It’s hard to not stumble upon quality craft beer and tasty edibles in Chicago. The Windy City is a prime location for both food and drink. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to know where you’re going – especially if your final destination guarantees good eats and even better libations. From day-drinking snacks to a sousy brunch the day after, here are a handful of hot spots to satisfy your beer and bites requirements.
As well as 32 beers on tap, the Wicker Park bar/resto with a Midwestern, lodge-like feel (gratuitous taxidermy included) specializes in brown liquor and irresistibly indulgent snacks. We devoured a greasy, but oh so gratifying, spread of finger-foods that included truffled kettle chips, foie gras pogo sticks and venison sausage in a brioche bun. We washed it all down with leftovers from a New Belgium tap takeover that featured the Colorado brewery’s Lips of Faith sour series, including La Folie, Le Terroir, Eric’s Ale and Tart Lychee – a tropical play on sweet and sour flavours. We capped the mid-afternoon snack off with a satisfying dram of limited-edition 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. Bangers & Lace is located at 1670 W. Division Chicago, IL 60622.
With its communal-style seating and hearty family-style fare, diners and drinkers alike are in for a feast of flavours at the Publican. An homage to expertly paired food and drink (serving staff are all Cicerone certified), the restaurant located in the city’s Fulton Market meatpacking district offers a selection of about 100 beers and ciders. Under acclaimed executive chef Paul Kahan, the Publican boasts a prestigious restaurant pedigree that includes Blackbird, avec and the Violet Hour. But you won’t find culinary pretension at the Publican. Rustic dishes, like suckling pig, blood sausage and duck hearts, dominate the menu. To complement the meal, we killed a keg of Oakshire Brewing’s Pinot Noir barrel-aged Funk D’Farmhouse. We finished the dinner off with Gigantic Brewing Company’s Mervyn’s 24 Hour Sale, a black IPA aged in bourbon barrels. The Publican is located at 837 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607.
Brunch at the Farmhouse fits the bill when you’re feeling fragile and in need of nourishment. The River North restaurant doles out TLC with warm service, a cosy atmosphere and Bloody Marys that are heavy on heat. The medicinal cocktail is served alongside a shorty of Wisconsin’s Rhinelander lager. As well as a beer back, the drink is garnished with gherkins, jerky and cheese curds. For those who prefer a hangover cure in non-liquid form, an order of crispy, beer-battered cheese curds and house-made catsup will make you feel human again. No-nonsense options, like the Midwestern Benny or a grilled hanger steak, make up the brunch menu. In alignment with the restaurant’s farm-to-tavern philosophy, the Farmhouse’s focus is on ingredients that celebrate the Midwest. This includes locally distilled spirits and 36 draught beers from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. The Farmhouse is located at 228 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60654.