The Best BYOB Restaurants in Chicago
As much as we love fancy cocktails with ingredients we’ve never heard of and can’t pronounce, sometimes we just really want a glass of our trusty Two-Buck Chuck. And a plate of hot Thai food...or Chinese...or ramen. These are the nights when we hit up one of Chicago’s ten best neighborhood BYOBs.
UPTOWN: SUN WAH BBQ
Pick up a bottle of red to compliment the off-menu house specialty, the Beijing duck. Then call ahead to reserve your feast, which includes duck bao, duck soup and duck fried rice.
5039 N. Broadway St.; 773-769-1254 or sunwahbbq.com
LAKEVIEW: ANDY’S THAI KITCHEN
Thai is a classic BYOB choice, and this spot directly under the Wellington Brown line regularly gets named one of the city’s best. We love the braised pork hock with basil leaf, mushroom, garlic and chili. Correction: We love everything.
946 W. Wellington Ave.; 773-549-7821 or andysthaikitchen.com
RIVER NORTH: BIG & LITTLE’S
What pairs well with fish tacos, foie gras fries and a beer-battered burger? Um, pretty much everything. Grab whatever’s handy and enjoy a laid-back meal at this casual spot.
Multiple locations; bigandlittleschicago.com
LINCOLN SQUARE: GOOSEFOOT
Foodies flock to this 16-seat boîte for avant-garde American fare like lobster with tapioca pearls, lemongrass and citrus. Be sure to make a reservation, then grab the very best wine from your cellar, er, fridge.
2656 W. Lawrence Ave.; 773-942-7547 or goosefoot.net
We die for the ramen here, especially the original tonkotsu made with Berkshire pork belly, soft-boiled egg, scallion and garlic oil. It’s the perfect excuse to indulge our taste for sake—did someone say sake bomb?
2101 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-227-8180 or wasabichicago.com
LINCOLN PARK: RICKSHAW REPUBLIC
Chicago isn’t long on Indonesian food options, so we credit this eatery for introducing us to the cuisine’s tastiest street food-inspired small plates. If you’re also new to the cuisine, try the rice table tasting menu—it’s the best way to experience all the satays, dumplings and fritters.
2312 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-697-4750 or rickshawrepublic.com
WICKER PARK: SEADOG SUSHI BAR
We like our salmon roe and tobiko rolls the same way we like pretty much everything in life: with a glass of dry rosé. This stylish restaurant is our favorite place to enjoy both, whether with our bestie or on a date.
1500 W. Division St.; 773-235-8100 or seadogsushibar.com
LOGAN SQUARE: 90 MILES CUBAN CAFE
This little slice of Havana is a go-to any time of year. The patio reigns supreme in summer, and on a chilly night, there’s nothing better than a bowl of the chicken soup and a pressed Cubano sandwich. Oh, and a good cocktail you mix yourself.
2540 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-384-3333 or 90milescubancafe.com
UKRAINIAN VILLAGE: BITE CAFE
How’s a little BYOB in the morning sound? Amazing, especially when challah French toast and breakfast tacos with guacamole are involved. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more come dinner.
1039 N. Western Ave.; 773-395-2483 or bitecafechicago.com
OLD TOWN: OLD JERUSALEM RESTAURANT
Give us a plate of creamy hummus and crispy falafel and we’re happy. Add a fresh-squeezed mango juice that we can spike ourselves and we’re ecstatic.
1411 N. Wells St.; 312-944-0459 or oldjerusalemchicagoil.com