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May 23, 2011 03:15 PM

Suggestions for new/improved BYOBs from downtown to Evanston

Coming in for the Bluesfest. Looking for BYOBS on the "east side" north to Evanston. Suggestions are sincerely appreciated. Thanks much.
Is Urban Belly still good?

3053 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

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  1. The neighborhoods along Lake Michigan are called the "lakefront", not the "east side" (perhaps you said that in jest).

    3 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Thanks for your correction! Any thoughts?

      1. re: schaf1

        I don't seek out BYOB's, so only a few come to mind. Oceanique is a very nice seafood-focused restaurant in Evanston, and it's outstanding, perhaps the very best of all the many restaurants in Evanston. On Mondays ONLY they offer no corkage fee, so they are basically BYOB on Mondays (but you can still buy their alcohol too).

        Two more are slightly outside the area you have designated. One is Yolo, a somewhat new, excellent provincial Mexican restaurant in Skokie, the town immediately west of Evanston. It's always BYOB.

        The other is a restaurant that I just went to on Friday and enjoyed is Han 202. It's about four miles south of the Loop (downtown Chicago), and features a mix of Asian and contemporary American items. Always BYOB. (I posted a review at .)

        I'm sure there are a lot more, but those are the ones I thought of immediately...

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Thanks nsxtasy, your posts are spot-on. If you have any additional suggestions, I'm very appreciative.

    2. Urban Belly is still excellent, as is it's sister restaurant Belly Shack. Dirt cheap. Casual. Fun. Excellent food. And BYO.

      3053 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

      1 Reply
      1. re: chicgail

        I even prefer Belly Shack to Urban Belly - but yeah, both are good and BYO.

        There's always Schwa, but getting through to someone on the phone (and not getting cancelled on) makes Schwa one of the trickiest tables to get in Chicago. Ruxbin has great food, but they don't take reservations and it's a tiny restaurant. I really love Sun Wah BBQ and Great Lake, too.

        Great Lake
        1477 W Balmoral Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

        3053 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

      2. Consider also ... excellent upscale Mexican cuisine and BYO at Dorado (pricier) and Los Nopales (more casual). See Yelp for details.