Bus: 9 Ashland, 74 Fullerton(773) 248-5210 elskitch.com41.921783 -87.665051 1450 W Webster Ave (between Clybourn Ave and Dominick St) Lincoln Park, Chicago
Brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch, dinner (closed Mon)Average main course: $12
The El in El’s Kitchen is Ellen Haran, a Realtor-turned-restaurateur who was smart enough to nab a space right across the street from the Webster Place movie theater. Considering this is Haran’s first crack at a restaurant, things are operating pretty smoothly: A freshly dressed Caesar salad is satisfying (but has no trace of anchovy), and the fried chicken is some of the best around for the price—$9 gets you half of a golden, crispy (and slightly oversalted) bird. The dense chocolate brownie and pedestrian chopped brisket won’t change your life. But then again, neither will that Will Ferrell movie you’re going to catch afterward.