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1. Bohemian House11 W Illinois St, Chicago
2. White Oak Tavern & Inn1200 W Webster Ave, Chicago
3. Presidio1749 N Damen Ave, Chicago
4. Parts and Labor2700 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
5. Taus Authentic1846 W Division St, Chicago
6. Bascule Wine Bar1421 W Taylor, Chicago
7. Rural Society455 N. Park Dr, Chicago
8. Charlatan1329 W Chicago Ave, Chicago
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.
White Oak Tavern's a rustic, farm-driven resto with second-floor lodging accommodations and one of Chicago's all-time great snacks: caramel popcorn with candied pecans, bourbon maple, and aged Gouda. Yup. Also worth ordering: a massive duck board laden with fried duck leg, duck liver mousse, cherry mustard, pickled cauliflower, and grilled bread, or (/and?) a tender beef shoulder paired with potato polenta.
This cocktail-focused lounge in the old Bluebird space keeps things California breezy with exposed brick walls, plush couches and chairs, and a West Coast-leaning beverage program. Pick your poison from a selection of CA wines, beers, and cocktails inspired by Bay Area classics such as the Tommy’s Margarita and Pisco Punch. The food menu (crafted by Chef Shaun Connolly) is similarly influenced, with California-grown ingredients like sunchokes, kumquats, and Meyer lemon adding interesting touches to dishes like scallops, wild salmon, and olive oil cake.
Parts and Labor is a hamburger-centric barestaurant in Logan Square known for its griddle burgers, sodas, and beer. The classic double burger, topped with two slices of American cheese, packs so many sandwich pickles between buns that you'll get a taste of the crisp texture in every bite. Vegetarians, don't be turned away by the beefy signature -- black bean and vegan patties are available, and the grilled cheese sandwich is a beautiful blend of three cheeses.
Chef Michael Taus' Wicker Park eatery is the kind of upscale neighborhood place that draws you in and begs you to stay a while. Everything about Taus, from the menu to the rustic dining room, is inviting. The dinner menu features cheese and charcuterie, shareable starters, and standout comfort plates like fried chicken and a burger with havarti cheese. Sunday brunch is equally heavy on comfort food, serving up steak & eggs and fresh-baked pastries.
This quaint Taylor Street find brandishes some 135 wines. Despite its location, you’ll find that the wine list spans far beyond just Italian varietals. Pick a bottle that suits your taste and pair it with a BLT3 (pancetta, prosciutto, and applewood smoked bacon) or line-caught yellowfin tuna, encrusted in coriander, splashed with a bouillabaisse vinaigrette, and finished with chickpeas.
Rural Society in Streeterville's Loews Hotel is not a classic, all-American steakhouse but an innovative Argentinian one from former 'Iron Chef' Jose Garces. The Chicago restaurant, which opened following the success of the DC original, is a bonafide meat emporium where South American-sourced cuts of beef (ribeye, bone-in short rib) are cooked on a wood-and-charcoal burning parilla grill. Aside from the stunning steaks, Rural Society serves tapas-like small plates and house-made sausages.
The guys behind Three Aces unleashed this spot in West Town. While Charlatan may lack the raucous vibe of its sister restaurant, it doesn't lack the fantastic cuisine: American farm-to-table and Italian influences produce standouts like Slagel Farm beef carpaccio, skate wing, house-made pastas, and pig’s head for two.