Subway: Brown, Purple (rush) to Wellington(773) 528-7200 erwincafe.com41.935593 -87.649100 2925 N Halsted St (at Oakdale Ave) Lakeview, Chicago
Brunch (Sun), dinner (closed Mon)Average main course: $18
The namesake chef-owner here has a knack for the kind of food people want to eat, and he’s been delivering it to Chicago for almost two decades. There’s no fusion or piled-high presentations—just good, solid food. Expect seasonal soups, classic salads, pan-roasted fish and grilled meats, with standouts like wood-grilled flank steak with smoked Gouda mashed potatoes, and what’s surely in the running for the best roasted chicken in town, served with Yukon-gold potato gratin.