Powered By OpenTable: Restaurant Reservations. Right this way.
Restaurant Reservations - Free • Instant • Confirmed
  • Bow & Stern Oyster Bar

  • Online Reservations

Bow & Stern Oyster Bar
Bow & Stern Oyster Bar

Bow & Stern Oyster Bar Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://bowandsternoysterbar.com
  • Phone: (312) 988-0644
  • Hours of Operation: Tuesday - Sunday 5pm to 2 am.
    Starting Sunday Oct 9 we are doing Brunch from 11am to 3pm and than every Saturday and Sunday after that.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Seafood
  • 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 >
Diner Reviews
  • "In comparison to other seafood restaurants, the menu is limited. Perhaps this is because of the "farm to table" approach, but you should be prepared for that. The food is inventive and nicely presented. The staff is well-trained. Yet, I join those who say the restaurant is not worth the price-point."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "So, the service was slow and indifferent, wife ordered halibut, but the trout and server didn't have a clue. When the halibut plate finally arrived, the food was good, but kinda sad it took an effort to realize the order was wrong. I had to call over a waitress that was polishing wine glasses just to get the 1st drink order. Sorry to say, I'll not come back until something changes...(management or wait staff)."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Let me start by saying that the food freshness, flavors, and presentations were excellent. The service was attentive and thoughtful. The problem was that we left hungry because the portions are small vs the price. Also, we thought it was odd that they did not serve any bread at the table. A place of this caliber should have artisan breads set out. Odd thing was, after the dinner we walked over to a local wine bar across the street. Another couple came in that had sat near us at the Bow & Stern, and ordered a meat/cheese/bread plate at the wine bar because they were still hungry as well! We felt a little better knowing it just wasn't us. So I wouldn't recommend Bow and Stern based on meal value alone, but excellent otherwise."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Worst service I have EVER had in Chicago. Totally ignored by waitress, but she was always checking on the neighboring table & it wasn't that busy."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "really good food, nice small portions so you don't get too stuffed"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Food was good and creative but the prices were a little steep for a neighborhood restaurant. Host staff could have been more attentive. We did not arrive all at once so we sat at the bar directly across from hostess stand, not once did the hostess check with us to see if our party was there or tell us that the dinning room was filling up and we were In danger of loosing our table. If I had not gone to them an hour or more after our reservation time and let them know that we were all present and would like to be seated; and had been there for 45 min. we would not have been seated. As it was we then had to have a table in the bar I think when you eat at a restaurant and you pay $185 per couple for dinner you should get better service."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Food and service were great. Thursday night is a live band, so a bit loud for a date, but otherwise it was great."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "I thought the food was overpriced - very good but tooooooo expensive for what you received. Also, TOO LOUD. Was difficult to hear 3 other people around the table. Again, I thought the food was good but pricey. not worth it."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "I've been to Bow & Stern before and had perfect service and food. The oyster options are amazing and the lobster is delicious. Don't leave without trying the peanut butter pie! The only problem we had was that our reservation was at 9pm and we weren't seated until 9:40. The kitchen closes at 10pm so we were worried we would be rushed, but they stayed open late. It is very busy there on weekend nights. The best time to go is around 5pm on a Sunday I've discovered."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "An oyster bar in Noble Square with nice ambiance and warm atmosphere. Some interesting and eclectic seafood and veggie dishes. Oyster selection included 4-5 types from East Coast and West Coast. The bad part was that the oysters came at the end of the meal after we had finished appetizers and all of the entrees. Prices a little high for the portions and types of offerings."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "The oysters were all great and really fresh (they had 9 varieties the night we visited, and we tried them all), but service was extremely poor. Our first round of oysters took 30 minutes to arrive at the table (we hadn't ordered anything else at that point), and then the second time we ordered oysters, they also took forever. I had to remind our server. We also had the salmon tartare, which was good, but had a little too much soy sauce. (Not sure why there are so many Asian-influenced things on the menu—the mignonette was a wasabi-ginger, and good, but a little overpowering). Got a grilled romaine salad, meh. If you're going to grill romaine, put the whole head on the grill, not each leaf. And skip the smoked cocktail sauce—TOO smoky."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "In a very unexpected twist, there was a two piece acoustic band playing some bluesy style music the night we were there. We sat under the gorgeous glass roof and it was a bit quieter than the bar. I don't know if it was the music, the sky, the oysters or the delicious cocktails but it was a surprisingly sexy dinner. Oyster happy hour before 7 was a bonus!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Really enjoyed this restaurant. The oysters were fresh and excellent. The entrees were interesting and delicious. From the steak and lobster, porkbellies and scallops, the clams, mussels and prawns in a nice light tomato broth, all were excellent. Took my family for my wife's birthday and all had a great meal."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "I really loved the atmosphere at Bow & Stern. The oysters were delicious but the entree I ordered was just ok. For the price I thought it should have been something a little more special."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Had a surprisingly good meal at Bow & Stern. Oysters were tasty although a bit pricey. The two highlights were the fried whole fish and the homemade key like pie. Both amazing! Good service, a little challenged on timing but they worked it out. Would definately return."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "So excited to have found a new oyster bar in Chicago! I purchased a $20 for $40 Groupon deal -- made a reservation for a Thursday night with no problem. My partner and I ordered two rounds of oysters, and split the crab cake and cioppino. The oysters were perfectly cleaned and had a great meaty, salty flavor. I definitely recommend asking for their house horseradish, it added a great kick! There were so many good items on the menu that it made it hard to pick just one entree. Make sure to ask for extra bread with the cioppino, the sauce was delicious. Next time I want to try the lobster or trout. They offered a lot of great beers on tap and seasonal cocktails. PLUS they have live music on Thursdays!"
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Had a lot of great selections for oysters. Wine and beer selection were quiet extensive. We had laughing bird shrimp and burrata and chips both were delicious. Can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "My husband and I visited this past Friday and we were not disappointed in the food. We split a dozen oysters from the extensive list, both East and West Coast, and he ordered a bowl of the Salmon chowder (more of a bisque) and then we ate the mussels. Although I generally tend to prefer mussels done in the French method (white wine, lemon) this was a tomato broth (not usually my favorite) with a nice kick to it. And the mussels were enormous! I can't wait to return to try some of the other items. My only disappointment was the wine list. Everything on it is dry and I prefer sweeter wines. I'm not sure if a dryer wine pairs better with oysters and fish, but my palate isn't that sophisticated."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "We really liked our experience. Every aspect was above our expectations. Oysters were so fresh and shucked right before eating. Every dish was extremely fresh. Service was dead on. Expertise was great but very friendly."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Refreshing to have a seafood restaurant in Noble square!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Had a great dinner on a Tuesday night! Restaurant was quiet, but it was a Tuesday night and a snow storm outside. Salmon and Tuna entree's were awesome as well as our starters: Salmon and the Grilled Romaine. We are going back!"
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "Came on a very busy Fri night. We started w/ a dozen oysters; smoked cocktail sauce & wasabi mignonette were great accompaniments. Next, shared the Sturgeon; had wonderful meaty texture & flavor. Then the mussels-a MUST-get; broth has a unique smokey flavor from roasted tomatoes & mescal w/ a perfect amount of heat. The molten dulce de leche-loved it. made from scratch w/ a savory caramel sauce paired w/ sour cream ice cream. Service was good. Bussers & food runners very attentive & non-intrusive. Bar scene is great, too; have been in a couple times to enjoy a light meal and some drinks @ bar. Bartenders are great-you can catch a game while not sacrificing good food & drinks. Definitely will be back especially once the temperature rises."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "spotty service...took too long for server to acknowledge us...15 mins? then our appetizer arrived before our drinks and our meal arrived before oyster appetizer...however, staff comped the oysters and threw in a complimentary paired wine (short pour) for the 4 of us so all was forgotten...great oysters, best snapper on the planet, delicious peanut butter cheesecake...notwithstanding slow service, our waiter was knowledgeable, friendly and addressed our concerns...all in all, would recommend"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Those 3 words are...Wow, wow, and wow! It was Valentine's Day weekend, decided to treat the significant other to a tasty meal. I had looked at 3-4 other restaurants before landing ashore at Bow & Stern Oyster Bar. For the entrée, I ordered the Maple Jalapeno Glazed Salmon, the other half ordered the Cioppino. The salmon was poached perfectly, then seared for texture and flavor. The glaze was a subtle maple flavor w/slight touch of jalapeno heat. The star of the show was that Cioppino. I snitched a taste. Sizeable pieces of seafood/shellfish, but that sauce!! The other half wiped up every last bit of the dish with the crusty bread that came with. Tara was our fantastic server-just as excited about the food. MUST HAVE THE KEY LIME PIE!!!!"
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "My wife and I went to Bow and Stern for Valentine's Day. It is fairly new in our neighborhood and we both love oysters. They had a special for $40 that included two flutes of champagne and a dozen oysters. The service was excellent. The food was great. It took a little longer than we would have liked for our entries so they comped my wife's second glass of champagne. My wife has the pork chop which was very good. I had the jalapeno maple glazed salmon which was outstanding. We're going back to sample more from the menu although the next time, we might just sit at the bar and eat oysters and appetizers."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "First time visit. The fish and seafood was super fresh and well prepared. Service was great. Drinks were done well and the wine list was reasonably priced. Will be returning!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I cannot tell you how disappointing the place was- from start to finish. I would like to say that the amazing food could make up for all of the service issues. But the food was good not great. We will not be back. With all of the new amazing restaurants in this city creating fierce competition for incredible food and impeccable service- this place won't last."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I live in Westtown so I was really hoping that this would be a great new addition to the neighborhood. The atmosphere is great. It is exactly what you'd hope an oyster/fancier-than-a-bar restaurant would be. The greeting staff was very friendly and our table was ready when we arrived and our server was friendly as well. Unfortunately, she wasn't as attentive as we'd hoped and she forgot a few things. The biggest issue was the food. We tried several appetizers and entrees and for all of it we just kept saying, eh it's okay but I wouldn't order it again. Unless they improve, I'd go back there for a drink at the bar but not for food."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The food from appetizer to dessert was excellent, but be forewarn that there r not kid friendly dishes."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Great selection of fresh oysters. All entrees were tasty though the oysters out-shined the other plates."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Yes, Bow and Stern has oysters, and very good ones, but it is not an Oyster Bar. It is a restaurant-bar combo, but oysters and clams and shrimp and clam chowder are not highly featured at the bar like in a REAL oyster bar. So go because it is a restaurant with pretty darn good food, and good service. Or go because you want to hang out at the bar and have a glass or two of wine. Appetisers are better than the entrees. Careful, the mussels are VERY tasty, but also, VERY spicy.....Desserts were passable, but not outstanding."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "I don't live far from Bow & Stern and was excited to visit. I took my girlfriend and I very much enjoyed the food. However, the service was not worth the almost two-hundred dollar bill. It was slow, and I'm pretty sure the waitress had some weird anti-social disorder. She shorted us on change when we paid and was genuinly awkward our entire meal. I'm interested in visiting again, but I am in no hurry."
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "Food took too long to get to the table. Other than that it was great. What a great time."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "The food was delicious. We went for restaurant week but didn't order a single dish of the restaurant week menu. Of the dishes we did order there were so many good ones - scallops, burrata, tartar, sturgeon, etc. all delicious. We didn't have room for desserts and I'm not upset about it. Everything was so good and filling! Our waitress was very descriptive and helpful when it came to making selections. And everything she recommended was to die for. A really nice place to try out if you are looking for seafood."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Lucky to have such a great restaurant open in my neighborhood. Food, service, cocktails and wine were top notch, without being stuffy and overpriced! A lot of healthy options too! New favorite and will go back again...and again."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Bow & Stern was absolutely outstanding!! Every dish was amazing!"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Tough place to get to if required to use the usual I don'tknow where that is taxi. Are at 5 fairly empty and get stuck in the high glass ceiling dining room. Used the candle to read the menu and stay warm. The braised pork was cooked well but the greens were not drained which allowed both scallops to swim in a puddle. The oyster selection is outstanding and I would only return for that if someone drove me there. Crab cake was claw meat. Any restaurant that calls itself seafood should serve only lump meat crab cakes"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "I chose this restaurant as one I would visit for restaurant week. I went with a friend, and between the two of is we ordered the oysters (east coast - most notable were the Chatham oysters, which were amazing) in the half shell. We ordered the ahi tuna and the crispy cale for appetizer. They serve a generous portion of both and we shared. Sooooo good. The ahi tuna was different and almost tasted like a ceviche.. But slightly different. We both chose the white fish for our main dish. Very tasty with capers and a creme sauce. We also ordered mussels for the table and those were great as well!! For dessert we had the peanut creme pie and the key lime. Both, I was told, were made in house. Great service and ambience. Try a cocktail!"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "I can't say enough good things. The food was fantastic, the service was knowledgeable & impeccable. There is a beautiful atrium style ceiling in part of the restaurant."
    Dined on 1/30/2014
  • "So happy that Bow and Stern opened. The food is great and the space is fun, warm and energetic. The price point is very reasonable and the food is well prepared and a delight. I'm so happy I don't have to trek all the way downtown for good oysters, outstanding seafood and great service. I'll be coming back again soon - for pork belly and that amazing peanut butter pie!"
    Dined on 1/30/2014