best bacon
sean cooley/thrillist
paddy long's beer and bacon pub
sean cooley/thrillist
Flickr/Edmund White
Rockit Ranch Productions
Franks N Dawgs 
kailley lindman/thrillist
wollensky's
sean cooley/thrillist
bub city
revolution brewing
sean cooley/thrillist
kailley lindman/thrillist
courtesy of Derek Richmond
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1. Paddy Long's 1028 W Diversey, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Paddy Long's has acquired numerous varieties of Bourbon County Stout for your barrel-aged beer drinking pleasure (which has led to your pleasing barrel shape), tapping this year and last year's original vintages along with variants like vanilla, coffee, and the recently released cherry rye.

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2. Kaiser Tiger 1415 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

This absolutely insane temple of beer is adorned with a 200-seat beer garden, killer skyline views, 24 primo drafts, flights of sausage, and the heart-stopping brown sugar-rubbed bacon bomb.

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3. Wiener & Still Champion 802 Dempster St, Evanston, IL 60202 (Evanston)

More than just a hilarious name, W&SC serves award-winning hot dogs, as well as other sandwiches, burgers, and American grub.

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4. Bottlefork 441 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654 (Near North Side)

It's hard out there for a small plates restaurant that straddles the line between bar and full-service dinner restaurant, yet Bottlefork in River North manages to stand above the pack. The food menu spans a variety of cuisines and dietary restrictions, featuring dishes like tuna crudo, crispy Brussels sprouts with chorizo, buttermilk fried chicken, and a critically-acclaimed ground bacon burger. The cocktail menu, complete with illustrations, is divided into categories based on flavor and style: fruity, smoky, dark, and "Gentlemen's Cut."

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5. 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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6. Kuma's Too 666 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

From the flames of hell that spawned Kuma’s Corner, Kuma’s Too has arisen at (of course) 666 W Diversey, nearly doubling the original's size while duplicating its metal-inspired, pretzel-bunned burger options like the Metallica (Buffalo sauce, bacon, bleu cheese dressing) and the Black Sabbath, made with blackening spice, chili, pepper jack.

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7. Smith & Wollensky 318 N State St, Chicago, IL 60611

If you prefer your steaks dry-aged and butchered on site and a your wine lists lengthy, and if you prefer enjoying those steaks and wines with a scenic view of Chicago while you sit along the water in Marina City, you might want to hit up this classic.

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8. Bub City 435 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

Nashville comes to River North through the doors at Lettuce Entertain You’s Bub City, whose award-winning barbecue, 100-plus whiskey labels, and live music can make you forget about that deep Chicago chill. The all-American bar brings the heat from down South with dishes like barbecued brisket (get the burnt ends), fried chicken sandwiches (the Original 8 Buck Cluck is best served with a side of those aforementioned burnt ends), spoonbread, and baby back mac & cheese. To drink, you can sip on anything from a can of Bud to a pour of Pappy Van Winkle himself. Enjoy live country music multiple nights a week, and be prepared for a rowdy dance party.

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9. Revolution Brewpub 2323 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Salvaged wood and classic styling make for a handsome space wherein you can down your favorite Revolution brew and pair it with a tasty sandwich, burger, or even a pork chop.

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10. County BBQ 1352 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607 (West Loop)

If you want to explore the wide world of bacon and BBQ, look no further than County BBQ, which has got burnt ends, brisket, and a bacon parfait (!!!).

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11. Bohemian House 11 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

This River North spot is an ode to Bohemian culture in all its manifestations, with rustic-meets-glam décor and eclectic fare that’s rooted in Central Europe. The menu, created and executed by Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos, features small plates like salt and vinegar chips and knackwurst in a blanket, large plates like spatzel and skirt steak, and unforgettable sweets like caramelized plum kolacky and an inventive take on coffee and donuts with hazelnut brittle.

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12. Avec 615 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661 (West Loop)

With celebrity chef Paul Kahan at the helm of this tiny West Loop restaurant, it's not a surprise that Avec continues to draw crowds of devoted regulars, first-time tourists, and everyone in between. The Mediterranean menu is all about small plates, and the chorizo-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates are a perennial crowd favorite that hopefully will never come off the menu. Everything works and tastes beautifully with the comprehensive wine list featuring selections from Southern France to Portugal.

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