Bub City image

Bub City


River North

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBirthdaysDay DrinkingEating At The BarPeople WatchingSee And Be Seen


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Bub City is a great place to hang. It's got live country music most nights of the week and a robust whiskey menu to go along with the tunes. And while you may find a lot of guys dressed in ripped jeans and flannel shirts, don't forget this is River North, which means they are more likely Midwest frat boys turned bankers. But there's no shame in that, so pass around some giddy up fries and stuffed jalapeños to help you get down with the country vibes.

The fun times can also be had during the day on weekends, when on top of the usual options, you can catch one hell of a bloody Mary bar. And the good times are even better when it's nice out and the large panel windows up front are open to the outdoors.

But when it comes to the actual food, Bub City doesn't quite pull its weight. While we are cool with the ribs, neither the brisket nor the pulled pork are great. As a whole, this isn't incredible BBQ. If you’re looking for some of the best barbecue in town, then Bub City is not the place.

So think of it this way: Bub City makes for a better bar than a restaurant. Come for a good time without expecting the city's best barbecue. The whiskey menu is great, and know at the very least, you won't have to dine in silence.

Food Rundown

Bloody Mary Bar

On weekends this is almost a meal in itself. For $10 you get to make your own “drink,” which also includes side plates of oysters, grilled cheese, salami sticks, crackers, and more. It’s pretty awesome - don’t be shy.

Giddy Up Fries

A necessity for the table. Waffle fries served with pulled barbecue pork, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and jalapenos. Don’t be afraid to substitute tots for waffle fries as a base.
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Mac & Cheese

No such thing as bad mac and cheese. Make it a serious meal and go with the Baby Back Mac that comes with pulled baby back ribs in the mix.


This brisket doesn't do it for us. If you’re going to order it, make sure to get it sliced rather than chopped, but either way try not to expect too much.

Berkshire Pulled Pork

Similar feelings as the brisket.
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Baby Back Ribs

If we are going to go full-blown smoked meats here, it’s definitely the baby back ribs. A whole order is a lot to handle, so we suggest ordering half a slab and dabbling in a side if it's for yourself.

Fried Chicken

Choice of Regular, Buffalo, or Nashville hot. All three are decent alternatives to the smoked meats.

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Suggested Reading

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Charlatan feels like a designer hunting lodge. Come for the beers and pastas, stay for the pig head.

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Smoque is a fantastic BBQ spot in Old Irving Park.

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Bodankadonk your way over to Honky Tonk for live music, BBQ, and cold beer.

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Utilize Hub 51 for its strengths. Disclaimer: that doesn’t include full course dinners.

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