The Best Barbecue Dishes at Chicago Steakhouses
When it comes to meaty summer staples, steaks and barbecue are pretty tops. But they need not be mutually exclusive cravings. All over Chicago, steakhouses fuse the two by offering their own take on barbecue dishes and barbecue-inspired fare, be it ribs, brisket or even classic barbecue desserts. If you’re looking to really maximize your summer eating this season, here’s where to go and what to eat in Chicago.
Chicago Prime Steakhouse: Schaumburg's finest steakhouse is a destination for its myriad meaty creations, from brick chicken and steak Diane to tomahawk chops and surf & turf. The common ground shared by all of them is a knack for perfecting the classics. And this is certainly true of the restaurant's ribs, perfectly smoky and succulent, served as a full slab with a generous glaze of housemade barbecue sauce.
Tavern at the Park: Barbecue comfort food comes bite-sized at this Millennium Park mainstay, where one of the standout starters is barbecue-glazed wings. Punching up the summery flavors, these plump morsels are smoked over fruitwood after being rubbed with jerk spices, then they're served with cherry cola barbecue sauce for a bit of sweetness to balance out the heat.
Prime & Provisions: Bursting with sweet Americana, the dessert menu at Prime & Provisions reads like a laundry list of essentials for a quintessential summer cookout—albeit here the quality is discernibly more upscale. This includes that all-American staple, apple pie a la mode, along with banana cream pie, chocolate cake, even table side s’mores. Housemade ice cream is available by the scoop, too, available in flavors like double chocolate, mint chocolate chip and vanilla bean.
Tavern on Rush: This is one of those places with a little bit of everything, and something for everyone. That means along with an abundance of steaks, Tavern on Rush features grilled pork chops and pork baby back ribs, the latter available by the half or whole slab. Or you can go in a different direction and order tacos off the bar menu. With flavors like al pastor, carne asada and adobo chicken, there’s nothing more summery.
Gene & Georgetti: From cole slaw to sausage and peppers, much of the menus at Chicago’s oldest steakhouse look tailor-made for summer comfort food. There’s also crab cakes, key lime pie, broiled pork chops, onion rings, wedge salads and a boat load of other dishes, sides and sweets that would feel right at home at a barbecue.
STK: Burgers and barbecue go hand-in-hand; there’s really nothing more Americana, especially in the summertime. So now seems an apt time to shoutout STK’s (rightfully) famous Lil’ Brgs. These sliders are great for groups, great for sharing or even great for composing a mini meal if you’d rather not binge on something gigantic. They’re made with Wagyu beef patties, “special sauce,” and sesame seed buns. For added flourish, guests can supplement with truffles and/or foie gras.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse: This Gold Coast icon may be regarded primarily for its burly steaks, but with such a sprawling menu, you just know it’s filled with hidden gems. This is true of its baby back ribs, which are succulent, tender and finger-licking in all the right ways. Then on the lunch menu, there’s even fried chicken sandwiches with prosciutto (!) and lobster rolls served with french fries or shoestring potatoes.
Chicago Cut: In addition to a bevy of steaks, sandwiches, and chops served throughout the day, this riverside haunt features BBQ ribs on its dinner menu. They’re appropriately listed under the “Chicago Favorites” section, and they’re quite underrated in comparison to the other more popular menu picks.