BYOB is the greatest thing ever! I hardly ever go anywhere that’s not BYOB and Chicago has so many great resources. A couple months ago at my favorite wine shop, Kafka Wine, I picked up the best book ever, “BYOB Chicago,” complete with all BYOB restaurants in the area.
And, just this week, I got the new TimeOut Chicago’s, “BYOB Guide” which lists the magazines top 50 picks, and yes some of my favorites did make the list. So without further delay, here are my fav hot spots:
Adesso on Broadway in hopping Boy’s Town:
The braised short-ribs and creamy shallot polenta are to die for and I usually end up getting this every time. I try to branch out and get something new when I go, but it’s just too hard. This may just be my favorite restaurant, as it’s in walking distance to my apt, has good affordable Italian food, is BYOB (duh) and is so cozy and quaint. Reservations are a must as this place is teeny tiny and on the weekends is packed with glorious gay men.
Terragusto on Armitage:
So excited when this place opened up a second location in Lincoln Park (original is in Roscoe Village). My first experience was with friend's family and we got the chef’s tasting menu. It is still to this day one of the top meals I’ve ever had. I recently celebrated Valentine’s Day here with “all my single ladies” and highly recommend the “pop’s hat pasta filled with butternut squash” (also featured in TimeOut). Definitely drank heavily on V-day, so I hope this reco lives up to my memory.
Think in Wicker Park:
This one is a little on the pricey side, but well worth it, if you’re celebrating or on a romantic date. The duck risotto and lobster stuffed red peppers are a must and the white linen table cloths and candle light make you feel like you’ve stepped out of the blistering Chicago weather. I do not recommend going out after as the food tends to be on the rich side.
Thai Classic on Clark in Wrigley
This is a true hole in the wall and on Sunday’s they have an all you can eat Thai buffet, I have yet to go. They have an adorable seating area where you must take off your shoes and sit with your feet in the ground, very authentic and fun! This is my favorite delivery go-to and always get the green curry or any curry for that matter.
Jai-Yen on Braodway in Lakeview
Nestled off the beaten path, next to an empty store front, this sushi place offers low-key, convenient and affordable sushi. When I first moved to Chicago, I celebrated many a birthdays as I did my current job at this neighborhood go-to. The maki rolls are all great, my fav is the crazy and giant maki and the fried rice and mochi are also great staples!
Coast in Bucktown
Another great spot for birthday’s, I've celebrated a couple here. Coast tries to think outside the box and offers up unique and creative rolls. Aside from sushi, they also have great extras, such as the tuna tartare. Reservations are a must and be prepared to wait on weekends even with a ressie.
I highly recommend the new TimeOut Chicago. I know I plan on hitting up each and every spot listed, with SMOQUE number 1 on the list.Attraction is not a choice,