Serious Eats Neighborhood Guides: Bobby Schaffer's West Lakeview

Neighborhood Guides

Restaurant picks for Chicago's many neighborhoods.


Bobby Schaffer

Bobby Schaffer, the pastry chef at Grace, has lived in West Lakeview for around four years now. "I like that it's quiet and family-oriented," he says. "There's not a ton of madness going on." Read about Schaffer's favorite one-two punch (Andy's Thai Kitchen followed by Scooter's Frozen Custard) and more below.

The SLT at Bakin' & Eggs [Photograph: Josh Conley]

Breakfast/Brunch: I tend to go to Bakin' & Eggs. I like that it's traditional breakfast fare done well. I get their breakfast burrito with egg, tomato, avocado, potatoes and cheese.

Coffee: Heritage is a bicycle and coffee shop. I have a classic style bike, which is how I found that place. They have good coffee as well - Stumptown. I used to bike everywhere but now I mostly drive.

Groceries: I live two blocks from Whole Foods so I normally shop there.

Ham and Cheese Croissant at Floriole [Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Pastries: Floriole. I like their basque cake and chocolate croissants. Their shortbread is pretty good too.

Pizza: Pizzeria Serio. It's literally two doors down from me. They do very good wood-fired oven pizza. I've actually never eaten in the pizzeria, but I'll get take out. My favorite pizza is one with ricotta and spinach, no red sauce. It's just a really thin crust and good ingredients.

Burger: I'll go to a place in Roscoe Village called Victory's Banner but they do a very good vegetarian burger. I'm not really big into burgers, so I gravitate towards that since it's healthier. I think it's rice and bean based, but I get the one that has goat cheese and roasted red peppers.

Kao Soy at Andy's Thai Kitchen [Photograph: Roger Kamholz]

Thai: Andy's Thai Kitchen. I probably eat there at least once a week. I've become a regular there and I like that it's more authentic Thai food. They don't hold back and gear it towards Americans. I love a dish called pad woon sen, it's kinda like a glass noodle salad that has ground pork, grilled shrimp and chilies. The crispy onchoy. They take watercress with stem and everything, bread it and deep fry it and with a vinaigrette and chilies in it. Most things are pretty spicy there and I enjoy spicy food.

Sushi: I like going to Macku. Probably the best sushi in the city. Their soups are awesome too, all amazingly flavorful. The freshness, presentation and atmosphere of the restaurant is great.

Turtle Sundae at Scooter's Frozen Custard [Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Dessert: Scooter's Frozen Custard. I live right across the street from them so I'm usually there once a week. I go there to cool off after Andy's. What I order most of the time is just a vanilla cone but if there's an interesting concrete I'll get that.

Date night: I would say Andy's Thai Kitchen again, that's where I usually end up going. I think it's more of a casual thing and if I want to go on a date I want to have interesting food, something that you don't generally find all over the city. I like that it's low key. It could be a short date or long date, and it's BYO so that's always nice.

Bar/Drinks: There's a place around the corner called Fizz that I enjoy. They have a nice outdoor patio that's cool to sit on. It's not really a sports bar, more a neighborhood bar and I'll meet up with friends there. I usually drink some kind of IPA beer.