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Where to Score Zagat's Final Four Bar Foods in Chicago

By Sarah Freeman
March 26, 2014

We’re down to the final four in Zagat's nationwide bar food bracket. If you're just joining us, we're pitting some of the greatest bar-food snacks against each other in a March Madness-inspired tournament of champions. French fries, onion rings, buffalo wings and fried calamari have so far edged out the competition. Will No. 1 seed Buffalo wings take it all or can No. 13 seed calamari provide the upset of the year? Visit the bracket challenge to cast your votes by end of day tomorrow, and check out our suggestions for the best places to scout out the final four grub.

Buffalo Wings
Jake Melnick’s wings are widely regarded as some of the best, and the spiciest, in the city. These wings come in a variety of flavors from classic Buffalo to XXX.

The team at Mott St put their own unique spin on wings by serving them glazed with soy, jaggery and dried chilies and tossed with everything bagel seasoning.

French Fries
The cult favorite duck-fat fries at Hot Doug’s are only served on Fridays and Saturdays and are worth the wait for their crispy texture and rich flavor.

As addicting as the burger at Scofflaw are the fries served in a mini fryer basket with a side of pimento aioli.

Onion Rings
Served in a heaping mound of intertwined stands, Hackney’s Original French Fried Onions have satisfied guests for 70 years.

The onion rings at Little Goat are a two-for-one. Each order comes with lightly fried pickles as well as pickled onions with ranch and curry mayo for dipping.

One of the most poplar starters at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab is the lightly fried calamari. It’s about as traditional as it gets.

The signature appetizer at The Capital Grille is its pan-fried calamari with hot cherry peppers, served crisp and golden with a spicy kick.

Places Mentioned

Mott St

Tapas • Wicker Park

Food- Decor- Service- CostE

American • Logan Square

Food- Decor- Service- CostI
Jake Melnick's Corner Tap

American • River North

Food19 Decor18 Service20 Cost$26
Hackney's On Harms

Burger • Glenview

Food18 Decor15 Service19 Cost$22
Hackney's Printers' Row

Burger • Printer's Row

Food18 Decor15 Service19 Cost$22
Hot Doug's

Hot Dog • Avondale

Food27 Decor14 Service20 Cost$14
The Capital Grille

Steakhouse • Streeterville

Food24 Decor21 Service24 Cost$68
Little Goat Diner

Diner • West Loop

Food25 Decor26 Service27 CostM
Hackney's On Lake

American • Glenview

Food18 Decor15 Service19 Cost$22

Burger • Lake Zurich

Food18 Decor15 Service19 Cost$22

Burger • Palos Park

Food18 Decor15 Service19 Cost$22
Little Goat

West Loop

Food22 Decor22 Service21 Cost$28
Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Seafood • White House/World Bank

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
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