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I wouldn't be able to complete my Chicago page without mentioning my favorite European cafe/restaurant, which is located in Chicago's Greektown - Artopolis. I am a regular here and love it every time I go in there. Everything is good here - food, coffee, desserts, wine, atmosphere, and hospitality.
When you walk in the door, you are greeted by the very friendly owner and taken to your seat. The atmosphere and decorations are great, and it is usually packed with all kinds of people. The latest music from Greece is playing while people young and old enjoy a good meal or coffee and dessert. There is no feeling of being rushed to leave. They let you enjoy yourself, and you can sit and talk as long as you want. It is very laid back.
Friday and Saturday nights are the best nights to go, but be prepared to wait up to a half hour for a table. Most people are dressed to go out to the nearby clubs in Greektown. In the summer, the large doors at the front of the cafe are opened up and it quickly becomes an open air cafe. I can feel like I am back in Greece when I come here in the summer.
If you come during the week for breakfast or lunch, it will be cafeteria style. There are usually lunch specials available.
There is also a store where you can purchase fresh Greek pastries and other desserts, wines, and breads to take home.
Monday - Thursday 9 am - 12 pm
Friday & Saturday 9 am - 1 am
Sunday 10 am - 11 pm
Favorite Dish: The pizzas are excellent. They are made in a wood-burning oven. Salads are very fresh.
The sandwiches are amazing - I like the Turkey Melinzana, Tequila Pollo (chicken), and Portobello Chevre. Artopitas are also very good - they are a flaky dough stuffed with different ingredients and baked. Try the Kotopita (chicken & cheese).
If you are there when Gemista are the special, order them! They are tomatoes and bell peppers stuffed with rice, spices, and feta cheese.
Desserts and Greek pastries are great - take something home. When I go, I usually like to have bougatsa, rice pudding, or carrot cake with my coffee.
For coffee and tea, everything is good, but I like either a Greek coffee or a frappe (iced nescafe). If ordering a frappe, try it "glyko me gala" (sweet with milk), or with Bailey's.
For a good Greek white wine, try Boutari Kretikos. For red, I like the Katogi Averoff.
Please note the kitchen closes 1 hour before the restaurant does.
Address: 306 S. Halsted
Directions: Located in Greektown.
From the Loop, go west on Adams, then turn left on Halsted. If driving, park in the lot on Halsted & Adams for $6. Walk south, cross Jackson, and the cafe is on the right side of the street.
Phone: (312) 559-9000
Pretend you're in Paris at the Artopolis Bakery Cafe. The Artopolis Bakery Cafe has a lively European atmosphere with tables in many different sections, a balcony and a bar/bakery area. Choose a window seat if you're interested in people watching! The Artopolis serves appetizers, soups, salads, local Greek specialties, pizzas, drinks and desserts. Stop in for a wine or a coffee with a traditonal Greek dessert, or try the Chicken Spinach Lasagna with some classic Rodity's Greek wine. You may also want to buy some Greek specialties to take with you!
Favorite Dish: I love the Greek pizzas here! They are uniquely different from the ordinary and there are more than 10 to choose from! Margherita is Roma tomatoes, basil, Mozzarella and Manouri, on oregano crust. Cinque Formaggi (my favorite) is Mozzarella, Kasseri, Parmesan, Gouda and Goat cheeses, with tomato sauce. Olympian is spiced lamb, eggplant, tomato, roasted garlic, rosemary, onions, Mozzarella and Feta. Hawaiian is pineapple, ham, spiced tomato sauce, oregano, and Mozzarella cheese. Inferno is roasted chicken, smoked Gouda, mozzarella, green and florina peppers, caramelized onions, spicy tomato sauce. For more types, check out their menu on the website and see which one you would choose! I hope to try them all!
Address: 306 S. Halsted
Directions: Greektown is Jackson and Halsted
Public Transportation: Take the Blue Line Train to UIC Halsted and walk North up Halsted.
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