This is Josh's personal list of favorite restaurants in Chicago. These are not necessarily the best or the most trendy places to get food. These choices are heavily influenced by nostalgia. Nevertheless, people directly asked Josh to make this list, so here it is, in no particular order.
RestaurantRecommended item(s)AddressNotesRoom for seating?Erica approved?
AL'S BEEF- Italian beef, hot/sweet peppers, dipped
- Cheese fries
1079 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607

The best Italian beef Josh has ever had. Johnnie's is a decent competitor, but I like the gravy/beef juice flavor at Al's a lot more. Always ask for your sandwich dipped. Always.Minimal outdoor seating. Indoor standing counter.Watched Josh eat.
ANDY'S FROZEN CUSTARDSnowmonster concreteMany LocationsThis is not a Chicago-specific thing, but if you're from Ann Arbor, there's none around. If you think frozen custard sounds comparable to, say, Culver's... it's not. It's really not.Yes
BAKERS SQUAREFresh strawberry pie (seasonal)Many LocationsYes
BUFFALO JOE'SBuffalo wings. Suicide-spice, if you can handle.812 Clark Street, Evanston, IL 60201Apologies for the quality of the wing meat, but there is no substitution for Buff Joe's sauce.YesCan't remember
CHO SUN OK RESTAURANTChaDol-Gui (thin beef slices, served with kimchi fried rice at the end)4200 North Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618Josh's family would come here a lot for holidays or birthdays. Unfortunately, it seems like it's gotten more popular and the line is always long and the dining area is small.YesYes
DEL SEOULKorean-fusion tacos2568 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614Probably not as good as the coasts, but good Korean fusion tacos.YesYes
DOLLOP COFFEE & THE HOOSIER MAMA PIE COMPANYAll the pie749 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, IL 60202Pie. Expensive pie, but delicious pie.YesHasn't been yet
EVANSTON CHICKEN SHACKFried chicken (dark meat)1925 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201Legend has it that this used to be a Harold's. One of Josh's proudest moments was when the cashier would recognize his face.Minimal indoor seatsHasn't been yet
- Chili chicken
- Butter chicken
2032 West Devon Avenue, Chicago, IL 60659

UIC Location is pretty good too
Cheap, delicious Indian food. Can't get that in Ann Arbor.YesHasn't been yet
GINO'S EASTSupreme deep dishMany LocationsEveryone's gonna have their own preference for deep dish - Lou Malnati's, Giordano's, Pequod's. Gino's East is Josh's favorite. Deal with it.YesHasn't been yet
GREAT SEA RESTAURANT"Lollipop" wings3253 West Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625Under new ownership, but the sauce is still legit.YesHad noodles for some reason. Noodles are ok.
HAROLD'S CHICKENFried chicken (dark meat)Many Locations
Chicago Magazine's Rankings
Larry Legend's Rankin
Quality differs greatly from location to location. Refer to rankings lists.Typically noHasn't been yet
HOT "G" DOGAny specials they might have
Duck fat fries
Currently closed...Former employees of Hot Doug's started their own Encased Meats restaurant. Not the same, but really really good. Hot "G" Dog is currently closed, but may be open in a new location by the wedding. “There are no two finer words in the English language than ‘encased meats,’ my friend.”N/AYes
IRVING'S FOR RED HOT LOVERSPure beef red hots, everything on them3207 Lake Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091Best Chicago style hot dogs. In Wilmette, of all places. Go figure.YesHasn't been yet
JIM'S ORIGINAL- Polish sausage
- Fish sandwich
- Fries
1250 South Union Avenue, Chicago, IL 60607Don't do the jalapenos. I mean, you can if you want to. But don't.No. Outdoor standing counter.Yes, esp fish sandwich
JOY YEE NOODLEFresh fruit smoothies. I like strawberry peach with tapioca.Many LocationsIf you get the giant bowl of pho, please take a selfie with it and send it to me.YesSure, why not
LEM'S BAR-B-QRib tips. Lots of sauce.311 East 75th Street, Chicago, IL 60619Used to be Josh's favorite BBQ place before he visited Franklin's in Austin.NoHasn't been yet
MINGHIN CUISINE - CHINATOWNApparently, dimsum.2168 South Archer Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616

I have been told the downtown location is not good.
This is actually Erica's addition, not Josh's. "It's good dimsum. From Hong Kong." Josh doesn't know what makes dimsum good or bad.YesYes
MR GREEK GYROS- Gyros with GRILLED onions
- Rib tips: good, not as good as Lem's, good for sharing
234 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60607Yes"I don't love it the way Josh does"
Naf Naf GrillThe pita bread
PIECE BREWERYHot Doug's Atomic Sausage pizza1927 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622Josh's favorite non-deep dish pizza. I miss you, Hot Doug.YesHasn't been yet
THE NOODLE VIETNAMESE & THAI CUISINE- Beef Stew Pho? Beef Noodle Soup? Not pho - broth is more red...
- Also pho
2336 South Wentworth Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616Josh prefers this pho over Tank noodle. He knows many will disagree.YesHasn't been yet
WALKER BROS. ORIGINAL PANCAKE HOUSE- German pancake/Dutch baby (same thing, different size)
- Apple cinnamon pancake...maybe
Many LocationsDon't get the apple cinnamon pancake by yourself. One bite = great. One pancake = death by sugar.YesYes
M. HENRY- I think it's occasional, but they had a rum raisin empanada a few times5707 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660I don't really like putting trendy Instagram-able places on here, but this one is a good exception. If they have the rum raisin empanada please buy me one.YesHasn't been yet