Our favorite late-night eats in Chicago

By Nicole Bruce


Summer in Chicago comes and goes as quickly as an amuse bouche at Alinea—you might say it’s just that good—so it’s important to savor every last second of it, even if that means savoring well into the evening. Thankfully, a handful of restaurants and bars are on the case, outfitting their menus with late night eats to carry guests through the revelry and back into reality—when the alarm clock tolls five hours later. From the done-up dishes to the diner fare reliables, here are eight of Chicago’s best late night options out there now.

Post-concert plates at Chop Shop
Just footsteps away from the bustling six corners in Bucktown, this butcher shop-meets-restaurant-meets-concert venue covers it all. That comes in handy especially in the early morning hours after a long Saturday night, when bites like crab cakes, sriracha chicken burgers, and Parma prosciutto–wrapped burrata are available until 3 am.

Nightcaps and comfort food at The Bar & Table at CH Distillery
This West Loop distillery only serves its own house-made spirits, which chef Pablo Madrigal also incorporates as key ingredients in several of his dishes. The ancho whiskey duck tacos, for example, uses ancho chile–infused CH Whiskey and pickled beets. The late night menu is rounded out with more comfort food fixes, like three-cheese macaroni and grilled cheese on sourdough.

Fried decadence at The Purple Pig
This Mag Mile–situated restaurant prides itself on all things “wine and swine,” from pork blade steak to a “JLT,” with pork jowl, frisée, and pesto aïoli. Late night diners (The Purple Pig serves until 2 a.m. on weekends) are in luck with the menu’s many fried items, too, be it chorizo-stuffed olives, pig’s ear with pickled cherry peppers, or pork fried almonds.

Classed up sharing plates at Presidio
Last call has never looked better than it does at this Bucktown bar and restaurant, where a late night menu cuts no corners with a handful of 7 p.m.–worthy options. Between foie gras mousse with red wine fig preserves, steak tartare, and house-made cavatelli with sausage, you’d be hard-pressed to remember that it’s way past dinnertime.

Nostalgic noshing at Saved by the Max
It’s all about kitsch and quirk at this recently opened Wicker Park pop-up, which serves as a replica of the hangout in Saved by the Bell. An amended late night menu from chef Brian Fisher features spruced up diner fare with names inspired by the ‘90s cast, from AC’s Supersized Slider to Mr. Tuttle’s Float.

Chicken ‘round the clock at Fox Bar
Located just above Soho House’s lobby level and complete with weekly vinyl DJs, this cozy cocktail bar is open to all and ripe for after-hours entertaining. Dishes from neighboring Chicken & Farm Shop, such as chicken nuggets, crinkle cut fries, and a fried chicken sandwich, only make the task that much easier.

After hours Anglo-Indian at Pub Royale
Break the chain of post-bar pizza and tacos with a visit to this Wicker Park hot spot, which showcases a modern take on British and Indian fare. Samosas, gobi Manchurian, and lamb dumplings are just a few ways to balance out a mango lassi, the pub’s most ordered (and potentially most boozy) tipple.

Night owl notables at Celeste
This late night River North bar serves up innovative drams well into the wee hours, and its food menu follows suit. A post-dinner menu is on offer until 3 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, covering your cravings for bacon-topped burgers and beet salads alike.

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