The Publican

4.1
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6083 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American

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About

From the team behind Blackbird and avec comes this homage to beer, pork, and fish. Executive Chef Paul Kahan and Chef de Cuisine Dennis Bernard have developed a network of purveyors to supply the restaurant with hand-selected, sustainably-harvested fish and seafood as well as sustainably-raised heirloom pork to anchor a rustic menu of simple, eclectic fare. The extensive international beer list, developed by partners Eduard Seitan and Terry Alexander and now Beer Director Adam Vavrick, features 100 or so ales, lagers, stouts and ciders by the bottle, 12 of those available on tap. Like Blackbird and avec, The Publican is a design partnership from the James Beard Award-winning team of Thomas Schlesser and partner Donnie Madia.
What 6083 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.7
service
4.3
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Energetic
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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TinaM
New England
4 reviews
Reviewed on December 16, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

The food, service and atmosphere is AMAZING at The Publican! The meat, veggies, desserts are wonderful, but my favorite or the varying daily pickles! Give them a try, they will blow your mind!!!

SH
SusanH
Detroit
1 review
Reviewed on December 9, 2019
Overall2foodserviceambience

Too much food. They encouraged double what we could consume.

JH
JonathanH
Montreal
1 review
Reviewed on December 8, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Tasting menu is a must! Mix of confort and refined food. Very cozy!

B
Brit
Chicago
6 reviews
Reviewed on December 7, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

I love this spot for dinner or for brunch. When it comes to inventive small plates, they do it right. I love how they somehow maintain intimacy despite the communal tables. Overall, I will always recommend the Publican!

CB
CBDChiTown
Chicago
2 reviews
Reviewed on December 4, 2019
Overall3foodserviceambience

Crowded and noisy unless you arrive before 6pm during the week

r
viprmarso
Chicago
16 reviews
Reviewed on November 30, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

The best place for weekend brunch. Every dish is great and the term pornfood in never better applied in here. You feel guilty with some of the (not cardiologist endorsed) dishes. The best bloody mary in Chicago.

M
Marcy
Chicago
1 review
Reviewed on November 25, 2019
Overall3foodserviceambience

I felt very crowded because we were seated between other dining groups. Not my kind of place. I supposed we could have asked for separate seating, but we weren't given an option....just seated in between two other groups.

MK
vipMKBA
Chicago
9 reviews
Reviewed on November 19, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Such a creative and thoughtful menu. Fit for foodies and a must-stop in Chicago!

MO
MarindaO
Chicago
5 reviews
Reviewed on November 18, 2019
Overall2foodserviceambience

I would not go on a holiday. The service was alright but the food left a lot to be desired.

LP
vipLoraP
Chicago
10 reviews
Reviewed on November 4, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

This will grow to be a Chicago institution. The food is fantastic every time. The meals are hardy and flavorful with a European flare.

LC
LizfromChicago
Chicago
6 reviews
Reviewed on November 2, 2019
Overall4foodserviceambience

Excellent wine list, excellent service and the meal was wonderful. A bit snug.

ES
vipESai
New York Area
58 reviews
Reviewed on October 20, 2019
Overall4foodserviceambience

Casual yet sleek interior and attentive staff. Great food. Had a dozen of oysters for appetizers that was so fresh! 3 kinds of ham, clams, pork chops and fish of the day. Both pork dish and fish dish were perfectly done with good flavor. 2 bottles of wine and 3 deserts, 2 cups of coffee and above food was about $380 with a tip. Highly recommend

LK
LisaK
Chicago
7 reviews
Reviewed on October 15, 2019
Overall4foodserviceambience

Enjoyed my brother's birthday dinner here, though the place is LOUD. REALLY LOUD. Food was delicious, servers attentive.

PG
PaulaG
Chicago
3 reviews
Reviewed on October 14, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Great ambiance. Great staff. Great food. Great owner! Love everything about this place.

LP
vipLincolnParkMVC
Chicago
18 reviews
Reviewed on August 31, 2019
Overall3foodserviceambience

Too pricey for the food experience. Six of us, seven items (three were veggies) about 8 glasses of wine total. Tab was $450. Won't be back. Many more options that are significantly better and less expensive.

R
Rbgirl
Chicago
13 reviews
Reviewed on August 4, 2019
Overall4foodserviceambience

Food was very good. The inside dining space is VERY loud. I'd suggest trying to eat outside. Server was good-natured and non-intrusive. She did, however, overcharge us so review your bill carefully.

J
cindyJ
Chicago
2 reviews
Reviewed on July 20, 2019
Overall3foodserviceambience

In the minority of finding the menu overpriced - but everyone loves this place.

AR
ARFoodLover
Chicago
4 reviews
Reviewed on July 16, 2019
Overall4foodserviceambience

Decent food and innovative cocktails. Great energy and vibe. Good for large groups versus date night. Would love some more variety in the food

MO
MeredithO
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Special girls trip meant we ordered the chef’s tasting menu and it was amazing! Nine courses. Worth every penny.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience1

Very loud. Music didn’t fit the space. Food very over priced for what you got plus was just ok. Could have been better in my opinion.

CB
CameronB
Seattle
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Took my girlfriend here for a nice birthday dinner. Menu is explained as family style and that dishes roll out of the kitchen in no particular order which isn't too uncommon of a concept for us to grasp. However, my gf orders a pasta dish, I order a steak, and a few sides and aps for the table. Expecting a shareable experience we didnt have a worry in the world. That is until food started coming out. Pasta dish first, which was 1 cup of noodles and sad, small, flavorless shrimp. Definitely not a sharable plate, so i let her have it, thinking that the sirloin would follow soon. 40 minutes later, shes done with her pasta and all sides are gone. The steak finally arrives but I did not want to subject her to simply sitting there to watch me eat. The steak was clearly rushed as it was plated with little care and a pool of blood floating around the plate. I sent it back and explained that I was not going to sit there and subject my date to watch me eat. Pasta was also way too aldente. You could barely curl it around your fork as it was still firm. I get the concept of this place and the concept of shareable plates that come out in no particular order, but they clearly did not execute in our experience. I don’t care who you are, you cannot serve one dish 40 minutes after the previous. For a concept like this to work, food must always be on the table, new plates arriving as others are leaving. There are too many other restaurants in the area that can actually execute this concept for us to want to return again to the Publican. I would not recommend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing. The peas, carrots, and chicken were incredible. Loved the cocktails as well.

G
Grace
Fayetteville
7 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We really enjoyed our adventurous and delicious meal in the fun atmosphere at The Publican.

b
vipbhamfamily
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

True gem! We visited for Mother’s Day brunch and it was great...my mom is hard to please and she loved her salmon. Everything we ate was spectacular— that hash brown patty was amazing, along with the bacon and sausage!
It was fun to order a bunch of dishes and share!

J
Josh
St. Louis
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

excellent brunch food. interesting and delicious. service was good. be aware this place is kind of noisy

SS
vipnotSamSifton
50 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience2

If there was a noise level to choose that said "standing next to a jet engine" I would have selected it. Seriously, I wanted my noise canceling headphones. Being good citizens, we took the CTA and were 15 minutes late, so our reservation was voided and we were sent back to the queue. This from a restaurant that requires telephone confirmation (that went to voicemail twice). We expected the common tables, but the couple who arrived 30 minutes after us got their fish order, which was the same as ours, before we did. Then someone came and asked how we liked the fish, and we replied we hadn't received ours. This explains my review on the service. The food was good, but nothing spectacular. We ordered the cookies to go (the pastry chef just got a Beard that evening). At least we could hear ourselves when we at them at home.

P
Pmallozzi
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The Publican was fantastic! The porchetta was to die for. Everything we had was delicious. The waiter was on point and made great recommendations.

PC
vipPeterCherr
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been wanting to check this spot out for a while and now I wondering why the heck it took so long! Totally satisfied with the restaurant.

We started off with the Publican Bread Plate, the bread was fresh and warm and the accompanying condiments were nicely made.

Our party of 4 started with the Chef's selection of a dozen oysters. They were from coat to coast and all just as moist, fresh and tasty. Being an oyster fan I wanted more but saved my appetite. In addition, we ordered the perfectly made crunchy, spicy pork rinds, they went well with the oysters!

We had a side of carrot and a side of asparagus suggested by our waiter Benny. They were sauced perfectly and they flavors went well with each side.

We each order a different main dish. The Porchetta was fantastic and most wonderful, the dressing and French Peas were a nice touch.

Country Rib was so moist with just the right amount of fat to make this dish superb and hearty!

The Pork Belly had an amazing citrus & balsamic dressing paired with a chili crema! Not to be missed.

The Dry Aged Sirloin with Sweet Potato was beautifully done and perfectly seasoned.

Ended our meal with the cheesecake and sticky pudding, a perfect end to a perfect meal!

As always with a review, I always rate to include the staff and ambiance.

Our waiter Benny was awesome and gave great suggestions. They entire staff was quite attentive. Had a chance to chat with Leslie the GM about how much we all enjoyed the experience of The Publican! She was warm and friendly and genuinely appreciated the feedback!

The restaurant was bustling and had a nice noise level, you can tell the other patrons were enjoying the evening with the chatter and laughter!

Great night out and looking forward to trying the rest of the menu soon!

MD
MegD
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We ate at The Publican on a busy Friday night in celebration for my girlfriends birthday. We had an absolute blast! The booth situation is great because you feel like you're own secluded island in the restaurant. The entire table went with the Chefs tasting menu and we were all blown away by the amount of food and the quality. Every dish that came out was more delicious than the last!

JB
vipJohnB
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My girlfriend and I ordered the chef's menu, where they choose all your multicourse meal but your drinks. We both enjoyed every course without fail. Fresh quality ingredients perfectly prepared! And because they bring you a lot of food, the chef's menu is a good deal too. I felt like we had a first-class dining experience.

AC
ArturoC
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall2food5service1ambience3

The good is outstanding but unfortunately the service is terrible. The service was so bad it just ruined the experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Everyone enjoyed. Every dish great!!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I 💗 Publican! Great food, service and experience. When I leave I cannot wait to go back.

m
vipmadisonvisitor1
Milwaukee
12 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Made my Easter Birthday amazing

JV
JorgeV
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Favorite restaurant in Chicago. The food, staff and vibe of the place is always a memorable experience

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food for the price!

M
vipMark
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Our brunch was overpriced and wildly average. Very disappointed as we’d heard such great things!

t
viptweepie
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience1

While the food a Publican is great, the noise level prohibits good conversation. It was SO loud
at brunch on Saturday I wanted to leave shortly after being served.

RS
RyanS
5 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love a brunch spot where you sit down and immediately have coffee and water, this place knows what's up. The food is excellent, service is wonderful/warm, and the ambiance is fun and energetic. It's loud, but not to the point where you can't hear the person across from you. They have a large assortment of unique cocktails, even at brunch, and their menu changes seasonally. We are from out of town, and have visited this spot twice, both times i ordered the same thing (a staple on their menu) though with a slight variation. Everyone i've gone with has thoroughly enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. Great brunch spot :)

MB
MBChicago
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

First time I have been there and it was too loud. Age range from 20-75 and all thought music was too loud. Service is usually much better - had to ask for same drink 3 times. Food was excellent!