Chicago's 8 Best Strips of Bacon

By Sarah Freeman
March 11, 2014

Some people say all bacon is created equal. We politely disagree by offering up a slice of thick-cut, house-smoked, maple-glazed and perhaps even whiskey-covered deliciousness. These bacon strips stand thicker, juicier and more flavorful than their commercialized counterparts, so put down the frozen pieces of paper-thin meat in favor of these real deals.

  • Au Cheval

    Although most menu items at this West Loop hot spot are perfect as is, it’s hard to resist adding a side of bacon. The thick-cut bacon is heavily peppered before taking a trip on the hot griddle. We recommend eating it by itself or on one of the restaurant’s famous cheeseburgers.

    800 W. Randolph St.; 312-929-4580

  • County

    Like most things at this new barbecue restaurant, bacon comes hickory-smoked. It's slow-cooked and brushed with maple syrup before being served as is, in a slider or as a parfait.

    1352 W. Taylor St.; 312-929-2528

  • David Burke’s Primehouse

    Bacon… on a stick. It’s a novelty so simple it has to be delicious. Thick-cut, black-pepper-seasoned bacon is glazed with maple syrup and served on skewers. Those craving more bacon can head next door to Burke’s Bacon Bar for an entire bacon menu.

    616 N. Rush St.; 312-660-6000

  • Benny’s Chop House

    The meat expertise at this steakhouse is not limited to the beef. One of the off-menu favorites is the thick-cut bacon that's slathered in a sticky maple glaze. It’s good as a side or for dessert.

    444 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-626-2444

  • Fountainhead

    Chef Cleetus Friedman makes his whiskey bacon using pork belly from Catalap Grove Farms in Dwight, Illinois. The belly is brined in whiskey and smoked over barrel staves before being served in orders of two incredibly flavorful slabs.

    1970 W. Montrose Ave.; 773-697-8204

  • Paddy Long’s

    While this bacon-centric bar offers everything from a bacon board with four types of bacon to a triple-bacon burger, the most bacon-y item is the 5-lb. Bacon Bomb, made by wrapping a bacon weave around a mix of pork sausage, ground beef and cracked pepper that's roasted for three hours.

    1028 W. Diversey Pkwy.; 773-290-6988

  • The Publican

    Paying deep respect to the often-commercialized meat, this restaurant serves its pub bacon in thick chunks with striations of tender fat and flavorful meat. It's braised in Burton’s maple syrup and served only during brunch.

    837 W. Fulton Mkt.; 312-733-9555

  • Rockit Bar & Grill and Rockit Burger Bar

    Better than what you can get at the State Fair, this off-menu, deep-fried bacon is beer-battered, fried and tossed in Buffalo sauce and then served with a side of blue-cheese dipping sauce.

    22 W. Hubbard St.; 312-645-6000

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