The Southern
The Southern

The Southern

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.thesouthernchicago.com/
  • Phone: 7733421840x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm
    Dinner: Sunday, Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
    Friday: 5:00 pm - 11:00pm
    Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

    Bar opens at 5pm daily till close and for weekend brunch
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Comfort Food, Southern
  • Executive Chef: Eric Michael
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Catering options available
  • Private Party Facilities: Contact our event coordinator at parties@thesouthernchicago.com to help book your event from 6 to 250 people.
  • Private Party Contact: Alette Valencia 7733421840x
  • Special Events: We offer event space for parties of 10 to 250, think of us for your next special event with great cocktails and comforting food options.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Wolcott
  • Public Transit: North Avenue #72 or Blue Line Damen stop.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking (with meters) and residential parking is available (observe neighborhood restrictions).
A word from The Southern
The Southern is a central gathering place where the tallest order of the day is a cocktail, conversation and relaxation.


Taking its cue from the laid back way of southern life, this low-down Bucktown bar offers a deep selection of small batch bourbons, micro-brews, hearty whiskeys and plenty of specialty drinks.


When hunger strikes - as it always does when people get together – Executive Chef Eric Michael satisfies with a menu that raises the bar on bar food. Influenced by southern cuisine Michael uses ingredients from local farmers and sustainable sources for dishes like fried green tomatoes, Johnny cakes with pork confit slaw and Our Famous Fried chicken served daily. For bigger appetites, expect to find soul-satisfying Pork Belly, Crawfish Roll and grilled Shrimp and Grits.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
The Southern reviews from OpenTable diners
59 reviews since July 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (48)neighborhood gem (32)good for groups (27)fit for foodies (21)great for brunch (20)vibrant bar scene (15)hot spot (14)great for lunch (11)romantic (10)special occasion (9)late-night find (8)scenic view (3)kid-friendly (2)Show More
  • 5 stars!
    DrewC
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Dined at the southern a few times now and they never cease to impress. With excellent cuisine, friendly staff and a fried chicken brunch plate that'll have you coming back for more, truly enjoy this spot on a Sunday afternoon
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lizzie
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Great service and food. Steak eggs benedict and pork hash was wonderful!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Will be back
    tweet
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Food was amazing and service was even better, Donnie was wonderful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Could the service be any worse?
    KrisVIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    What is the trend toward bad service at brunch? This is the third restaurant in a month with poor brunch service. Our waiter could barely be bothered to wait on us. It is not the patrons fault if the restaurant is understaffed or someone didn't show up for work. The entire dining experience is ruined with poor service. On the food front - everything needed a bit more spice or kick. The apple fritters could have used some cinnamon at a minimum. Marginal restaurant at best with a great outdoor patio.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Coops
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Great food, relaxed atmosphere, great friendly service.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Menu did not reflect Internet
    hlane64
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Horrible never had a chance to some food because of very slow service.. People all over selecting who they wanted to serve.. Manager kept looking at us and said nothing for 35 min no water silverware nada nada
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for Bull Dawg fans!
    Justkid
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    If you are a UGA alum or just a fan this is the place to be on game day. Turns into a home away from home for Georgia transplants. Very crowded but service excellent
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome Brunch & Cocktails
    trevandcyndi
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Great patio! Great brunch! Great cocktails! The Southern is casual and comfortable but the food and drinks are fine dining. It's like the best of both worlds!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • love this place!! awesome place
    reymijo
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Had a good time with my wife celebrate are 10yr anniversary are waiter carly i belive was her name very friendly and helpful will go back definitely! Thank you for making us comfortable. :)
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Game day disclaimer
    Anna
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I made a reservation for a friend's birthday dinner on a Saturday night for 7:30 pm (first time going to this place after passing by it countless time). When we got there the place was packed since the Georgia Bulldog game was on. We were seated within 15 min which isn't bad. The disappointing part was that since the game was still on they only had a limited menu; we couldn't order the items we wanted until the end of the game. Even though we were starving we waited the 45 min, but the food was definitely worth it. The waitress was great too. She ran over to our table as soon as the standard menu was available.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fried chicken
    Snackerson
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    The food was delicious. Collards with corn bread and the hog fries were something different. Fried chicken was piping hot, juicy and crispy with great flavor. They said they ran out of the fried chicken, which really confused me. But after asking the kitchen the server was able to have them make more so long as we didn't mind waiting 20 min. That confused me.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, subpar service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    On a nice summer Wednesday night, with tables mostly filled up, you would think a place like this would have figured out how to properly service the tables. But they didn't. Long waits between waiter appearances brought the quality of the experience down. The upside was that it was a beautiful night and we happened to be in no hurry (although, at first, we were quite hungry and wanted to order our apps), and the food ended up being very good. Starters of fried green tomatoes with feta and watermelon were great, and the mac and cheese was pretty good. The fried chicken was very, very good, and so was the biscuit that came with it. The half-rack of ribs on special were also very good.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Anniversary Highlight
    ElmhurstMomma
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We ate outside this past weekend under a lovely shaded tree on the patio. It was an intimate feel even though there were 3 groups around us. We were having an anniversary brunch, and the food & service was fantastic. My husband and I both agreed that the fried chicken was the best we have ever had, and we have had our fair share of fried fare, after living in the south for a few years. The craft beer and specialty drink list were also excellent. Thank you for a memorable occasion.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Southern Brunch
    MocakesVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    It was really good. I usually don't have southern food for brunch as it can be a bit heavy, but this was wonderful. I had the shrimp and qrits, my friend had the biscuits and gravey and my other friend had the fried chicken. None of us left food on the plate. I've had drinks there before, but I will for sure be back for more of that brunch!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Southern is always fantastic
    jcoston2010
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Brought my girlfirend for the first time and she got the mahi mahi special and I got the pimento burger. both were fantastic.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, bad service
    bpowVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    The Southern is a staple for great southern-inspired food in Chicago. Great place for great food. The cornbread is unique and delicious, the greens are outta this world, the catch and pork chops were AMAZING. They were out of fried chicken which was extremely disappointing but a testament to how delicious it is. Don't be fooled by the chicken salad, it's not a salad with chicken (it's the mayo based thing). Food was amazing (so were the drinks) but the waitress, although she tried, was massively over-whelmed. She made it up to us with some fire-ball shots but it was pretty bad service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great summer dinner location
    as0391
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    I went here for a double date night on a Saturday evening and really enjoyed the atmosphere. The service was great, food was excellent, and the outdoor patio was the place to be. It did get fairly crowded after 9pm so I would recommend an earlier dinner.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Eat at The Southern
    fscorch
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Great outdoor seating. Food was very good (Fried Chicken and Shrimp/Grits), and also a must do for whiskey lovers.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Friendly service
    PengoVIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Great place to sit and relax and talk and eat and drink. Gamble (server) made the night with his smile and suggestions.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for Eight
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We had a crowd of eight, and The Southern dealt with us admirably for a busy Saturday night in the middle of summer. We secured an outdoor table, ate a great dinner, and stuck around for a few more cocktails (until the patio closed). The waitstaff was fabulous in letting us hang out and stayed attentive to us even after we'd finished our meals.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect Fried Chicken
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We walked past this place after having dinner at another restaurant. We smelled and saw the fried chicken on the diners's plates and came back the next evening. The chicken was cooked to perfection. The buttermilk biscuits were like none I've ever had before. Absolutely delicious. You do have to order sides though, as only the biscuit comes with it. Will be back!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love it!
    jerryVIP
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Always outstanding both in food and service. The southern fried chicken reminded me of back home cooking.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best FRied chicken!!!!
    SandyLeeVIP
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    We really enjoyed our meal. Both the fried chicken and macaroni and cheese were the best, can't wait to come back!!!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    MorimotoVIP
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Nashville Wings are spicy and delicious. Fried Green tomatoes. Are awesome. Great evening.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Ambience Great Food
    dstack711
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    Being from Texas, I enjoyed the food and ambience. You can tell a lot of heart went into the place. Our server was very kind and friendly and gave great descriptions of the food. My one complaint would be the bar. This is the second time I have gone there and the second time they have served us the wrong drinks. Other than that it was a great experience and I would highly recommend it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good
    jcoston2010
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    We went for brunch and it was fantastic. I ended up getting the fried chicken, which was phenomenal.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 33 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 3, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 209 reviews are from the The Southern reviews archive.
  • Excellent
    alfresco1
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    We really enjoyed the food, service and outdoor seating. Will definitely be back, and will recommend it to friends.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Dinner
    anonymous
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Server was a tad slow, and there was a mix-up as we had requested the family-style chicken dinner, however, they weren't prepared for our group of 7, so while we were able to get the chicken dinner, we had to use small appetizer-sized plates, and they had us crammed at a table that wasn't large enough to accommodate our group. The food was fantastic, but logistically they left much to be desired.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good, not great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Overall, The Southern is pretty good, but I can't say that there is anything to truly rave about. The service and atmosphere were pretty good, but nothing about the food really stood out. The hush puppies, shrimp and grits, and collard greens were all good, but nothing that drives me to come back time and time again. Again, I am not complaining, but the food just served to remind me how much better I've had in places in the South. The atmosphere is great, and I'd probably frequent it if I lived in the neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing
    gr8daneVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    A friend and I went for Saturday brunch and it was amazing. I had the fried green tomato sandwich and she had the asparagus eggs benedict. Both were absolutely delicious! We also decided to try the Odd Couple beverage (vodka, strawberry jam, and Miller High Life!) which was so tasty and not sweet at all! We sat outside on a beautiful day on the beautiful patio and were reluctant to leave! We will definitely visit the Southern again!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Friend Chicken and Risotto
    LCeats
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    I went to The Southern with my girlfriend for a date night, and we had a great experience overall. The server was attentive and courteous, though some of the bus boys were a little over anxious to take our plates away. We sat outside and the whole place had a great energy about it. I had the fried chicken and my girlfriend had the risotto. Both dishes were flavorful and filling! The chicken was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. I also had a couple Sazeracs, which were a little sweeter than I usually like my cocktails to be, but delicious none-the-less.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    Heather
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Don't go if you want to be able to carry on a conversation with your dining companion, but maybe you will be so busy chewing it doesn't matter. This was one of the best meals I've had in a while. We shared the hush puppies. I had the sangria and the shrimp and grits. My husband and daughter had the risotto and my son had the pimento burger. We shared the fried apple pie. With out exception, every bite was superb. We will return.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Solid
    Daniel
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Initially service was non-existent as we weren't approached for 10-15 minutes upon our seating. We spoke with the manager Ben. Was very apologetic explaining it was a misunderstanding with table assignments and offered free appetizers as an additional apology. Service was attentive thereafter. Appetizers: Fried Green Tomatoes were great. Hush puppies were solid and came in a large portion. Entree: Brisket was the highlight. Much better than a lot of BBQ places popping up all over the place these days. The risotto was tasty as well. Minor complaint: person in our party attempted to order fried chicken but they were out. Drinks: maple bourbon manhattan was delicious. A good reliable neighborhood spot.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummy food, questionable service
    JillianHVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    I dined here with a group of 6 on a Saturday night. We all enjoyed the food, with the exception of the chopped salad. The main problem was with the fact that they were overeager to clean our table. The bussers and servers were trying to take food and drinks off of our table that we were not done with. The busser tried to take away my martini twice while I wasn't looking. We also had 3 different people try to take away a plate of food that was nowhere near finished. We felt like we had to be on constant defense. I worked in restaurants for 10 years, so I am sympathetic to the hiccups. To be fair, this was not the entire staff, but primarily one busser who seemed unable to read the cues. Perhaps they were just trying to get us out of there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Local Spot
    missditka
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    I love this restaurant! Their food is southern, yet accessible, and super delicious. Also they have great cocktails and beer selections. And you can walk in on a Friday night at 7:00 and usually get a table or find a place to hover near the bar. Just over all a great place to have a date or met up with friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    We loved the food and drinks. The drinks were expensive and small. But we had a great time.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What a great place
    jerryVIP
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    Loved it, been back a few times now and each time has been better than the time before. Last time we came for dinner but stayed the whole evening. What a great place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delivered as advertised
    MichaelScottVIP
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    If you like southern food, The Southern should satisfy you, tho I confess that I have not tried the fried chicken, which is the metric by which all restaurants should be assessed.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Food!
    peanutmandm
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    The cuisine at the Southern is truly a great take on Southern cooking; however, our service was a bit spotty. Our server seemed a bit rude and arrogant. Most servers we come across have a polite and informative tone rather than being snarky. Overall, it was a great experience, a must go for the mac n cheese.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It was ok
    jnnrVIP
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    If you're not a foodie, you'll think the food is great. The big disappointment were the drinks. I ordered a mint julep and should have sent it back - it looked like an Icee that was jipped of flavor. It was 1/4 full and embarrassing. I also tried to order a whiskey neat and their selection was limited. Not a whiskey bar like they claim.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet