The Publican

4.7
5896 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
American
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 Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.6

The Publican is a Medieval styled mecca of all things beer, pork, and oysters. If that's not appealing, you can't sit with us.

Ratings 8.5-9.0:Now we’re in the range of absolutely excellent restaurants that you might go to more than once a year/lifetime. These restaurants tend to define a city, and make up the places that you absolutely cannot miss if you want to have any credibility as a restaurant-informed person in a major metropolis.
What 5896 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DG
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My girlfriend and I went to the Publican to celebrate my birthday and had a wonderful time. Our server, Gio, took great care of us and made the night really special. The chef's tasting menu was incredible.

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g
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I brought my niece, who was a college student visiting from UW-Eau Claire for dinner. We ordered the bread plate (couldn't pass it up), two vegetables: Celery dish and brussel sprouts (they were both amazing) and then two fish entrees: shrimp tagliatelle and salmon. Unfortunately, the shrimp dish had jalapeno peppers which meant I couldn't eat it but my niece liked it! Interestingly, I had asked the server if the shrimp dish was spicy and she said no....later we found out that the jalapenos were a surprise to all the servers! I guess the chef just decided to add them! The salmon dish looked appetizing but upon inspection, we found it terribly undercooked---pretty raw. The wait staff was very helpful and took it back for further cooking! We were very pleased with the service and would definitely return!!

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DS
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

I've been to brunch at the Publican three times now, and this was the most disappointing. Nothing was wrong with the food, but I was looking forward to trying two of the entrees listed on OpenTable, and then found out neither of them were available yesterday. I love that the Publican rotates their menu to keep things fresh, but in this case it was a bummer, given that I chose to dine here because I was craving something specific. I'll still be back!

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PB
Charleston
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Saturday brunch at the Publican was most excellent! The Corned Beef Hash with Brussel Sprouts was delicious!

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NC
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Fantastic food- just delicious. The waitress was very blunt which was...refreshing?? Great brunch date with the boys

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JH
Orlando
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always enjoy an evening at the Publican. Great locally sourced ingredients, friendly service. Be back soon.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Met family for brunch. Food was delish. Such a cool place. Love it!

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MN
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful experience. Wait staff was attentive and patient with one member of our party joining late.
Food was presented well and came hot to the table.

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M
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always good. Love the Sunday brunch.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing and so plentiful. Fun and lively!

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

Great! Food was fantastic and came out quickly. Server was informed and informative. Second time there, really fun.

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BU
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Overall great experience with one of a kind entres. We enjoy this restaurant because it is unique in ambiance and cuisine.

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AH
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Came for New Year's brunch. It was delicious. I had the prime rib. Asked for my eggs prepared over medium. Best over medium eggs had at a restaurant. 😋 My friend had the corn beef hash. She asked for eggs poached hard. They didnt come out correctly the first time. Remakes didnt come out until she was finished with her meal. 😐

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OT
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Stellar experience. From the moment I walked in the door everyone was welcoming and friendly. Took time to explain the menu and make recommendations. Water was always full and smiles were readily offered. One of the dishes was a little spicy for me- I didn’t say anything but was asked when they cleared the plate. It was removed from the bill without any comment from me. Highly recommend!!

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MP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 5

We were super disappointed in our experience. We asked for the Chefs tasting but mentioned that one of the 4 of us did not eat seafood, and if they could go lighter on the seafood, that would be great. Unfortunately, 3 of the 6 courses we received were fish...and on top of that, we felt extremely rushed despite the restaurant being fairly empty...and were shoved into a packed table, also despite the restaurant being fairly empty. It was very expensive for the poor service we received.

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JM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really like this place...especially enjoy it on weekends for breakfast/brunch.

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KW
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A hidden gem. Definitely be back on our next trip to Chicago !!

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OT
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ended up here as a happy accident, after the other place I wanted to go had a 2 hr wait. The boys and I sat down at a cozy little booth with cute privacy doors on it (which I loved), for a family style dinner. We ordered the chef’s choice 6 oysters, fries with fried egg on top, beef tongue, red snapper, sirloin, and the apple creme brûlée, and I had an old fashioned and a hot buttered rum to drink. Holy crap. The beef tongue was life changing. Like after dessert I tried to order another portion for us to share, but sadly the kitchen was closed. It was the best thing I’ve eaten in a long time. The snapper was great, moist and flaky with good seasoning (and the chorizo with cannelloni beans on the fish were delicious. The oysters were fresh, sweet and briny with a nice bite. The sirloin was a beautiful medium rare. Good, but not as good as the beef tongue. The fries were fries. The flavor of the creme brûlée was unexpected and interesting. The drinks were well balanced. I will absolutely be back here next time I’m in town, even if only for the beef tongue. The taste is like angels dancing on my tastebuds. Don’t miss out on this place.

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R
Chicago
38 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very loud! If you ask in advance for a private table, they should be able to accommodate you.

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k
Omaha
8 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely amazing- we had to switch our reservation due to a flight delay and it was honestly the best! Great table, great service- AMAZING FOOD. Get the Old Fashioned and you can’t go wrong with anything else!

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JV
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Awesome food. Met great people at our table. Would definitely return!

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NY
New York Area
54 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the most enjoyable meals we have had in a long time. The service and food were truly excellent.

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JK
Los Angeles
20 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing food for both brunch and dinner! If you're a fan of high quality comfort food and beer this place is a must. I will return every time I'm in Chicago.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was great! A bit loud but otherwise excellent. Best Brussels sprouts ever.

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SW
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

E
Xcellent food, wonderful locally sourced food and good service. Lighting is a little dim.

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AB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Great food, service was fine if a bit too West Loop hipster attitude.

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S
Tampa
7 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Not to say this lightly, but we all thought it was WONDERFUL! We will definitely be back. My sister and her family was in town and I had heard this was a terrific place; we loved it!

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fantastic! Might have been because of the holidays, but it was noticeable not crowded and quiet. Would highly recommend, even if it were louder and more crowded!

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VF
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious food to share. Great service and fun atmosphere. Attention to detail in everything served. Can’t wait to go back!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great time!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

What a great dinner spot! I loved the decor, the round light bulbs hanging from the ceiling gave the room an intimate vibe and the barn doors that enclose the booths really make you feel like you’ve got a private dining experience of your own. Such a cool scene. Food was fantastic but since everything is intended to be served family style, the portions are quite large so be careful! My friend and I ordered the half chicken and couldn’t even finish it all. We also had the chicken liver patte which was out of this world. For someone who doesn’t love patte, I’ve come to have a whole new appreciation for it. It’s great for a group of 4 or 5 people who want to try a little bit of everything’s and who want to have a good dinner before hitting the town.

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G
Jacksonville
3 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic experience. We are from out of town but come for xmas every other year. When looking for a restaurant to celebrate our first night in town, we quickly came to the conclusion that we needed to go back to the Publican, as we had such great memories of our first time in 2016. The food, beer selection, and service were incredible. Just as we remembered. The only difference was how much the neighborhood had developed. Geo was our waiter and he had amazing suggestions and made us feel like we were the only two people in the restaurant. Going to try and pop in for happy hour on our way to the airport ...

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KS
Tulsa
2 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant - unusual food combinations however all we selected were incredible. Great staff

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing as always

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HS
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fantastic time! We had our anniversary dinner here, and we loved everything we tried. This is our 3rd celebration dinner at the Publican, and we can't think of a better place to go for special occasions. We had the clam fry, potted rillettes and the barbecue carrots. All were fantastic! Their old fashioned is one the best in the city!

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D
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 5ambience 2

Excellent service but way too loud. We were four at the table and barely could carry on a conversation. Food was disappointing. The Brussel sprouts were very finely shredded and lost any taste and soaked in lemon juice, the squid dish was dominated by a very large very spicy piece of sausage and large croutons and the little squid there’s was got lost. The wish was average and the presentation lacked fantasy. Best dish were the raw oysters, but that doesn’t involve any cooking. Atmosphere resembles that of a beer hall which doesn’t match up the menu that looks interesting but fails in execution (at least with regards to the dishes I had). Was very disappointed, except for the service which was very professional and nice.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food came out quickly and was very good. They were a little slower with drink service. Overall very good experience.

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NB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and excellent service. Highly recommend!

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j
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

No oysters. Sunday brunch had a reduced menu without many of their specialties

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CC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great place!

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