All The Restaurants Featured In The Bear, Ranked

All of The Bear's deliciousness, with none of the crippling anxiety.
All The Restaurants Featured In The Bear, Ranked image

photo credit: Jack X Li

If you didn’t binge season two of The Bear when it first dropped, congratulations. It must be nice to have responsibilities, or a certain level of impulse control. Just keep in mind that there are spoilers ahead.

This season has almost no Italian beef. But it is crammed full of Chicago restaurants, real and imagined. This includes closed spots, and a fictitious restaurant with the largest steak course ever to appear on a tasting menu. Here are 10 (actual) places that have been featured on the show, ranked from best to make-us-point-at-the-screen-like-that-Leonardo-Dicaprio meme.


photo credit: Jack X Li


Ukrainian Village

$$$$Perfect For:Serious Take-Out OperationSpecial OccasionsDate Night
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The Bear is gritty and uncomfortably realistic, but one scene that’s pure fantasy is Sydney walking into an empty Kasama and getting a table. Kasama is one of the best restaurants in the city, with lines that wrap around the building. The one thing that is accurate is the Filipino food is incredible, and you should absolutely add a hashbrown to the breakfast sandwich.

photo credit: Avec



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When all else fails, go to Avec. We’ve said this for years, and the writers at FX agree because that’s where they sent Syd for some light corporate espionage. OK, she was clearly invited, and swapping out the fish of the day isn’t exactly a trade secret. Either way, the food at this West Loop Mediterranean small-plates place is always great—particularly staple dishes like the bacon-stuffed, chorizo-wrapped dates, and the taleggio flatbread. The communal dining room feels like a wooden shoebox, so unless your mentor also happens to be owner Donnie Madia, you’ll probably be sitting elbow-to-elbow with strangers. 

Our hearts were in our throats waiting to see which pizza Richie would get for the woman who had never had deep dish. He chose correctly—unlike traditional Chicago-style deep dish (the often maligned version with sauce on top) Pequod’s does pan-style pies, with a spicy sauce underneath the toppings and a thick, airy crust. What really sets the pizza here apart, though, is the caramelized crispy cheese around the edge. Which is why our heart broke when the fine-dining chef got rid of it during the plating (and that Richie let it go out to the table that way). We’re not mad at you, Richie—just disappointed.

Despite the amount of train riding, walking, and somewhat odd winter-boat-touring going on in episode three, almost all of the restaurants shown are in roughly the same part of the city. And those delicious-looking handmade noodles, dumplings, and cong you bing are from Lao Peng You in Ukrainian Village. This small BYOB Chinese spot has great food and feels like a party—and just like a party you shouldn’t come empty-handed. Order the dan dan noodles, pork dumplings in a spicy sour broth, and bring a six-pack.

This fine-dining spot is like the sea in Old Man And The Sea, or all the appliances in The Brave Little Toaster. It’s a metaphor. It’s not actually Ever, more of an amalgamation of several fine-dining restaurants. Yes, the chef’s jacket and the tickets say Ever, and they serve the signature frozen hamachi (which is delicious). But Ever is in the West Loop and opened in 2020, and as far as we know, Olivia Colman doesn’t work there. Faux Ever represents all of Chicago’s Michelin-starred restaurants. They will be one of the best meals of your life, and you’ll likely want a slice of pizza afterward. Two things can exist at the same time.

Does Margie’s Candies have the best ice cream in Chicago? No, but it doesn’t need to. This Logan Square shop has been around since 1921, and no scene in The Bear is as cathartic as when Syd eats a giant sundae in an old-school clamshell bowl by herself, with literal gravy boats of housemade hot fudge and caramel on the side. Coming to this classic spot is an experience, one that gives you the chance to order a terrapin sundae that comes with 15 scoops of ice cream and hopefully a therapist.

It’s easy to dismiss the scene where Syd stares at grocery store shelves, but she’s actually at 88 Marketplace. This giant supermarket is on the border of Chinatown and Pilsen, and has a bunch of restaurants inside, including 312 Fish Market one of our favorite sushi spots in the city. There is a separate section where you can sit down and eat during the middle of your weekly grocery shopping. Then go open a restaurant with your dysfunctional family screaming in the kitchen and Jamie Lee Curtis lurking outside.

PQM is a cafe, bakery, and mini market from the group that owns Avec, and does its job remarkably well. This is why we heartily endorse Syd’s choice to come to this Fulton Market butcher shop, presumably for cuts of meat that will eventually become fine dining’s largest steak course. But PQM’s best role is as a casual cafe from morning until early in the evening, where you can get great sandwiches. The selection changes, but there are a few staples, like the “Parm #2”—a chicken parmesan sandwich with fried sage and tomato basil sauce. At the time of this writing, there’s no Italian beef, but we’ll check back in before next season.

You don’t see the physical Superdawg in Norwood Park, but that's who caters the breakup party Carmy and Claire go to. It’s an A+ food choice, but the dogs are even better at the actual restaurant, an old-fashioned drive-in that’s been around since 1948. Pull up to any carport, place an order through the retro menu/speaker box in front of you, and the staff will come out and hook a tray onto the edge of your car window. Plus, there is a giant plastic hot dog couple on top of the building. They kind of look like Carmy and Claire.

We would have pointed Sydney in another direction for a NY-style slice (like Jimmy’s in Lincoln Square) but considering how much commuting she already had to do on the train, perhaps Pizza Lobo was based on convienience. But Lobo is serviceable and has two locations in Logan Square and Andersonville. You’ll find options like the “amatrice yo-self” (roasted tomato, pancetta, and Calabrian chile), and white pies topped with ricotta. The charred and curled pepperoni featured on the show looked better than any we’ve ever eaten here.

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