Statue of Liberty and American flag on party table with blurry food not in focus

Restaurant Review: Three Cheers for the Red, White and Barbecue at River North’s Bub City

Statue of Liberty and American flag on party table with blurry food not in focus

This upcoming Fourth of July Weekend in Chicago brings a plethora of great events—Chicago’s first-ever NASCAR race, fireworks and great music throughout the city. 

Centrally located to both events is  River North’s Bub City, Lettuce Entertain You’s sprawling, buzzy BBQ eatery and bar with a country-western theme, live music and a comfort food menu.

Nothing says “three cheers for the red, white and blue” like freshly smoked, barbecued meats.  And at Bub City, it’s about quality, big portions, and tangy BBQ sweetness.

For starters, try their Nachos Bub Grande, a mix of smoked brisket chili, nachos, melted mixed cheese, sour cream, lettuce, pico de gallo, jalapeno, guacamole and salsa rojo. Or, go another direction with Guacamole, Pimento Cheese and Chips, pairing house-made corn tortilla chips with pimento cheese & guacamole.

A true bargain on the menu is Bub City’s Game Day Platter. For $94.95 you, your family and a couple of friends can feast on a full rack of ribs, 8oz of brisket, 8oz of pork, ‘General Joes’ Buffalo Bites, and six smoked wings, served with Texas toast and coleslaw. Faroe Island Salmon is served your way: a choice of grilled, blackened or BBQ, with comeback sauce and a fresh cucumber tomato salad. Gluten-free Pork Berkshire Pork Shoulder is served withMemphis BBQ sauce.

Tex-Mex offerings include Bub’s Burrito, a meal in itself with your choice of chicken, pork or brisket with pico de gallo, bell peppers, poblano peppers, red onion, onions, rice, and mixed cheese with sour cream, roasted tomato salsa and guacamole. Or, Bub’s Chipotle Pork Tacos, which pairs three chipotle pork tacos on flour tortillas, with shaved cabbage slaw, cotija and Bub’s cheddar blend, pico de gallo and a side of roasted tomato salsa and guacamole.

After all that, is there even room for dessert? When it’s Bub City’s Butterscotch Pudding, it might be “just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, homemade butterscotch custard, salted caramel and whipped cream.”

But don’t just take my word for it. Google reviewers like Bub City too! 

“Popped in on a slow Sunday night for a burger/beer and to charge my phone. The pickles that came with burger were so good, I ended up getting an order of fried pickles too. Friendly servers and patrons. Baseball and hockey on TVs.”

“Bub City BBQ is a great restaurant to go with a group of fellow carnivores. I don’t know why they don’t have this listed on their regular menu, but for $94.95 you can get the Game Day Platter, which includes a full rack of Chicago-style baby back pork ribs, 18 hour smoked prime beef brisket, pulled Berkshire pork shoulder, hickory-smoked jumbo chicken wings, and buffalo chicken bites, served with white bread slices, creamy cole slaw, pickled red onions, and regular pickles. It is enough food for 4-5 people if you also order something to share as a starter, such as the salad we went with. I recommend the Southwest Chopped Salad to accompany any bbq. The Southwest Chopped comes with tomatoes, black beans, avocado, white cheddar (you can get this on the side if you are lactose intolerant), chipotle ranch, and a gluten free fresh lime vinaigrette over a few types of greens for $14.95.”

Fourth of July Weekend 

Bub City is the home of country music in the city, and is hosting 11 nights of singing and dancing including 4th of July weekend.

Bub City is located at 435 N. Clark Street. They are open Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 11am–12am, and Wednesday through Saturday from 11am–2am. For reservations, click here

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago