5148 N Clark (at Foster Ave)
Chicago, IL 60640
This family-run establishment began as a top quality neighborhood bar about five years ago. In 2003, an equally good restaurant opened. The bar specializes in Belgian ales — nearly a dozen are usually on draft — as well as another dozen or so top quality American and Canadian brews. If that isn’t enough, there are scores of other good beers in bottles, and the wine selection is also quite good. The bar, a very popular neighborhood hangout, requires an oxygen mask to contend with the tobacco smoke. Hold your breathe, and walk straight back to the restaurant, which is completely non-smoking. There, you will find a delightfully eclectic menu that focuses on Belgian cooking. The menu varies throughout the year, and there are daily soup and entree specials. The sandwiches, served on a hearty dark rye, are really special, make a fine meal. The steamed mussels are also a specialty. Both are served with a generous helping of what may be the best french fries in Chicago! Appetizers and entrees typically include at least two options each for fish, duck, chicken, beef, vegetables, and seafood. There are always three interesting salads, and for dessert, a delightful plate of gourmet cheeses, with a selection of bread, nuts, and fruit, that compliments them. This is my wife’s favorite restaurant, and she doesn’t even drink beer! Take the Clark bus to Foster. Hop Leaf is three doors south. From the Northwest suburbs, take the Foster/Central exit from 190 (the Kennedy expressway, go east on Foster about six miles to Clark. From the Northern suburbs, take the Cicero exit from I94, go east on Foster about five miles to Clark.