Bow & Stern Oyster Bar
Bow & Stern Oyster Bar

Bow & Stern Oyster Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://bowandsternoysterbar.com/
  • Phone: 3129880644x
  • 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.
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Bow & Stern Oyster Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
128 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4
    Service4
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (71)fit for foodies (63)good for groups (34)special occasion (34)romantic (24)vibrant bar scene (21)great for brunch (21)notable wine list (20)hot spot (16)great for lunch (8)great for outdoor dining (6)kid-friendly (5)scenic view (4)late-night find (4)Show More
  • 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.
  • $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
    JoeNg
    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.
  • Disappointed
    Foodie55
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Our waitress did not know her oysters - we took her recommendations on a couple of varieties & were disappointed because they were not as she described. She also had a bit of an attitude, spilling water & oyster shells on the floor as she removed them from our table & then "jokingly" blaming it on me. We were also dissapointed to find no other raw bar selections besides oysters - the menu was very limited. The Tuna Tartar appetizer was good, as was the Peanutbutter Pie, but we are not likely to go back since there are many other raw bars in Chicago that we've had way better experiences with.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Beautiful space, quality food
    HolidayDining
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Superb food and a wonderful atmosphere to dine in. Staff excellent too, very welcoming.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great new find
    askpegVIP
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Taken by a friend on an exploring adventure, we were thrilled with our find. Lovely food, people, and ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Experience
    SundaySteve
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Highly recommend the pork belly/scallop and Alaskan Halibut entrees. We were celebrating our anniversary and the staff went out of their way to make our day special. Definitely coming back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Chet
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Uneven quality to food and drinks. Good rye manhattan; unable to make ginger vodka martini. Skimpy appetizer that is trademark, mushroom and snail dish and needs more pizzazz; salad a salad. Lobster dish good; fish average - skimpy portion not done with any imagination and vegetables that were sparse and boring. Wines good and pricey. Dessert good - lemon - and not necessary, cherry dish. Service attentive and somewhat obsequious.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Seafood & Service
    kbartnic
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Our waitress was outstanding, explaining in perfect detail the varied menu offerings for our larger group of six. VERY knowledgeable about the wine list, oysters, and specials of the day. Everyone was impressed with the presentation and portions of their dinners. Many dishes were ideal to share, which is how I'd recommend dining with a larger group. With a seasonal menu and daily fresh oyster selections, Bow & Stern is definitely a neighborhood gem that you can visit regularly and never tire of the selection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Pricey Tuesday Happy Hour
    BettieSVIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    We went for the Tuesday 5 -7 half price oysters and wine. Enjoyed a dozen oysters (lovely and fresh), the salmon tartar, the beet salad, octopus appetizer, bottle of Chablis (perfect with the oysters) and finally two desserts. All of the dishes were tasty and well executed. Somehow got to $130 including tax and tip - no entrees or coffee, so it was a little pricey for a Tuesday dinner in a neighborhood bar.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Hostess made a big deal that we had to sit by the bar (which I hate requested not to) because the back dininr room was expecting a large party - 50% of the tables were empty - we were there 2 hours - no large party ever showed up.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fresh Oysters and Other Foods
    klud
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    This was my second visit to B&S Oyster Bar. Both times we ordered a variety of oysters (3 for under 10 bucks) and were delighted with the taste; only drawback is they serve them fresh (obviously) and sometimes are out of said 'variety'. The pork belly and scallops (slightly on the salty side) were delicious and I would definitely recommend them. My partner had the halibut and was equally satisfied... the portions are sizeable and nicely served. We also enjoyed their cocktails and tried different kinds on each visit.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Luvmesomeoysters2
    luvs2tryneweats
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    I have never had oysters, these were fresh and I tried two different kinds. Love them! I also had the Maine Mussels they were fresh and had a really good broth that you can taste the fennel in. the burrata & chips was another delicious starter. It had fresh creamy mozzerella cheese and baked kale chips , cauliflower, sunchoke, brussels and mushrooms. Our srever was veryknowledgable and the ineterior of the building is ncie with large windows open to outside in an older chicago neighborhood. I love it, can't wait to come back to Chicago to come here again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Oysters
    wotm31182
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    They had a good selection of Oysters here and the presentation was great. Drink menu had a good variety of different types of drinks
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great oysters!
    kkchi
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    The list of available oysters was endless, and they were all delicious. The pour for the wine by the glass was a little light. They could have filled the glass a wee bit more for the price. The whole crispy fish was excellent and was served on a bed of greens and vegetables which was so much better than being smothered in sauce (like it's served at most Asian restaurants). The waitstaff was pleasant and cheery.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great seafood
    DebbVIP
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    Our party of three enjoyed a variety of oysters to start with. We also loved the beet salad. Our meals were delicious and we would go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • pleasant2dine
    pleasant2dine
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    My fiance and I had a great experience with the delicious food and friendly service at Bow & Stern Oyster Bar. We ordered Burrata & Chips and Pork Belly & Scallops, which we thought both dishes was very unique but very tasty and delicious! Our server was great. She was knowledgeable with the food and drink menu and had helped us with both. We will definitely be back to try out their other food and drink items on their menu as well as recommend to our family and friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    5 star service! We can't wait to return with friends! Our waitress (with the cute bangs) was fantastic!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    Jessica
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    We are so glad we tried this place. We had a Living Social deal for this place and wish we knew ahead of time how strict they were going to be about the voucher, but overall the experience was amazing! I had the pork belly scallops and I wouldn't have traded it for anything. It was absolutely fabulous. The drinks were also lovely. The grilled baby octopus was also great. I like the Asian fusion twist. The oyster selection was also wonderful. Our server was also wonderful. She was smart, attentive, and knowledgeable. It's great to see a great seafood restaurant in this area. We will definitely be back but we'll make sure to read the fine print first!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Had an ok experience. I would go back just for oysters and sit at the bar. They were out of three things we wanted to order by 8:30. We got the Cippino which was awful--the broth was too thick and didn't have any flavor. The service was mediocre at best.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Try Happy Hour!
    EricaDVIP
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    During Happy Hour, oysters (served in 3's) are $1-1.25. Great way to try different varieties. All food we tried was well prepared, shareable and great with beer or cocktails. Small selection but plenty of good things from the land, sea and air. There was a live Blues duo playing on Friday after work. Great stop before gigs at the UC. Parking was easy. Service was helpful if not a bit intrusive between waitstaff, water person, and various bussers. Beautiful atrium section as well as 2 bars. Window walls opened to let in the outside. Small TV's above the bar. Pretty much a little something for everyone. Will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fresh & Delicious Oysters
    NowYouKnow
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Loved the service and staff at Bow & Stern and the oysters were absolutely delicious. I also loved the Champagne Cocktail and enjoyed all the other food but the oysters were my favorite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bring on the oysters
    cheruVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Came for the oysters, stayed for the salmon tartare, laughing bird shrimp and grilled octopus. All were outstanding. Evidently one of the most popular items on the menu, the burrata and chips was not a hit for us. It was like kale chip nachos; visually unappealing and an odd combo of burnt-tasting leaves and cheese. That's okay, we had plenty of the good stuff to keep us busy. The bartendar was terrific (we sat at the bar), making recommendations and starting us out with a cocktail before we switched to wine. We'll be back to try the cioppino and the curry coconut.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Wonderful First Time Experience
    Eddie
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    Our first dining experience @B&S was terrific. I look forward to returning in the near future. The oysters were "the star of the show" . The quality of the apps and entrees was great. We used our Groupon which made it an even better value. thanks.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Oysters
    SteveVIP
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    Oysters were great, the food was very good i had the pork belly and scallops. Their specials are excellent, happy hour oysters are $1. Overall great experience. We used a groupon but i would have paid full price.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Service was very fast, rather rushed feeling for a restaurant of this type. This was my first time though so I can't say if this is always the case. Staff were pleasant and the food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.