Bow & Stern Oyster Bar
Bow & Stern Oyster Bar

Bow & Stern Oyster Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://bowandsternoysterbar.com/
  • Phone: (312) 988-0644
  • Hours of Operation:
    Tuesday - Thursday 5pm to 1am (kitchen closes at 10pm).
    Friday 5pm to 1am (kitchen closes at 11pm).
    Saturday 10am to 3pm (brunch). 5pm to 1am (kitchen closes at 11pm)
    Sunday 10am to 3pm (brunch). 5pm to 12am (kitchen closes at 10pm)
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, American
  • Executive Chef: Brian Greene
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Noble Street
  • Public Transit: Bus stop in front and 2 blocks west from the Chicago Ave Blue Line stop.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: We have valet on Friday and Saturday nights.
A word from Bow & Stern Oyster Bar
Bow & Stern Oyster Bar presents the bustling West Town neighborhood with an unprecedented dining experience. The raw bar and seafood-centric restaurant promotes a fishing and farm-to-table kitchen, helmed by executive chef Brian Greene. Oysters are the star here year-round, with 6 to 12 varieties offered daily, as well as menu specialties ranging from tuna tartar, Cioppino, and crispy whole fish; to pork belly scallops, rock lobster & grilled wagyu sirloin and a Bow burger. The extensive bar at Bow & Stern showcases Midwestern brewers, straightforward wines (hand-selected to pair), and seasonal craft cocktails. With its warm wooded fixtures, exposed brick walls, and nautical blue & grey color scheme, the understated eatery radiates a laid-back, “boathouse” feel where great food and good times naturally flow together.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Bow & Stern Oyster Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
109 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (68)fit for foodies (60)good for groups (44)special occasion (27)hot spot (21)romantic (20)great for brunch (18)vibrant bar scene (17)notable wine list (15)great for lunch (7)kid-friendly (4)great for outdoor dining (3)late-night find (3)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Wonderful for Oysters
    squidVIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Our dining group stumbled on this restaurant because of the oysters. They had a wide selection and they were very fresh and delicious. The dinner offerings were also very good. One of our party ordered just the burger and he said it was one of the best burgers he has ever had due to the fresh combination of condiments.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Some of the best oysters in town!
    dovely26
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    One phrase: Burrata and Chips! We ordered as an appetizer but I could have easily eaten the whole thing myself. The oysters are also awesome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Too much.
    FirsttimeVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The Chef has too much going on with each dish. Simplify and eliminate some ingredients.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent in Every Way
    FooddocVIP
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Starting with the amazing oysters from both coasts ($1.25 each if you go early on Tuesdays), the appetizers and entrees are simply wonderful. We had a birthday dinner for 5, and service was perfect, as was the comped birhday cake! The wine list is undergoing revision, so everthing was half-price on Tuesday until it ran out; it promises to be even better when reconstructed! We shared tuna tartare, grilled octopus, and fried shrimp appetizers (besides more oysters) and each was better than the next. Fresh salmon, halibut and cobia, not to mention lobster tail were our main courses, and every bite was fantastic. Preparation and accompaniments were ideal. The bonus was watching the Hawks on the bar TV! A terrfic place; will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • To-die-for delicious Brunch
    FoodisLove4Foodie
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Loved brightly lit atrium for Sunday brunch, enjoyed mimosas (OJ could have been sweeter), BEST crab cake ever w/poached egg & small salad ~SO outstanding we ordered 2cd one! The aioli was the most delicious ever! We also enjoyed blueberry oreo pancakes w/sides of strawberry cream cheese & maple syrup toppings (supposed to have gran marnier strawberry sauce-they didn't bring but we liked other). Pancakes should have been hotter but were still yummy, not too sweet~we LOVED them! Spotty service: missing a topping, waters not filled, but eventually brought a water carafe which we love, waitress bit slow when they weren't full yet still, we LOVED the food & atmosphere so much that we're returning my birthday dinner w/a party of 10 this week! :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • DELISH
    Flowergirl
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Yummy food, great and friendly staff. The most fresh and delicious seafood ever. Great atmosphere. A must go for a special occation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bow & curtsy for Bow & Stern
    snowflakeVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    We love Bow & Stern - such a gem, hope it's around for a long time! Our fave apps are the salmon tartare, the octopus, the special autumn salad, and of course oysters. The scallop and short rib, and the halibut are two terrific entrees. Portions are good, wine options are plentiful. The decor is great, fisherman warf and Cape Cod, but upscale. Would be a great place for a wedding rehearsal dinner, by the way.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gourmet seafood!
    megakitty
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    We went for an earlier dinner after work and we ended up arriving for the happy hour, which included all their raw oysters for $1 each (ordered only in sets of 3), and some drink specials as well. We were pleasantly surprised, and ordered a ton of oysters! Then, we ordered a salad and 2 appetizers to complete the meal. The salad was the burrata & chips which was delicious fried kale with cheese and other vegetables, including oyster mushrooms. It was fantastic. Then we had the crispy laughing bird shrimp, which was breaded shrimp in almost a sweet & sour sauce. Last we got the mussels, which besides the menu sauce, there were 3 other sauces on special so we had the curry sauce and THAT is a can't-miss dish! Overall, the food was great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unpretentious, but serious
    abcdVIP
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    about their food and drinks. An excellent choice for a dinner whether for business or a date.
    Special Features:
    romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My visit
    Kimm
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Oyster selection was good Servong size was 3 which allowed you to try multiple kinds Fush dishes were good had a variety of types.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • seafood
    DisappointedVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    if you like seafood it was good. It does not have many options for non seafood lovers. It has moderate noise so it was easy to talk and chat. The drinks were good too.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Celebratory Dinner.
    NotMadeOfMoneyLove2Eat
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Went here to celebrate my mom and husband's birthdays. We had a lovely time. The food was delicious. The menu is pretty pricey, so we definitely won't be coming back for just a casual meal, but it was just perfect for a celebratory dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oysters!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    They have some of the best oysters you can find in Chicago and during the week they are a buck apiece. I've had several dishes there and all were fantastic. The food is fresh and well-prepared but kept more on the simple side. The flavors are not overbearing and the menu is interesting but not way out there. It's a relaxed environment and the people who work there are really nice also. Highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • $1 Oysters!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    The $1 oyster special during Happy Hour can't be beat and the variety is amazing. We also ordered a side of French fries which our waitress accidentally forgot to ring in, so she brought us a big salad for our group to share "on the house". We'll definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious-a first rate meal
    LuvfreshandlightVIP
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Most enjoyable "find". Along side a fabulous selection of oysters are creative, fresh and well prepared starters. The grilled octopus is outstanding....while I often stick to oysters and a couple of starters for my meal, I save room for one of the delicious entrees!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food, not a great waitress
    grac
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Many of the items we ordered had run out for the evening. We had a 7:30 reservation so it was not late. This was frustrating. Also, our waitress was all over the place and not focused. The halibut fish though was awesome and the cocktails were strong.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Would go again
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Hard to choose from the awesome menu. Our waitress was very knowledgable and great with recommendations. We each got a different entree and shared not a bad choice was made
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Oysters were great!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Everything else was more or less mediocre. We were really disappointed because we were excited to try a new place.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • New and Hidden
    BJLEE
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Found on Groupon and chosen because of the extensive oyster choices. However, we found it difficult to locate. It is a bit hidden in a neighborhood which is obviously not noted for restaurants. Reserving for an early table, we found it wonderfully quiet and with the windows removed in the beautiful weather, very, very pleasant dining. Lots of oyster choices from both the East coast and West coast. Service attentive, pleasant and helpful. Recently scheduled Sat. and Sun Brunch, which we will definitely try at another time.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food spoiled by bad service
    TPapi
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    This was our 2nd time at Bow and Stern and again the food was wonderful. I fully recommend the whole fish, perfectly done with a fabulous sauce and vegetables that was a feast for 2. BUT. Our waitress had no clue about the menu and while attentive at first disappeared once we were served. We told her up front that we wanted to end our evening with oysters from the late happy hour and had a Living Social deal. Our LS coupon would pay for dinner and the oysters would be separate, but when it came time to pay our bill suddenly that wouldn't work so we could either pay double for oysters or not use our LS coupon. The whole thing left a bad taste in our mouths & there are better seafood restaurants in Chicago that treat their customers right.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Pearl of an Evening
    Helnwheels
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Delicious food (had the appetizer of kale, sun choke, etc chips with burrata ..... YUM! lobster roll and the salmon entree-all wonderfully scrumptious) , great vibe and wonderful service (friendly, helpful and attentive without being intrusive)! Will definitely be back soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oyster lover heaven
    Larry800
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Would definitely return to sample more of the terrific oyster selection, esp @ happy hour 5-7 prices. Mussels had an interesting prep; crabcake among the city's best; and presentation was above average. Two bar areas with good booth seating but for a romantic night out, select the rear banquette and table area. The wine list is well priced and varied.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food, Terrible Service
    DisappointedVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    I was very excited to finally try out this place. The food was great but the service was very disappointing. I asked for non CA dry white recommendation and was told that all white wines available by the glass are dry. I went with the recommendation and it wasn't dry. It was obvious she wasn't familiar with the wine list. One person in our group ordered the famous pork belly and scallops. About the time we should be getting our food, the waitress came to tell us that they are out of scallops. We had to change our orders, resulting another 20 to 30 min to get the new entree. When we never got the wine menu we asked for during our meal. Overall the service quality was less than average and we were disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bow & Stern is great!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Bow & Stern lived up to the hype! The oysters were delicious and fresh. The mussels were some of the best we've ever had. Both of our entrees were fantastic. We really enjoyed the service we received from Jasmine as well. She was attentive without being intrusive, which is pretty rare. The dulce le leche was to die for, and they were kind enough to comp it as it was my wife's birthday! What a treat!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So interesting & delicious
    CindyWit
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Went to Bow & Stern on a Living Social coupon....and then forgot the coupon at home!! Then management was so helpful in looking up our info and trying to find our coupon.....evenetually we got my nephew to read the number off the coupon at home email. Thank goodness we finally got in...because it was well worth the experience. We had appetizers that were phenominal!! Crispy shrimp and crab cake--delicious and tasty!! Plus even a few oysters---which were so good--like to come back when you have your Thurs nught specials to taste different kinds! Dinner was exceptional---scallops and belly and the fabulous burger!! And to top it off we had dessert!! Panna cotta and Dulce de Luce caramel cake---on a whole totally FABULOUS!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • So good!
    EmilyVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Came with my boyfriend for a date night on a Friday. Easy to get a reservation and we were sat right away. The oysters were amazing and the wine was delicious. I do not recommend the shrimp cocktail though. I had the pork belly and scallops and they were fantastic! Great place, we'll definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    I had a fantastic dining experience here. Will absolutely be going back! Food was great, atmosphere was amazing, wine was the cherry on the top!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A nice find!
    Mereleven
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We arrived for an early dinner on a Saturday and the restaurant was quite quiet. We were seated in a comfortable large booth, which was appreciated even though there were only two of us. The service was friendly and informative. We enjoyed our drinks, oysters, appetizers, and meal. I will go back to Bow and Stern!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Crawfish Disappointment
    ppdavis12
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Went to Bow & Stern for the first time specifically for the All-you-can-eat-Crawfish Boil. After one small bowl of crawfish, our server told us they ran out, which was hugely disappointing. The brass band that was playing was great, as well as the oysters that we ended up ordering instead. Note to manager--if you are going to have all you can eat crawfish, order at least 500 lbs. I order 100 lbs just for a crawfish boil at my house. Also, don't charge $30 for one bowl of crawfish when the promise was all you can eat for $30.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • pricy loud and not so tasty
    Chris
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We went the Cray Fish all you can eat event. It rurned out pretty pricy and not so tasty. And band are sooooo loud. We can barely hear each other talking. We paid $55 per person for just 3 plates of cray fish, corns, and potato . Will not come back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great place for tasty fish
    Alice
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We went to Bow and Stern with a living social coupon and were very very pleased. We were seated in the back room which has a glass roof. It was super loud so we moved to the bar. The bar tender had great suggestions. We got the burrata and chips which is just amazing. Brussels sprouts and mushrooms and kale crisped up to make chips! It is genius what they do there. Then we got the shrimp cocktail which has smoked tomato dipping sauce, a little different but still scrumptious. For the main course we had the halibut with snap peas and pesto and sun choke purée. Yum. I would definitely recommend this place for a fun dinner. If you're going for a date, ask to not be seated in the back room because you'll have to yell at eachother.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New menu is very disappointing
    Food
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    My fiancé and I used to love this place because of the amazing salmon and mussels dishes. They recently re-vamped their menu and those items are gone. We figured with our very positive experience that the new dishes would be just as great. Unfortunately it was not that great. In fact, we are not going back until they change their menu to something else. Not appealing. Still really like the place and would go again with new menu items.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • $1 oyster happy hour is $1.25
    CJDiningVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    It's misleading to say you have oysters for $1 when the cost is actually $1.25, but $1.25 is still a decent price for oysters in Chicago. We also had the lobster roll which was good and is served with some truly decadent french fries. I prefer not to eat deep fried foods and wish they would offer something in place of the fries.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • wonderful!
    cwlw
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Oysters were outstanding and the halibut was perfection! We really enjoyed the entire meal and the service was helpful and attentive. Disappointed that the first wine we chose - an excellent Sancerre - was out of stock and we only managed to get one glass. But, the wine list had a very good range and we quickly found a perfect substitute. Not real busy for our 7:30 reservation. This place is a gem and we will be back for sure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved it!!!!
    Carebear0323
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Really great experience. We ended up ordering several appetizers instead of a meal.. Highly recommend the Burrata appetizer and the baked oysters.. You must check it out!!!:)
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Bellini and Awesome Oysters
    JoeNgVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Brunch was slow on a Saturday morning but service was quick and food was excellent. The waitress was efficient and very friendly. The pulled pork hash was excellent and the Bellini was the best I've had
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great ambiance!
    FoodieByDefault
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I've been here for brunch and now dinner and both times I enjoyed the food, drinks, atmosphere, and service.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food.
    Nightowl11
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Three of us had dinner; everything was excellent - appetizers, salad, entrees. The crispy fish, which 2 us shared (2 lbs.,market price), was exceptional. And the extras - side vegetables, potatoes and sauces with the entrees were all perfect. There wasn't a basic green salad on the menu, but when we asked, the kitchen made one that was just right. The bar had my favorite aperitif, Lillet, which is rare excerpting a French restaurant. I want to go back soon. The AC in the atrium room, off the bar, was too high; they turned it down. We sat there because the dining areas in the front are both across from a bar, each with 2 large TV screens. This is a minus in a nice restaurants; if we wanted to go to a sports bar, we would have.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food but very small portions
    foodiequeen
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Had dinner there with a few friends recently. When we walked in I immediately noticed the nice ambience and bar area they had so I was excited to check out the food options. The menu was pretty straightforward and everything sounded yummy. I'm a big foodie so I love trying new menus around town. They special made some delicious sangria for us and that was unfortunately the highlight of the meal. While everything was fresh and tasted good, the portion sizes were ridiculously small for the prices. I ordered the Alaskan Halibut and it was served on a bed of snow peas but was probably only about 3oz of fish. I had never been given such a small portion of fish before. Needless to say I was still starving after leaving the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food and service!
    CatieVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Had never been before and so glad we went. The cocktails were delicious. Oysters are their specialty and are a must order. Dessert also melts in your mouth. Hannah was our server and she is fantastic!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.