Wicker Park & Bucktown notables and staff favorites

RestaurantsLifestyle and LeisureDining and DrinkingWicker ParkWinesCookingBlackbird

Trenchermen
2039 W. North Ave. 773-661-1540
Chefs (and brothers) Mike and Patrick Sheerin left their posts at acclaimed restaurants -- Blackbird and The Signature Room, respectively—to jam out together cooking seasonal, globally influenced American fare at their own restaurant in a unique space that was formerly bathhouse.

Danny’s
1951 W. Dickens Ave. 773-489-6457
It may look like just another house from the outside, but inside, this music-fueled bar can turn into one of the biggest dance parties in the neighborhood. Keep an eye out for DJs hosting the occasional theme night.

Cumin
1414 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-342-1414
Curb your curry cravings at the neighborhood’s only Indian restaurant, which also features harder-to-find Nepalese specialties such as chhoela (tandoor-cooked meats) and momo (steamed dumplings).

The Savoy
1408 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-698-6925
This seafood-centric newcomer touts a focus that sets itself apart from its restaurant and bar neighbors: A raw bar menu and a focus on absinthe, which is served in antique fountains as well as blended into craft cocktails.

Debonair Social Club
1575 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-227-7990
This dance club includes two levels and an elevated dance floor complete with a colored-light back wall to complete the chaotic atmosphere. Want to extend your weekend? Head to the club’s notorious Monday night party, Rehab.

Schwa
1466 N. Ashland Ave. 773-252-1466
At this off-the-beaten-path BYOB restaurant from endlessly inventive chef Michael Carlson, reservations are accepted by phone only and are notoriously hard to snag, but the multi-course adventure that follows is worth the effort.

Evil Olive
1551 W. Division St. 773-235-9100
The intersection of Milwaukee, Division and Ashland is a dream come true for late-night partiers; besides major bus lines, a Blue Line station, taxi stand and late-night bites, there’s Evil Olive, open until 5 a.m. on Saturdays. Expect the fog-filled dance floor to be packed with shot-fueled revelers until close.

Storefront Company Restaurant
1941 W. North Ave. 773-661-2609
This neighborhood newcomer serves contemporary seasonal fare cooked by chef Bryan Moscatello, who scored a “Best New Chef” nod from Food & Wine magazine back in 2003 for his cooking in Denver. To really get a taste of what he’s capable of, make a reservation for a 5-course meal served at the chef’s counter with view of the kitchen.

Folklore Argentine Grill
2100 W. Division St. 773-292-1600
This sexy Argentine eatery specializes in grilled meats: short ribs, skirt steaks, sirloin, you name it, they’re grilling it. Mojitos, caipirinhas, pisco sours and other Latin cocktails are on hand to wash everything down.

Bake
2246 W. North Ave. 773-384-7655
Swoon-worthy sweets at this cute-as-pie bake shop include pretzel-chocolate chip cookies, raspberry jam scones and pop tarts in seasonal fruit flavors such as blueberry. You can’t go wrong ordering anything iced with the addictive chocolate-sour cream frosting.

Taxim
1558 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-252-1558
This regional Greek restaurant features an exotic dining room with pillow-strewn banquettes, updated gyros made with duck and a pomegranate reduction and a Greek-centric wine list to match.

La Pasadita
1132 N. Ashland Ave. 773-384-6537; 1140 N. AshlandAve. 773-278-2130; 1141 N. Ashland Ave. 773-278-0384
This family-owned taqueria chain speedily doles out late-night tacos stuffed with juicy carne asada or barbacoa and sprinkled with a simple mix of cilantro and onions. As for which one of the three locations on the same Ashland Avenue block is the best, it depends who you ask, but we can say this: 1141 N. location on the east side of the street is the oldest, 1140 N. draws late-night take-out lines, while 1132 N. has the most seating and the largest menu.

The Bedford
1612 W. Division St. 773-235-8800
This subterranean lounge tucked inside a former bank draws crowds for its unusual cocktailing space. You can even sip the night away in the old vault. Ladies, don’t miss out on the over-the-top, pink-hued powder room.

Coast Sushi Bar
2045 N. Damen Ave. 773-235-5775
Wicker Park and Bucktown has its fair share of sushi restaurants, but this one remains the long-standing favorite for a BYOB meal. Tote along a bottle of wine, beer or sake to pair with wasabi-pork dumplings or signature maki such as the Smoking Pumpkin with smoked salmon and tempura pumpkin.

Lillie’s Q
1856 W. North Ave. 773-772-5500
Slow-cooked meats ranging from pork shoulder to baby back ribs to tri-tip are just waiting to be soaked in housemade sauces at this modern barbecue joint. Moonshine (aka white whiskey) cocktails are on hand to wash everything down.

The Fifty/50
2047 W. Division St. 773-489-5050
This reliable sports bar delivers with three levels of space and big booths for groups, plus a bevy of wings, sliders and burgers piled high with unique toppings ranging from crab cakes to mac 'n' cheese waffles.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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