Chicago’s Best Fried Calamari

Some might say gross to the idea of fried calamari, otherwise known as fried squid. And if you’re like me, you hear squid and picture the limp sea creature on the dissecting table in junior high science class. But don’t knock it until you’ve tried it – it doesn’t even taste fishy. If it’s it done right, it doesn’t have a rubbery texture (ew, gross) and is seasoned well and crispy. Here are a few places around Chicago, and one in the suburbs, that does calamari right.

L. Woods

7110 N. Lincoln Ave.
Lincolnwood, IL 60712

Located in Lincolnwood, L. Woods isn’t your typical looking Lettuce Entertain You restaurant. It’s got a woodsy theme that makes you feel like you’re eating dinner in a cabin up north. They excel at American cuisine and feature BBQ ribs, steaks, and fish. Their calamari is light and crispy and comes with homemade cocktail and horseradish sauces. It makes for a perfect starter. Just be cautious here because their portions are huge, so know what’s coming for your entrée.

Reel Club

272 Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, IL 60523

Reel Club opened five years ago in Oak Brook and specializes in seafood. It is a bit more of an upscale restaurant, but you can still stop in after a day of shopping at the mall and not feel out of place. No matter what you’re having, the fried calamari is always great to start with. It is served on a large platter with drizzled herbed marinara sauce on top and balsamic glaze. Make sure not fill up too much on their delicious popovers before anything else comes out. 

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By Rachel Azark

CBS Chicago

(December 19, 2012)