Serious Eats Neighborhood Guides: Heather Terhune's Lincoln Square
Editor's Note: Every few weeks, we love to check in with chefs or food personalities in Chicago to see where they are eating in the neighborhoods they actually live in. This week, Heather Terhune from Sable selects some of her favorite places to eat in and around Lincoln Square.
View Neighborhood Guide: Heather Terhune's Lincoln Square in a larger map
Heather Terhune may have finally entered everyone's radar after her turn on Top Chef: Texas, but the chef has been turning out excellent dishes for years in Washington D.C., North Carolina, and especially Chicago, where she's cooked at Mossant Bistro (now South Water Kitchen), Atwood Cafe, and now Sable. Her corn creme brulee, truffled deviled eggs, and chicken and waffles are all worth a trip to the River North restaurant.
When she isn't at Sable, Heather lives "right on the edge of Lincoln Square and Albany Park." She's been in the neighborhood for eight years, and she had no trouble rattling off a great list of old and new restaurants. I'll let her take it from here.
Bar: The Fountainhead. They have great craft beer and an amazing whiskey selection. The food is hit or miss but there are like 20 beers on draft and amazing whiskeys, so that's where I go and meet friends. Hopefully the roof will be open soon.
Sandwich: Some of the best sandwiches are at Café Selmarie. You can sit right there on the square. I never get the same thing twice and they do a daily sandwich. The last time I went [the sandwich] was inspired by a bánh mì, and I thought it was delicious.
Dinner Spot: One of my all-time favorites is Bistro Campagne. It's also a great date night spot.
Essential Neighborhood Spot: Gene's Sausage Shop. It used to be Meyer's Delicatessen, and they have the old sign in there. But it's bigger and better than it used to be. I love that they do their own smoking and make a lot of bratwurst and sausages. It's one of the places besides Paulina Meat Market that you can get smoked ham hocks. They also make their own bacon and it's really good. They have it in slab form, and you can buy a slab or they'll slice it if you want. They also make their own sandwiches and have great pretzel rolls. I'm not sure if they make them, but they're pretty amazing.
Pizza: I actually don't like pizza. I'm from the East Coast and hate Chicago pizza. The only place I'll go is Great Lake.
Burger: I like The Bad Apple. It's right on Lincoln and they have great burgers. Their truffle burger [The Frenchie, $10] is really good, and they do a burger trio, which is three little different sliders.
Falafel: There's no real falafel in Lincoln Square, so we'll go to Albany Park for this one. On Kedzie, there's a whole row between Lawrence and Wilson. There's Dawali Mediterranean Kitchen, but there's an even better falafel at the tiny little grocery store that I can't remember the name of.
Date Night: Troquet is a new, cute little French spot, that's close to The Fountainhead. They have a great Parisian menu.
Pastry/Dessert: Again, Café Selmarie is the only place to get great pastries. Then there's the great authentic gelato place in the square [Paciugo Gelato], that's really small, but has really good gelato.
Bread: I get a baguette at Café Selmarie and pretzel rolls at Gene's.
Coffee: City Provisions. That's where I get coffee almost every day. They sell Dark Matter.
Breakfast: Over Easy on Damen is my go to. I love that restaurant. I get the Sassy Eggs ($11), and I always want someone to order Emily's Dream Pancakes ($10) so I can have a bite. They're light and fresh with mashed berries. There are also additions to the menu everyday, and they're things like chilaquiles or huevos rancheros, and they are really good. The owner is always there and cooking.