… Free Television.” Apparently the maid service was nothing to write home about.
6100 North Lincoln
Best of Chicago 2011
With a distinct touch of Persian, Danny’s Restaurant shakes up Mediterranean flavors so that items you’re familiar with take on new life. Everything is handmade daily, including pickled vegetables and Baba Ghanoush. The Chicken Shawarma is ridiculously tender and flavorful, the saffron rice is succulent and fragrant, and not a single secret will be revealed, no matter how nicely you ask. Iraqi Pacha on the weekends and a whole stuffed lamb (call ahead first) for only $190! Try the Basturma, of which there’s a scary photo on the wall and, for color, there’s also a Three Stooges “Wanted” poster.
6310 North Western
Best of Chicago 2010