Chicago's 10 Best Strips of Bacon

The thickest, juiciest, most flavorful slabs around town
March 10, 2015
by Sarah Freeman

Some people say all bacon is created equal. We politely disagree — nothing beats 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 porky peers.

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 slabs are heavily peppered before taking a trip to the hot griddle. We recommend eating it by itself or on one of the restaurant’s famous cheeseburgers. (You can also indulge at Bavette's Bar & Boeuf).

Belly Q

We've raved about the Sunday brunch at Bill Kim's West Loop restaurant before. One reason: bacon served crispy with a maple glaze and a dusting of togarashi.

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.


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, or as part of an over-the-top take on the BLT, which also includes fried green tomatoes.

David Burke’s Primehouse

Bacon…on a stick. Thick-cut, black-pepper-seasoned slabs are glazed with maple syrup and served on skewers.


Chef Cleetus Friedman makes his whiskey bacon using pork belly from Catalap Grove Farms in Dwight, IL. For each order, two strips of belly are brined in whiskey and smoked over barrel staves.

Kaiser Tiger

While this bacon- and sausage-centric bar offers everything from a bacon board (with four varieties) to a triple-bacon burger, the standout is the five-lb. Bacon Bomb, which features the smoky meat wrapped around a mix of pork sausage, ground beef and cracked pepper and then roasted for three hours. (Also available at Paddy Long's.)

Michael Jordan's Steakhouse

This celebrity-owned steakhouse has all kinds of meat covered, from signature steaks to a side of double-smoked Nueske bacon with Burton's maple syrup glaze.

The Publican

The "pub" bacon, available only during brunch, features thick flavorful chunks with striations of tender fat that have been braised in Burton’s maple syrup.

Three Aces

Almost everything at this restaurant is made in-house, from the pastas to the Bolognese (served on top of fries), and the thick-cut bacon is no exception. Order it on its own or as a topping on your Ace Burger. You can also try it with a side of smoked spaghetti on the new brunch menu at Three Aces' sister restaurant Charlatan.