Food & Drink

The 12 best tater tots in Chicago

Published On 06/04/2014 Published On 06/04/2014
Park Tavern
Suite 25
Brownstone Tavern
Aberdeen Tap
2 Sparrows
Titus Ruscitti
Nick Biscardi
Black Rock
Local Option
The Rocking Horse
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1. Park Tavern Chicago 1645 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60612

Park Tavern is a double-decker sports bar well-suited to watching the game thanks to the well-placed flat-screens and a mighty 14ft projection setup. Try not to get sauce all of your face while munching on fried egg 'n pulled pork-laden Animal Tots sporting cheese curds, grainy mustard, and gravy spiked with Bell's Kalamazoo Stout. Beer is obviously aplenty.

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2. 2 Sparrows 553 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614

Famous for its breakfast, 2 Sparrow serves comfort foods perfect to cure your hangover (we're onto you). Allow the biscuits & gravy, eggs in purgatory, and housemade doughnuts soak up last night's bad decisions.

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3. Skylark 2149 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608

Not only does this dive bar have some of the best tater tots in the area and an awesome beer list -- it's got a photo booth too. Warning: cash only.

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4. The Rocking Horse 2535 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647

A neighborhood tavern/grille opening tonight from the peeps behind High Dive (boasting yet another painstakingly picked indie-heavy jukebox), TRH is rolling out a menu heavy on the fried app goodness beneath repurposed antique lamps and varied equine-them

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5. Bub City 435 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

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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6. Quenchers Saloon 2401 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Opened in 1979, this laid-back corner bar on the Bucktown/Logan border was a craft beer bar way before people on the Internet were making lists of good craft beer bars. Because there was no Internet. And, there weren’t really other beer bars. They aren’t really the type to brag that they did it first, though (well, they do call themselves “Chicago’s Original Beer Bar,” but they don’t broadcast it too loudly). They’re too busy maintaining an unassailable tap list, throwing kickass rock shows in the back, and offering kickass-er specials all week. Just because you have great craft beer doesn’t mean people can’t appreciate $1 Blatz and $2 mystery shots.

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7. Black Rock Pub and Kitchen 3614 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

This American-style pub boasts a beautiful fireplace, delicious 'tails, and awesome company in the dead of Winter.

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8. Local Option 1102 W Webster Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

The reverberating heavy metal and serious brew selection here will make you completely forget that just before you entered, you saw a nice-looking couple walking their French bulldog down a sleepy, tree-lined street in Lincoln Park. If you can’t find something you like on draft (highly unlikely), there’s also an impressive bottle selection (the rarer, large-format options included). Really, though, you’d be remiss not to sample at least one of the house-branded options they make at other Midwest breweries (the small dive's big personality doesn't leave enough room for fermentation tanks).

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9. Suite 25 2529 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

The folks behind Rio d'Sudamerica put a Peruvian spin to this second-floor sports bar above Milwaukee Ave with snackage, like Incan Tater Tots (a mashed tater shell that's stuffed with sirloin, olive, 'n onion then pan-fried). Check their website for weekday drink specials.

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10. Brownstone Tavern & Grill 3937 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

Bronze fixtures and stained glass might remind you of the idea of a classic brownstone, but we doubt that's what you're going to focus on in this saloon. Your focus will likely be caught by the 16 beers on tap, 40 more in bottles or the slightly upscale American contemporary menu. If that sounds like a bunch of buzz words, think seared ahi tuna, soft pretzels, and sandwiches named after Chicago highlights like "lakeshore Drive".

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11. Aberdeen Tap 440 N Aberdeen St, Chicago, IL 60642

Duck and rabbit sausage, jerk chicken and pork belly grinders are only a few of the offerings at this meat-intensive tavern. The latter comes large, warranting both hands, as do many of the sandwiches here, only another swig to take a swig from one of their taps of the moment.