Posts by James Podrasky

Wicker Park?s MAK Fuses Traditional Chinese and ...

Wicker Park MAK Modern Asian Kitchen

Division Street in Wicker Park is rich in bar food, but if you just want a quick bite on your way home from work your options are pretty limited and pretty greasy. Thankfully, there?s MAK: Modern Asian Kitchen. MAK is a fast casual, counter-service restaurant specializing in healthy Asian fusion made with locally-sourced vegetables and…

Imperial Lamian Brings Authentic Chinese Food to...

Authentic Chinese Imperial Lamian River North

Chicago has been taken over by a fever for Japanese ramen noodles. Within walking distance from my apartment alone, I can think of four places I could go for noodles. Jakarta, Indonesia-based Imperial Lamian, a restaurant group with more than 20 locations, picked Chicago?s ramen-centric food scene as an opportunity to bring their brand of…

Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya Brings Authentic Jap...

Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya Chicago

A few years ago, most Chicagoans probably thought of ramen as the cheap microwave noodles they ate in college, but now the city is obsessed with the Japanese noodle-soup dish. The latest contender for best ramen bowl in the city is Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya in Wicker Park. What separates Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya from…

Parts and Labor is Logan Square?s Hippest Burger...

Parts and Labor collage

Burgers are one of America?s favorite comfort foods. Many of us have fond memories of going to the local burger joint with our parents and friends and enjoying some greasy goodness. For a lot of Chicago?s Southside residents, that burger joint was Grant?s Wonderburger in Mount Greenwood. While Wonderburger is now closed, Parts and Labor…

5411 Empanadas is Taking Over Chicago, One Pastr...

5411 Empanadas collage

5411 Empanadas is one of the fastest growing restaurant groups in the city. Named after the international dialing code for Buenos Aires, the group first opened in 2009 with a quality product and making deliveries to local Chicago businesses. That led to an incredibly successful food truck and their first physical location, which opened in…

De Noche Mexicana Embraces Mexican Cuisine in Lo...

de noche mexicana in Logan Square interior

Gentrification has drastically transformed Logan Square in the last few years from a primarily Latino neighborhood to hipster paradise with both positive and negative results. For all the cool bookstores like Uncharted and great restaurants like Lula Caf and Longman & Eagle, there have been longtime businesses that have closed and residents forced out. However,…

Challenge Your Tastebuds and They’ll Side ...

Albany Park?s Rojo Gusano

Chicago?s Albany Park is one of the most diverse areas in the city, if not the entire country. About half of the population of the neighborhood is made up of foreign-born immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Korean, Yugoslavia, Somalia, and many, many more countries. 40 languages are spoken in Albany Park?s schools and a walk down…

The Gold Coast?s Coconutz Takes Chicago to the T...

Coconutz Takes Chicago to the Tropics

It?s clear with a name like ?Coconutz? the owner?s of the Gold Coast?s newest bar don?t take themselves too seriously. Taking influences from traditional Tiki Bars, which has made a major comeback in recent years? and the Caribbean, Coconutz promises fun and the chance for Chicagoans who can?t escape the winter to embrace some warm…

IVme Hydration Clinic Offers Energy & Hango...

IVme Chicago Clinic

Generally my beat around The Chicago Traveler is restaurants and the occasional concert. The evening started off normally enough at Old Town?s Pomp & Circumstance for an open house at the nearby IVme Hydration Clinic? drinking an Old Fashioned and snacking on sliders. That normalcy didn?t last long, though, soon after I was taken on…

Artango Combines a Passion for Art, Dance, and S...

Artango food and dancing collage

Ravenswood?s Artango serves authentic South American cuisine, but it?s also a dance studio and something of an avant-garde art gallery? all packed in a hundred-year-old former factory. That certainly makes Artango one of the most unique dining experiences in the city. Artango History Artango started as a tango center inviting Chicagoans to learn more about…