V.N. Venkatakrishnan

Restaurants I have recently been to-.

Chicago has tons of restaurants. The following is my attempt to summarize my experiences in trying out various places. This might be of special interest to vegetarians, as am one. Of course there are several other fantastic review sites -- Note the links given below. On the same front, this list bears a bias that it stems from a vegetarian's experiences in these (not necessarily vegetarian) restaurants. I also adjust these ratings based on multiple visits (See the number of visits to each restaurant).

My ratings are on a scale of five stars, and dinner costs follow this scale ($-0 15, $$-15-30, $$$-30+ dollars). For most locations, a link to Google maps is also provided.

This page needs an update. I have been to several restaurants off-late, but haven't kept up with the updates to this page. Updates coming during spring break 2009!

Month/Year Name of the Establishment Number of visits Type of cuisine Address Price ($ - $$ -$$$) Ratings Comments
Oct 2007 Babylon Eatery 1 Middle Eastern On Damen ave, half blk North of Armitage Map. $ 4 stars Their Chila Fry was very good!
Oct 2007 Uru Swati Several times Indian Gujarati (Vegetarian) On Devon ave, at Talman Junction Map. $ 4 stars Quite possibly the best vegetarian place on Devon.
Apr 2007 Green Zebra 1 Vegetarian Tapas On Chicago ave, 1 blk East of Ashland Map. $$$ 3 stars Had the tasting menu ( whopping 55 bucks!), interesting, great looking numbers.
Apr 2007 Vermillon 1 Indian & Spanish fusion cuisine On Hubbard st, one block east of Dearbornmap. $$$ 4 stars Tasteful, exotic recipes
Apr 2007 Cousins 1 Middle Eastern On Broadway, just north of the Diversey junction. Map. $$ 1 star Had a bad experience, and read that many others had a similar experience as well!!
Apr 2007 Hot Wok Village 1 Indian + Chinese fusion (Indo-Chinese) In Schaumburg. $$ 1 star Very hot, spicy food, but can't say much about its preparation.
Mar 2007 Sage Restaurant 1 Deli / Restaurant On clark st, North of Fullerton Map $$ 3 stars Fresh, fresh food!! seasonal menus. Several vegetarian options
Feb 2007 La Pasadita 3 Mexican On Ashland, just south of Division Map $ 3 stars Wonderful fresh veggie tacos and a unique roasted pepper black salsa...
Nov 2006 Ras Dashen Restaurant 2 Ethiopian On Broadway, south of Devon. Map. $$ 4 stars Truly amazing choices!! Highly recommended!
Nov 2006 Victory's Banner 2 Brunch place In Roscoe Village. Map $ 4 stars Great breakfast choices, plenty of vegetarian food. Great service. A peaceful place!
Aug 2006 Zad Several times Middle Eastern Lebanese On Broadway at Barry intersection Map $ 3 stars Nothing to write about -- good for a quick bite.
July 2006 A La Turka Restaurant 2 Turkish On Lincoln, just south of Belmont. Map. $$ 3 stars Belly dancers on Thurs,Fri, Sat nights!!
July 2005 Phoenix Restaurant 2 Chinese Traditional On Archer, just around the main corner of Chinatown. Map $$ 3 stars A large restaurant (>200 seats), and quite customer-friendly
July 2005 Chicago Diner 2 Multi-cuisine Vegetarian On Halsted just north of Belmont map $ 3 stars Vegan options available for most dishes. Quality is somewhat incosistent!
June 2005 Flat Top Grill 1 Stir Fry place On North Avenue just east of Sedgewick map $ 3 stars Making your own stir-fry. Healthy, good. Several other locations in Chicago.
April 2005 Orso's 1 Italian On Wells st just north of Division intersection map $$ 3 stars Pesto Gnocchi worth trying.
June 2005 Indian Grill 2 North Indian On Clark just south of Fullerton intersection $$ 2 stars Standard North Indian fare
March 2005 Vivere 1 Italian On Monroe just east of Clark intersection. map $$$ 3 stars Has a beautiful interior design. The same, unfortunately, could not be said for food during my visit.
Feb 2005 Tizi Melloul 3 Moroccon/Middle Eastern On Wells just north of Grand intersection map $$$ 3 stars Try their Crescent Room -- it is a nice communal sharing table environment with small multi-course servings from a fixed menu.
Jan 2005 and several times thereafter Sinbad's Several (>10) Middle Eastern/Lebanese On Belmont just east of Sheffield intersection map $ 3 stars Absolute value for your money! Fresh, healty food!
Dec 2004 Lao Sze Chuan 4 Chinese Szechwan In Chinatown, last one in the main-strip mall $ 3 stars Quite spicy! Ask the chef for custom-made veggie selections
Dec 2004 and several times thereafter Hema's Kitchen Several times (>10) North Indian On Clark just north of Fullerton intersection $$ 3.5 stars My favorite North Indian restaurant in Chicago. Try their Dal Dhakani!!

My favorite Chicago coffee shops

  • Intelligentsia A Chicago company that roasts wonderful coffee. Try their Broadway location for unique music and decor, and their signature BlackCat espresso.
  • Metropolis Another roaster in Chicago, with a coffee shop in Edgewater. Their espresso is more fruity and flavorful, though not as bright as the one at Intelligentsia.