Subway: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Diversey(773) 549-1773 halfshellchicago.com41.932861 -87.646497 676 W Diversey Pkwy (at Orchard St) Lincoln Park, Chicago
Lunch, dinnerAverage main course: $20
“We close when we feel like closing” and “Nothin’ but cash, no exceptions” are among the oh-so-perfect-for-the-setting sayings we overheard in just one night at this 40-year-old subterranean spot. Grab a table in the tiny Christmas light–strewn room, and start out with the “Mulligan stew” and an order of crispy calamari. For more fried goodness, have the “Thirty-Two Pointer” for an entrée—a crunchy pile of smelts, perch, frog legs, clam strips and fat shrimp. And if you’re looking to crack some crab, splurge on the massive, meaty king legs.