CHIReview

Hub 51 review image

Hub 51

RESERVE A TABLE

POWERED BY

open table
$$$$312-828-0051
Hours:MON
11AM-12AM

At some point over the last couple years, we woke up one day and realized the Melman’s and Lettuce Entertain You owned a majority of the restaurants in a five block River North radius. We started to list them all off for you, but there are about fifteen and we got bored. That doesn’t even account for Three Dots and a Dash, Sub 51, and the money-printing machine that is Studio Paris Nightclub. We’ll get to all of these restaurants eventually, but today’s review focuses on the initial hot spot opened by the offspring of founder Richard Melman, Hub 51.

Like all Lettuce restaurants, Hub 51 is well-run with great service and a lively atmosphere. But why do people eat dinner here? We prefer not to, but know it tends to be crowded, especially on the weekends. We aren’t saying the food is bad, you just won’t ever walk away saying it was great. The menu was designed to be a mix of fun things that people like to eat, but it’s all over the place. We guess it may be good for a group of picky eaters, but deciding between sushi, tacos, and dinner platters like Chilean sea bass or slow-cooked pork puts us in a mental pretzel. And by the time you tack on one or two drinks a person it’s a quick $65 for food that will leave you adequately satisfied but not impressed.

We aren’t here to totally hate on Hub 51 though. We just think it should be utilized for its strengths. Full-fledged dinner, not so much, but the sandwiches will do the trick for extended lunches and the brunch is pretty good.

But Hub is most useful when you’re looking to hit the town in River North without a plan. Post up at a high-top in the bar and order some cocktails and nachos in the company of good-looking people. It’ll be the same price for the same slightly underwhelming food, just think of it more as a trendy night on the town instead of a place to expect a great meal.

Food Rundown

Ahi Tuna Poke

Ahi tuna, avocado, and Asian rice crackers. Quality tuna and a good appetizer.

Premium Grilled Fish Tacos

Seasonal catch with a baja rub and chopped cabbage slaw. A consensus go to if you want tacos. They are good, but fit within the general theme of nothing special.

Pulled Chicken Nachos

A whole mess of fresh tortilla chips piled high with all the good stuff, chicken, guacamole, salsa, white cheddar, oaxaca cheese, and sour cream. Our favorite thing on the menu.

Fresh Grilled Salmon

Grilled salmon with vegetables. Ever heard of it?

Cinnamon Skinny Pancakes

These crepe-like cinnamon skinnys served with caramelized cinnamon and fresh cream are straight up delicious. If they sound too sweet, opt for the Lemon Skinny’s with lemon butter and fresh berries instead.

Bacon Loretta

An ode to Evanston’s famous Sarkis, the epitome of a greasy spoon. Bacon, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and mayo, all on a French roll. Pro tip is to obviously add a fried egg. Not the original, but it’s a nice substitute.

Featured in

.
The Best Bottomless Brunches In Chicago guide image
Guide
The Best Bottomless Brunches In Chicago

When your one and only weekend plan involves drinking copious amounts of prosecco.

8 Saint Patrick’s Day Specials For Takeout & Delivery guide image
Guide
8 Saint Patrick’s Day Specials For Takeout & Delivery

Eight ways to celebrate if you don’t want to go out.

Chicago's Bottomless Brunches With Outdoor Seating guide image
Guide
Chicago's Bottomless Brunches With Outdoor Seating

Sometimes you want to drink mimosas on a patio.

The Chicago Brunch Directory guide image
Guide
The Chicago Brunch Directory

The best brunch places in Chicago, all in one place.

Suggested Reading

.
Riccardo Trattoria review image
8.0
Review
Riccardo Trattoria

Riccardo Trattoria is a great Italian restaurant in Lincoln Park.

Luxbar review image
Review
Luxbar

Casual dining in Viagra Triangle, the See And Be Seen capital of Chicago.

Shaman review image
Review
Shaman

Shaman is a small plates Mexican BYOB spot from the same people who brought you Chilam Balam, and it's one of the better BYOB restaurants around.

Fulton Market Kitchen review image
Review
Fulton Market Kitchen

Fulton Market Kitchen is an awesome art gallery. Awesome restaurant, it is not.