Erik's Delicatessen has been known to cause fights. Even the closest family and friends can't help but argue over the best thing on the menu at this unpretentious deli. Is it the salad bar (the largest in Oak Park) stocked with super-fresh veggies and homemade pasta salads? Is it the hot crock of savory chili, bursting with meat and topped with cheddar cheese and onions? Or is it any of the sandwiches—from simple chicken to Turkey Louise with cranberry sauce—that come served with fresh-cut french fries or potato chips made on site?
Well, belly up to the bar and decide for yourself. (We can't help but favor the grilled triple-cheese sandwich, loaded with mushrooms and grilled onions and smeared with garlicky mayo.) The abundance of kid-friendly options, from chicken fingers to popcorn shrimp to plain old ice cream, makes this an easy choice for the knee-high crowd.
Though a decided step up from other quick-service joints (Subway schmubway), Erik's Delicatessen doesn't stretch its prices much higher. So place your order at the counter, grab your plastic number and slide into a well-worn booth for a deli-style feast.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Rockwood