10 Best Bars with Food in Chicago

[Photograph: Josh Conley]

The Winners!

#1: Hopleaf
5148 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640 (map); 773-334-9851; hopleaf.com
#2: 3 Floyds 9750 Indiana Parkway, Munster, IN 46321 (map); 219-922-4425; 3floyds.com
#3: Owen & Engine 2700 North Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 (map); 773-235-2930; owenandengine.com

Editor's Note: Before Josh packs his bags for Portland, I pleaded for one last post for the site. (I don't want him to leave!) Anyway, he's been dutifully documenting bar food for some time now, so I asked him to pick out his ten favorite bars with great food in Chicago. Take it away, Josh!

Making top ten lists is never easy, especially when food is involved. I found this out when I tried to make a must-eat list for Chicago before leaving, and could only shave it down to 27, including everything from La Casa del Pueblo to Bale to Scooter's.

The bars I frequented in Chicago ranged from hip brewpubs to German joints serving comfort food. How do you compare awesome tater tots to a pig ear salad? Authentic Cajun cuisine to New Haven style pizza? And what about the beer? The atmosphere? It's all a delicate balance, plugged into a very unofficial, highly subjective formula. I never was very good at math.

So I based this list on the same criterion I based my "best place you've traveled" answer, and it comes down to this: Where would I go back first? And before you say 'WHERE'S KUMA'S?!?' I've also decided to narrow it to only places that I reviewed for Bar Eats. So, of course it's still hypothetical at this time, but when I return to Chicago, if I were to go back to ten of these bars, I'd go in this order...

  1. Hopleaf
  2. 3 Floyds
  3. Owen & Engine
  4. The Publican
  5. Piece Brewery and Pizzeria
  6. Revolution Brewing
  7. Chief O'Neill's
  8. Maple Tree Inn
  9. Twisted Spoke
  10. Laschet's Inn

Check them all out by clicking on the slideshow.

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