CHIReview

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Middle Brow Bungalow review image
7.9

Middle Brow Bungalow

$$$$

2840 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

In a city full of approximately 67,946 brewpubs, not including the suburbs, Middle Brow Bungalow stands out. Instead of being a dark bar with burgers, pretzels, and bacon-fat everything, it’s light and bright, serving fresh-baked bread and pizza. It feels more like a non-obnoxious version of your friend’s wedding vision board than a typical Chicago brewpub, and being here is like hanging out at a casual DIY wedding reception done right.

If you’ve ever visited Pinterest, you have a good idea of what Middle Brow Bungalow looks and feels like. The space features refurbished furniture, an old piano, plants in birdcages, and a communal picnic table topped with tea lights in glass votives. Unlike your cousin’s wedding in a cow pasture that’s 45 minutes away from the nearest hotel, this spot is both charming and comfortable. And the food here is actually enjoyable (and not ham-and-cheese pinwheels slowly expiring on a buffet table).

Middle Brow, unlike most brew pubs, is open all day and has a short menu of housemade bread in addition to pizzas and beer. For breakfast, you can get a variety of toasts like turmeric milk jam with cream cheese, sugar and spice, or pecan butter with honey. The bread ranges from whole grain to rye to country loaf, and all of it is crusty, soft, and flavorful. It’s exactly what you want it to be, and the toasts make for an easy, straightforward breakfast.

While relaxing here in the morning is nice, our favorite time to visit is with friends over some pizzas, which have a delicious and chewy hand-tossed crust with a puffy, bubbled edge. There isn’t a huge variety to choose from, but the best ones are the margherita (you can add pepperoni if you want) and the sausage. Both have just the right amount of fresh mozzarella and a slightly sweet tomato sauce we really like.

Middle Brow Bungalow review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Like a friend doing you a “favor” by moonlighting as an amateur wedding caterer, some of the more creative attempts on this menu don’t go so well. The mushroom pizza with fontina and caramelized onions is occasionally soggy, and the seasonal pizzas can be inconsistent (like an overly acidic butternut squash). But all of Middle Brow’s beers go well with whatever pizza you get—they have a wide-ranging selection, including some Belgian and European styles you don’t see that often. And even if you don’t like your pizza, you’ll probably still have a good time.

DIY wedding operations are tricky. They can be very cute, but all the sunflower-filled mason jars in the world won’t make bad homebrew taste better, and no amount of rustic charm will change the fact that the barn venue doesn’t have a bathroom. Handled correctly, though, they can be likable, charming, and fun. That’s the case at Middle Brow Bungalow, and being here is something you’ll want to RSVP “yes” to.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation right in your inbox.


By signing up, I agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Food Rundown

Middle Brow Bungalow review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Margherita Pizza

This is, hands down, our favorite pizza here. It uses great ingredients (fresh mozzarella and high-quality meat) and has just the right amount of slightly sweet sauce so the delicious crust shines through.

Sausage Pizza

The sausage pizza has the same sauce as the margherita, so your preference between the two will be based on your love of sausage. But just to be safe, you should probably get both.

Middle Brow Bungalow review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Mushroom Pizza

From a flavor standpoint, this pizza is great. But the crust doesn’t hold up to all the fontina cheese, mushrooms, and too-large pieces of caramelized onions.

Middle Brow Bungalow review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Seasonal Pizza

If you like playing pizza roulette, get the seasonal pizza. They range from butternut squash and calabrian chili to asparagus to roasted and pickled ramps. We haven’t found one we were really impressed with, but you might. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Middle Brow Bungalow review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Toast

This place has outstanding bread, which thankfully you can also buy in loaves. Order the pecan butter and honey on whole grain for breakfast, and get some of the country white for the table with your pizza - it comes with plenty of house-cultured butter that’s 100% acceptable to spread on your pizza crust.

Salad

Yes, they have a salad here, and it’s the sort of salad you’d make after going wild at Whole Foods and getting a hold of some daikon and high-quality red oak lettuce, then remembering you don’t own a salad spinner. The lettuce leaves are big, the citrus vinaigrette is tasty, and the whole thing is wet. Skip it.

Featured in

Where To Have An Affordable Group Dinner In Chicago guide image
Guide
Where To Have An Affordable Group Dinner In Chicago

Check out these spots when you want to go out with your friends, but don’t want to spend a lot of money.

The Best Happy Hours In Chicago guide image
Guide
The Best Happy Hours In Chicago

17 spots to get discounted food and drinks.

Where To Eat With A Third-Tier Friend guide image
Guide
Where To Eat With A Third-Tier Friend

When you somehow rope yourself into dinner with a friend you don’t see too often, use this list.

The Best Tavern-Style Pizza In Chicago guide image
Guide
The Best Tavern-Style Pizza In Chicago

Our favorite spots for tavern-style pizza in the city.

Suggested Reading

Revolution Brewing review image
Review
Revolution Brewing

Revolution Brewery is a brew pub in Logan Square that has great food and beer.

Band Of Bohemia review image
Review
Band Of Bohemia

Band Of Bohemia is an upscale restaurant and brewery in Ravenswood.

Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen review image
Review
Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen

Ballast Point is a brewpub in the West Loop that has great bar food and is good for watching sports.

Piece Brewery and Pizzeria review image
7.9
Review
Piece Brewery and Pizzeria

Piece Pizzeria is serving New Haven Style pizzas, and it’s the ideal spot to hang out over pizza and beer with your friends.

Infatuation Logo
2023 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.

FIND PLACES ON OUR APP

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store