The intoxicating smell of bacon is currently hovering all over Chicago’s culinary scene! This delicious trend is gaining momentum every day, offering everything from bacon-infused liquors to festivals to celebrate this cut of fine meat.
Leading the charge to highlight bacon in all dishes and sandwiches in Chicago are a new breed of ‘Bacon Bars’, and you don’t need to look far to find them scattered throughout the city.
Burke’s Bacon Bar is a bacon-themed mini-sandwich shop located alongside David Burke’s Primehouse in The James Hotel. All the sandwiches are made with one of four types of bacon. The desserts also centre on bacon, like the chocolate chip cookies with bacon and peanut brittle.
Paddy Long’s Beer and Bacon Pub is another bacon-themed establishment that features 18 beers on tap and specializes in numerous varieties of bacons. The pub offers ‘Beer and Bacon Tastings’, with five cuts of bacon and five beers to give you the ultimate beer and bacon experience. The beers change seasonally, and the cuts are always delicious.
County BBQ is led by David Morton and Chef Michael Kornick, and is one of the first chef-driven barbeque concepts to hit the Windy City by Chicago-based DMK Restaurants. Bacon lovers will enjoy The Bacon Bar there, which showcases items such as slices of slow-cooked smoked bacon, B.L.T. Sliders and Bacon-Deviled Eggs.
The Bacon Bloody Mary at Uncommon Ground is mixed by general manager and master mixologist Nick Luedde as a classic brunch drink – a meaty makeover with hickory-smoked bacon. Luedde infuses bacon straight into vodka, giving the liquor a hearty, smoked flavor and aroma.
Mixologist Mike Ryan of Sable Kitchen & Bar has created both the Swine & Thine, a bacon/rum cocktail (Zacapa, bacon syrup, creme de cacao and chocolate bitters) and Tea and Sympathy (bacon washed plantation rum, earl grey and balsamic shrub and bacon-lemon flambe) for Baconfest, and he continues to create more bacon inspired spirits every day.
What’s Shakin’ Bacon? is a favourite specialty cocktail created and served exclusively at Wicker Park Tavern.
Baconfest Chicago hits Chicago each April, featuring the hottest chefs from the finest local restaurants serving a selection of small plates starring bacon, while the best mixologists and brewers quench thirsts with refreshing bacon-based and bacon-inspired cocktails and brews.
The Beer & Bacon Fest revolves around chocolate covered bacon, candied bacon, chicken fried bacon, bacon popcorn and bourbon bacon cake - you get the idea. This annual Uptown festival is put on by restaurant and bar Fat Cat and takes place in April.