Fish Bar

Bar / Seafood Restaurant
Fish Bar Fish Bar in Chicago's Lakeview is a cozy seafood joint reminiscent of a New England crab shack. Set sail for Chicago & this popular eatery with Party Earth. Chicago United States 41.9360931 -87.6539694
3.2 6
Fish Bar - Bar | Seafood Restaurant in Chicago.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review The Midwest is miles from the salty ocean shores, so the hungriest sailors rely on Fish Bar, Lakeview’s interpretation of the New England crab shack. Sky blue exterior walls with a giant fish painted over the brick lure... ... read full review

  • Train:

    Brown, Purple Lines: Wellington

  • Phone:

    773-687-8177

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Tu–Th, Su 11:30am–10pm, F–Sa 11:30am–midnight

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot

Party Earth Fish Bar Review

The Scene

Fish Bar in Chicago's Lakeview is a cozy seafood joint reminiscent of a New England crab shack. Set sail for Chicago & this popular eatery with Party Earth.

The Midwest is miles from the salty ocean shores, so the hungriest sailors rely on Fish Bar, Lakeview’s interpretation of the New England crab shack.

Sky blue exterior walls with a giant fish painted over the brick lure in many inquisitive seafoodies, while the ever-rotating selection of freshly caught grub keeps regulars angling for more.

By day, laid-back patrons perch their Chucks on the edge of a rickety stool along the S-shaped bar and feast on small plates like tender octopus, as post-game Cubs fans eat away any 100-year blues with overstuffed lobster rolls at picnic benches on the patio.

Come evening’s high tide, handsome double-daters pile into the few booths built under a suspended dinghy, sampling the fresh catch or arguing with out-of-towners over whether the East or West Coast oysters on the well-worn specials board are better.

It’s definitely more of a pregame spot, but that doesn’t prevent the space from getting as crowded as the latest catch in a fisherman’s net come weekends, when groups of unpretentious friends kick off the night with house potions like a minty Mojito, ginger-drenched bourbon, or the small but crafted list of microbrews.

Folks who don’t appreciate the ocean’s bounty will obviously want to dine elsewhere, but to land a combination of brine and booze for a three-(or more)hour tour, it doesn’t get much better than Fish Bar.

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Tip from Jonah:

Become a Frequent Fryer and earn points toward swag, whole pies, gift certificates, or even a trip to New Orleans. Granted, that last one requires you drop $12K…but still!

  • Crowd

    Plaid-clad creatives, pregaming post-grads, budget-minded seafoodies, older fishmongers, young daters, mid-20s to late 40s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Ambient tunes run the gamut from Radiohead to Simon and Garfunkel, though Jimmy Buffet will not be heard here.

    No TVs.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Small plates of fresh fish, carpaccio, ceviche, po’ boy sandwiches, salads, and chowders.

    Booth reservations accepted for small groups of three or four.

  • Prices

    Raw (market pricing), shells $8–$15, salads/soups $5–$9, sandwiches $6–$11, sides $3–$4. Beer $4–$8, wines $7, cocktails $5–$6.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: jeans, shorts, jerseys, waffle shirts, sundresses, fitted sweaters.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Warm weekdays to drop anchor on a picnic table, or Friday and Saturday nights for a busy house but a good place to fill up before storming into the night.

  • Close By

    DMK Burger Bar (2954 North Sheffield Avenue) is Fish’s sister spot right next door, slinging grass-fed burgers on house-made buns along with a hearty craft brew list and popular desserts like the peanut butter milkshake.

Fish Bar User Reviews

Average rating:
An Ocean Taste in Lakeview.
lawrence g. Mar 3, 2013
Located within sight of the Wellington Brown Line, the quiet intersection it resides on belies the considerable crowd that Fish Bar attracts. People gather around the serpentine bar or crowd into the few booths to sample a delectable take on New England and Mediterranean style seafood. While the portion sizes aren’t as gluttonous as those of a fishing town, the flavors are enough to make you not care. Unlike many restaurants with a wait, the atmosphere of Fish Bar discourages foot tapping. On a busy night, people pass the time sipping mason jars of selections from Fish Bar’s concise, but interesting, drink menu, which features a variety of beers and mixed beverages, including one composed only of gin and celery. The food and atmosphere at Fish Bar mix delightfully to create a setting that is ideal for a casual gathering with friends or a romantic outing and isn’t to be missed.
Seaside in the City
Rose G. Feb 20, 2013
As someone who grew up on the East Coast, I can be a bit of a seafood snob. There is no Midwestern restaurant capable of capturing the essence of what it’s like to sit a couple yards from a dock, cracking lobsters open atop the newspaper tablecloth of a picnic table. The smell of the salt in the air seems to make the food taste even better, but it might also have something to do with watching it being caught. Having said that, my cravings for seafood remain now that I live in Chicago, and Fish Bar does a good job of satisfying them. The atmosphere is very relaxed, and the outdoor picnic seating as well as the casual bar area give it an authentic feel. Fish Bar usually has a good assortment of oysters, and their lobster rolls are almost as good the ones back East. The staff is young and eager to please, and their drink selection is always a great way to complement a meal. Their mixed drinks are delicious, and they have a good selection of craft beers ranging from the local favorites to other unfamiliar names. I would recommend Fish Bar to anyone seeking a casual neighborhood spot that captures what it’s like to be seaside. The food and atmosphere leave you wanting to come spend another summer day drinking a sea sipper and waiting for your oysters, all the while forgetting for a time that you’re landlocked.
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