Urban Belly

When I first moved to Chicago, coming from Madison, Wisconsin, I was rather overwhelmed by my dining options. So many restaurants, so little time, and more importantly, so little money. My boyfriend and I instituted a rule: one new restaurant every weekend. We didn’t eat out much, but when we did, we made sure to take advantage of the multitude of options. The main problem with this rule, though, is that we rarely went to a restaurant more than once–even ones that we liked. That is, until we discovered Urban Belly.

I’ve been on an Urban Belly binge for a little over a month now. Nearly every weekend morning, as we’re contemplating what to do about our hunger situation, my thoughts turn to juicy noodles and perfectly crisp dumplings. On a recent Saturday morning, when I couldn’t decide what to order, I ordered three, yes three meals. For myself. Really, you can’t have too much Urban Belly, and I just bought myself lunch, dinner, lunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


Soba Noodles with Scallops

The main problem I have with Urban Belly is that this restaurant has single-handedly ruined all other Asian noodles for me. That convenient, all-encompassing noodles, sushi, curry spot just one block from my apartment? I can never go there again. How about my old go-to spot for Pad See Ew? Forever spoiled. Urban Belly doesn’t even serve Pad See Ew, but once you experience the flavors—the addicting broth of the Asian Egg Noodles, the succulent Duck and Pho Spice Dumplings, or the intoxicating Urban Belly Ramen with pho broth—well, the bland taste of anything else remotely Asian will make you wish Urban Belly was on every street corner in Chicago. I can’t. Get. Enough.

Egg Noodles

Egg Noodles with Tofu

While this restaurant has received much hype and fanfare, it remains quick, casual, and perfect. It’s BYOB, counter service, communal dining, smack-you-in-the-face flavor perfection.


Chinese Eggplant with Thai Basil

Urban Belly

3053 North California Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618-7005

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