Pick up a ready-made dinner or some ingredients from Village Market Place in Skokie and take a break from your busy day to enjoy a nice meal.
If your hydration habits could use some work, pick up some delicious beverages to drink with a meal or on the go.
Both sugary and high-fiber cereals are delicious and this store carries them all.
Yogurt, cheese, milk? Do some or all of these sound great to you? Be a dairy fan and purchase some dairy products. They will keep you happy and healthy.
Produce like this is not just nutritious...it's delicious, too!
Skip the hassle of baking your own bread and pick up a freshly-baked loaf from Village Market Place.
Village Market Place takes the word deli to a whole new level and offers much more than just sandwiches.
Go under the sea with a few fresh catches, and enjoy a meal rich in protein and flavor.
The seasonings and spices here will make any cook feel like a true chef. Pick some up today.
Whether you prefer your sandwich hot or cold, Village Market Place serves up both tasty options.
This fixing adds that little something extra to any baked good, so include it in all of your favorite recipes.
Fight for your free time by utilizing the modern convenience of frozen food, which promises to maximize your time.
When you're a busy parent on the go, shopping at Village Market Place for some canned food might be the perfect way to save you hours a week.
Whether you prefer coffee or tea, Village Market Place offers options for both the coffee enthusiast and the tea lover.
Pick up all of your favorite snacks and enjoy a relaxing night in while you veg out.
When you visit here, you'll be able to host a veritable barbecue with so many different meats for sale.
If you need a quick and affordable lunch or dinner option, browse the selection of tasty TV dinners here.
With a bottle of water in hand, it's easy to refresh and refuel. Grab a couple drinks from Village Market Place and stay on the go all the time.
Every kitchen requires oil and vinegar. When you need something acidic to balance out a recipe, vinegar will do the trick, or when you need something slick to grease the pan, oil is often a cook's first choice.
Fruit and veggie lovers will find more than enough to chow down on here.
Pick up some fresh and tasty pasta from Village Market Place and slurp your way to happiness.
The noise level can often drown out conversation, so make sure your party is prepared to speak up.
Drivers will find quick and easy parking just around the corner from Village Market Place.
So when you want to finish your errands faster, just remember to shop at Village Market Place for all your groceries in Skokie.
Sit down to some Thai-infused deliciousness at Tub Tim Thai, and add yet another sparkling review to the lengthy list of compliments.
At Tub Tim Thai, gluten-free and healthy dining is done right.
BYOB lovers will give Tub Tim Thai an A rating.
This restaurant also provides alcohol, so diners don't have to worry about bringing their own bottle.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this restaurant with its kid-approved food and ambience.
Wifi is on the house at Tub Tim Thai, so bring along your tablet or laptop.
Tub Tim Thai is a fine restaurant for those with large and small parties.
Find yourself the best seat in the house by calling ahead to reserve a table.
Drift away from stuffy dress-code conventions and dine in comfort at Tub Tim Thai.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Tub Tim Thai's tasty dishes at your next party.
Enjoy mind-blowing dishes in the peace and quiet of your own home with delivery or takeout from Tub Tim Thai.
Street parking is readily available near Tub Tim Thai's Oakton St location.
Tub Tim Thai makes bikers feel at ease with the multiple storage racks outside.
For food that tastes like a million bucks, Tub Tim Thai s got you covered for a fraction of the price.
Guests can opt to pay by credit card, and most major names are accepted.
Tub Tim Thai dishes up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by for your favorite meal.
Come find out for yourself why everyone is talking about Tub Tim Thai, and take your Thai culinary experience to the next level.
For Thai that steps up to the plate in an oh-so-casual setting, Tub Tim Thai is where you want to be.
Thai food makes for a delicious weekend meal, and you won't find much better than Tub Tim Thai.
For traditional and innovative Thai food with endless flavor, head to Tub Tim Thai.
Fans of Village Inn Pizzeria make every night "pizza night" — reviews prove that this hub sells steaming slices of five-star bliss.
Great food plus TV equals the perfect fan meal.
Parents, bring your kids along to this pizzeria, where you'll find a family-friendly menu and ambience.
Up for grabs (and free of charge) is Village Inn Pizzeria's wifi.
Skip long waits and head to Village Inn Pizzeria with your large group for easy seating.
The after-work crowd can fill the place up, so be sure to take advantage of reservations at Village Inn Pizzeria.
Drift away from stuffy dress-code conventions and dine in comfort at Village Inn Pizzeria.
Call Village Inn Pizzeria for catering if you have a big event coming up.
This pizzeria serves your food any way you like, delivered or carried-out.
Our customers come for our delicious food. They stay in our free parking.
Village Inn Pizzeria's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
Fancy-schmancy price tags don t always bring the best results, and Village Inn Pizzeria s super yummy, mid-range menu is taste-test approved.
Whether you're in the mood for AM eggs, a midday salad, or an evening entree, Village Inn Pizzeria provides service throughout the day.
When melted cheese and quality crust is all you can think about, it may be time for a hot slice or two. Experience pizza at its best when you order a pie from top-rated Village Inn Pizzeria.
For a casual meal that is highly-rated, look no further than Village Inn Pizzeria's pizza.
When you just want to relax in a casual setting and enjoy some pizza, make your way over to Village Inn Pizzeria.
When pizza is on your mind, head over to Village Inn Pizzeria and enjoy a fresh slice of goodness.
Makisu Sushi Lounge and Grill knows what makes a perfect sushi roll: well-executed flavor, flawless technique, and beautiful presentation.
Low-fat and gluten-free options are featured on the menu.
This sushi spot's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
Both the young and the young-at-heart will dig the family-oriented menu and ambience at this sushi spot.
Wifi access is totally free at Makisu Sushi Lounge and Grill, perfect for catching up on the news, hopping on social media, or even working.
Don't stay cooped up on a beautiful summer day! At Makisu Sushi Lounge and Grill, you can dine outdoors on their lovely patio.
Makisu Sushi Lounge and Grill is a local restaurant that accommodates both large and small groups.
On busy nights, it's best to book a table ahead of time.
Can't find your khakis? No problem! Throw on a pair of your most comfortable jeans and you'll blend right in at Makisu Sushi Lounge and Grill.
The food's ready when you are. Come on in or carry out.
Makisu Sushi Lounge and Grill is known for serving great food, and they are able to serve it at your next event with their excellent catering.
Don't leave the car at home when you come in. We'll give you one of the great spaces in our parking lot. And for free.
Cyclists are in luck. Makisu Sushi Lounge and Grill provides bike parking.
Prices at Makisu Sushi Lounge and Grill typically stay below the $30 mark, so you can afford to bring along a friend or a date.
You can pay with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or any major credit card.
The sushi at Makisu Sushi Lounge and Grill is filled with colors and endless flavors, so head on over today and enjoy some tasty eats.
A feast of Spanish delicacies awaits you at Skokie's Ken's Diner & Grill.
Whether rocking a gluten-free lifestyle or looking for something low-fat, this place will serve you just what you need.
With its kid-friendly vibe, this restaurant is a great spot for families to chow down.
Free wifi is on hand here as well.
At Ken's Diner & Grill, your large or small group can be seated quickly and comfortably.
You won't be able to make a reservation at Ken's Diner & Grill — make sure to plan accordingly.
Perfect for an after-work outing, Ken's Diner & Grill won't require you to change outfits before dining as the dress here is super casual.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Ken's Diner & Grill's tasty dishes at your next party.
Eating requires the perfect environment. This restaurant's pickup and delivery options let you choose where you want to dine.
At Ken's Diner & Grill, free parking is offered on the whole block.
Bike parking is also available outside the restaurant.
Affordable food or tasty food? Ken's Diner & Grill doesn't make you choose.
Catering to diners throughout the day (and night), Ken's Diner & Grill serves AM, PM, and midday meals.
So spice it up this weekend with some authentic Spanish cuisine at Ken's Diner & Grill.
So satisfy your cravings at a diner that knows it's stuff. Check out the highly-rated Ken's Diner & Grill today.
So come to Ken's Diner & Grill, where you can enjoy classic diner fare in a casual, relaxed atmosphere.
When you're feeling hungry, make your way over to the highly-rated Ken's Diner & Grill for some classic diner eats.
Dress down for your next pizza party — Calfornia Pizza Kitchen serves a low-key slice.
Pizza lovers and pasta fans will find more than enough to choose from on the pizzeria's menu.
Toast your evening out at this pizzeria with a glass of beer or wine from their lengthy drink list.
Parents, bring your kids along to this pizzeria, where you'll find a family-friendly menu and ambience.
Have a large group? No problem. Head to Calfornia Pizza Kitchen for easy seating.
At Calfornia Pizza Kitchen, there's no need to confine your meal to a traditional dining room — outdoor seating is available when the weather is warm.
Get online gratis thanks to Calfornia Pizza Kitchen's complimentary wifi.
Reserve a table ahead of time and avoid the lines.
Jeans are just right for a meal at Calfornia Pizza Kitchen, which embraces a casual vibe.
Short on time? Don't wait for a driver — pick it up yourself.
Calfornia Pizza Kitchen will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
Just come to us and park. No tickets, no fees, just a free convenient parking lot from us to you.
For those who prefer to travel by bike, Calfornia Pizza Kitchen is a great option due to its generous bike parking options.
For great dishes that fall smack dab in the middle when it comes to price, Calfornia Pizza Kitchen is a reasonable option for diners of different budgets.
If you're in the mood for a casual night out, pay Calfornia Pizza Kitchen a visit and munch on some delicious pizza.
Calfornia Pizza Kitchen truly is the best pizza place for your dollar in the area.
Cindy Espinosa has cooked almost every dish on the menu at Nellie’s (2458 W. Division St.), the Humboldt Park luncheonette she co-owns with her husband, Pablo. Yet she’s never attempted mofongo, a dish of mashed fried plantains that’s a Puerto Rican tradition.
“I see it being made,” she said. “I know how it’s made, but I’ve never tried it.”
It’s easy to see why. The cooking process, which I watched unfold in Nellie’s kitchen, is pretty involved, with a lot of hand-mashing and frying. “It’s more of a Friday-night dinner type of thing,” Pablo said. “You might eat it once a month at home.”
Yet the final result—a dome of fried plantain that diners can moisten with a dip into housemade chicken broth—is worth the work. Here’s how Cindy and Pablo’s cook, Carmen, makes it.
Carmen first peels and chops green plantains, the same fruits used in the restaurant’s jibaritos and tostones. According to Pablo, the restaurant goes through a crate of about 50 green plantains every week.
Then Carmen tosses them into a deep-fryer with some chopped tocino, or pork lard. When the lard has cooked down to a salty, crispy crunch, she dumps it and the plantains into a type of mortar and pestle called a pilon. “Every Puerto Rican household should have one,” Cindy said. The pilon’s concave bottom is what gives a serving of mofongo its distinctive dome-like shape.
In Puerto Rico, you see “all types of sizes” of pilon, Pablo said. That includes some as large as a butter churn, which sit on the floor. Nellie’s is a tabletop model, about 6 inches tall, wooden, and covered in carvings. It makes only one portion of mofongo at a time, which can make things hectic for Carmen on a busy weekend day. (All that mashing “takes an arm,” Cindy said.)
Making mofongo to order gives the staff flexibility to tailor each serving. For instance, Carmen can leave out the tocino to make a vegetarian version of the dish. (Both Espinozas have been vegetarian for a year and a half.) Other versions on the menu include iterations with shrimp in place of tocino or with a mound of chicken, shrimp, or steak nestled inside the dome. Mofongo can also be a side order to fried chicken (chicharron de pollo) or fried pork.
I get to sample the classic, main-course version.
The mofongo dome appears next to a small silver tureen filled with housemade chicken broth for dipping. There is still a big chunk of meat and bone floating in it, as well as a big, soft carrot that I devour, savoring its umami flavors. Moistened with a little broth, the green plantains lose their fibrous dryness to become melt-in-your-mouth comfort food; the bits of tocino provide an occasional kick of salt.
I send a mental thank-you to Carmen’s arm for providing this food. I hope it was worth the work.
Photo credit: Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
To many Chicagoans, the neighborhoods south of Roosevelt Road seem to be a culinary wasteland. To Jimalita Tillman, Chicago native and executive director of the Harold Washington Cultural Center and Performing Arts Theatre (4701 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.), fine-dining opportunities definitely exist on the South Side—if you give them a chance.
Because many of these restaurants depend on word of mouth, Tillman said, the advertising budgets of their more northern competitors often trump their oral marketing, and so she often spends “all day” giving South Side restaurant recommendations to area visitors and theater-goers.
“There are many great places [to eat] throughout these areas,” she said. “It really depends on what you’re in the mood for.”
And if you're in the mood for a little musical and cultural Chicago history to pair with your meal, you don't have to travel far from the landmark arts center. The Harold Washington Cultural Center, in the former location of the historical Regal Theater where the likes of Ella Fitzgerald once performed, is right in the heart of the Black Metropolis—a region marked by the culture and Southern-inspired music scene that developed during the Great Migration. Today, Bronzeville is still flavored with leftovers from its swinging past.
To savor alongside your meal, we paired each of Tillman’s restaurant recommendations with a few musical, historical, and cultural tidbits.
4655 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Chicago, IL 60653
It’s the quick and personable service that makes this gourmet hot-dog eatery a standout, Tillman said. Of course, Chef Cliff Rome serves the usual Chicago-style hot dog, but it’s the varied wiener and burger options he creates that color H-Dogs’ menu with the fine-dining flair he perfected while studying in Paris. The Healthy Hound—a grilled veggie dog with sprouts, roasted peppers, red onions, and cucumbers—sits alongside salmon burgers, turducken sausages, and portobello-mushroom sandwiches without the least bit of tattletaling or fighting over who had the mustard first. Sweet-potato or truffle fries complete the gourmet-on-the-go experience.
Bite of History: The gourmet hot-dog diner sits in a historical building that was once known as 47th Street Marketplace. Before a 2010 fire destroyed the building, it was considered a symbol of the revitalization of Bronzeville and housed Tillman’s Spoken Word Cafe—one of the original hosts of HBO’s Def Poetry series hosted by hip-hop artist and actor Mos Def.
2. Pearl’s Place
3901 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60653
“I’m a breakfast head,” said Tillman—as are many in the crowd of diners waiting to get inside for brunch on any given Sunday. The kitchen cooks up a mix of Southern and soul food—yes, there’s a difference—but Pearl’s Place sprinkles it with the right amount of creole flavor. After sampling Pearl’s juicy yet crispy fried chicken, sautéed salmon croquettes, or all-day breakfasts of vegetable omelets or homestyle pancakes, it seems only right to finish with a bite or two of peach cobbler or sweet-potato pie.
Bite of History: The interior decor, with album jackets and vinyl records lining the walls, features a photo story of the neighborhood’s jazz and blues history with jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Lena Horne—all of whom graced the stage at the Regal Theater during Bronzeville’s musical heyday.
3. Norman’s Bistro
1001 E. 43rd St., Chicago, IL, 60653
The bistro’s entrees—including vegetable confetti ravioli, smoked cranberry salmon, and the Great Duck burger—offer an upscale taste-bud experience at “South Side prices,” Tillman said. From the food to the decor, presentation is an art in this sleek and classy spot featuring creole-inspired American food with a Brazilian flair. In the exposed-brick, art-filled wine bar, sommeliers pour from an extensive list of wines. Separate from the dining room, the intimate setting of the bar creates an ideal spot for the happy-hour crowd.
Bite of Culture: On Sundays at 9 p.m., the bistro hosts a live jazz jam session. Or make an appointment and walk over to Gallery Guichard—housed in a turn-of-the-20th-century Italiante row house—to peruse its African-diaspora art and blown glass, sculptures, and photography by local as well as international artists.
Photography by Andrew Nawrocki.
Clockwise from top: Birria in action—rich, briny consommé and tender goat meat, stewed for hours with bay leaves, cinnamon, and other spices. // Ceramic bowls absorb the birria's heat, keeping the broth warm throughout meals. // When Rick Bayless recommended Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan to "Esquire" magazine, he described the eatery’s birria as "full of flavor, incredibly homey and satisfying."
In Ocotlán in Jalisco, Mexico, the temperature rarely dips below 40 degrees. That's mild by Chicago standards; however, when the Reyes family immigrated 2,000 miles from Ocotlán to Chicago, they brought with them a recipe that would prove thoroughly compatible with the colder weather. That recipe is birria—a savory stew made by simmering goat meat for hours with herbs and spices. On a cold day in mid-March, I made a trek across town to the family's Pilsen restaurant, Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan, to taste it myself.
As soon as I entered the eatery, I smelled the warm, rich aroma of simmering goat meat. Goats were also present in the decor: miniature replicas decorated shelves and cupboards, and a mounted goat head kept watch over the booths, a toothpick dangling humorously from its lips.
After I ordered birria at the counter, a server presented me with three dishes. The smallest held pickled onions and lime wedges, which are traditional birria condiments, and an oblong basket cradled warm, fresh tortillas. The largest bowl brimmed with rich, briny consommé, chopped onions and cilantro, and hunks of tender goat meat.
The first spoonful of broth tasted bright and smoky with hints of ancho peppers and cinnamon. I separated a piece of goat meat with light pressure from my spoon. Leaner than beef, the meat still had pieces of bone inside, which infused the meat with the flavor of their marrow. The crisp onions and fragrant cilantro stood out against the birria's savory elements to create a harmony of flavors that was especially comforting on a cold day.