At times Wrigleyville is uninspiring, frustrating, limiting. But at others, it’s un-worldly, unapologetic, unbelievable. Despite the feverishly inebriated crowd that gathers outside my, and many others’, doors in the streets surrounding Wrigley field, I maintain my semblance of optimism as I experience the sheer electricity and possibility this city offers. There are a few local treasures that warm my slowly beating heart and my ever-expanding belly (not pregnant, just hungry), and one is Cozy Noodles and Rice. Just before the right field corner of Wrigley Field, where Addison and Sheffield collide, lays a quirky, small facade with an eclectic, inviting sign, welcoming you into a Thai heaven. Sensory overload doesn’t begin to describe the decor and atmosphere Cozy’s is providing. I frequent this place too often and I always find something new. Each table is made out of old Singer sewing machines, shellacked with cement, topped with broken tiles, stones, or photographs, then covered in glass, finished off with comfy chairs. The collection of novelty items, light fixtures, puppets and paintings will keep you busy as you take in the delicious scents and await your appetizing dish.
I’m a sucker for a deal. You won’t see me mall or department store shopping. And as much as I love spending my hard-earned money on a fancy meal, I relish the opportunity to find high-quality food at a low prize. Cozy’s is by far the best bang for your buck I’ve experienced here in the very expensive city that is Chicago. Not only do I receive buy-one-get-one-free coupons from my grocery store, but their lunch deal continues to blow my mind and spare my wallet. For $4.99 you choose between 7 hearty, tasty noodle dishes with your choice of appetizer. What?! Seriously.
It should be noted that Cozy’s is BYOB; so grab some wine or beer, your coups, and join your friends for a super inexpensive and beyond satisfying meal in a comfortable, friendly, bizarre environment. Cozy’s is family run, often their adorable son is hanging out amidst the lunch chaos. Every server, male or female, is adorable, affable, and so efficient. My meal has never been wrong, cold, bad, or late. I love this place.
As far as what to eat I’d say try anything. I’ve had so many noodle and rice dishes there that I cannot simply recommend one, but instead I’ll recommend all. I love their veggie fried rice, pad Thai, crazy noodles, chicken soup ($1.99 for a big bowl with an app!), dumpling noodles, and any of their curries are top-notch, just to name a few. The table comes stocked with Sriracha, soy sauce, chili peppers, jalapeno, and frequently refilled iced water. Be sure to visit the bathroom, as they're a visual joy along with the tables, walls, floors and food.
I love supporting local efforts, family run businesses, and seeing the blood, sweat, tears and passion in their faces as they serve customers with a smile. I cannot think of a better way to spend money. It’s the ultimate win-win. The great people behind Cozy’s deserve every dollar and every bit of success they’ve acquired. I’ll be a loyal consumer for as long as I live in Chicago.
Twirl that fork. Slurp those noodles. Eat your baby-corn with chop sticks. Enjoy.