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Mar 13, 2013 12:54 PM

Chicago BYOB list

Hard to believe there isn't a definitive Chicago BYOB list here so how about we start one? (Selfishly, I am coming back to town and am looking for recommendations).

LM Bistro (French)
no corkage on Monday

Home Bistro (Contemporary American)

I miss Cafe Bernard :-(

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  1. Here's a listing:

    Also, in any listing, be aware of the difference between "BYOB" (places that allow you to bring your own wine or other alcohol, but may or may not charge a corkage fee when doing so) and "free corkage" (bring your own, with no additional charge). I believe restaurants in the city of Chicago can only charge a corkage fee if they have a liquor license. There may be other rules; e.g. some places will only allow you to bring wines if they don't have the same bottle on their own list.

    There are other wine/alcohol deals as well, such as La Sardine's half-price bottles of wine at dinner on Mondays.

    1. 2 high-end restaurants that are strictly BYOB because they have no liquor license - Schwa and El Ideas. (A 3d in this category is Goosefoot, but it's on Opentable and included in the link provided by Nsxtasy.)

      5 Replies
      1. re: masha

        Schwa would be great ... if we could get in. Goosefoot looks very interesting but might be a bit pricey for me at present.

        Does anyone know if Kabocha (Chef Chin from Bonsoiree) will be BYOB?

        1. re: NYChristopher

          Goosefoot may be harder to get into than Schwa.

          1. re: masha

            Yes, Goosefoot is definitely harder to get into than Schwa.

            1. re: Gonzo70

              >> Goosefoot is definitely harder to get into than Schwa.

              But at least when you have a reservation at Goosefoot, there's pretty much a 100 percent chance that they'll honor it and won't call you at the last minute to tell you that they need to cancel it. :)

          2. re: NYChristopher

            Kabocha will not be no corkage BYOB; they are planning a beverage program.

        2. I will assume you are speaking about venues not charging corkage? I will add the one's I have been to and also mention a couple venues with inexpensive corkage and some underground venues:

          Jibek Jolu (Russian/Central Asian)
          5047 N Lincoln Ave

          Bistro Dre (Eclectic
          )2965 N Lincoln Ave

          Schwa (Modern American
          )1466 N Ashland Ave

          90 Miles Cuban Cafe (Cuban
          )2540 W Armitage Ave and 3101 N. Clybourn

          El Ideas (Modern American
          )2419 W 14th St

          Wrigley BBQ (BBQ
          )3555 N Broadway

          Goosefoot (Fine Dining/Contemporary American
          )2656 W Lawrence Ave

          HB Restaurant (Contemporary American
          )3404 N Halsted St

          Ay Ay Picante (Peruvian
          )4569 N Elston Ave

          Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant (Ethiopian
          )5842 N Broadway St

          Penny's Noodles (Thai
          )Various Locations - See Website

          Ukai Japanese Restaurant (Japanese
          )1059 W Belmont Ave

          Jaiyen (Sushi
          )3736 N Broadway St

          Miss Asia (Chinese
          )434 W Diversey Pkwy

          Warning: Had my worst meal in Chicago here

          Los Nopales (Mexican
          )4544 N Western Ave

          Mixteco Grill
          1601 W Montrose Ave

          Tango Sur (Argentinian
          )3763 N Southport Ave

          Nookies Tree (Breakfast/Brunch Fare
          )3334 N Halsted St

          Sous Rising (Underground Dining: Modern American
          )Uptown Neighborhood

          Thurk (Underground Dining: Farm to Table
          )Logan Square Neighborhood
          See Facebook Page for Details

          Socca (Italian/French)
          3301 N Clark St

          Mondays Only

          Browntrout (Contemporary American
          )4111 N Lincoln Ave

          Thursdays Only

          Sun Wah BBQ (Chinese
          )5041 N Broadway

          Inexpensive $5 per/bottle corkage - Sometimes Waived

          Kendall College Dining Room (Eclectic
          )900 N North Branch St

          Inexpensive $10 per/bottle corkage

          2 Replies
          1. re: Gonzo70

            Oh, yeah, Kendall, been wanting to go there. Thoughts anyone?

            1. re: NYChristopher

              I enjoyed Kendall; definitely a great bargain. Do not expect perfection as both the chefs and front of the house personnel are students at Kendall College, but the venue provides a fine dining like experience at a great price point. In addition to their regular menu, they do some interesting themed dinners - check out their website for details.

          2. One more, in the suburbs:

            64 Green Bay Road

            The Opentable listing mentions them with a limit of one bottle per two diners, but I suspect that is for days of the week other than Tuesdays. Every Tuesday they offer no corkage fees, and I suspect there's no limit on Tuesdays. (Check with them to be sure.)

            Michael is one of the very best restaurants in the entire Chicago area IMHO, and is reasonably priced considering the quality of the food. It's also easy to reach via public transportation; the UP North line on the Metra commuter trains ( ) go to the Indian Hill station, which is only a few hundred feet from the restaurant. Trains run well into the evening so there's no problem getting back into the city.

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