Find the Best BYOBs in Your Chicago Neighborhood


Find the Best BYOBs in Your Chicago Neighborhood
Find the Best BYOBs in Your Chicago Neighborhood

Flickr/Innisfree Hotels

Sure, there's a time and a place for restaurants with infinitely elevated cocktail lists, but sometimes you just need a meal complemented by a six-pack you picked up from the liquor store across the street. Thanks to BYOBs, aside from saving some cash, you'll also get to control your own destiny. So find your nearest great restaurant with a Bring Your Own policy and keep it in mind for every group dinner you ever have.

Coast Sushi Bar


Coast Sushi Bar (address and info)

This BYOB favorite has been slinging sushi to the hungry folks of Bucktown for well over a decade, and shows no sign of slowing. (Note: the South Loop and Evanston locations both have full bars).

Estrella Negra (address and info)

Bring a six-pack of something great to this Latin-inspired resto sporting Day of the Dead decorations because life’s too short to drink crappy beer.

Sean Cooley/Thrillist

Irving Park

Smoque (address and info)

Arguably one of the finest barbecue establishments in Chicago, Smoque is a sure bet for a BYOB brisket fix in Irving Park.

Kailley Lindman/Thrillist


Crisp (address and info)

Since Crisp is home to the finest Korean-style chicken wings in the city, you’d better bring some delicious potables to complement them.

Andy’s Thai Kitchen (address and info)

Steps from the Wellington L-stop, this Thai favorite is an easily accessible BYO option for whenever a tom yum craving hits.

Chilam Balam (address and info)

Grab some pals and some drinks and swing by this cozy, sustainability-driven spot for a Mexican shared plates feast. Mixers include Topo Chico, virgin sangria, house limeade, and more.

Home Bistro (address and info)

Chill vibe? Check. Braised pork shoulder and beer battered zucchini? Yup. BYO? You bet.

Machu Picchu (address and info)

Where else in Chicago can you bring your own alcohol and score Peruvian fare?

Rollapalooza (address and info)

This Boystown sushi destination has a BYOB (beer and wine only) policy so that you spend more where it counts: on the some of the neighborhood’s freshest sashimi.

Tac Quick (address and info)

Thai eats abound (including a “secret” menu) at this BYO on Sheridan Road.

Tango Sur (address and info)

This Argentine steakhouse sets the scene for a romantic night out; let a bottle of wine do the rest.

Tanuki (address and info)

Spice some lychee soda or Thai iced tea and soak it up with robata-grilled meat at this inviting BYOB.

Butcher and the Burger

Lincoln Park

Butcher & the Burger (address and info)

Few things go together like made-to-order burgers and beer. So when you go here, make sure you bring beer.

Dawali Mediterranean Kitchen (address and info)

Pair a chicken shawarma sandwich, falafel, and sticky-sweet baklava with wine or beer at this hidden gem.

Franks ‘n’ Dawgs (address and info)

Bring some beer and your appetite and go H.A.M. on the Andouille-based Bayou Dog.

Rickshaw Republic (address and info)

Bring up to one bottle of wine or one six-pack of beer per two guests at this Asian street food mecca.

Lincoln Square

Goosefoot (address and info)

A creative menu is the name of the game at Goosefoot at the avant-garde BYO concept.

Titus Ruscitti/Thrillist

Logan Square

L’ Patron (address and info)

Between bringing your own alcohol and the ridiculously cheap eats at this taco joint, you’ll have no excuse for not gorging yourself on al pastor and carne asada swaddled in flour tortillas.

90 Miles Cuban Café (address and info)

Snag a spot on the colorful four-seasons patio and bring the booze necessary to complete a pitcher of mojitos or sangria, because this authentic Cuban eatery offers house-made mixes for both.

Noble Square

Ruxbin (address and info)

The only thing better than chef/owner Edward Kim’s truly exception dishes are said dishes paired with a really special bottle of wine... with no corkage fee.

Shaman (address and info)

Like sister resto Chilam Balam, this Mexican BYO offers mixers like virgin sangria and limeade.

North Center 

Anna’s Asian Grill & Sushi Bar (address and info)

From Laotian namtok and Peking duck buns to an unforgettable fried avocado stuffed with spicy tuna, house spicy mayo, and unagi sauce, this pan-Asian grill has the answer to all your pan-Asian food needs


Old Town

Shiso (address and info)

While this spot has finally procured a liquor license, they still welcome guests to bring their own booze -- as long as said guests are willing to fork over a $3 corkage fee.

Café Sushi (address and info)

Set right in the heart of the neighborhood, this Old Town sushi café sports an extensive sushi selection prime for sharing with friends over a bottle of something potent.

Lan’s Old Town (address and info)

Throw back a brewski or three while chowing on Szechwan and Mandarin eats, like steamed shrimp shui mai and General Lan’s chicken

River North 

Big & Little’s (address and info)

Skyrocketing to fame courtesy of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, this cash-only joint now boasts outposts in Wicker Park and Lakeview (both of which are also BYOB), too. Team a burger and the iconic soft-shell crab po-boy with your favorite suds at all three locations.

Sean Cooley/Thrillist

South Side

Go 4 Food (address and info)

Head to Chinatown for a chili fusion crab fix; wash it down with a bottle of suds plucked from your private stash.

Han 202 (address and info)

This Asian fusion spot doesn’t technically have a corkage fee, but if you don’t bring your own glasses and/or aren’t willing drink from the bottle, you’ll be charged $2 per glass -- still, a small price to pay to enjoy your favorite red alongside foie gras pork dumplings and spicy miso-lacquered ribeye.

Honey 1 BBQ (address and info)

This north side classic recently relocated to the south side, and brought it’s BYO policy and hickory-smoked ‘cue with it.


West Town

Bite Cafe (address and info)

You won’t find a corkage fee at this charming hideaway, but you’ll definitely find more than a few vegetarian-friendly menu items that are good enough to impress even the most devout carnivores.

Briciola (address and info)

Get whisked off to the Italian countryside by way of tagliatelle alla Bolognese and a heady Brunello at this neighborhood-y stunner.

Trattoria Ultimo (address and info)

Team rustic Italian fare with a bottle of your own wine for a $5 fee.

Whisk (address and info)

For hangover curing Reese’s pancakes and a little hair of the dog, nothing tops Whisk; they’ll provide the Bloody Mary mix, you bring the vodka. 

Yuzu Sushi & Robata Grill (address and info)

Reasonably priced sushi and BYOB. Because they just go together.

Ukrainian Village

Kai Zan (address and info)

Bring some Japanese beer (for a $5 fee) and throw caution to the wind with the omakase menu if you know what’s good for you.



Sun Wah BBQ (address and info)

The peking duck is outstanding so why not pair it with an amber ale? A $10 corkage fee applies.

La Ciudad (address and info)

White tablecloths and refined Mexican cuisine make this BYO feel more romantic than most.

West Ridge

Hema’s Kitchen (address and info)

Go for the no-fee-required BYOB, stay for the garlic naan and chicken tikka masala.

Sean Cooley/Thrillist

West Rogers Park

The Angry Crab (address and info)

Get down and dirty with Cajun spiced seafood by the pound, and kick the heat with whatever will get you buzzing.

Rub’s Backcountry Smokehouse (address and info)

The recipe for a good time at Rub’s: equal parts piping hot smoked meat and ice-cold beer.

Sean Cooley/Thrillist

Wicker Park

Sultan’s Market (address and info)

Wash a kefta kabob and some baba ghanouj down with a bottle of beer that traveled with you all the way from your fridge to the restaurant. Because you can.

Schwa (address and info)

With its playful tasting menu and BYO policy, this Michelin starred spot offers an anything-but-ordinary fine dining experience.

Seadog Sushi Bar (address and info)

The only thing that makes this Michelin Guide-recommended sushi spot’s maki better is a frothy glass of your favorite local beer.

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Kailley Lindman is a contributing writer for Thrillist Chicago, as well as a food blogger, bacon enthusiast, and devout user of the Oxford comma. Follow her at @KailleysKitchen.

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1. Coast Sushi Bar 2045 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Bucktown)

If anything, go for Coast's "Choco Sticks", which are basically heaven dipped in chocolate. If you're one of those... uh, normal... people who don't eat dessert first, their menu will not leave you awry. It's a standard sushi bar with lots of options. And duh, sake.

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2. Estrella Negra 2346 W Fullerton, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

A veggie-friendly Mexican spot with killer goat cheese quesadillas and a BYOB option.

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3. Smoque BBQ 3800 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60641 (Irving Park)

This Texas-style barbecue joint in Irving Park kicked off the smoked meat movement on the North Side in the mid-aughts, and it's been delivering great brisket, pulled pork, St. Louis ribs, and Rudy Mikeska sausage ever since. Smoque still has lines out the door because it's a must-stop on any eating tour of Chicago. FYI: it's BYOB so bring a frosty six-pack to fend off the inevitable meat sweats.

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4. Crisp 2940 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

This Korean counter-serve in Lakeview serves up all sorts of Korean-American comfort food. The kimchee and bibimbap-like Buddha Bowls are just the setup for the main event: jumbo fried chicken lacquered in the restaurant's signature sweet-and-sticky Seoul Sassy sauce. The spot is BYOB, so be sure to bring some ice cold potables to wash down that damn good chicken.

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5. Andy's Thai Kitchen 946 W Wellington Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

It’s possible that Andy’s Thai Kitchen of Lakeview is BYOB because Chef Andy would rather you choose what potion you use to douse the Thai hot spice in your throat. Powerful flavors bathe Andy’s dishes, from the appetizers, salads, soups, entrees, curries, to, most of all, the slurp-worthy noodles. Speaking of noodles, hop the pad Thai fence and explore new noodle terrain, with the boat noodle, a dish complete with beef brisket, thin rice vermicellis, Chinese broccoli, bean sprouts, garlic, onions, pork skin, and cilantro.

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6. Chilam Balam 3023 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657

Opening Thursday, this BYOB from a chef who cut his teeth at two noted grills (Frontera, Adobo) is doing farm-to-table Mexican in a cozy, brightly colored basement adorned with South-of-the-Border folk art.

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7. HB Home Bistro 3404 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

HB is a hometown Lakeview spot with great grub, a BYOB option, and great service.

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8. Machu Picchu 3856 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60613 (Lakeview)

This is a Peruvian paradise, with delicious grub and a generous BYOB option.

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9. TAC Quick 3930 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60613 (Wrigleyville)

Thai food should always be delicious, and Tac Quick is surpassing that standard. There's outdoor seating, good vibes, and even better eats. Oh, and there's a secret menu... hayyy.

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10. Tango Sur 3763 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613 (Lakeview)

This Argentinian restaurant offers an eclectic mix of a menu, serving everything from steak and pasta to empanadas. The place is BYOB, so you can go for the prime cuts without worrying about keeping the bill low. The restaurant is incredibly popular so expect a wait, but also know that it'll be well worth it.

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11. Butcher & The Burger 1021 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lakeview)

B&TB is a 50% meat-monger & 50% 30-seat hamburger hawker outfitted with a custom zinc bar, a century-old farm table from the Allegheny mountains, and retro gear including a manually operated 1926 cuber designed for "minute steaks," and mid-19th century Dayton scales. Oh, and burgers (duh).

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12. Dawali Mediterranean Kitchen 1625 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Despite the fact that this hidden gem is adjacent to the Steppenwolf Theatre, few people seem to know about it, which is good for you. The prices are great, it's BYO, and the food -- falafel included -- is excellent and always fresh.

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13. Franks 'N Dawgs 1863 N Clybourn, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Chef'd by a Blackbird/Sixteen alum, FND looks like an unassuming hot dog stand decked out in red, black, and steel and ornamented with photos of local graffiti (would also be American Graffiti, but shockingly Opie isn't anywhere).

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14. Rickshaw Republic 2312 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

RR is a modern Indonesian grub hub that is family-owned and operated. They're a pretty awesome family, and their food is just down-right delicious.

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15. Goosefoot 2656 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (Lincoln Square)

From the chef who used to man the kitchen at Les Nomades, Goosefoot's a snug BYOB turning out serious cuisine via an ever-evolving eight-course prix fixe (12-courser on the way) loaded with the likes of roasted quail with spiced beluga lentils/compressed apple/ginger, and truffle-infused chestnut soup with 'shrooms from Alba, which Jessica usually pairs with Honey, as even she can't watch it sober.

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16. L'Patron Tacos 3749 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

If you thought you could only get decent Mexican street food south of the border, think again – for Chicagoans, it’s as easy as a trip to Logan Square. The market-driven menu at L’Patron includes highlights like carne asada and the signature la gringa, a tortilla with al pastor, Chihuahua cheese, pineapple, and a side of rice and beans. While seating is available, this counter-service taqueria is a lunch hotspot, so get there early to snag a seat and chow down.

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17. 90 Miles Cuban Cafe 3101 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Logan Square)

Open since 2009, the original Roscoe Village location of this local mini-chain serves some of the best Cuban food around in a funky quick-serve space (the other two outposts are full-service). 90 Miles serves an all-day menu of classic Cuban combo plates and sandwiches, including a stellar daily sandwich and fries deal. The restaurant is more of a roadside shack, and though there are only a few seats inside, there's an outdoor patio with plenty of umbrella-shaded tables. Oh, and it's BYOB.

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18. Ruxbin Kitchen 851 N Ashland, Chicago, IL 60642 (Ukrainian Village)

Ruxbin's a funky 38-seat BYOB bistro reclaiming everything from old church pew booths, to vintage cookbooks to line the walls, to a glass wall pulled from the DJ booth of the defunct Sonotheque that now divides the dining room.

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19. Shaman 1438 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (West Town)

From the Chilam Balam folks, Shaman turns out Mexican-influenced small plates like squash blossom quesadilla w/ molcajete & arugula salad, and grilled pork ribs w/ honey bbq, crema, queso fresco & tomatillo pico de gallo. BYOB(eer), is welcome.

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20. Anna's Asian Bistro 813 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60647 (West Loop)

From the Thailand-born gal (Anna!) and her kitchen-commanding mother who formerly helmed Thalia Spice, AAB's an elegant black & white eatery, with candle-lit shadowboxes recessed into the walls and a custom maple sushi bar providing a backdrop for the variety of Asian cuisines the mother picked up while moving all over the continent with her contractor husband, though pretty much anyone who travels there ends up doing some contracting.

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21. Shiso 449 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60610 (Near North Side)

A full sushi bar with other traditional Japanese entrees, as well as sake and great beers.

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22. BIG & little's 860 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60610 (Near North Side)

BIG & little's is Chicago's one-stop wonder for fish 'n chips. There are also po'boys, truffle fries, burgers, and.... need we keep going? Just get there.

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23. Go 4 Food 212 W 23rd St, Chicago, IL 60616 (Chinatown)

Do we really need to convince you to go to a stellar Chinese/Asian-fusion restaurant IN Chinatown... ?

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24. Han 202 605 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60616 (Bridgeport Sox)

If you're on the hunt for Chinese, instead of hopping off the train at Chinatown, wait one stop further and opt for a more unique dining experience at Han 202 in Bridgeport, an understatedly chic restaurant with a four-course prix-fixe menu of beautiful, modern takes on traditional dishes. You can feast on plates like crispy quail, rack of lamb, or rib-eye steak in a spicy miso sauce -- all of which will force you to rethink your typical greasy Chinese food. A bonus? This tasteful spot is BYOB.

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25. Honey 1 BBQ 2241 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

This no-nonsense barbecue joint has cafeteria-style seating and lean, juicy rib tips to kill for. Honey 1 offers a bounty of saucy, smoked meats and veggie-based (not to be mistaken for “low-calorie”) sides. Restaurant goers get a view of the glassed-in, hickory-burning smoker and can enjoy a full slab of fall-off-the-bone ribs. Their slogan is "Real Smoke...No Joke," and once you get within a block of this place you'll instantly realize why.

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26. Bite Cafe 1035 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

An updated rendition of the Empty Bottle's longtime BYOB neighbor, BC's received a wood-paneled makeover and a new chef, who's serving updated American comfort vittles like an all-beef meatball w/ tomato sauce & grilled bread. And not to worry -- that whole BYOB part is still in effect.

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27. Briciola 937 N Damen, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

Helmed by the original chef from Bice, Briciola's taking over the former Jam space in Ukie Village, which now rocks martini-shaped light fixtures and B&W scenes from turn-of-the-century Milan. Expect basil-oil-kissed octopus carpaccio, house-ricotta-stuffed jumbo tortellini in brown butter w/ crunchy hazelnuts, and truffle oil'd salmon fillets encrusted in potato, which, knowing salmon's penchant for spawning, could just be a misplaced attempt to get Lays'd.

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28. Trattoria Ultimo 1953 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

An ultra simple Italian joint serving up around a dozen dishes priced at under $12 each. The food rotates according to seasons, but expect 2.5hr-braised short ribs and tons of fresh pasta.

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29. Yuzu Sushi and Robata Grill 1751 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

It's another BYOB in Chicago. It's decorated with 100 year old Japanese wood for an authentic atmosphere to complement the food.

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30. Kai Zan 2557 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Humboldt Park)

This Humboldt Park Japanese eatery has made quite a name for itself thanks to the quality signature rolls like the Orange Rush (scallop wrapped in salmon with a citrus glaze), created by Twin brothers Melvin and Carlo Vizconde.

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31. Sun Wah BBQ 5039 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60640 (Uptown)

Nowhere on Uptown’s Sun Wah BBQ’s menu will you find its most sought-after dish, the three-course Beijing duck feast. The Chinese restaurant’s worst-kept secret, the duck is expertly carved, plated, and served to you by one of the chefs in a jazz-like rhythm of slicing and dicing as the bird’s tender, juicy meat falls off the bone and barely hangs onto its glistening, crunchy skin. The remainder of the duck is then syphoned off into duck fried rice and duck soup for subsequent courses. While you in no uncertain terms come to Sun Wah for the duck, there are other delectable options for those who duck meat altogether, like the Singapore noodles or black mushrooms with fried tofu.

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32. La Ciudad 4515 N Sheridan, Chicago, IL 60640 (Uptown)

A just-opened BYOB Mexican cafe from a guy who's been a longtime manager of other people's restos, La Ciudad (inspired by his birthplace of Mexico City) shows his nation's pride with black and white photos of MC scenes and bright red walls above green/white banquette seating, designed to mimic the flag, whose mom said just ignore them, and they'll lose interest eventually.

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33. Hema's Kitchen 2411 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Hema's is a family owned and sustained Indian restaurant, with a stellar BYOB option.

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34. The Angry Crab 5665 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60659 (West Rogers Park)

This BYOB Cajun spot serves up some of the freshest seafood in the city (think giant, spice-encrusted crabs and plump shrimp immersed in garlic butter) ordered by the pound. Your food will be delivered via large plastic bag plopped down on your paper-covered table -- no plates or utensils necessary.

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35. Rub BBQ Company 2407 W Lunt Ave, Chicago, IL 60645 (West Rogers Park)

From a 'que loving couple who got their start doing festivals and catering, Rub's a snug 30-plus-seat BYOB 'que shack with green vinyl booths and vintage ad signs dotting barn board walls they snagged from the burbs, since Corey Feldman had already taken

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36. Sultan's Market 2057 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

Sultan's Market is the best on-the-go spot for falafel, babaganuj, curry basmati rice, and anything else Middle Eastern/Mediterranean. It's not too expensive, and you can BYOB. Score!

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37. Schwa 1466 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

Schwa focuses on making its food pieces of art. It also has a BYOB option, which allows you to choose your own serving sizes, since you'll be getting fed grasshopper portions of delicately plated (yet delicious) grub.

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38. Seadog 1500 W Division, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

This snug, BYOB sushi bar (helmed by the steady hand of a Coast vet) has ample ambiance what with its candlelit reams of wood and exposed brick, and hidden, garden-lined patio, but they also sport inventive maki like the soft shell crab, strawberry, mango & daikon Tango. It has proven to be an awesome pairing with the cash you'll have left over from the whole BYOB thing.

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39. Tanuki 3006 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

Tanuki is serving up inventive rolls and Robata BBQ in a simple and elegant setting. Try their dressed up nigiri options like the Salmon Aburi, a slice of salmon on top of rice with salmon caviar and honey mustard.

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40. Cafe Sushi 1342 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610 (Old Town)

The perfect restaurant for a group sushi outing, Cafe Sushi has an extensive menu, plus it's BYOB.

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41. Lan's Old Town 1507 N Sedgwick St, Chicago, IL 60610 (Old Town)

With authentic Szechuan and Mandarin dishes, plus dim sum, it's no wonder Lan's Old Town is a Chicago favorite. Oh and did we mention it's BYOB?

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42. WHISK 2018 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (West Town)

With the tag line, "brunch by day, burger by night", there's nothing not to love about Whisk. Oh and did we mention its BYOB? Yeah, we're sold.