Subway: Blue to Damen(773) 862-6600 lebouchonofchicago.com41.917559 -87.677924 1958 N Damen Ave (between Homer St and Armitage Ave) Bucktown, Chicago
Lunch, dinner (closed Sun)Average main course: $19
Yes, it’s small and crowded, and you’ll have to wait at the bar for a bit even with a reservation. But it’s the closest thing Chicago has to that adorable little bistro in Paris. Regulars have their never-fail favorites: the flaky, caramelly onion tart; the robust onion soup with a gluttonous amount of Gruyère; the butter-topped steak flanked by perfectly crisp frites; the hard-to-find seared veal kidneys with mustard sauce; the feeds-two duck à l’orange; and the simple profiteroles. Only snootier waiters could make for a more French experience.