Lucia's, a storefront Italian deli, shares a kitchen with Wicker Park's Lucia Ristorante
. It seems that this North Avenue kitchen is the closest you'll get to authentic Italian cuisine without cruising for flights on Americanairlines.com. Luckily, the deli's prices average less than $5 a pop, which will beat even the most discounted flight to Venice. Plus, if you squint really hard while you eat, the paintings of Italian landscape on the deli's rustic yellow walls could make you believe you're seated on a terrace overlooking a canal, should you be that
desperate to escape Wicker Park.
The food at Lucia's Deli is a refreshing combination of simple, quick fare (think sandwiches, pizza, salads and pastries) with gourmet ingredients (combined into a sliced turkey, hot pepper cheese, and pesto mayonnaise sandwich on focaccia washed down with tiramusu, for example). It feels like Mama Lucia threw a big dinner party for the grown-ups next door and donated her leftovers to the deli: Delicacies like artichoke heart and tuna salad, marinated olives and Italian cheeses are presented in homey yellow bowls at the deli counter.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg