7 Top Wicker Park Restaurants

Wicker Park is a young, cool neighborhood which has exploded with restaurants and bars over the last 10 years.  Sure, it’s known as “that grungy, hipster ‘hood” but don’t let that stop you from sampling some of the truly tasty eats and fun vibes there.  Take it from me.  I comb my hair.  My clothes are clean and ironed (But, I do like some vintage threads!).  I have nothing pierced below my ears.  Yet, I manage to wander around Division Street, Damen and Milwaukee Avenues, supporting indie coffeehouses and artisanal bites.  You can, too.

Here are my picks for the Top 7 Wicker Park Restaurants, in no particular order:

*Click on restaurant names for more information and directions.

  1.  Mana Food Bar – It’s great that a meat-heavy town like Chicago has some really delicious vegan/vegetarian restaurants.  This tiny, Division St. spot has a gally layout.  Sit at the bare-bones bar or one of the booths.  I love the cold sesame noodles and Ma Po tofu here.  Dishes are nicely spiced and ingredients are very fresh.  The cocktails are pretty tasty, too.


Mana Food Bar Wicker Park


2.    Pub Royale – I stopped by this place last June and I have been itching to get back ever since.         I love a traditional-style British pub.  This one is focused on bringing us the type of Indian             fare generally found in such pubs.  The menu is inventive with really lovely dumplings,                   samosas, curries and more.  Their beer menu is has both traditional and non-traditional                 options.  The potent cocktails, include a few takes on the traditional Pimm’s Cup which                 don’t suck either.  



Pub Royale's lamb dumplings

Lamb dumplings with soy, chili oil and scallions


3.     Antique Taco – This chabby-chic spot made my list of Chicago’s 11 Best Tacos.  Just trust me         when I say you need to get the garlic shrimp with cauliflower elote, escabeche, crispy kale                 and avocado-basil crema.  Sooo lovely!



Antique Taco's garlic shrimp taco



4.     Jerry’s Cosmic Sandwiches – There is something for everyone here.  Burgers, sliced meats,           chicken, seafood and veggie options.  I had a great blackend salmon sandwich here.  Not in         the mood for sandwiches?  No problem.  Jerry’s offers, soups, salads and appetizers.  Full             bar and occasional live bands make this place a party.



Jerry's Wicker Park

Awesome blackened bbq salmon sandwich at Jerry’s!


5.     Furious Spoon – Chef Shin Thompson is the “ramen-whisperer” who shipped a massive                 noodle machine over here from Osaka, Japan.  His ramen is among the top 5 in Chicago.  I           love the signature “Furious Spoon” ramen with pork belly, poached egg, chicken, garlic relish               and more.   The bowls are mammoth and one of the very best deals in town.



Furious Spoon ramen in Wicker Park

Furious Spoon ramen



6.     Oiistar – Yeah, ramen is popping up all over Chicago.  But, Oiistar is another place that                   made my top 5 list.  Their broth has great depth of flavor, as well.  While their straight                   noodles are made on-site, the wavy noodles and gluten-free noodles are sourced locally,             off-site.  They also make some really nice, savory buns and a yummy bao donut for dessert.



Menu at Oiistar

Perfectly cooked housemade noodles!


7.     Trenchermen Located around the corner from the Damen ‘L’ stop, along the CTA Blue                 Line, in an historic bathhouse, this hip spot is serving up American cuisine.  There is an                 elegant main dining room but the Trenchermen Bar is where the cool kids hang.  It’s a huge           bar with great vibe and bartenders.  Bonus!  On Wednesdays, they offer a $10 Burger &                 Beer Special.  The burger rotates weekly and is paired with different craft beers.



Trenchermen's burger specials

Koval Whiskey Burger special

Trenchermen's menu

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Blue LIne, #50 Damen and #70 Division buses to get to these “7 Top Wicker Park Restaurants.”  Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!