Best Bloody Marys in Chicago

March 21, 2014
by Zagat Staff

From floating oysters to smoked brisket and a Vienna beef hot dog, these Bloody Marys (and their garnishes) are certainly more than just vodka, tomato juice, and a celery stick.

Uptown · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

Awesomely good " breakfast and lunch eats come in " more-than-generous " portions at this cash-only Uptown New American, where the " extensive " menu includes gluten-free choices and a " lot of options " for vegetarians; " local art " decorates the walls of the small space, and though it gets " busy " on weekends, " friendly ", " efficient " servers keep things moving – and you can always " hunker down " with a " delicious" Bloody Mary if there's a wait.
Lula Cafe
Logan Square · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

“Serving farm-to-table cuisine before it became popular,” this Logan Square “mainstay” is a “gold mine” for “exquisite,” “creative” New American fare (including an “amazing” vegetarian tasting menu) and “wonderful” cocktails; a “well-informed” staff works the “stylish” yet “laid-back” room where you “never feel rushed” – even when there are “huge lines” for the “fantastic,” no-reservations weekend brunch.
Brunch · River North · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.3

There's "lots to try and share" at this "hip" River North Asian "winner" , where "stylish folks" dig into "exceptional" sushi and other "creative" , "well-thought-out" fusion fare, washed down with "tasty" cocktails; "communal tables" and a "fun" staff make the "beautiful" space "great for large groups" , and while it can get "a bit loud" , the "hubbub" is part of what makes it a "go-to spot.
Owen & Engine
British · Logan Square · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

“London pubs are envious” of the “legit” British bites at this “cozy” Logan Square gastropub, where standout scotch eggs and “one of the best burgers” in town are complemented by “a beer list you can't complain about” ; “fancy, with a side of hipster” , the wood-and-leather space comes equipped with an “über-friendly” staff, plus there’s a “beautiful” fireplace lounge with “date-night” appeal.
Bangers & Lace
Bar · Wicker Park · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.0

An “interesting menu” of “tasty upscale pub food” with an emphasis on sausages is buoyed by an “outstanding” brew selection that “always changes” at these rustic-chic watering holes; run by “colorful people who really know their beverages” , they're judged a good “go-to” for “wasting away an afternoon, evening or both.”
Smoke Daddy BBQ
Barbecue · Wicker Park · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.1

Diners are enticed by the "meaty perfume in the air" at this Wicker Park "BBQ heaven" where "pretty good everything" includes "juicy and tender" ribs and an "awesome selection of sides" ; "friendly" staffers tend the "no-frills" space, which offers "great" live blues and jazz nightly, and a recent expansion should "make crowds less of an issue," especially in summer when the "cool" patio opens.
Twisted Spoke
Burger · Noble Square