It’s no secret that Chicago is a treasure trove of impressive fine dining options. More and more, the line between restaurants and bars is being blurred and a number of new Chicago gastropubs have emerged. The next time you’re looking for something new to try on the Windy City bar scene, we have you covered. Here are five of the best gastropubs in town.
The Gage has a buzzing club-like atmosphere and sprawling space that can easily accommodate happy-hour crowds and large parties. Located across the street from Millennium Park, this is one beautiful gastropub with its restored ceiling, decorative tile, and vintage decor. The menu features upscale comfort foods including Vindaloo curry, chicken pot pie, and crispy fried pickles. To drink, choose one of their historical cocktails like the Champagne Charlie made of champagne and Grand Marnier with a sugar cube soaked in blood orange bitters, or pick a draft beer or wine by the glass.
Owen & Engine
If it’s a big meal and an authentic British gastropub experience you want, then head to Owen & Engine. The menu offers all of your favorite pub items like a soft pretzel, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. Their burger is also a standout featuring a potato bun with caramelized onions and malt vinegar mayo. The dark gas-lit room and Victorian-era brocade wallpaper transport you to another time as you sip on a Pimm’s cup or a draught beer poured from the “engine”.
Longman & Eagle
The interior might be reminiscent of a saloon at Longman & Eagle, but the cuisine is anything but lowbrow. One could even say it’s one of the few hipster chic Chicago gastropubs. The kitchen serves up Michelin-starred dishes from chef Jared Wentworth such as the pastrami style smoked salmon Reuben and General Foie’s chicken. The whiskey list goes on for days and the craft cocktail list includes favorites like a highball and an old fashioned. Sit outside in the warmer months on the sidewalk patio or in the beer garden out back and soak in the good vibes.
Located in Uptown, Hopleaf is one of the oldest Chicago gastropubs and it still draws crowds after being open for 25 years. It has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that makes it the perfect spot to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Thanks to an extensive list of Belgian drafts, ciders, and meads, Hopleaf is a haven for beer enthusiasts. The food menu is small but mighty with favorites like the mussels and frites and the CB&J – an indulgent pan-fried sandwich served with fries and Stilton mac and cheese. You might want to wear your stretchy pants for this meal!
Little Bad Wolf
Little Bad Wolf is different from other Chicago gastropubs in that it offers a mix of Mexican and Asian fare. Their upscale bar food is made for sharing, so bring some friends and order several items. If you’re not sure what to order, you can’t go wrong with their pork bao or the wolf burger. Chill music and creative drawings of the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood make it a place you’ll want to post up in for a while. If the sun is out and you want to soak it in, the patio is a great place to people-watch as you savor a glass of bubbly with your burger.
Did we leave out one of your favorite Chicago gastropubs? Stop by and let us know what makes it unique! If you’re looking for short-term corporate housing or a home-away-from-home in Chicago, we’d love to show you around our community while you’re here. You can also schedule a tour online or give us a call at 312-787-8080.
Hope to see you soon!