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Christina Slaton

The Bristol

Written by
Christina Slaton

We love a good Swiss Roll or Oatmeal Cream Pie. Pretty much anything from Little Debbie's kitchen is good by us. The problem is we always forget about her tasty treats. Then one day we’ll be wandering in the grocery store, and we'll randomly run into them on our way to buy something stupid like floss. At that point, we think, yes, Cosmic Brownies are exactly what we need. It’s cyclical. And for some reason, The Bristol manages to play the same kind of role in our lives - we forget about it for periods of time, and usually regret having done so.

Why do we forget about The Bristol? No good reason. Our best guess is because it’s not flashy, it’s not too big or too small, and it’s on the edge of Bucktown right off the highway. But those factors are also part of why we like The Bristol - it isn't trying to make a big statement. And when you pair those understated factors with some very tasty food, it makes for a great night.

The Bristol serves elevated American food, which means you need to expand your horizons if you can't find something that sounds appealing to eat here. There’s everything from salads to smoked white fish dips, a couple pastas, and typical mains like salmon or steak. It’s all meant to be shared, and we like to go heavy on the appetizers and pastas with only a main or two mixed in.

The design of The Bristol makes it best for small groups of two to six who are looking to go out for a quality meal and a couple of drinks. Whether that’s date night, couples date night, or dinner with a few friends is up to you. Just don’t bring people hard of hearing, because sound really bounces off the brick walls making it surprisingly loud.

We're never surprised by the fact we enjoy The Bristol. Now excuse us while we go stock up on Zebra Cakes.

Food Rundown

Cinnamon Roll

Brunch is a great time to try The Bristol, and a cinnamon roll with plenty of icing is a great item to start with if you do.

Smoked Ham Benedict

We also like the Benedict, one of the few brunch items that involves eggs. The mustard hollandaise is great, and potatoes are perfectly crispy.

Apple Salad

Apples and manchego cheese go great together in a salad, particularly over a watercress base.

Smoked Whitefish Dip

A typical smoked whitefish dip made even better with some horseradish mixed in and caviar on top.

Duck Fat Fries

A giant bowl of fries with garlic aioli and ketchup. They're crispy and addicting, so we suggest getting them to share.


A giant raviolo filled with ricotta, farm egg, and a brown butter sauce. Cheesy, buttery, and tasty. Beware you'll only get a few bites out of it.

Pappardelle Bolognese

Basic but well done. Add some grana padano and parsley to it and it's a simple and good pasta.

Amish Half Chicken

Good, even if not life changing. We do like the mustard dill spätzle that comes with it though.

Basque Cake

Top five dessert in the city, no joke. It's the staple here and you have to get it. It's a buttery cake with jam, blueberries, candied almonds, and homemade whipped cream. It might not sound or look like much, but it's amazing.

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