Bayan Ko

4.6
123 reviews
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$30 and under
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Filipino
Located in the charming Ravenswood neighborhood, Bayan Ko is a Filipino-Cuban mash up founded by Chef Lawrence Letrero and his partner Raquel Quadreny.

Bayan Ko means “My Country”, or “My home” in Tagalog.

The name to the couple signifies staying true to their roots and representing the melting pot that America is and always will be.

Bayan Ko’s menu features elevated Filipino and Cuban cuisine. Their culinary mantra is to respect the classic dishes their Lola’s and Abuela’s made for them growing up. Their vision is to keep their family recipe’s alive, while also incorporating their own interpretations of both their culture’s food. Bayan Ko’s menu is best enjoyed family style. Their dishes are meant to compliment and accompany each other, with a sense that you are sitting down to a family meal in someone’s home.
What 123 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.4
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AK
Chicago
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very nice restaurant, friendly, popular so book ahead. BYOB. Filipino-Cuban, interesting Filipino dishes.

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JM
Chicago
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Bayan Ko has a great fusion of Asian and Latin food. The adobo wings and luglug noodles are a must try!!

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KN
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Overall, it’s one of the better places I’ve been to the neighborhood. The food is good, the service is excellent and it’s in a great place. However, it seems like the space is too small for their growing business and they are booked for a month in advanced on the weekends. They also helped me celebrate my partners birthday so they really go the extra mile for their customers.

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S
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Cute little BYOB restaurant reasonably priced. Their mussel dish wasn't available because they didn't receive their expected mussel shipment. Darn! I ordered ceviche, however it was made without lime juice so was very bland. I did ask for a lime and put a full lime's juice in the ceviche - then it was yummy. My friends enjoyed what they ordered.

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LC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything we ate was total fire! Tasted amazing, great service, and it's cozy. Would love to see these guys in a larger space eventually.

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AP
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Walked into an empty restaurant with a 4pm reservation. escorted to the table near the kitchen door....we asked if we could move to the window. We were told it was taken by the other 4pm reservation. No one was there and we were told they "were across the street"?? Mind you, there was another table in the window and it remained empty through our meal.

Regardless, the meal was a total disappointment. When everyone is so excited about this Cuban/Filipino restaurant, you would expect some version of fusion to be going on. Not really. There were Filipino option and there were Cuban options. None were any better than what we could get at the Filipino market on Elston or ANT Cuban restaurant in Chicago. A pork shoulder app was way too overcooked and I suspect left over from the night before.

Finally, should a small neighborhood restaurant without a liquor license charge a corkage fee? We really had our hopes up for this place. A neighborhood jewel is always appreciated. Won't find it here.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A truly fantastic meal and everything that we hoped for! If you love savoury then this place is where you want to be, it’s an amazing umami smack in the face, with great ! There was five of us and we simply asked our server to course our meal, and every dish was a hit. To top it all off the two deserts she served, the flan and ice cream were truly delicious. Make sure you book ahead today!

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MA
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Yummm yummm yummmm! Great food, service and can’t
Wait to come back!

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DM
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ravenswood is lucky to have this magical restaurant!

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Family style. Incredible food. Would highly recommend the mussels but everything on the menu was great.

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AL
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Good food and great service.
Will definitely come back

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SS
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service, food, ambience everything you need for an amazing dining experience. If you haven't been you are missing out!

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j
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Absolutely loved it, but the noise level was out-of-control. It detracted from what would have been a five star experience. They need sound boards or something. Amazing food. Cute atmosphere and friendly, attentive service. I hope they do something about its acoustics.

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AG
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were very excited to try Bayan Ko and it did not disappoint! The food was spectacular and the service prompt and efficient. One of the owners spent some time chatting with us and she was so friendly and genuinely seemed like she wanted to make sure we were having a good time. The restaurant is small so I would recommend making a reservation. It was quite busy for a Tuesday night. I highly recommend the short rib bistek. It was so so good! BYOB so bring a bottle of your favorite wine or whatever you like to drink! I cannot wait to go back and try some of their other menu items!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cutest little restaurant but you’ve gotta have reservations! We had the mussels, noodles, chicken wings and ube sundae. Couldn’t pick a favorite because it was all amazing!! My boyfriend loved the noodles and I loved the sweet adobo sauce in the chicken wings. Between two of us it was a perfect amount of food. Raquel is lovely and we can’t wait to go back again!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful experience from start to finish!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything we ordered tasted delicious. The staff is very friendly. Lovely atmosphere.

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JE
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

The only knock on the service was that we were seated without menus or water. After about 5 minutes I was literally raising my hand for attention. Once greeted and the ball was rolling, service was great.

The food was shockingly good. There were flavors and combinations that I'd never had before and I've had lots of stuff in lots of places.

Croqueta Tots were the least exciting thing we ordered and they were delicious.

Camarones al ajillo were a generous portion of jumbo shrimp in a delicious sofrito. Very simple but excellent.

Pancit noodles were shockingly good. Death row last meal good. So simple but teaming with flavor.

Bayan Lechon was in a sauce unlike anything I've ever eaten, accompanied by a sauce unlike anything I've ever eaten. The pork itself was perfectly crispy yet tender.

Luglug noodles are a must try. I might ask them not to season the scallops because they were particularly salty, but the dish was unique and delicious. Lots of nuanced seafood flavor enriched with the egg yolk.

I absolutely can't wait to go back.

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f
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful fusion of Filipino-Cuban food, modern take on classics. The service was attentive and personal. Loved it. BYOB is the icing on the cake

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F
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Finally made it. Overall the food and service was great! The one take-away and suggestion we have is to ease up on the salt. The Lumpia was good and recommend maybe a sweet sauce to balance the salt in the lumpia. The Bistec was also tasty yet a tad on the salty side. The Lechon...Perfect! Croqueta tots are tasty...prepared well. We will be back though to try the other dishes.

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MS
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful flavors, service and experience in a fantastic setting! BYOB, mom and pop vibe. I can’t wait to return!

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible people and phenomenal food. Can’t wait to go back!

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TD
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We had been waiting to dine here and it didn't disappoint. Full transparency, I am half Filipino and intimately familiar with the traditional fare. Thought this was a wonderful take. In particular, bistek and Inihaw na Baboy. On the other side of the house, the Cuban Sandwich was spot-on.

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K
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 2

The food was good. But the restaurant was so loud I could hardly hear my dinner companion.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been wanting to try this place for awhile, and was not disappointed at all! Will definitely be back! Everything we tried was amazing!

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C
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Small space with big flavors. Don’t miss the Short Rib and mussels. Great friendly service.

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PR
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very enjoyable experience. Seated right away. Helpful staff. Food was delicious. Very small but nice inside. Will go back.

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O
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Truly delicious and unpretentious neighborhood gem. Many reviews of the luglug noodle dish cite that it is simply too much but for some of us too much is just enough! Sinfully rich. Loved it.

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D
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bayan Ko lived up to the hype. The food and service were outstanding and we four ate copiously for $110 (including tax and generous tip). Cannot wait to go back!

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KB
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had been wanting to try this place for months and it did not disappoint! Definitely going back again soon to try the rest of the menu.

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D
London
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The number of tables crammed into this tiny space seems impossible, but they make it work! In part due to the very cozy layout, the staff are able to keep an eye on everything and therefore provide *excellent* service. The noise level was high but pleasant, because everyone, staff included, just seemed so *happy*. All the food was delicious, but the Ube for dessert was possibly the best thing I've ever had. Salt on ice cream is a game changer, do yourself a favor and try it.

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G
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Poor execution of flavors and cooking with so much fat not rendered off and imbalanced with too much salt for Filipino food.

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TO
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding! The service was personal and engaging. The food was fantastica1 The lumpia was on point and perfectly seasoned. The ceviche was delicious and the fried plantain chips were a perfect accompaniment. The muscles were perfect and the broth they were cooked in could be its own soup. Then entrees were amazing. Finally, we ended the night with both the flan and purple yam dessert. Do not know how they could have been better...they were a fabulous ending to a wonderful meal. Thank you!

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OT
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good for small plates and adventurous group. Need reservations though.

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MJ
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food, great service. You almost feel you’re In someone’s home. However, it is a VERY NOISY home! My one request for an even better experience would be some sort of sound dampening to mitigate the roar when the restaurant is full (as it almost always is).

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very unique dishes. Super friendly staff. 10/10 would go again

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OT
Chicago
43 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the Lumpia Shanghai and Ube Sundae. And every staff member we spoke with was over the top friendly!

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ML
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing- a friend and i had been talking about going for a while but knew we needed a reservation. Got right in with our reservation- food was great, service was great, one of the owners spoke to us several times to see how everything was during the meal. Love seeing seeing a place on the north side doing so amazingly well! Can't say enough good things about these guys! Make your reso and go now!

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c
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great service and atmosphere! Loved the kare-late!

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything about the experience was amazing! The food, the hosts, the ambiance, we have found our fav Filipino restaurant, and my boyfriend is FILIPINO!

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