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english or irish restaurants

  • t

Does anyone have suggestions as to good Irish or English restaurants in Chicago that serve more than "pub grub" ?

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  1. there are two that i know of, the curragh at woodfield in schaumburg is really nice, good food, drinks, music. and abbey's pub in chicago i have not been at the abbey in years the food was ok. i think the curragh is nicer.


    Link: http://www.curraghpub.com

    5 Replies
    1. re: kim

      The two times I've eaten at the Curragh at Woodfield I found it to be extremely average. Standard restaurant food bought from local purveyors and not Irish. I beleive it's owned by Guiness Brewery or a franchise thereof.

      It seem most of the Irish places seem to be pubs. Do a metromix search under Irish/Brit/Scot for choices and try to find one that is not a pub. That will narrow your choices considerably.

      I've always wanted to try The Pepper Canister
      509 N. Wells St.

      I like the shepherd's pie at Vaughan's Pub 5485 N. Northwest Highway.

      Years ago Cafe La Cave in Des Plaines had a British chef who cooked many of the dishes in the British style. I don't know who is the chef there now though.

      1. re: Omnivore

        I have tried all of the above and Galway is in league all thier own. I generally don't care about most restaurants, but place deserves a shot. The chefs name is Wade who I met at a charity event and he likes clients to ask for him to explain his food.

        1. re: Omnivore

          Curragh at Woodfield ...

          I ate there once on a gift certificate and found the food to be average at best. And the service was very slow although we were the only people in the restaurant.

        2. re: kim

          Since the suburbs came up, Ballydoyle Irish Pub
          has very good food. I especially enjoyed the corned beef bites, Finnan Haddie soup, and toasted apple and Irish cheddar sandwich. A great band playing the evening i was there. Wonderful atmosphere...antiques, people, staff.

          Image: http://ballydoylepub.com

          1. re: kim

            Since the suburbs came up, Ballydoyle Irish Pub
            has very good food. I especially enjoyed the corned beef bites, Finnan Haddie soup, and toasted apple and Irish cheddar sandwich. A great band playing the evening i was there. Wonderful atmosphere...antiques, people, staff.

            Link: http://ballydoylepub.com

          2. Chief O'Neill's is an Irish bar with good to very good food, and certainly higher ambitions than standard pub grub. We went on Thursday, just before heading to the hospital to deliver a baby, and it certainly hit the spot. I didn't order off the Irish specialties section this time, but in the past it has been very good. Actually, the roast chicken wasn't the best thing I've had there, but the Guinness-cheese soup was up to par. A nice room too, you can either eat in the bar or in the restaurant area in back. A nice pour of Guinness here too. They used to serve a really great Irish brown bread, but stopped some time last year, I believe because it got too expensive. I'm not surprised, since we would often go through multiple baskets on our visits.



            Chief O'Neill's
            3471 N. Elston Ave.

            1. v

              The Galway Arms is your place located at 2442 N. Clark St. 773-472-5555. They refer to their style of cooking as Celtic Fusion.
              I'll try to post their menu later. Shlansha??? Good Health

              1 Reply
              1. re: Vehrrytyte@aol.com

                Slainte is pronounced slawn/chuh : cheers.

                Go raibh maith agut is pronounced go ruh mah-hagut accent on the 'mah' : thank you.

                I like Chief O'Neill's, I love Irish music and Brendan McKinney the proprietor has some good people in esp. on Sundays. I am also a fan of the Guinness cheese soup. I had a very nice blue cheese salad there last summer.

                For Irish breakfast I used to go to Cullens but I've not been in two years so I must go back.

              2. My wife and I just tried "Galvin's Public House" on Lawrence Ave, just east of Austin (south side of the street). Both of our meals were quite good.
                I had beef tenderloin with whiskey cream sauce (special on the menu). There were 6 generous slices of beef that were tender and flavorfull. I skipped the potato and had mushrooms and peas that were OK.
                My wife had grouper and scallops that were excellent. She received 6 huge scallops that were not gummy or had a "fishy taste". Her dish was also served with two large scoops of mashed potato. She ate all of the scallops and took half the grouper home.
                All in all, the food preparation was excellent and the portions generous. The only downside was a less than imaginative imported draft beer selection (they did have Stella Atrois).
                Sorry, I don't know the exact address but it is a block east of Austin on the south side of Lawrence.

                1. We've enjoyed Tommy Nevin's in Evanston. The food is consistently good in the dining room, which is separate from the pub area. Also, they frequently have live music.

                  It's owned by the same people who have the Davis Street fish market and I've enjoyed the fish dishes at Nevin's. There is plenty of traditional Irish food plus some more ambitious items.

                  Tommy Nevin's Pub
                  1450 Sherman Avenue
                  Mon-Sun: Lunch and dinner

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: George R

                    Actually Nevins was sold to a private Bar investment co. earlier last year. IIRC, it was sold in order to finance the new Pete Millers out in the burbs. I used to love the food at Nevins but the last few times it has been lackluster.

                    To give you an idea of how long I've been going there, I had the 11th or 12th pint of Guinness poured in the place. I was having lunch at Davis St. Fishmarket and Patrick the bartender told me to head over as Steve had just got the license and opened up a half hour earlier.

                    Good memories, I had my first legal pint there, met my ex wife there, and my now ex and I actually had dinner there with our kids on what would have been our 10th anniversary.

                    1. re: Octarine

                      Was at Nevins last month. It was pretty good, but I can't even remember what I had. Mix of Irish-American dishes and pub grub. A good place to go with your family or a large group.

                      1. re: Omnivore

                        Nevin's food is ok, pretty good burgers etc., good Guiness and beef pie, about the only thing I would go out of my way for there is their whitefish chowder, which is pretty darn tasty.

                      2. re: Octarine

                        Thanks for the update. The last time we were at Nevins was just over a year ago.

                    2. Duke of Perth, mentioned a few posts down, is an excellent choice. It is my favorite pub in Chicago with a great menu and atmosphere. It's located at Clark & Oakdale (just north of Diversey).

                      I also am a big fan of the Red Lion on Lincoln Ave. (2500 North, or so), although I have not recently had their food.

                      In my opinion, these two places have a great atmosphere and ambiance that cannot be achieved in the suburbs.

                      1. Scroll down for a discussion of Winston's Ashford House in Tinley Park. If that's too far (and for a northwest sider like myself, it's out where Christ left his sandals) you might want to try the Irish Village, at Diversey and Narragannset (roughly--it is on Diversey--not sure about the cross street.) I haven't been there in years (I'm trusting it's still open) but remember the food as being good.

                        Beyond those two, I can't think of any English or Irish resturants (as opposed to bars that also serve food--and all the bars mentioned serve food that is quite good, if nothing spectacular.) When I was a kid (1970s-80s) there used to be a few places--the Atlantic Restaurant on Grand comes to mind--but even then, there were not too many. We always ate at home, and so did most Irish families that we knew.

                        For myself, I'd be careful of anything billing itself as "Irish-fusion" or the like. The best restaurants in Britain and Ireland that serve, for lack of a better term, the "native cuisine," rely on simple, straightforward preparations that showcase the high quality of the seafood, meat (particularly lamb, and in Scotland, game), and vegetables. I'm not saying more exotic preparations cannot be good, but, in my opinion, the food of the British Isles does not lend itself well to experimentation.

                        1. Ill jump in with my thoughts on Ballydoyles in Downers Grove,


                          Went for lunch yesterday, and the decor is pretty cool. The bar area is what I have seen from some other Irish pubs in the Chicago area, and it has a stage opposite the bar area. There is plenty of seating for dining, overall a pretty cool place.

                          Unfortunatley I couldnt partake in any beer since I had to go back to work, so I can only comment of the food. I had a Rueben sandwich, and the person I was dining with had the corned beef sandwich. The portions were ok, but the corned beef on the sandwiches was in thick slices, not thin slices as I prefer. The flavor of the meat was bland, but very tender. Since I am Irish, and know how to cook corned beef the lack of flavor left me disappointed. The service was also very bad. Our waitress disappeared for 15 mins without checking back to see how our food turned out. Overall $9 for a below average Rueben.

                          The menu looked interesting, with a few lunch specials, but I am glad I didnt try the corned beef and cabbage based on the non existant flavor of the corned beef on the sandwich I ordered.

                          I will return to try some appetizers, and bend an elbow trying some of their beers, in my opinion maybe this is a place better suited as a bar, and not a destination for food.

                          1. Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro on N. Lincoln. I cannot vouch for it but have been wanting to try it for some time now. It might be more upscale than you are looking for but the menu looks delicious! You might want to check it out!


                            1. The Irish Village on Diversey has been closed for what seems like 10 or more years and is now the Millenium, a Polish Banquet hall.
                              Two good places not yet mentioned are both on the NW Side. On Devon east of Central, Moher has good food and daily specials.. The bar is always crowded, and even though we don't live in the neighborhood, we've met someone we know everytime we've been there.

                              Also good is McNamara's on Irving just west of the Kennedy& across the street from the Irving Park Y. They have a great Irish breakfast and my favorite nachos, just like my grandmother from Galway used to make.

                              1. The Celtic Knot on Church St. in Evanston has good traditional and modern Irish dishes, the chef shows some ambition with the food and staff is a nice.


                                1. How about Chequers in La Grange? I've been meaning to go there one day.

                                  1. We like the Irish Times pub in Brookfield, facing the Burlington tracks. A neighborhood group went there several times for St. Pat's Day, but gave up because there were about 17,000 raucous Irish-celebrators there, too. Pick another day. They have really wonderful Fish and Chips, my wife loves their Irish stew, and they pour a nice Guinness.
                                    On the other hand, my granddaughter Maeve is a member of the Trinity Irish Dance group, and will be performing at Ballydoyle in Downers Grove this St. patty's Day.

                                    Don't miss it!

                                    Erin go bragh!

                                    1. www.ballydoylepub.com
                                      swsidejim Mar 08, 2007 10:28AM
                                      "the decor is pretty cool...There is plenty of seating for dining, overall a pretty cool place."
                                      "return to try some appetizers, and bend an elbow trying some of their beers, in my opinion maybe this is a place better suited as a bar, and not a destination for food."

                                      Been to Ballydoyle many times.
                                      I'll second this opinion.
                                      Very nice atmosphere with a couple of small intimate areas that are very unique.
                                      As for the service? It has be spotty. Sometimes good and sometimes very bad.
                                      The food is ok. Nothing great, but it is above average and it is more of a "pub" than a dining experience.
                                      It is best experienced for drinks/beer and appetizers.