WRIGLEYVILLE — Rain might be in the forecast for the Cubs' home opener against the Phillies Friday, but don't let that deter you from celebrating one of Wrigleyville's biggest days.
The neighborhood offers plenty of dining options for all types of Cubs fans — meaning the 'hood will be in the spirit even if Mother Nature isn't.
New food in Lakeview: Cubs fans looking for a taste of poutine from its home country will have a chance to try Canadian import Big Cheese Poutinerie, 3401 N. Clark St., making its Chicago debut Friday. At this year's Poutine Fest, its pierogi poutine won second place.
Farther south, the popular new Lakeview location of BIG and little's, 1034 W. Belmont Ave., is a good option for a group with diverse tastes, with fish tacos, meat tacos, burgers, hot dogs, po' boys, salads and more on the menu. Another plus of this BYOB joint? Front-of-house manager Omar Cadena's infectious enthusiasm will be a positive start to the day.
For a twist on tradition: Chicago-style hot dogs are a must, obviously, but for those looking for a dog with a twist should check out Dimo's Pizza, 3463 N. Clark St. The by-the-slice BYOB pizzeria known for its wacky toppings will be serving up a Chicago hot dog pizza, with Vienna beef, celery salt, neon green relish and mustard.
ROCKS Lakeview, 3463 N. Broadway, which just reopened after a renovation, has a special burger of the month with a ballpark feel, too. It's an 8-ounce patty topped with the Chicago dog works — including the hot dog part.
For the barbecue lovers: For some reason, restaurateurs decided that Lakeview needs five barbecue restaurants within walking distance of each other. Here's the breakdown:
If you prefer your beverages sweet, try Old Crow Smokehouse, 3506 N. Clark St., which has a country feel and fruity moonshine cocktails. Craft beer fans should try Sheffield's, 3258 N. Sheffield Ave., known for its famous beer garden and extensive craft beer selection.
Those on a budget can BYOB at the more casual Wrigley BBQ, 3555 N. Broadway, and members of the tribe — or other non-pork eaters — may want to check out kosher restaurant Milt's, 3411 N. Broadway, which has been very popular with the Jewish population in the 'hood since it opened.
And if you want a quieter lunch before the game, Q-BBQ, 714 W. Diversey, is a 20-minute walk south. It's a city location of a suburban Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant that's probably far enough away from the ballpark to keep the crowds down.
For people dining with in-laws or clients: Despite the rowdy rep of Wrigleyville, there are actually several nice restaurants to eat at near the field if you need a more — ahem — adult setting before the game. Uncommon Ground, 3800 N. Clark St., prides itself on organic, seasonal dishes, some of which are cooked with produce from the restaurant's green roof in Edgewater.
Southport Grocery and Cafe, 3552 N. Southport Ave., has a casual yet upscale American classics menu, fun gourmet baked goods and a softer, neighborhood environment that will work for people looking for a nicer lunch before the game.
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.