HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >


Best Chicago BYOB (Casual)

I'm starting a dinner club with my friends in Chicago and I'm focusing on BYOB places only. By BYOB I am meaning the casual, no cork fee, places. Anyone have any suggestions? Preferred dining area would be within range of Lakeview/Lincoln Park/Uptown. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. A group of us went to Andalous, a Moroccan BYO restaurant in Lakeview, on Saturday night and really enjoyed it. The food was really solid and reasonable as well. While "best" would be an overstatement, it is deserving of a visit considering it meets all of your criteria.

    1. Rick's Cafe, a few doors south of the Sheridan Red Line Stop, is BYOB and I've had great food and experience both times I've been there.

      1. I'm a huge fan of Tango Sur. BYOB at a steak place is just the best thing ever.

        1. My favorite while going to Depaul was Tomato Head pizza. What's better with cold beer than good pizza : ). Sheffield and Webster I believe.

          1. You may want to invest in the BYOB Chicago Guide. It lists BYOB's in Chicago and a few in the suburbs. There are 2 sections - with and without corkage fees. It also has wine and beer suggestions to accompany your meal. I think I picked it up on-line for about $12!!


            1. My favorite BYOB with great food is Think Cafe on Western just north of Armitage. It has great pasta, seafood and salads. Its a bit nicer than "casual" and has a cute little patio out front. I also second Tango Sur, its my husband's favorite restaurant in the city...

              1. Also consider ...
                Ay Ay Picante, Elston north of Lawrence. Casual Peruvian, great ceviche.
                Dorado, Foster east of Western. Upscale Mexican, great steak and fish specials.
                Opart, Western south of Lawrence. Extensive Thai menu.
                Caro Mio, Wilson east of Ravenswood. Cozy Italian bistro.

                1. Thanks for the suggestions. I will add them all to my list and post some reviews as we go.

                  1. Riques in Uptown is really great regional mexican food, HB in Boystown is pretty good stuff and a step above most BYO's. TAC Quick on Sheridan for some really special thai food.

                    1. You might want to check out BYOB-Chi-Town.com

                      1. Sweets and Savories in Lincoln Park is BYOB on Mondays. Excellent contemporary American food in an upscale setting that you would never imagine from the nondescript storefront exterior.

                        1. Wholly Frijoles in Lincolnwood is a great Mexican spot -- outside of your comfort zone but not too far. Also, Cafe Marbella in Peterson Park does great tapas - ambiance is sorely lacking but the food's very good. Semiramis at the Kedzie Brown Line stop does fantastic Middle Eastern -- well worth the visit.

                          1. This might help - http://www.drvino.com/chicagobyob.php

                            I second TAC Quick as a special place, but spicy Thai can be a tricky wine pairing. I would also add Peking Duck at Sun Wah BBQ, 1134 W. Argyle as a good choice. Peking Duck is a very good match for Bordeaux. I would suggest calling ahead and making sure that Peking Duck was available and I would also bring my own glasses. (773-769-1254)

                            1. Our favorite BYOB restaurant is The Think Cafe on Western near Belmont. Note - this is not a cheap restaurant but the food is great. Some of the best mussels in the city. Great desserts etc. This could be perfect for you with upscale food.