Natalie's Recommendations for Where to Eat & Drink in Chicago
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RestaurantType of CuisineNeighborhoodWhat to OrderOther Things You Should KnowWebsite
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Ada St.American, seasonalElston Industrial Districtto eat: crispy black eyed peas, the daily soup (small portions), brussels sprouts, salmon tartare, and the duck confit are some of my favorites. for desert: don't miss the chocolate, sea salt and toast. great cocktails. relaxed environment, good for shared plates. intimate/dimly lit space. nice vinyl collection (feel free to pick out a record and hand it to a bartender to add to their que). enclosed open-roof backyard space is great in summer (complete with ping pong table and fire pit). sit at the bar when possible, the bartenders will take good care of you. michelin bib gourmand restaurant (2013).http://adastreetchicago.com/
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Antique TacoMarket Mexican Fare, Drink Worthy CocktailsWicker Parkto eat: the antique taco salad is one of my favorite salads - super refreshing combination (kale, spicy peanuts, queso fresco, onion, cranberries, semsame tortilla chips, and pomegranate vinaigrette). to drink: rosemary margaritamichelin bib gourmand restaurant (2013)http://antiquetaco.com/
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Au Chevalupscale dinerWest LoopDefinitely order the burger 'Au Cheval' (with a fried egg on top)Great selection of beers on tap. Nice ambiance. The serve weekend brunch too. michelin bib gourmand restaurant (2013)http://aucheval.tumblr.com/
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Aurelio's PizzapizzaSouth Loop/Printer's Rowgreat think crust pizza. order one with sausage & green peppers with 2 times the sauce. My grandparents knew the Aurelio family growing up and I've been eating their pizza ever since I was a kid. The sauce is what makes is so special.http://aureliospizza.com/
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Avecwine bar + small platesWest LoopPretty much everything on the menu is goodBecause it's one of the best restaurants in Chicago, hands down. Now serving stellar Sunday brunch. Great seasonal selection. michelin bib gourmand restaurant (2013)http://avecrestaurant.com/
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Balena ItalianLincoln Parkmichelin bib gourmand restaurant (2013)http://balenachicago.com/
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Balsanmarket driven bistro with an American sensibilityGold Coast oysters, cheese and meat platters, brunchgreat brunchhttp://www.balsanrestaurant.com/
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BanderaAmericanRiver Northhttp://www.yelp.com/biz/bandera-restaurant-chicago
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Bang Bang Biscuits & PieBiscuits/PieLogan Squarehttp://www.bangbangpie.com/
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Bar DevillebarUkranian VillageGreat cocktails. Laid-back atmosphere. Great music /late night dancing.http://bardeville.com/
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Bar Pastoralwine, cheese + small platesLakeview cheese plate, beet and endive salad, roasted cauliflower, grilled cheese, bread pudding.cozy spot for drinks and small plates. great for a date or for catching up with a few friends. your parents would also like this spot.http://www.pastoralartisan.com/bar-pastoral
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Barrelhouse FlatbarLincoln Parkthey make a great aviationgreat cocktails and nice ambiance - casual on the first floor, more lounge-like upstairs. popcorn and homemade cotton candy flavors changing frequently.http://barrelhouseflat.com/
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Bavette's Bar & BoeufsteakhouseRiver Northsteaks, burger, and fried chicken are all goodthe downstairs opens up around 7pm and offers a darker, more intimate dining settinghttp://www.yelp.com/biz/bavettes-bar-and-boeuf-chicago
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BeatrixRiver Northhttp://www.restaurantbeatrix.com/
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Bernard'sbarGold Coast wine/cocktailshttp://www.waldorfastoriachicagohotel.com/explore-hotel/dining/bernards-bar
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Big StarmexicanWicker Parktacos - al pastor and fish are my favorite varietiesgreat patio in the summer, can order tacos to go from side of restaurant. Cash only.http://bigstarchicago.com/
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Billy SundaybarLogan Squarethe daquiri (with passion fruit!), the old fashioned, or the KENT (made with homemade tonic!)http://billy-sunday.com/
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Bow Truss Coffee RoasterscoffeeLakeview/River Northhttp://bowtruss.com/
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Bub CitybbqRiver Northhttp://www.bubcitychicago.com/
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Cafe Ba Ba ReebatapasLincoln Parkhttp://www.cafebabareeba.com/
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Cafe Des Architechtesfrench/small platesGold Cost great weekend brunch as well as a tasting menu dinnerhttp://www.cafedesarchitectes.com/?src=ppc_google_brand&gclid=CNLRisKaoLQCFetDMgodrBIAEg
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Carriage HousesouthernWicker Parkhttp://www.carriagehousechicago.com/
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Chicago Pizza and Oven GrinderpizzaLincoln ParkMediterranean bread; pizza pot piehttp://www.chicagopizzaandovengrinder.com/
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CicchettiItalianStreetervillehttp://cicchettirestaurant.com/
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Coco Pazzotuscan/ItalianRiver Northantipasto platter for the tablehttp://www.cocopazzochicago.com/coco-pazzo.html
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Coco Pazzo Cafetuscan Italian cafeStreetervillehttp://www.cocopazzochicago.com/coco-pazzo-cafe.html
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County BarbequebbqLittle Italyhttp://dmkcountybarbeque.com/
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Danny'sbarBucktownbrews on tapDJs spin eclectic funky/jazzy dance tunes for the high-energy crowds. Be warned, the line to enter can get long on Fridays and Saturdays. Open until 3am on the weekends, no cover, cash only.
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Dillman'sAmerican (Traditional)River Northkale salad, friescomfortable seating. quiet spot in river north. seems like a great spot for bringing your laptop, ordering a pot of tea, and cranking out some work on a weekday afternoonhttp://dillmanschicago.com/
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Dusek'sAmerican (New)Pilsenhttp://thaliahallchicago.com/
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DMK Burger BarburgersLakeview burgers!great beers on tap, truffle fries are amazing and the burgers are some of the best I've had. can't go wrong with the menu herehttp://dmkburgerbar.com/
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Drumbarrooftop barGold Coast/Streetervillecocktailsget here in the warmer months for a great view on the outdoor rooftop http://drumbar.com/
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EatalyItalianRiver Northmarket and food http://www.eataly.com/eataly-chicago/
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Edzo's Burger Shopburgers + milkshakesEvanston/Lincoln Parkburgers and shakesan Evanston staple, Edzo's recently opened their second location in Lincoln Park on Lincoln Ave. Get there!http://edzos.com/
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Elaine's Coffee Callcoffee barOld TownServing La Colombe coffeehttp://www.bokagrp.com/elaines.php
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Elly's Pancake HousedinerOld Townbreakfastbecause at some point there will be a time when you and your friends are craving pancakes at 2am...go to Elly's (open 24 hours)http://ellyspancakehouse.com/chicago/
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FarmhouseAmerican (farm to table focus)Gold Coasthttp://farmhousechicago.com/
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Fat RiceAsian FusionLogan Square
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Fish BarseafoodLincoln Parkhttp://fishbarchicago.com/
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Floriole Cafe & Bakerycafe & bakeryLincoln Parkquiche, sandwiches, gateau basque, shortbreadGo here to purchase bakery items to-go or order off the cafe menu and dine-in. You can't go wrong here.http://www.floriole.com/
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Gibson'ssteakhouseGold Coaststeak, people watchingGreat people watching if you snag a sidewalk table in the warmer months. Gibson's offers delicious food and is always a fun place to celebrate a big milestone (the night of the Chicago Marathon it's filled with runners wearing their medals from earlier in the day)http://www.gibsonssteakhouse.com/
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Gilt BarRiver Northmichelin bib gourmand restaurant (2013)http://www.giltbarchicago.com/
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Girl & The GoatWest Loopmichelin bib gourmand restaurant (2013)http://www.girlandthegoat.com/
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Goodwin'ssandwichesThe Loopthe san clementeGoodwins is an office favorite. Definitely place your oder over the phone before picking up so you can skip the long line that forms around lunch time http://www.goodwins2go.com/
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GT Fish & OysterseafoodRiver Northlobster roll, raw barI haven't tried a thing on the menu I didn't like. A meal here can get pricey, but is fun to share a few apps in lieu of entrees with friends for a lighter dinner. michelin bib gourmand restaurant (2013)http://gtoyster.com/
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Half Acre Tap Roomtap roomNorth Centerbeer!They don't serve food, but let you order in and bring food over from any neighboring restaurants. Very casual environment and good beer prices (seeing as they're brewed next door). Nice to know the beer selection will change constantly, but I'm partial to their porter.http://www.yelp.com/biz/half-acre-beer-company-tap-room-chicago
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Heritage Bicycles General StorecoffeeLakeviewStumptown Coffee roasters. Cool ambiance, friendly staff, great place to get work done or meet friends. Partner with local vendors like Southport Grocery, The Butcher & The Larder, & Pastoral for food. Also a full time bike shop...get your bike fixed or buy a beautiful handmade one.http://www.heritagebicycles.com/
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Honey Butter Fried Chickenfried chickenAvondalehttp://www.honeybutter.com/
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HopleafbarAndersonville/UptownA great beer selection. I haven't eaten here, but from friends who have, I hear they impress in that department as wellhttp://hopleaf.com/
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Hot ChocolateAmerican/dessertsBucktownhot chocolate/dessertsI've only been for deserts, but hear the brunch and dinner menus are great. Note if you make a dessert-only reservation, there is a minimum spend amount for your tablehttp://www.hotchocolatechicago.com/
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Hub 51AmericanRiver Northtuna thai basil roll, brussels sprouts saladSushi is half off between 3-6pm daily when dining in http://www.hub51chicago.com/
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Hubbard InnAmerican/barRiver Northspinach and goat cheese saladAfter work drinks, quick casual work-day lunchhttp://www.hubbardinn.com/
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JambrunchLogan SquareOpen daily, 7am-3pm. Order some pastries to share with the table while you wait for your mealhttp://jamrestaurant.com/
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Jeni's Scoop Shopice creamLakeview/Southport Corridorhttp://www.jenis.com/southport/
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Kanela Breakfast ClubbreakfastLakeview/Old Townhttp://kanelacafe.com/
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Karen's Rawraw foodLincoln Parkhttp://www.karynraw.com/
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Kuma's TooburgersLincoln Parkhttp://www.kumascorner.com/
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Le ColonialFrench VietnameseGold Coasthttp://www.lecolonialchicago.com/
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Little GoatdinerWest LoopThe Sloppy Goat. Goat Chili Cheese Fries. Sourdough Pancakes.http://www.littlegoatchicago.com/
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Lone WolfbarWest LoopThey serve Pleasant House Bakery's royal pies. Delicious cocktails and good beer lineup.Three Floyds beers on tap!https://twitter.com/lonewolftavern
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Longman & EagleLogan SquareThe meatballs! And if you're a wiskey drinker, use this as an opportunity to branch out from your norm--share flavor profiles you enjoy with the bartenders and let them recommend something that could be your new favorite. I recommend going on a Saturday for an early dinner (they don't take reservations). They take a break from serving brunch and transitioning to dinner from 3-5pm, though remain open during that time. Show up around 4:45 for a drink at the bar (or a table), then after 5pm you can tranition into ordering dinner as food becomes available again. Use the free time after your dinner ends to check out one of the nearby great bars in Logan Square (Scofflaw, The Whistler, Billy Sunday, Telegraph to name a few...) 1 star michelin restaurant (2013)http://www.longmanandeagle.com/
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Lula CafeLogan Squarehttp://www.lulacafe.com/
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Lux BarAmericanGold Coastburgers/steaks/brunchhttp://www.luxbar.com/
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Maude's Liquor BarWest Loopcocktails (can't go wrong with a smash), the mussels are a must!, also go for the goat cheese circa 1990Delicious cocktails and food brought to you in a cozy ambiance, this is a spot I keep going back to again and again. Never disappointed with my experience there (though can get crowded later in evening on weekends). michelin bib gourmand restaurant (2013)http://www.maudesliquorbar.com/
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MexiqueFrench/MexicanBucktown1 star michelin restaurant (2013)http://www.mexiquechicago.com/
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Mon Ami GabiFrenchLincoln Parkcroque monsieur, bloody mary barlunchhttp://www.monamigabi.com/home/?loc=chicago
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Mott St.Wicker Parkthe cocktails were delicious; 'How Bazzar' was my favorite. to eat: kimchi and oaxaca spring rolls, steamed dumplings, kim chi stew, and the everything wings are all winners. for dessert, everyone deserves their own choco-bananahttp://www.mottstreetchicago.com/
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NelcoteWest Loophttp://nellcoterestaurant.com/
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NEXTchanges 3-4 times per yearFulton Marketwww.nextrestaurant.com
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Nico OsteriaitalianGold Coast (Thompson Hotel)branzino for 2 is a great item to share with the table. they make all their pastas in house. fresh fish and oysters were amazing. order the pistachio gelato for dessert.http://www.nicoosteria.com/
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NightwoodPilsenmichelin bib gourmand restaurant (2013)http://nightwoodrestaurant.com/
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Nomi Garden (Rooftop)bar/small bitesGold Coast (Park Hyatt)lovely urban rooftop, perfect for drinks and afternoon snacks in the summerhttp://www.hyatt.com/gallery/nomi/garden.html
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OSB at L&ELogan Squarehttp://www.longmanandeagle.com/garage/
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Parson's Chicken & FishLogan SquareFrom the crew who brought you Longman & Eagle. Giant patio. Perfectly crispy fried chicken, hush puppies, oysters, good beer selection and delicious cocktailshttp://www.parsonschickenandfish.com/
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Perennial VirantOld Town/Lincoln Parkhttp://perennialchicago.com/
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Pequod's pizzaLincoln ParkThe carmelized crust on the deep dish pizza. I thought Due's was my all-time favorite, but Pequod's may have just stolen the show.http://www.pequodspizza.com/
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Piccolo SognoItalianRiver Westhttp://piccolosognorestaurant.com/
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Piece pizzaWicker Parkhttp://www.piecechicago.com/flash/index.html
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Pierrot GourmetGold Coastbruncheverything on the menu is good. They also sell delicious macaroons (which make a great contribution if you're invited over to a friend's apartment for dinner)http://www.peninsula.com/Chicago/en/Dining/Pierrot_Gourmet/default.aspx
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Pizzeria DuepizzaRiver Northhttp://762.unotogo.com/zgrid/proc/site/sitep.jsp
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Pleasant House BakeryBridgeporthttp://pleasanthousebakery.com/
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Publican Quality MeatsWest Loophttp://publicanqualitymeats.com/
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RENOLogan SquareGreat communal table for posting up and taking care of business all afternoon. Get a bagel sandwich and a bottomless cup of Stumptown coffee. Productivity!http://renochicago.com/
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Revolution Brewing CompanyAmerican bar food, microbreweryLogan Squarehttp://revbrew.com/home
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Revolution Brewing: Kedzie Avenue Brewery Tap Roomtap roomAvondalebeerTap room open every Wednesday through Saturday from 2pm-10pmhttp://revbrew.com/brewery
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RL Restaurant & Barbar/steakhouseGold Coast http://www.rlrestaurant.com/
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RM Champagne Salonbar/small platesWest Loophttp://www.rmchampagnesalon.com/
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Sable Kitchen & BarRiver NorthSit in the bar area. Extensive cocktail menu. Delicious appetizers are food for sharing with small groups.http://www.sablechicago.com/
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ScofflawbarLogan Squaregin based cocktails & free chocolate chip cookies served to all patrons at midnighthttp://scofflawchicago.blogspot.com/
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SepiaAmerican (New)Near West SideArctic Char. Gnocchi!1 star michelin restaurant (2013)http://www.sepiachicago.com/
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Shanghai TerraceModern ChineseGold Coastspring rolls, dumplings, fishhttp://www.peninsula.com/Chicago/en/Dining/Shanghai_Terrace/default.aspx
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Sienna TavernItalianRiver Northhttp://www.sienatavern.com/
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Slurping TurtlenoodlesRiver Northmichelin bib gourmand restaurant (2013)http://slurpingturtle.com/home.php
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Sportsman's ClubbarHumboldt Parkhttp://www.drinkingandgathering.com/
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SundaNew AsianRiver Northhttp://www.sundachicago.com/
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TavernitamexicanRiver Northhttp://tavernita.com/
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Telegraph wine barLogan Squarehttp://telegraphchicago.com/
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The Austrian Bakerybreakfast/bakeryLincoln Parkhttp://www.austrianbakery.com/
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The AviarybarFulton Markethttp://theaviary.com/
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