Logan Square is quietly becoming one of the best Chicago neighborhoods for going out to eat. But not all of our favorite spots are open for lunch. But 19 of them are - and they include sandwich shops, a brew pub with great food, and a NYC interloper that has fantastic pizza.
This isn’t the type of place where you go to inhale a sandwich before heading back to the office. You’re at Middle Brow to hang out for a while over some delicious pizza and freshly-baked bread. This brewpub has lots of natural light, reclaimed furniture, and a long counter that’s perfect for dining (and drinking) solo. Come here by yourself or with a group of freelancers who know how to write off pizza and beer as a business expense.
Landbirds is a casual counter-service spot that’s ideal for a quick lunch involving delicious Korean lollipop chicken wings and rice. The wings are twice-fried, crispy, and drizzled in a gingery sauce that’s sweet and not too sticky. There are four heat levels to choose from, but even the spiciest wings have a lot of flavor beyond just “hot.” This place also has fantastic musubi rice made with spam, kimchi, and wing sauce, which needs to be a part of your order, whether as a side or a meal of its own.
L’Patron is a casual BYOB Mexican spot that has great tacos. There’s a long menu of options including carne asada, lengua, shrimp, and poblana rajas with caramelized onions. But for something more substantial, order the Gringa taco. It’s al pastor with a lot of melted chihuahua cheese served on thick handmade tortillas, and it will give you all the sustenance necessary to get back to work and finish that screenplay.
Clear plastic chairs, brick walls, and cement tabletops make Jam feel more appropriate for a tech company’s brainstorm session than a leisurely lunch. But there’s no pressure to hold conversations about “vertical integration” here - this upscale spot is great for anyone’s weekday lunch or brunch. You can get things like a well-balanced turkey club or corned beef sandwich, or (because they serve breakfast all day) a fantastic french toast topped with pink peppercorns. Come here to pitch your new idea of using conference room pogo sticks instead of chairs to foster free-form ideation.
You can’t even whisper “Logan Square” without someone popping out from the bushes to bring up Lula Cafe. This place has been serving fantastic farm-to-table food in the neighborhood since before that was really even a thing, and it’s a classic that works for all sorts of occasions, including weekday brunch and lunch. So we always appreciate the reminder.
New York clearly lacks imagination when it comes to pizza - their refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of deep dish is solid proof of this. But we don’t hold it against them, especially when they give us places like Paulie Gee’s (which is originally from Brooklyn). This place serves excellent Neapolitan-style pies, and because Paulie Gee’s is adaptable and open-minded, the Logan Square location also makes Detroit-style pizza, which is just as good.
Fat Rice is one of our favorite neighborhood spots in Chicago, and while it hasn’t always been open for lunch, we’re really glad it is now. This place serves delicious Macanese food in a low-key space, and even though the daytime menu is limited, they do still serve the “arroz gordo” that the restaurant is named for. It’s a rice dish with duck, chicken thighs, sausage, clams, pork, and eggs, and you should share it with co-workers after you’ve convinced everyone from the office to take a long lunch.
There was a time when you could only get the delicious burger from Mott St by petting a black cat at midnight and saying an Emily Dickinson poem backwards. Or going to Mott St for brunch, or sitting at the bar. Well, now you can get this same very good burger (topped with American cheese, frizzled sweet potato, and a hoisin mayo) at Mini Mott, a casual counter-service operation. The short menu here also has other stuff like chicken wings, soft serve, and a vegetarian jackfruit carnitas that tastes way better than it should.
You can drink Revolution beer all over Chicago now, but their warehouse-style brewpub is still the best place to do it. That’s because you can also eat excellent bar food here - like bacon-fat popcorn, burgers, and pizzas with toppings like pulled pork or Italian beef. They don’t take reservations and it’s usually crowded at night, but at lunchtime you have a better chance of getting a table.
Reno has three separate identities, depending on what time you’re here. This place serves wood-fired bagels in the morning, sandwiches during the day, and pizzas at night, and the good news is that we like all three equally. That being said, it’s worth asking if they have any leftover bagels when you come during lunch.
Logan Square is a pretty neighborhood, but it’s definitely not Southern California. If you find this disappointing, go to Lonesome Rose. The light and airy space is decorated with enough plants to create the illusion that it’s always nice outside, and the Tex-Mex food here helps further the facade. Get the fish tacos and an order of the chili con queso. Just make sure to get some extra housemade tortilla chips - they’re excellent.
If you like watching sports during the day, or sitting outside as late in the year as humanly possible (as in, until we actually have a blizzard), go to Park & Field. The main draw here is the atmosphere - the inside is decorated like a vintage gymnasium, and the huge outdoor patio has multiple fire pits that keep it comfortable well into fall and early winter. Come here for bar food, weekday day drinking, or if it’s the Olympics and you want to watch curling at 2pm.
Wyler Road is a fantastic neighborhood sandwich shop. It has great food, a full bar, and a really nice back patio. We fully endorse coming here for lunch, and then deciding to just stay all day. Get the crawfish melt and an order of cheese curds.
Vegetarians in Logan Square are lucky because they have Chicago Diner. As the name suggests, this place serves diner food, and the entire menu is vegetarian and vegan. Even carnivores can have a pretty good lunch here - and if you haven’t tried a vegetarian reuben, there’s no better place to do it.
Cellar Door Provisions has a short menu that changes weekly (you’ll find dishes like a wheatberry salad or a pasta with tomato jam), and the food is always good. If you’re in the mood for something but you’re not really sure what, this is a great option. It’s a small, casual space that’s great for catching up with a friend, or just having a quick bite on your own.
Parson’s is best known for its outdoor patio, and for good reason - it’s awesome. But this place also has great fried chicken, fish, and hushpuppies. Basically, anything fried here is worth ordering. Plus, they serve their negroni slushies year-round, and during the winter, the patio becomes an ice-skating rink. In other words, if you’ve recently been fired and/or have the day off, spend as much time here as possible.
This place serves great biscuit sandwiches. But don’t lie to yourself, you just want to eat multiple pieces of their fantastic pie. Go for it.
90 Miles serves Cuban food in a casual space that’s relaxing enough to help you forget about the three-hour meeting you had to sit through this morning. The back patio is enclosed and heated in the winter, and the friendly waitstaff and colorful artwork make it one of the best places in the city for a group lunch. Order a Cubano, and don’t forget to BYOB.
Technically this counter-service spot is in Avondale, but it’s so close to Logan Square that we’re including it. The thing to order here is a fried chicken sandwich - they have a few to choose from, and all of them are good. Whatever you decide, make sure to get some pimento mac and cheese on the side.