When I first moved to Chicago, I felt lost and dwarfed by the city. I had moved from Madison, Wisconsin, a city of about 300,000 people, to a city of nearly 8 million inhabitants, and the options of where to live and what to do were daunting and seemingly endless. I spent about 6 months living with my aunt in the South Loop area as I narrowed down my neighborhood search, finally deciding to live in Logan Square.
I didn’t know much about Logan Square at the time, besides the fact that it was a neighborhood in transition with lots of green space and a growing assortment of restaurants and bars. Fast forward 5 years, and Logan Square is home. Logan Square will forever have a special place in my heart because it was the neighborhood that gave me a sense of place in a city that overwhelmed me. It is the neighborhood that helped me grow into adulthood, surrounded by diversity and history and the complicated dynamics of modern urban life. I developed a routine in Logan Square, learning about hidden gems and becoming a regular at a neighborhood coffee shop.
It was my home, in every way a place can be a home. We left Chicago a few months ago as we endeavor on the adventure of living abroad in Germany; but there isn’t a day when I don’t think about Logan Square. I remember the people and the commute and the beautiful architecture; but mostly, I remember the food. There is truly an amazing assortment of excellent bars and restaurants in Logan Square, and I personally think it is the best neighborhood in all of Chicago. Some of the city’s best and most creative cuisine was in walking distance of my front door, and there was always a new place to discover. I miss that, which is why I am writing my ultimate guide to the Logan Square culinary scene.
This is the ultimate Logan Square food + restaurant guide for Chicago’s coolest neighborhood!
Breakfast + Brunch
Located in an unassuming nameless building on Diversey Ave, Cellar Door Provisions is a hidden gem in the Logan Square neighborhood. The bright but tiny cafe gets crowded quickly because it is only open for brunch Wednesday-Sunday. Despite the wait, it is absolutely worth coming. In my opinion, their pastries are the best in the neighborhood! The croissants are seriously amazing, and paired with fresh drip coffee, this is a great spot to read a newspaper or have a slow start to your morning. The menu is tiny (like 5 items) and rotates daily.
Jam is a classy little brunch spot on the north end of the neighborhood. The minimalist, modern decor is the first thing you’ll notice, but the food is what you’ll remember. I love the burrito suizo which is served in a delicate buckwheat crepe with a bright & citrusy tomato crema. If you’re more of a sweet breakfast person, the french toast is awesome. The malted custard stuff inside is creamy heaven , and the pink peppercorns & lime offer a unique and light flavor profile to the rich but not heavy dish.
One of the most popular and well-known brunches in Logan Square is Lula Cafe. There is almost always a wait for brunch, so come prepared with comfortable shoes. They have a new menu every day along with their cafe classics, so that you can try exactly what is in season now. I love how driven by fresh market ingredients Lula Cafe is, but it is very very hyped — I think the food is really good, but the wait in my opinion isn’t usually worth it. It is best to try and visit Lula during the week. If you’re not in the mood for brunch fare, get the baked feta! It is so creamy and rich with a charred fresh bread and jalapeno drizzle to cut through the fattiness.
Slightly out of the way compared to the other places on this list, Honey Butter was one of the first Chicago brunch spots I discovered and it is well worth the drive. I have been a loyal customer ever since! As the name says, their speciality is fried chicken prepared on its own or as chicken sandwiches, biscuit sandwiches and lots more. Their affordable menu and cheerful patio creates a warm ambiance that fits perfectly with their delightful assortment of southern comfort dishes. If you get the bloody Mary, it comes with a chicken wing!
A small and sunny spot housed in what was formerly a dry cleaners, Same Day Cafe offers a cheap and no-frills brunch that is really good! I stumbled upon this place when the wait at Longman & Eagle (located next door) was more than 2 hours. Same Day Cafe has a modest and simple design with a cheap and tasty menu. Think classic American breakfast items but made with good ingredients for under $10. I ordered biscuits and gravy that came with a simple creamy mushroom and meat sauce. Their avocado toast is also awesome!
A hole in the wall shop, Bang Bang Pie Shop is a quirky spot for a laid back breakfast or dessert. They’ve got a seasonal menu of savory and sweet pies, as well as house made biscuit sandwiches throughout the day. All made from scratch, the creative combinations of flavors they feature makes Bang Bang’s pies so unique. I tried the sweet honey pie, which was one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever eaten, albeit rich! For breakfast, I also tried the avocado biscuit, which was mildly seasoned and the biscuit was perfectly flaky. Get there early (or late) because there is a steady stream of patrons throughout the morning, especially on the weekend.
Lunch + Patios
Sam and I have visited Moonlighter more than any other restaurant in our neighborhood — maybe that’s because we lived across the street from it. Or maybe its because its a genuinely great spot! The sports bar meets expertly curated beer pub vibes are spot on thanks to their rare sour ale beer list and perfect patio, which is accessible all year round with fire places to keep you warm. Their burgers are effing delightful too! I always order the Coronado while Sam is a fan of the classic Moonlighter.
One of the most popular and well-known spots in Logan Square, Parson’s is a hipster hang out with a spacious and stylish patio. Their menu is small and simple — fried chicken and southern cuisine favorites. Although I’ve had better fried chicken in my life, Parson’s is a good enough spot if you’re looking for a fun place to enjoy some good Chicago weather. Their patio is a 4 seasons patio which is a big draw for weekend crowds. In the winter, it has a small ice rink while in the summer, you can lounge under their red & white umbrellas for hours.
This slightly out-of-the-way spot has what might be the best patio in the Logan Square neighborhood. Park + Field is run by long-time neighborhood restaurants with an affinity for farm-to-table American cuisine and vintage sports styling. This a welcoming spot to enjoy craft beers or craft cocktails in a great ambiance. They also do an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet on the weekend, which can be a great way to shake off a hangover from the night before.
Focusing on creative Tex-Mex combinations, Lonesome Rose is a relaxing spot to hang out for a few drinks and snacks. It is definitely not the best Mexican food in the neighborhood, but the chili con queso is tasty and the fish tacos are pretty good. The stylish and colorful space is well designed, and with opening hours throughout the day, this is a nice place to come if you find yourself in those awkward hours between lunch and dinner.
Drinks First, Then Food
The original Logan Square brewery is hands down Revolution Brewing Company, which has been a staple of the neighborhood for more than a decade. They offer a bevy of year round and seasonal craft beer options, as well as a sizable pub menu. Their gastropub fare isn’t anything exceptional, but the homey and heart flavors hit the spot, especially after drinking a few beers. I like their house pretzel (especially the cheddar fondue dipping sauce!) and the pork belly sandwich.
If you didn’t know this was a brewing bungalow, you might not even notice that Middle Brow brews beer here. The minimalist and cafe-styled space is so cozy with thoughtful design details throughout like vintage chairs and brass candelabras. Their beer flavors can be quirky, and sometimes miss the mark, but overall I like the creativity of their beers. In a creative reuse, Middle Brow also specializes in bread making. Offering sourdough loaves for take away, you can also order one of their whole wheat sourdough pizzas to accompany your beer. The menu is small with only 4-6 options, but the classic flavors like margherita or pepperoni are well-portioned and super tasty.
This is my favorite cocktail bar in the neighborhood, because of the drink variety and friendly service. My favorite drink is probably the Gibson, but the Victorian is a close second. Their quirky letterpress menu is memorable, as is their delicious food. The menu changes very frequently and it is mostly small portions, meant to accompany the drinks, but I love the chicken liver toast. This is a great place to come before a show or movie, because their small plate dishes are a great little snack.
Scofflaw was one of the first new-age bars to open up on Armitage Avenue, and they can be thanked for a lot of the development that has moved in since. The owners have since opened several other places, and Scofflaw is a staple of the neighborhood bar scene. Marketed as strictly a bar (they check your ID when you enter!), Scofflaw is a secretly great spot for food too. Their gin focused drinks are spectacular, so definitely order one. I like any drinks with frothed eggs. Although their food menu is small, it is legit. If you happen to be there around midnight on any given night, you might find yourself with a warm (and free!) chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven.
Located on a blossoming stretch of Armitage Avenue, the cozy and modern Osteria Langhe is a delicious Italian spot that focuses on northern Italian cuisine and specialty ingredients. For some reason, no one ever features on their food write-ups of Logan Square but I genuinely love this place. One of their signature items is the Plin (hand pinched cheese ravioli) which is definitely a must order! You can even order it to take home and cook yourself. Osteria Langhe also offers a robust Italian wine list with pairable suggestions.
I discovered Daises WAY too late. I think this is the most underrated restaurant in Chicago! Specializing in seasonal, rustic Italian cuisine, Daisies makes their incredible pasta fresh each day, and you’ll find yourself slurping down the bowl in a few short minutes, ready to order another round. It is SO good. I wish I could describe how amazing the pasta is, but I can’t seem to find the words. So I’ll give you this little story…The first week that Sam and I ate at Daisies, we wound up coming back three more times that same week because we were so mind blown about their amazing pasta and veggie dishes.
I am a sucker for a good wood-fired pizza and in Logan Square, Paulie Gee’s is unabashedly the best spot for tasty slices. There is a large menu full of creative and interesting pizza options, as well as a rotating variety of seasonal and special pizzas. The standard neapolitan style pizzas are fantastic, but I am partial to the Detroit style pizzas at Paulie Gees, because the focaccia crust is perfectly cooked with a thick layer of oven broiled cheese. Their main dining room is open until 11pm and then they switch to the late night menu until 2pm.
A quirky mash-up of spicy Chinese food and craft brewing, Bixi Beer is a recent favorite of mine in Logan Square. I have not had a dish I didn’t love here. It also doesn’t hurt that their space is STUNNING. The first floor has a black and chrome industrial vibe that feels straight out of Brooklyn, but then you go up to the plant and light-filled atrium upstairs for a totally different experience. It is such an intense contrast that is truly an interior design masterpiece.
If you’re a daily rider of the CTA, Boiler Room pizza is the first thing you see as you step out of the California Blue Line stop. Whenever I go in here, I immediately feel that I’m not cool enough to be a patron (it’s verryyyyy hipster) but their pizza is fucking good, so it’s worth feeling out of place. Boiler Room specializes in thin crust pizzas with fresh, high quality ingredients and interesting flavor combinations. They do a different special each day, so there are always new flavors to try. They’ve also got a PBR, Jamo & pizza slice special that is a popular choice among the young folks. Cash only!
For traditional yet elevated regional Mexican cuisine, it is hard to beat Mi Tocaya Antojeria. The long named restaurant is housed in a tiny and busy corner spot on Logan Boulevard whose small plate dishes are bound to surprise you. Many of the dishes on the menu will come out in surprising ways or with ingredients you might not be familiar with, but the helpful and approachable staff can provide guidance. My favorite day to visit Mi Tocaya is on Sundays, when they prepare a special “Domingo” menu with amazing dishes like Cochinita Pibil and Chicken Mole.
Home to one of Chicago’s Michelin Stars, Longman and Eagle is a farm-to-table inspired place with a flair of molecular gastronomy. It ain’t cheap, but they dish up a seasonal menu small plate style so you can try a bunch of different things. Each dish we had was excellent, with incredibly creative combinations, such as a ricotta gnudi with carrot-coconut jus or chicken roulade with a waffle puree. Each one had several different components including powders, gels and sauces. This is a great place to experiment with your palette!
I have been singing the praises of Giant for a long time — their globally inspired small plate menu is spectacular. You need to make a reservation at least one month in advance, but sometimes up to 2 or 3 months depending on the size of your party or day of your visit. Every dish at Giant has minimal description on the menu (like 2-3 ingredients described) and then it comes in all its maximalist glory. Some of my favorite dishes are the uni shooters, braised eggplant and buttered seafood pasta, but I’ve honestly had the entire menu and loved every.single.dish. This place is really good for special occasions.
Described as a British pub, my expectations for Owen & Engine weren’t super high, to be honest. But I was totally impressed with the creativity on their menu! There are lots of the crowd-pleasing British dishes, but done with finesse and upgraded ingredient combinations. Take, for example, the bangers & mash. The sausage is made in house and varies daily, and they are served alongside an entire bulb of perfectly roasted garlic, super creamy mashed potatoes and well-balanced cinnamon apples. Another favorite of mine was the carpaccio served with dried and aerated Parmesan orbs, micro greens and delightful other little treasures.
Table, Donkey and Stick is another hidden gem in the Logan Square neighborhood. They don’t have the same name recognition as other restaurants, but their “Wanderteller” items are perfect. Basically, this is a build-your-own adventure version of a charcuterie board complete with liver mousse and blood sausage! Sam and I ordered 3 different kinds of meat as well as 2 cheeses which come served with housemade bread, jellies and mustards. My favorite was definitely the liver mousse but the Lardo with black garlic puree was a close second because the flavors balanced so well.
Who doesn’t love a colorful and stylish popsicle stand in their neighborhood? This endlessly ‘grammable spot is the real deal with a big variety from creamy pops to chocolate-covered treats to vegan options. Their popsicles are gorgeous, but also taste AMAZING.
If you’re looking for a nostalgia-induced spot that truly captures the history and diversity of the Logan Square neighborhood, you can’t beat soft-serve purveyor The Freeze. Their walk up window and endless customizable options are indulgent and delightful, and you’ll see people of all ages wandering up excitedly for a taste of classic Americana.