Welcome to Old Town, a charming neighborhood in Chicago known for its small size and diverse attractions. From the iconic Second City theater to the lively sports bars, this area has something for everyone. However, what truly sets Old Town apart is its collection of outstanding restaurants and bars that cater to various palates. In this guide, our mission is to assist you in uncovering the best food options this delightful neighborhood has to offer.
Two Lights Seafood & Oyster
If seafood is your weakness, Two Lights Seafood & Oyster is an absolute must-visit in Old Town.
Cuisine: American seafood takes center stage here, with a special emphasis on delectable oysters and mouthwatering small plates that will leave you craving for more.
Location: Situated at 227 W North Ave, Chicago, this restaurant is conveniently placed for locals and visitors alike.
Perfect for: Whether you’re in the mood for a casual weeknight dinner or need a quick bite before catching a show at Second City, this place has got you covered.
Ambiance: The restaurant exudes an upscale seafood shack vibe, featuring a long bar that creates a welcoming atmosphere for solo diners and small groups alike.
Recommended Dishes: Be sure to indulge in the Tuna poke tacos, shrimp, and, of course, the oysters, which have gained quite a reputation for their exceptional quality.
Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern
Indulge in lip-smacking American cuisine and the city’s finest ribs at Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern.
Cuisine: Known for its outstanding American fare, Twin Anchors has earned its reputation as the go-to spot for excellent ribs that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.
Location: Conveniently situated at 1655 N. Sedgwick St, Chicago, this restaurant promises easy access for locals and tourists alike.
Perfect for: Whether you’re seeking a casual weeknight dinner, planning a family gathering, or simply looking to bask in a touch of nostalgia, Twin Anchors has the right vibe for every occasion.
Historical Significance: Step into the footsteps of legends, as Twin Anchors was once a favorite hangout spot of Frank Sinatra himself, adding a touch of glamour and history to your dining experience.
Must-Try Dish: The true star of the show here is their tender and juicy ribs, slow-cooked to perfection and served with a range of delightful sauces.
Escape to the Mediterranean at Old Jerusalem and indulge in an affordable and flavorful dining experience.
Cuisine: Old Jerusalem delights diners with its exquisite Mediterranean fare, featuring a delectable array of dishes inspired by the region’s rich culinary heritage.
Location: Situated at 1411 N Wells St, Chicago, this restaurant offers the perfect spot to satisfy your Mediterranean cravings.
Ideal for: Whether you’re seeking a quick and affordable dining option or prefer to sit down and savor your meal, Old Jerusalem caters to all, with both carry-out and sit-down options available.
Recommended Dishes: Be sure to sample their renowned hummus, flavorful shawarma, and succulent kebabs, which have garnered praise for their authentic taste.
Note: For those dining in, the BYOB policy adds to the restaurant’s charm, allowing you to pair your meal with your favorite beverage.
Embark on a sushi journey like no other at Kamehachi, where tradition meets innovation.
Cuisine: If sushi is your passion, Kamehachi is a must-visit. The restaurant boasts a delectable mix of traditional and modern sushi offerings that will leave you wanting more.
Location: Found at 1531 N Wells St, Chicago, Kamehachi promises a delightful dining experience in the heart of Old Town.
Perfect for: Whether you prefer to savor your sushi at the restaurant or enjoy it from the comfort of your home with takeout, Kamehachi ensures a satisfying sushi dinner every time.
Recommended Strategy: Focus on their signature rolls, such as the fun and delicious Crouching Tuna Hidden Crab, which perfectly showcase the creativity and artistry of their sushi chefs.
Additional Recommendation: Enhance your dining experience by trying their delightful appetizers like gyoza and tempura, adding a burst of flavor to your meal.
Nookies on Wells
Feast on American comfort food with an extensive menu selection at Nookies.
Cuisine: Nookies is a haven for those seeking authentic American comfort food. Their menu boasts a vast selection that caters to all tastes.
Location: Located at 1746 N Wells St, Chicago, Nookies provides the perfect spot to enjoy a casual and comforting breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Ideal for: Whether you’re craving a hearty breakfast, a delicious sandwich for lunch, or a comforting dinner like meatloaf, Nookies has you covered.
Extensive Menu: The restaurant offers a wide range of options, from classic eggs prepared to your liking to mouthwatering sandwiches and everything in between.
Highlight Dish: Don’t miss their Crunchy French toast, a unique and delightful choice that sets them apart from the rest.
Happy Camper Pizza
For a fun-filled dining adventure with scrumptious pizzas and beers, Happy Camper is your go-to destination.
Cuisine: Happy Camper specializes in American cuisine, with a special focus on pizzas that are sure to please every palate.
Location: Situated at 1209 N Wells St, Chicago, this restaurant offers a vibrant and enjoyable atmosphere for groups seeking a good time.
Perfect for: If you’re looking for a fun and relaxed setting to enjoy great food with friends, Happy Camper is the place to be.
Notable Features: The restaurant’s unique interior design, featuring tire swing barstools and a rehabbed Airstream camper, adds to the lively ambiance.
Signature Dish: Their delicious pizzas steal the show, with a variety of creative toppings that will leave you craving more with each bite.
Topo Gigio Ristorante
For an authentic Italian experience in Old Town, Topo Gigio Ristorante is the go-to spot.
Cuisine: Classic Italian dishes take the spotlight here, promising a delightful journey through Italy’s rich culinary heritage.
Location: Found at 1516 N. Wells St, Chicago, this restaurant’s central location makes it easily accessible to all.
Perfect for: Whether you’re planning a gathering with a big group of friends, a casual weeknight dinner, a classic date night, or a heartwarming family dinner, Topo Gigio caters to all occasions.
Highlights: Regarded as the old standby Italian restaurant in the neighborhood, Topo Gigio offers a comforting escape from the hustle and bustle of Wells St.
Authentic Italian Dining: With a commitment to providing an authentic experience, Topo Gigio promises an evening of traditional Italian flavors that will leave you reminiscing about the streets of Rome.
Kanela Breakfast Club
Start your day right with an unforgettable breakfast or brunch experience at Kanela Breakfast Club.
Cuisine: This delightful restaurant specializes in American cuisine, with a focus on mouthwatering breakfast and brunch options that will leave you eager to return for more.
Location: You can find Kanela Breakfast Club at 1549 N Wells St, Chicago, conveniently situated for locals and visitors alike.
Perfect for: Whether you’re seeking a leisurely breakfast, a delightful brunch, or a satisfying lunch throughout the week, Kanela Breakfast Club caters to all occasions.
Menu Variety: One of the highlights of this restaurant is its extensive menu, offering a wide selection of dishes to please every palate. From classic favorites like red velvet French toast to unique offerings such as crab cake benedict and croque madame, there’s something for everyone.
Busy Period: While Kanela Breakfast Club is a popular spot, particularly on weekends, you can avoid long wait times by opting to visit on weekdays for a more relaxed dining experience.
Dive into burger heaven at Burger Bar, an exceptional spot for burger enthusiasts.
Cuisine: Burger lovers, rejoice! Burger Bar is your haven for savoring delicious burgers, offering various customization options to create your ultimate burger experience.
Location: Situated at 1578 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, this restaurant is a burger lover’s paradise, drawing locals and tourists alike.
Unique Selling Point: One of the main draws of Burger Bar is its innovative concept, allowing guests to build their own burger to suit their tastes perfectly. Alternatively, you can explore their tempting selection of specialty options for a unique twist.
Choice of Meat: Burger Bar prides itself on offering high-quality meat options, including prime, angus, or grass-fed beef. For those looking to venture beyond the traditional, they also have alternative choices like bison and goat cheese burgers, providing a delightful surprise for your taste buds.
Comparison: For those familiar with the concept of Chipotle, Burger Bar’s approach is quite similar, but instead of burritos, they focus on crafting delectable burgers. Additionally, the restaurant offers table service, ensuring a more relaxed dining experience while you savor your burger creation.
Step into a garden-like setting and savor classic Italian dishes at Orso’s Restaurant.
Cuisine: Classic Italian fare, with a special focus on red sauce dishes that are sure to delight your taste buds.
Location: Located at 1401 N. Wells St, Chicago, Orso’s offers a convenient dining spot in the heart of Old Town.
Ambiance: Resembling Topo Gigio in its classic charm, Orso’s sets itself apart with a slightly more formal service that adds to the overall dining experience.
Unique Feature: One of the main draws of Orso’s is its enclosed back patio, creating a serene garden-like setting where you can enjoy your meal amidst nature’s embrace.
Ideal for: For those laid-back summer evenings, head to Orso’s for a relaxed and charming atmosphere that perfectly complements the delightful dishes on offer.
Whether you’re a local exploring your neighborhood or a visitor eager to savor the culinary wonders of Old Town, these restaurants promise an exceptional dining experience that will leave you wanting more. So, indulge in the flavors of Old Town and discover the true essence of Chicago’s vibrant food scene.
Hi, I’m Ben Holland. I love cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes, travel tips, and stories about my adventures with my wife and kids.