The Loyalist review image

The Loyalist


175 N Ada St, Chicago
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

Loyalty is strong trait in a friend. A loyal friend is one who will be there for you when you need. Who will give shoulder to cry on. Who will pick you up when you’re drunk, crying, and can’t find your way home. Who will tell you to quit being an idiot when you are, in fact, being an idiot. Point is, loyalty is important, and that’s why we’re glad The Loyalist is a reliable place.

The Loyalist is one half of two restaurants that opened together. On the ground floor is Smyth, a fancy testing menu restaurant that costs a couple hundred dollars per person. And downstairs is The Loyalist, which is more of a bar atmosphere that serves quality cocktails and food. The dynamic makes The Loyalist feel like a high school basement party where you can have drinks and fun while the adults do fancy things upstairs.

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The mood here is very upscale bar. There are a few booths on the perimeter if you have a group of four or more, but the bar is a great place to sit and eat. A bit of the fancy tasting menu personality from upstairs creeps into The Loyalist menu, evident in pretty and meticulously plated dishes like roasted beet and avocado salad or a broiled trout that comes in a broth. You could go the appetizer and entree route for any meal, which will add up in price, but there’s also an alternative option - get the burger. Because the excellent burger is the best part of The Loyalist, and it’s the reason we’ll keep coming back.

The combo of both a somewhat sophisticated menu and a great burger makes The Loyalist good for any time you want cocktails and food in a nice but casual setting. That means whether it’s date night, friends night, or even grab a whiskey and burger solo night, The Loyalist is a perfect fit. That’s reliability right there, and w’ere glad we found a new friend.

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Food Rundown

The Loyalist review image


A thick, tasty biscuit comes with a side of n’duja butter and ramp honey. Honey and biscuits are delicious. Butter and biscuits are delicious. Sausage and biscuits are delicious. And what do you know, but if you put some sausage butter and honey on a biscuit, it’s delicious.

The Loyalist review image

Roasted Beet & Avocado Salad

A little bit of greens with roasted beets, avocado, and pumpkin seeds. The salad has great flavor, but we wish it was more of a real salad. It’s just a little bit of each ingredient sprinkled on a plate. Give us at least some more greens and we’d be ecstatic.

Grilled Squid

Grilled squid with sungold tomatoes and fresno chile. This dish isn’t bad but we would skip it here. No need.

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Smokey Potatoes

Smoked potatoes with kraut, mayo, cheese, and a sunny side up egg. It’s basically cheesy yolk covered french fries, except for the potatoes have been roasted instead. That makes them healthier, we think.


Roasted carrots with a sort of cream sauce on them. A tasty way to get some veggies involved.

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The Loyalist Cheeseburger

This is an excellent cheeseburger, and the biggest reason why the Loyalist is always a great option for food and drink. It’s a classic approach with plenty of gooey cheese, caramelized onions, and pickles. You’ll be happy with this burger and a beer any time.

Broiled Sea Trout

If you’re looking to experiment with a larger dish that’s not a hunk of meat, this broiled trout dish is really interesting and good. It’s not at all what you would expect. A piece of excellent trout comes in a sort of broth with charred and pickled cucumbers in the mix. Kind of strange, but we’re into it.

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