Some things don’t make sense: the Bermuda Triangle, who framed Roger Rabbit, algebra, Bernie’s existence in River North.

In a sea of loud and crowded spots, Bernie’s can feel like an oasis. The dining room never gets busy but doesn’t turn into a sh*show, and has wood floors, bright blue booths, and an open bar and kitchen that make everything look cool. Plus, their food is good - the wide-ranging menu has tasty pizzas, entrees like rabbit gnocchi and tacu tacu, and a truly excellent burger.

The atmosphere is also good for a number of occasions: weekend dinner with friends, date night during the week, and even a solo session at the bar for a burger and beer. And since Bernie’s is on the quieter west side of River North, it has a relaxed rooftop we really appreciate. The tables are far enough apart to make it feel extra spacious, and they have an expanded awning so you can hang here even when it rains. And it happens to be an ideal spot to hang in the neighborhood when all you want is a cocktail and a really great burger.

Food Rundown

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Good meatballs, good spicy tomato sauce, good burrata. Can’t ask for much more.

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In the mood for a burger? Don’t be shy. This is an excellent, simple burger, with aioli, onions, and dill pickle. Add bacon or an egg if you want, but it’s not necessary. The bun pulls it all together.

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Hummus With Lamb

Delicious lamb comes in the middle of a plateful of hummus with a bit of olive oil, pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds. The pita bread brings it all together, although it’s really more of a pita-paratha hybrid.

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