Dining Near Chicago’s Ballparks

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good brat , a beer and a bag of peanuts as much as the next girl.

But sometimes, I’m jonesing for a real restaurant experience along with a visit to the ball park. And we’ve got you covered with restaurant recs no matter which team you root for! Check out these great places near the ballparks. And who will tell if you still order cheese fries or a cotton candy at the game? That’s between you and your waistline.

Cub Die-Hards: Wrigleyville Restaurants

3423 N. Southport, 773-528-2220, coobah.com
Chef Jimmy Madla combines Latin and Filipino cuisines to wonderful effect at this vibrant Lakeview restaurant and lounge. The Lumpia, crispy Filipino eggrolls filled with roast duck or Longaniza sausage, are terrific, as is the Zarzuela (a Spanish version of Bouilliabaisse). Dinner daily and brunch on weekends.

Fish Bar
2956 N. Sheffield Ave., 773-687-8177, fishbarchicago.com
Scrumptious ceviche and tartare, fried rock shrimp with tobiko and sriracha, Seafood Cobb, Oyster Po’Boy… this tiny place makes every menu item count as it packs ‘em in. Another gem from the team of David Morton and Michael Kornick, conveniently located next door to the always rockin’ and rollin’ DMK Burger Bar.
Open 11:30 – midnight, closed Mondays.

3301 N. Clark St., 773-248-1155, soccachicago.com
One thing’s for sure: you can’t get gnocchi with chicken, crispy prosciutto, brown butter and goat cheese within the Friendly Confines. So if you’re looking for fresh, innovative Bistro/Italian food, this is the direction you want to steer toward. The Banana Croissant Bread Pudding with banana gelato and organic honey is weepable. Dinner served everyday, brunch on weekends.

Sox Fans: Southside Eats Near The Cell

Han 202
605 W. 31st St., 312-949-1314, han202.com
A Bib Gourmand restaurant in Chicago’s first Michelin Guide, this Asian fusion restaurant features a 5-course, prix fixe menu with choices in each section (soup, salad, appetizer, entrée and dessert). A bargain anywhere, but when the menu may feature the likes of Black Cod and Ginger Soy Sauce, Salmon Roll and Seaweed Salad, or Blue Crab Wontons with Fennel Chicken Broth, the value is stratospheric. Dinner Tuesday – Sunday.

3267 S. Halsted, 312-929-2486, nanaorganic.com
This Bridgeport fave is family-owned, serving seasonal, organic Latin-tinged food. Case in point: the Smoked Gunthorp Farms Pork Tostones with Strawberry Mojo and Rhubarb-Honey Syrup; Wild Mushroom, Huitlacoche and housemade Ricotta Quesadillas; or the Breakfast Burrito Platter with housemade chorizo.  The sangria is killer. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

2119 S. Halsted, 312-526-3385, nightwoodrestaurant.com
Chef Jason Vincent’s menu changes daily with the market – the farmer’s market, that is. Seasonal cocktails, impressive craft beer list, and a covered patio to enjoy the summer weather are supporting players to the terrific cuisine. How ‘bout Illinois Sweet Corn Custard with turnips and greens, Parmesan and green garlic vinaigrette, or maybe the whole-roasted White Bass with peas, bacon, lemon and garden herbs? Brunch features fresh donuts (bacon butterscotch!). Dinner Monday-Saturday, brunch Saturday.

Photo credit: Nightwood’s Scallops with peaches