The Publican

4.7
6009 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 6009 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
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
TH
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined 17 hours ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

This was our second visit to The Publican and we loved it! We were celebrating our Anniversary. The staff made a point of noting our occasion and celebrating with us making our day even more special.
The food was outstanding as usual - the mackerel was amazing, the beet root salad, the hams, the deconstructed banana pie, the porchetta, it was all excellent.

Report
Helpful
AM
Minneapolis
8 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice place. Great place to share your entrees. Also good place to try new things!

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 2

Muy mal servicio y. Calidad de alimentos! Demasiado ruido

Report
Helpful
CB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Brunch. I would recommend getting a side of bacon with any dish you have. Bloody Mary's are spicy FYI.

Report
Helpful
SL
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything we had to eat was amazing. Service was great and drinks were good. It is pretty loud in the restaurant so it wouldn’t be my first choice for a romantic date night but it was the best meal we had in Chicago!

Report
Helpful
O
Minneapolis
22 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great small plates options. You have to try the carrots. Exceptional.

Report
Helpful
ER
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

The food was delicious! Two of us did the Chef's Menu together. We loved everything except the grilled rapini, which had a smokey, cigar-like flavor that we weren't fond of. The rapini that came on the striped bass plate was delicious though. We particularly loved the Trappist beers, porchetta, and the banana split dessert. For two people, the Chef's Menu was A TON of food. Probably enough to feed 3-4 people so come hungry if you plan on doing that. Overall it was a great experience!

Report
Helpful
ON
Kansas City
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

I’ve eaten here before and enjoyed it, so I’m hoping this was a one off. But, the food was not well prepared. I ordered the pork ribs which were significantly overcooked, dry and tough. We also had the striped bass which was equally overcooked.The service was great as usual, and I’ll give them another try and hope the food was just a one day thing.

Report
Helpful
MK
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was cold and environment was loud

Report
Helpful
JB
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Great food, ok service (a bit slow), but mostly really loud dinning area.

Report
Helpful
CR
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 5

Food was over cooked. Hash browns were served at the same temp and texture as if sitting in water to soak from bottom of a burnt pot. Eggs, yes eggs were over cooked and not at all overeasy. The duck confit was maybe the scrapings off the griddle along with burnt Brussels sprouts. The sweets potatoes and the bottle of rosé were the only things done right. And the staff was helpful with recommendations and service. The kitchen definitely drops the ball here.

Report
Helpful
AB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

I have been attending to this restaurant for couple of years and I feel that it is loosing the innovation. The dishes don’t surprise me anymore.

Report
Helpful
OT
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great good & service with a really fun atmosphere in a very cool neighborhood!

Report
Helpful
RI
Caribbean
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was good! Music was good! Service was good!

Report
Helpful
A
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I don’t often highly, highly recommend a restaurant but this would be one that I would absolutely put on your must do when you visit Chicago, especially with a group. Everything is served family style and we tried 11 of their current menu offerings and there was not a single bad or even so-so dish. Everything was a perfect 10. They don’t hand our James Beard nominations lightly!!! We really enjoyed the Asian style rib, the gnocchi with lamb, the pork served with the apple and cabbage slaw, and the tartare. You will not be disappointed!

Report
Helpful
N
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 1

Great for Oysters if you're looking for variety, meats, or beer (esp Belgian, Trappist), everything else is kind of lackluster, and
it gets very loud. Communal tables are great for groups, not for an intimate dinning experience. Unimpressive wine list.

Report
Helpful
KG
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The food was very disappointing. The rapini, scallops and seafood pasta was good. But for a restaurant that specializes in pork, the porcetta was absolutely forgettable; borderline unedible. For a cut of pork that is extremely fatty, Publican's dish was cooked in a broth that felt like eating liquid fat. The pork was not charred and as a result, eating that fatty pork was just not good. It had lettuce in the pork drenched in the pork fat with a mayonaise style dressing on top - yuck. Extremely disappointed.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delivered on the promise.

Report
Helpful
L
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Very cute place- but very loud. Not great for conversation. The food was AMAZING though...

Report
Helpful
i
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always delicious. Had brunch here for first time and everything we ordered was enjoyed thoroughly.

Report
Helpful
B
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service and amazing food, as usual. There’s no reason not to have The Publican in your regular rotation.

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Took 35 minutes to get our first item -- bread! Entire meal took 2:15. You must place your entire order first and they will "pace it" out for you. Felt like I was being held hostage. Loud, loud LOUD as well.

Report
Helpful
G
Houston
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was delicious, and the communal vibe is great. My only complaint was the noise level- could definitely use a few soundproofing pads.

Report
Helpful
D
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Glad we re-visited a favorite. Sometimes with a large group it is hard to hear but on a Saturday at 6 pm for a party of 2 it was perfect. Our sever was very knowledgeable and gave great advice on our choices and number of items to order. Forgot how much I truly love all of their food!

Report
Helpful
OT
Des Moines
6 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went out with friends to celebrate birthdays. Our server Jess was so amazing and made the dinner relaxing & fun. Get the oysters! Delicious!

Report
Helpful
B
Nashville
10 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Mostly average food with a few decent courses. Surprising given the cost.

Report
Helpful
KD
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Katie provided oustanding service! Great beer selection.

Report
Helpful
DF
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place! I always love coming here. The food is incredible.

Report
Helpful
PB
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Publican is a mainstay in the ever-evolving Chicago food scene. On this particular visit, I brought my small team of 9 (I own a wine bar in Wisconsin) to enjoy and observe great food and admirable service! We definitely got that and so MUCH MORE! Leslie and her team provided us with a memorable and delicious dinner! It's no wonder they've been around 10 years (ancient for a Chicago restaurant). Their food and service are impeccable!

Report
Helpful
OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good, Kelly our server was excellent.

Report
Helpful
OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding staff and exceptional food.

Report
Helpful
N
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 2

The seating was very arbitrary. We were the first ones there and we were seated by the doors (it was cold that day so every time the doors opened there was a chill entering). I followed attentively where everyone else was seated and I was curious why we weren’t seated where they were. Definitely seemed based off of race (yes, I was a person of color). We were seated at at a communal area while there were plenty of other two area seating available. I’ve honestly never experienced that in my time living in Chicago, and I will certainly not return.

Report
Helpful
A
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating a special birthday with family flying into Chicago from all over. We loved the atmosphere and the food was very special. Thank you for helping us make this important event so memorable.

Report
Helpful
OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Excellent food, beverages and service! It's a little loud for older people, but the food made it worthwhile!

Report
Helpful
MB
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

In town for work, I had one night for a nice dinner out and was lucky enough to get a res at The Publican. I was nervous that I wouldn't get the full restaurant experience as a solo diner, since their dishes are made for sharing, until I saw that they have a tasting menu! On arrival, I was pleased that I had a real table (not relegated to the bar as a solo diner) and I asked the waiter if the tasting menu could accommodate my dietary restrictions. The manager came over to clarify, checked with the kitchen, and offered me a "pared down" tasting menu. $50 got me seven courses and they were not small - even just one of the mains probably would have been enough for me. I ate until I was absolutely stuffed and still took home enough for a nice meal the next night. Favorites included the hamachi crudo, brussels sprouts in a cashew dressing, and of course the famous porchetta. The manager came back to check in several times, and my server was also attentive without being overbearing. The atmosphere was great for a solo diner - lots of action around me and I didn't feel out of place. I also never felt rushed despite taking up a whole 4-person table on a busy Friday night.

All in all, the service was lovely, the food was delicious, and it felt like an amazing value.

Report
Helpful
EL
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

We had few people with severe allergies and they brought out dishes specifically with allerhens few times even after sending it back.

Our reservation was 615 but got there 20 mins early. They didn’t seat us even though the restaurant was empty

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Everything was outstanding!

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

Service was good
Food was poor particularly the rib dinner, too much fat, very little eatable meat, plus over priced,

The steak was ok, but warm, not hot.

Food tasted like it was reheated with vegetables thrown over them

Report
Helpful
C
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 1

I had to ask for the music to be turned down. I was there to enjoy time with friends and I’d like to hear them. Waiter was kind of rude telling me they sell out most nights. Strangely it wasn’t that crowded. The seats are uncomfortable, and had my guest in a boxed table prior to my arrival. The food was good, small portions of entrees. Maybe I’ll try again if I’m in that mood.

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Un restaurant un peu à l’écart du centre ville mais très accessible. La carte change quasi tous les jours. Le service est agréable et détendu. On y mange des produits de qualité dont toutes les provenances sont précisées. Une bonne adresse. Réservation obligatoire comme souvent à Chicago...

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
151