Bavette's Chicago

Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf

The 10 Best Bars For Grub

Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf

There’s no finer way to pass a blustery evening than chasing shrimp cocktail with old fashioneds in the man-cave-esque lower-level lounge of Brendan Sodikoff’s buzzy steak joint.

Find it: 218 W. Kinzie St., 312-624-8154


Cortland’s Garage

This magazine has already voted the Cortland Street burger (white cheddar, smoked bacon, crispy onion strings, and more) one of the best in Chicago, but the pulled pork sandwich and short rib chili nachos are just as mouthwatering. Twelve beers on tap, too—and Bud is not one of them.

Find it: 1645 W. Cortland St., 773-862-7877,



This Korean dive looks pretty bleak, but at 1 a.m., with fried pork skins and bek se ju rice wine warming your insides, it’s downright heroic. If you order the fire chicken, you may need one of the $14 beer pitchers just for yourself.

Find it: 5114 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-878-2400



At this charmingly relaxed pub, the smiley guy working the grill does a yeoman’s job with fried cheese cubes and spicy chicken wings. Go on Thursday for $3 craft beers.

Find it: 4453 N. Pulaski Rd., 773-478-6096,


Moody’s Pub

Two steps above a hole in the wall (note the crackling fireplace and enchanting tree-lined beer garden), Edgewater’s legendary tavern still stuffs its patrons with scrumptious burgers, heaps of fries, and cold beers.

Find it: 5910 N. Broadway, 773-275-2696,


Old Town Social

A sports-bar-seeking clientele chest-bumps over $15 Miller Lite buckets while discerning gourmands wax poetic over Jared Van Camp’s outstanding housemade charcuterie: Though this three-year-old bi-level haunt has an identity crisis, it somehow manages to work.

Find it: 455 W. North Ave., 312-266-2277,



Black bean and banana empanadas with cranberry aïoli, vegan quinoa burgers, yummy sweet potato fries—the funky Pilsen grill may be known for its bowling alley floors and exotic craft beer selections, but its vegetarian-friendly fare is just as delightful.

Find it: 960 W. 18th St., 773-666-8601,

Small Bar


Soccer fans frequent it. Beer aficionados appreciate it. But foodies don’t seem to have realized that you can take the chef (Justin White, formerly of the Bristol) out of high-end restaurants, but you can’t take away his fine-dining chops. More chicken liver mousse for everyone.

Find it: 2049 W. Division St., 773-772-2727,


Three Aces

The red-sauce neighborhood restaurants had better watch their backs: Some of the most inspired food in Little Italy hails from this rock-themed hangout, where tatted-up patrons indulge in locally sourced bites that have no business being on a bar menu. There’s also craft beer, of course, along with live music, the occasional Bondage Bingo night, and a sprawling outdoor patio.

Find it: 1321 W. Taylor St., 312-243-1577,


Tuman’s Tap & Grill

This decade-old pub reemerged with a much-needed face-lift in early 2012. What had begun to lapse into another nostalgic corner spot now teems with microbrews and darn good seasonally rotating eats.

Find it: 2159 W. Chicago Ave., 773-782-1400,

Photography: Anna Knott