Cafe Suron. BYOB to this classy but affordable Persian eatery located in the lobby of a former hotel. With dishes like roasted chicken with pomegranate and walnut sauce, readers say it's one of Chicago's best Middle Eastern spots.
Chase Cafe. This cafe-juice bar-live music venue features vegetarian-friendly light bites, tuna salad sandwiches, spinach quesadillas, soups and desserts. All juices are made from organic fruit, and the Intelligentsia coffee beans are sourced from independent organic producers.
Fireside Restaurant. This neighborhood hotspot offers high-quality bar food for every palate. Eat in the bar, by the fireplace in the quieter dining room, or in the all-weather outdoor garden (heaters keep things toasty).
Flowers Pot. At this Belizian eatery, homestyle dishes like oxtail, peppery conch fritters and whole fried red snapper come with red beans and rice. Wash it down with a seaweed shake-a powerful aphrodisiac, says owner Leta Flowers.
Haiwoondae BBQ Restaurant. At this authentic Korean barbecue, diners grill their own kalbi (beef short ribs) and bulgoki (beef) over charcoal at their table. Groups can book a private room with a traditional low table and floor cushions.
Heartland Cafe. This North Side hippie haven appeals to all types with everything from buffalo burgers to seitan quesadillas. There's eclectic live music in the Buffalo Bar Thursday through Sunday. A boutique offers environmentally conscious bath and body products, books, clothing and alternative magazines. The menu is also available at the Red Line Tap next door.
Mulligan's Cafe. The former Biddy Mulligan's has reinvented itself as a caf?pecializing in soul food dishes like fried catfish with greens and black-eyed peas. At night, there's a swanky lounge vibe, with live blues on Friday nights and jazz on Saturday nights.
Katsu. Foodies flock to this friendly spot for inventive maki and large portions of super-fresh sushi. More adventurous types can try the seafood custard and veal kidneys. Open late. 2651 W. Peterson Ave.
Chad Schlegel is the dining producer for metromix.com.
Originally published Dec. 4, 2002.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times