Bus: 9 Ashland, 11 Lincoln/Sedgwick, 76 Diversey, 77 Belmont(773) 880-9522 ricebistrochicago.com41.935592 -87.663368 2964 N Lincoln Ave (between George St and Wellington Ave) Lincoln Square, Chicago
Brunch (Fri, Sat), lunch (Fri, Sat), dinnerAverage main course: $9
If you’re strolling down Lincoln Avenue and happen upon Rice Bistro, taking a look at the menu posted just outside the door isn’t going to do much to lure you in. Spring rolls, tom yum, pad si-ewe, broccoli chicken…there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before. But what it lacks in originality it makes up for in other ways: a simple but charming back patio, an always-welcome BYOB policy, and sweet servers who genuinely seem to have your interests at heart. Trust those servers when they caution you against ordering the panang noodles “spicy”—turns out, “medium” packs plenty of heat.