Sentences involving "late-night" and "Lakeview" generally conjure up images of Clark Street's bars and restaurants. Go west, young man. The area around the Paulina stop (some of which is actually Roscoe Village) houses quieter sidewalks lined with places for eats and beats.
Best of the nightlife
Four Moon Tavern
A perfect bar if we've ever seen one, this big-time actor hangout not only has an adorable outdoor patio (complete with sparkling Christmas lights), it offers a great beer selection (Belgians, anyone?), one of the city's best jukeboxes (yeah, we said it) and an above-average menu of bar food. You'll have a fun, low-key night chatting and playing pool here, but don't forget to return for the superb Sunday brunch.
Good for groups
This spacious, 4,000-square-foot bar seats more than 110 people between the restaurant's three rooms. Often used for parties, the front room is typically closed during normal business hours, and the main room is where you'll find the bar and televisions. A small back room serves as a family-friendly area stocked with darts and video games. The dark wood, brass and green leather decor give the pub a stately feel, but the overall vibe feels kicked-back and friendly. The bar has plenty of beers on tap, an impressive selection of liquors and an extensive food menu.
Pho's Thai Cuisine
"I want to eat the way I cook—the healthy way," chef/owner Sat Duant says, and judging from the wildly successful Whole Foods just up the street, Lakeview residents have similar appetites. True to his word, Duant doesn't use any MSG, prefers brown sugar to white and uses sea salt instead of regular salt. All the veggies are fresh, except for bamboo, but come on; you can't get that in the Midwest. Prices are reasonable for this neighborhood, too: Steamed or deep-fried veggie potstickers go for $3.95, a basil fried rice dish chock full of egg, onion, collared greens, pepper, carrots, jalapenos and shrimp is only $8.50 and the wildly popular pad khe mao (sautéed meat or chicken with bean thread noodles and veggies) will cost ya $7.95.
Where to chill
Besides the wonderful, almost century-old bartender whose name does not adorn the old "Hamm's" sign outside, this Tavern is a dive bar through and through. Don't come for the decor, come for the authenticity, the crazy conversation, the remnants of a once-smoky haze, the beer (try a big bottle of Samson, a Czech brew) and the legendary atmosphere pervading every inch of the space. The music selection is ancient (when the jukebox works) and so are the beer signs that line the brown and ravaged walls. Come for the stories, the man, the dive-ness of the place (if that's what you're into), but don't expect the spotlessness of a martini bar at the Hilton. High-class comfort, this is not. You'll realize that right away when you have to be let in because the door is locked.
The outdoor tables at this mostly Turkish restaurant are as private a choice as those in your own (hypothetical) backyard, but the food is far from your average home cooking. Start with a simple eggplant salad or sogurme, a more sophisticated combination of smoked eggplant, creamy yogurt, garlic, walnuts and crushed red pepper, then choose from a roster of Mediterranean dishes that includes cop sis kabob (marinated diced lamb with flat bread) and su boregi (homemade dough with feta cheese and fresh dill). For a true experience, stop by late-night.
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