By Clare Edlund
Terrace on Clark (above)
77 W. Wacker
If you’re working in the Loop, don’t commute home right away until you try Terrace on Clark, a new hub to wind down, watch the game, chow on a baked flatbread or sip a martini-caiphirina. You can also soak up some afternoon sun as you sit by their gigantic wall of windows.
Adamus in the Silversmith Hotel
10 S. Wabash (at Madison)
Adamus is the Silversmith Hotel’s hidden gem, serving an abundance of cocktails and seasonal dishes. Take in the vibrant atmosphere as you sit in one of the love seats with your date while snacking on a bag of fried pickles and sipping a ginger daiquiri.
The Harding Tavern
2721 N. Milwaukee Ave
What’s on the chalkboard? Try a description of 12 draft selections from around the world and their signature drinks like the Rabbit Trap (with bourbon, grapefruit, ginger ale and fresh sage leaves). This tap house is a casual establishment with a cultured twist that offers a diverse collection of beer and burgers.
171 N. Wells
Chefs Hiran Patel and Sahil Singh welcome you to their 24-seat modern Indian restaurant serving naanwiches, roti rolls and salad and rice bowls. Everything is made from scratch, loaded the Indian spices and chutney. It would be “naansense” not to go and try the lamb naanwich with chickpea noodles, cabbage slaw, tomatoes, cucumbers, apple tamarind chutney and korma sauce.
441 N Clark St
From the Rockit Ranch crew, this is an American dining experience with unique food concoctions done right. Try an ice cream sundae drizzled with beer foam or a bag of chips topped with a fried egg. If you order the “Bill Brasky,” don’t be surprised about the vintage playing card in your ice cube.
Logan Hardware Arcade Bar
2410 W. Fullerton
You can finally put your stray quarters to good use (besides laundry) and take a walk down memory lane. Logan Arcade features 45 video games (Nerd alert: There is an autographed Star Trek: The Next Generation) in their original settings. Feel like you’re a kid again, but only this time you can try one of the 20 beers offered on tap.
Fulton Market Kitchen
311 N. Sangamon
It’s a shame that you can’t bring food or drink into art galleries because Claude Monet can make you hungry for a burger. Well, now you can, thanks to Fulton Market Kitchen. The art collection is retro-modern (like the canvassed Batman painting), and the food is a work of art in itself. Try the whole fried red snapper with three sauces.
2828 W. Medill Ave
You may want to come to a complete stop, given the red light above the entrance, luring you into a dim speakeasy loft serving around 30 beers and 40 whiskeys. Quaint, vintage and candlelit, this is the bar for the streetwise yet sophisticated. Listen to an eclectic music selection and take a shot of the house specialty whiskey — the Paddy.
1114 W. Randolph
Dry-aged smoked bacon, veal sweatbreads, boudin blanc routbratwurst. Attention all meat lovers, gather around at Tete Charcuterie to enjoy a decadent duck dish or other specialty in a dining room energized with clear view of the hard-working French chefs.
433 W. Diversey
It’s one thing to be overwhelmed while deciding among 200 different beers, but it helps to have a handy BNS (a Bar Navigation System) that decides the best beer for you. You won’t be lost with indecisiveness at Compass Bar with the handy system that will print out which beer you had last time and offer similar suggestions. Like Pandora, the more you use it, the more customized it will be for you.
1925 N. Lincoln Ave.
This 1970s pizza pub has made a powerful comeback, and just in time for a high-volume summer season. There’s your bountiful pizza selection and your 30 or so televisions, but for the best experience, book the King’s Table, a 12-seater with a self-serving beer tap system. Be your own bartender. Feel like a king.
3819 N. Broadway
What an appropriate name for a restaurant that serves drinks bedazzled with fizzy pop and a playful selection of food (Cheetos mac and cheese? Yes please.). This is a playful concept of bubbly drinks and candied bacon burgers.
100 E. Ontario
It’s worth the search to find this unobtrusive location and enter to an aroma of sirloin. SideDoor, classy as it is, allows you to dress up or come as you are. The cozy leather seats are welcoming, and you feel like you are in an 1890s puppet-opera mansion — because that’s what it used to be. It’s aged well, like the wine.
Stan’s Donuts & Coffee
1560 N. Damen
Thank you, Stan, for your chocolate cheese cream pocket and maple caramel bacon donuts! You can have your novelty donuts right here in Chicago in this 1950s pop-art atmosphere. Grab a cup of Joe and donut for breakfast — or even dinner, as it’s open late on the weekends.