Your Guide to Labor Day Dining Specials in Chicago

Looking to hit a pig roast this weekend? Don’t feel like barbecuing? Just want an easy way to eat a pound of hot dogs? These restaurants have you covered.

Photo: courtesy windy city bbq classic

The Windy City BBQ Classic is a meat lovers paradise. Grab a ticket to sample and judge Sunday’s competition. 

Labor Day weekend is one last opportunity to savor the summer. While many plan to fire up the grill at home this weekend, Chicago’s restaurants will be more than happy to do the work for you. Here are some top suggestions for what to do with your three-day weekend:
 

Attend a barbecue/pig roast:

  • Publican Quality Meats (825 W. Fulton Market, 312-445-8977) lives up to its name on Monday with a classic cook out. They’ll have grills set up in the parking lot from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. fixing corn and cheese arepas, breakfast cazuela, grilled tri-tip, piri piri chicken thigh, and more.
     
  • City Winery Chicago (1200 W. Randolph St., 312-773-9463) hosts the cleverly named “Labor Day Bubbly-Q” from 2 to 9 p.m. Monday. $10 buys you a glass of Chandon, and you can purchase barbecue dishes made from the pig they’ll be roasting on the patio. Expect live music from Charlie Parr, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Adam Lee, and The Hoyle Brothers.
     
  • Oak Street Beach Food + Drink (1001 N. Lakeshore Dr., 312-988-4650) brings its pig roast lakeside Monday afternoon. The $40 entry fee comes with a pork dish and picnic sides. Festivities last from noon to 4 p.m.
     
  • Lottie’s Pub (1925 W. Cortland St., 773-489-0738) is having their roast on Sunday (so really, you could hit up two pig roasts this weekend, if that’s your style). The all-you-can-eat pig buffet costs $12 and comes with baked beans, potato salad, and coleslaw.
     
  • Deschutes Brewery’s giant travelling beer barrel rolls into Untitled (111 W. Kinzie St., 312-880-1501) Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., serving pints of craft beer from the Oregon-based brewer. You can enjoy live entertainment and the restaurant’s barbecue menu—featuring Slagel Farms St. Louis Ribs and Wagyu brisket—throughout the weekend.
     
  • The Paramount Room (415 N. Milwaukee Ave., 312-829-6300) combines celebrations for the holiday and its six-year anniversary on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. Diners will be treated to a complimentary beer and can order from the day’s special barbecue menu. There is also a 20% off deal on all other food items.
     
  • Porkchop (941 W. Randolph St., 312-733-9333) kicks off its pig roast Sunday at 10 a.m. $6 is the magic number that will get you a chicken or pork slider, a bourbon lemonade, or a trio of sliders (if purchased with a whiskey flight). 

Do brunch:
Many restaurants are extending their brunch service into Monday, including: Mon Ami Gabi, The Bongo Room, Café Ba-Ba-Reeba!, Sel Segundo Sol, Bistrot Margot, Hub 51, and Tavern on Rush.
 

Browse a food festival:

  • Thirty teams from throughout the U.S. will compete at the Windy City BBQ Classic at Soldier Field this Sunday. General admission tickets are $49 and gain you entrance to sample and judge the pit masters’ meats, view cooking and pig butchering demos, and listen to live music. Wash it all down with some of Chicago’s best craft beer.
     
  • Taste of Polonia, one of the largest Polish festivals in the country, runs Friday through Monday. There’ll be live music, traditional dancers, a polka stage, and of course, a wide variety of food vendors.
     

The best of the rest:

  • You can pick up some hand-shucked oysters for only 50 cents apiece at the Schaumberg location of Shaw’s Crab House (21 E. Hubbard St., 312-527-2722) this Monday from 4 to 6 p.m.
     
  • Have a big stomach? Try competing in the third annual hot dog eating contest at Bangers & Lace (1670 W. Division St., 773-252-6499) on Monday. The contest begins at 3 p.m.; sign-ups start two hours before. The contest lasts five minutes, and the winner receives a set of Chicago Bears tickets. All other participants will get a free Bangers & Lace T-shirt, and probably a stomachache.
     

 

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