Best Restaurants in Fairmount

April 23, 2018
by Zagat Staff

Whether you need a post-museum meal or actually live in the neighborhood, here’s where you should be eating.

Italian · Spring Garden · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

"You'll gain a new appreciation" for Tuscany at this "buzzing" , "fancy-schmancy" Spring Garden Italian, where "creativity and quality ingredients" produce "ethereal" pizzas, pastas, salumi and more – "every bite is even more delicious than the last" ; factor in a "romantic" space featuring a lengthy bar (perfect for "dining on appetizers with a nice glass of wine" ) and service that's "attentive but not overbearing" , and to most it's a special-occasion "go-to" that's well "worth" the splurge.
Zorba's Tavern
Greek · Spring Garden · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.3

This long-running Fairmount BYO "may not look fancy" , but its "authentic" Greek cuisine – from classic dishes to plates that go beyond the "expected standards" – is "full of flavor" ; "wonderfully sized portions" , "affordable" prices and "accommodating" service make it a "must" for many.
La Calaca Feliz
Mexican · Fairmount · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

Making Fairmounters "muy feliz" is this "fun" , "friendly" sibling of Cantina Feliz and its "outstanding" "modern twists" on "traditional" Mexican comida; whether dropping in for "the best happy hour" or "meeting up with friends" for a "night out" , expect a "fiesta" vibe fueled by "super drinks" (including an impressive tequila and mezcal lineup); P.S. don't miss the "hidden back patio."
Moroccan · Fairmount · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.3

Many consider this "intimate" , cash-only Fairmount BYO near the Art Museum the "perfect spot for any occasion" , thanks to "fantastic" , "reasonably priced" Mediterranean fare and "friendly" servers who "won’t rush you" ; though some find it "small" , the room is "comfortable" with "spacious tables" , while outdoor seating under trees is "lovely."
The Belgian Cafe
Gastropub · Spring Garden · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

Equal parts "neighborhood gastropub and authentic Belgian bar" , this "laid-back" joint pairs a "laundry list of terrific brews" , many of them rare, with "tasty" mussels, burgers, fries and even some "creative" vegan dishes; it's "one of the more easygoing places to eat in Fairmount" , with an "attentive" staff and a "hip" setting on a "quiet corner."
A Mano
Italian · Spring Garden · $$$

Chef-owner Townsend Wentz (Townsend) goes the informal route on a Fairmount corner with this "exceptional" Italian BYO serving "excellent" dishes, from housemade pastas to meatier fare including a standout pork shank; factor in an "attentive, super-friendly" staff and it's "worth every penny" (and the "trip to the ATM" – it's cash-only), especially for "a date."
Pizzeria Vetri
Pizza · Logan Square · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.3

The "exceptional" Neapolitan pies "bring you back to Italia" at this "cool" Logan Square pizzeria, where seating is "at the counter" ( "watch your pie being made" ), at one of the "long" communal tables or outside "when it's nice" ; with a broad beer selection, "great wines on tap" and interesting cocktails, not to mention a location around the corner from the Barnes Foundation, it's no wonder "people line up out the door and down the block" at prime times.
Bar Hygge
Gastropub · Spring Garden · $$

'Hygge' is Danish for 'cozy camaraderie', and that's the mission at this chill, industrial-meets-country kitsch brewpub in Spring Garden, which boasts a bar serving a dozen of its own brews. The menu focuses on 'boards' – literally planks of wood upon which appetizers like sunchokes, cheese and scallops are arranged with an idea toward sharing.
Tela's Market & Kitchen
Fairmount · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

Part boutique grocery, part cafe specializing in "yummy" American fare, this "hot spot" in Fairmount is a "winning" choice for grabbing breakfast, "delicious" sandwiches or "fresh" produce, or for sitting down to entrees such as crab cakes and pasta in the evening; a few find it "very pricey" for what it is, i.e. a "cute little" corner shop with an "amicable" staff.
Sabrina's Cafe & Spencer's Too
Breakfast · Logan Square · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

"Why are you reading this? – go!" squeal fans of these "old-school diners" that dispense "gigantic portions" of "over-the-top" Eclectic–New American breakfast and brunch fare at "reasonable" prices in a "vintage" atmosphere equipped with "just the right amount of kitsch" (some locations also serve dinner); "come hungry or be ready to split your food with a friend," but "get there early or you'll be waiting awhile."