Tell me where to eat in Wicker Park
March 23, 2011 3:08 PM   Subscribe

I am interviewing at this address in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood> tomorrow. Where should I eat dinner within a few blocks?

I'll need to be on the El back to O'Hare by 6 or so, so let's assume I have no more than an hour for dinner and want to spend maybe $20. Sandwiches or burgers are fine as long as they're special. I'm not a vegetarian. I want to eat somewhere within a few blocks of the Damen Avenue stop so that I don't have to take an additional El trip or cab ride or anything.

Tell me where to eat, Chicago enthusiasts.
posted by silby to Food & Drink (11 answers total)
Piece is great and literally only a couple hundred feet from where you're interviewing. Delicious pizza and (I don't drink but I hear excellent) beer. I don't know how crowded it is on a Thursday early evening, but the wait can be really long on the weekends.
posted by phunniemee at 3:14 PM on March 23, 2011

Big Star (just south of the Blue Line stop) is a hot destination for really nice tacos and whiskey. You can probably get three tacos and an order of chips for like $13. You should be fine finding a seat at the bar if you're by yourself.

Piece is good -- they brew their own beer. Big Star has more character, and a well-curated beer/whiskey/margaritas/etc list as well.
posted by ism at 3:28 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

The falafel at Sultan's Market is pretty good. Also, Silver Cloud used to be one of my favorites.
posted by hwyengr at 3:32 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

I went to Hot Chocolate when I was in a similar situation. I considered myself to have won that particular encounter by a landslide over whatever other options may have existed.
posted by milqman at 3:37 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Used to live a few blocks from there...all of the above suggestions are great - I love the lentil soup at sultans, in particular.
posted by shrimpsmalls at 5:45 PM on March 23, 2011

I enthusiastically second Big Star. There are no tacos more special than Big Star tacos, especially the pork belly tacos.
posted by thewrongparty at 5:56 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thirding Big Star. Their tacos are cheap and amazing and their margaritas are fabulous, too. Also: grilled jalapenos.
posted by dizziest at 6:13 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hop on board the Sultan's train before you hop on the El. There's a little boutique grocery across North Avenue (enigmatically called "W") where you can get cheap wine and take back to Sultan's, as it is BYOB. We live blocks away and can't vouch for it enough.

Their Lamb dinner is cheap and goes great with a Cabernet. What better way to celebrate, if nothing else, finishing out an interview? Good luck!
posted by shiggins at 7:13 PM on March 23, 2011

Birchwood Kitchen is terrific, and in your price range.

From the ones already mentioned, I would nth Big Star for uniqueness and fitting your price range. Watch out: they charge for chips and salsa, which can bump up your bill.
posted by HeroZero at 7:27 AM on March 24, 2011

Response by poster: Bonus! I got to eat at both Piece and Big Star, since my prospective employers bought me lunch (mmm white pizza with basil) and then I bought myself dinner (mmm pork belly tacos and Mexican Coke).

Fun fact/follow-up question: both these places had big skylights. Is this a Chicago thing? I've probably never been in a restaurant that had a skylight before and I went to two today within a few blocks of each other. I endorse this.
posted by silby at 9:06 PM on March 24, 2011

I wound up being at Big Star last night also, glad you enjoyed. I've not noticed the skylight thing before, so couldn't say if it's a Chicago thing. Hope the interview went well!
posted by ism at 4:47 PM on March 25, 2011

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