The Bristol

4.6
1434 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
The Bristol is an American restaurant located in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. The Bristol has become a staple for Chicago’s local dining crowd, off-duty chefs, and visiting gastronomes looking for a great dinner or weekend brunch. The menu features handmade pasta, farm-fresh produce and a nose-to-tail approach to cooking, thoughtfully crafted by Chef Todd Stein.

Beverages include signature cocktails, a wine list featuring over two hundred producers, and beers from local breweries and around the world.

The Bristol’s second floor features a spacious private room built for any number of events, from business dinners to wedding receptions. Your experience at The Bristol will be met with a smile, warmed with hospitality, and filled with great food and drink.
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Tue - Thu 9:00PM - 10:00PM
Sat 5:00PM - 5:45PM

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
7.8

The Bristol is an American restaurant in Bucktown good for any date or small group of friends.

Ratings 7.5-8.0:These are restaurants that are reliable, tasty, and particularly good for whatever we have deemed them “Perfect For.” Hit up a 7.7 for Date Night with confidence, as long as you don’t need the restaurant to be the most interesting thing that happens that night.
What 1434 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
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MB
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and excellent service...a little load, but 2 thumbs up!

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T
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fabulous food! !!! Exceptional! Staff are friendly, helpful, accomodating !! We needed to dit on an end ...away from kitchen. ...they had a 1/2booth in the corner...perfect! Then offered corner 1/2 booth upstairs as "it's quieter"..perfect! !!

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GL
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food is good. We went for an early-ish dinner on a Saturday night (about 6:30pm). Food was good and service was attentive. The space is quite small and the tables are so close together that the dining experience felt communal. We heard every word of the conversations of the folks next to us. I'd return but at a less busy time.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service was as always, AMAZING!!

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I
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A very nice place with everything of high quality, good taste, reasonable selection but nothing truly outstanding except for the basque cake. Pleasant atmosphere, tight but convenient sitting, a little noisy to my taste but overall friendly and pleasant service. Was completely full on Friday night

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J
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 2

The tables on the bankette are way too close together. It sucks to sit on top of other people and have to deal with eavesdroppers all night.

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DA
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love everything about this place. Been coming since it opened.

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C
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

I booked Bristol on Open Table since the ambiance looked nice and was overall nice. However, the first thing I disliked was upon entering from the outside door, I was immediately stopped by a person blocking the next interior door and then greeting by the hostess who when I made eye contact, I then stated my name and reservation and was then allowing into the restaurant. So the vibe was off putting. What if I just want to sit at the bar? 2ndly, the tables are so tight, next to each other that the servers for the table next to us on either side - butt facing out table and almost touching it. Really a turn off! Third, as I did not inspect the menu when looking at Open Table, which I should have done so, never would have gone to
this restaurant. Why? Well for approx. 16 you get a pasta dish the size slightly bigger than a man's fist.
We ordered a salad and 2 pasta dishes, which our server said they were for sharing and it's a joke how
little pasta we got. People don't want to feel ripped off and don't want to go to bed hungry. The food tasted good, rich - so I'm assuming lots of butter used and salt. The salad we split and was really enough for one person. One pasta had pork the other just noodles. I mean, really? I had one glass of wine, my friend had 2. No bread is brought to table. So my feeling is this: Really, pasta is so cheap. I won't go back and would not recommend. I don't want to drop $50 on pasta and a rabbit size light salad, and one glass of wine, not a very generous pour either. And I am not a big eater, watch my weight and in great shape.
Server was nice and did a good job.
and efficient.

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ME
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great spot for sharing small plates with a friend or with a group. Tables are a little small and tight.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every dish we had was incredible. My fiancé and I found a favorite new date spot!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The waitstaff & kitchen were out of synch. Lots of people on the floor doing stuff but never the right stuff at the right time. Drink orders forgotten—waiter not focused on needs of patrons at table. The food was very very good, but my dish needed to be hotter—and so should have the French toast. My dish was the biscuits and gravy. The flavor & presentation of my dish was great—but again, it wasn’t hot at all.

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p
Chicago
61 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great for brunch, vibrant atmosphere, a bit pricey

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

The food was absolutely divine, and the sommelier really knows his stuff and was very kind! The hosts were lovely as well! Our server and some other waitstaff did give us kind of a strange vibe, like we weren’t welcome there or something.. I understand busy Saturday nights but it was a little strange. Other than that, excellent dining experience.

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C
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 2

We sat for at least 5-7 minutes before anyone came to the table. When our server did arrive we ordered drinks, which again, took forever to arrive. We were also seated upstairs which was visually uninspiring. We ordered muscles as an appetizer which was NOT good. Fortunately, the rest of the meal was tasty. Though I would go back, I feel like Bristol's best days are behind it.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bristol is an old favorite of mine. Food and atmosphere is great, great service staff. I had the chicken and duck fat fries along with some great coravined wine. Everything was perfect.

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j
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My home from home. It's always a pleasure and a delight to come to The Bristol. I am always greeted warmly and feel very comfortable bringing any kind of guest or dining solo.
The food is delicious. The changing menu, but retaining favourites is brilliant. I'm always excited to try a new pasta dish and the Sugo the other night was unctuously delicious!
Cocktails are reliably awesome and wine recommendations always please.
I love you guys! xx

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HM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

AMAZING AS ALWAYS, SERVICE WAS GREAT.

GO TO BRUNCH SPOT!

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KS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The restaurant was extremely loud and crowded, and gusts of cold blew in each time the door opened. Although the waiter was friendly, he was not timely or attentive. It took forever just to order drinks. This just isn't my kind of place.

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OT
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, literally everything. And the basque cake is to die for!

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OT
Detroit
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Food was bland, the timing of each course was off. Nothing stood out as anything noteworthy that we had, which was especially disappointing after going with restaurant recommendations. The food was cooked well but the flavor was not there. Over priced for what it is.

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T
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 2

Bartender service for food was lacking due to having to support so many diners. Had to request beverages, refills, water etc. Felt rushed to order items.

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and the service was on point. Went on Valentines Day so it was a little hectic, but the restaurant handled it well. They were only running about 20 mins behind resos, but I already expected that and that wasn’t too bad, especially for a busy Holiday like Valentines. Allot of dates and people were dining for a prolonged amount of time. But all and all a great dining experience. I highly recommend it. Offered great wine, good food and superb service!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Valentines day

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

This experience was nothing short of awful. Understanding it was Valentine’s Day- I would typically cut some slack, however it was worse than one could imagine. Not only did we not get seated for an hour after our reservation, but had the great privilege of sitting directly in front of the bathroom and inches from other tables on both sides. The waiter had a nice condescending demeanor and seemed to be beyond flustered with minimal time to explain anything in the menu. Some of the food that out was cold and we had the privilege of a 40 minute break between some of small plates and when our main came out.

The upstairs bar was filling over with people so we may as well have gone to eat in Wrigleyville on a Saturday night and got to share our dining experience with more disgruntled customers. Great ambience....

Nothing like an over priced and over booked restaurant to enjoy a nice date.

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CJ
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great little neighborhood joint. Friendly greeting, very tight entrance. Small dining room and tight table configuration. Bathrooms clean. Wine choices great. Food selections were on point although food items didn’t match pricing. Example: 4 bites of cacio pepe (flour, egg, water) for $16. Butcher steak? Mystery meat? Too rare, too tough to cut and chew. Desserts fabulous! Overall good experience.

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VG
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and wonderful service! Perfect for an approachable farm-to-table dining experience that won’t break the bank. Knowledgeable and friendly staff, quick and accurate service, and delicious food. What more could you ask? Try the Basque Cake, it was heavenly!

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OT
Indiana
3 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been pleased each time I went. The second time, I wanted something I had previously that I found out was only a limited time item (Brussel sprouts). The waitress inform the kitchen and they still made them for me (they were EXCELLENT by the way). Those are the experiences that will keep me coming back.

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SR
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This is a perfect brunch place. The food is outstanding and our waitress Emily was a doll. The brisket fried rice was so delicious. The portions are rather small. I ate my food and still had room for dessert. The hot toddy is strong and perfect to sip on a cold, wintry Sunday. My friend got the fried catfish and we shared the dessert plate with sweets to take home. Great place.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Service and food was slow, food was just ok

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

The service was terrible and the food mediocre.

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VB
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent experience. Excellent service. Excellent food.

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MR
Naples
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant week menu was amazing! Great service as well.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

First time at the Bristol and had a great experience! SO glad we made reservations because every table was filled. Raviolo was delicious, so was the burger with duck fat fries.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 3

Terrible experience! Food took forever and we sat waiting for almost 3 hours. They blamed it on restaurant week. We felt like the server totally forgot about us and every time we needed a drink we had to go to the bar and ask. Will never be back. Unfortunate bc the food was good, once it finally came.

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V
Chicago
30 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a great meal with a group of 6. We did the restaurant week menu and everything was excellent. The trout was great and the Basque cake is a great end to the night. And if you enjoy tequila the mole and wine drink is right up your alley.
Great service even though busy the night we went and the food was the usual excellence that I have come to expect from the Bristol.

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F
Chicago
40 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an absolutely fabulous meal. Loved the boquerones, gem lettuce salad, and the trout. Jesse took great care of us that night with wonderful suggestions and explanations. The place was packed. Really great vibe. Super cozy on a snowy night. Nice to be back at The Bristol!

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OT
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took my girlfriend for a date night and we had a great time

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OT
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

It was a good meal and a fun time. Felt a little odd with the waitress. She just stared at us and made us feel odd. It was pretty uncomfortable

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m
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of my favorite Chicago restaurants. I always feel welcomed and often greeted by familiar faces that also recognize me. It’s always warm and inviting and the staff is second to none.
Food on point!
Thanks for another great dinner!

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DD
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I sat at the bar. The bartender was attentive and personable. Each dish was delicious, particularly the whole fish. Wine pairings were delicious as well. Will definitely be back!

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