Monday, July 7, 2014

Restaurant Review: Handlebar in Chicago...

As I said in my previous post for my birthday dinner we decided to go to Handlebar. My husband and I actually ate dinner at Handlebar on my birthday last year, and we loved it so much that we’ve been dying to go back. Since we had some omnivores tagging along - my mom, and step-dad along with my husband’s family - I thought this would be a good choice, since Handlebar is mostly vegetarian, with a few omni-friendly fish dishes.  If you live in Chicagoland and you’ve never heard of Handlebar you should defiantly give this pescetarian pub a try. It looks like a whole in the wall from the outside but inside it’s got all you could ask for in the way of atmosphere. Simple, down-home pub food, loud music, and great drinks, with that fantastic rustic look and cool local art. My only real complaint about the place is that they don’t exactly cater to large groups, we were a party of seven and that was almost too much for them, so if you go, keep it to six or fewer people, and keep in mind that they don’t take reservations! This is important to remember because the pub fills up fast!

Fried Pickles 

Anyway, since it was a celebration we went a bit crazy on the appetizers. My husband and I decided to get the Chorizo and Black Bean Nachos which comes with seitan chorizo, pico, and guac. If you get it vegetarian you also get sour cream and cheese. My mother-in-law ordered the fired pickles which we’ve had before, and despite what you might think about a fried pickle, these are actually really good.  They come with a house-made vegan ranch. She also ordered Guacamole and Chips to share around, you just can’t have too much guac in your life! Am I right?

Chorizo Black Bean Nachos 

Chips and Guacamole 

For my main meal I decided to go with something simple, the Chicago Style Tofu. I was still kind of full from lunch and so I wanted to go easy on my stomach. I thought this would be a small sandwich but boy was I wrong. This was a massive honkin’ thing that I could only eat half of. The sandwich consists of pesto tofu, giardiniera, roasted garlic aioli, Dijon, arugula, and tomato on foccaccia bread. I got it with a side of fries.

Chicago Style Tofu Sandwich 

For his entree my husband got the Fried Avocado Tacos which are amazing. This is what I got last time and I absolutely loved it. It consists of corn and cabbage slaw, refried beans, house made ranch, flour tortillas, rice, and deep fried wedges of avocado. So delicious. My mom and Mother-in-law also got the Fried Avocado Tacos and I was fortunate enough to score my mom’s taco leftovers a couple of days later. They tasted just as good cold as I remember them being warm.

My husband's Avocado Tacos 

A Pic of my Avo Tacos from last year

The last time we were at Handlebar my Husband also got the Buffalo Chicken Wrap which consists of Fried Chicken Seitan, wing sauce, romaine, onion, tomato, and house made ranch on a flour tortilla. He ordered a side of fries with it and it was really, really fantastic, just the perfect mix of heat, and the seitan chicken was great!

Buffalo Chicken Wrap 

During my birthday celebration dinner my mother-in-law also ordered the smoked Gouda Mac which she liked, My father-in-law had the blackened catfish which he liked, my step-dad had the grilled fish tacos which he liked, and my brother-in-law had the grilled cheese which he liked. I didn’t try any of these as none of them are vegan, but it goes to show that Handlebar is a great place for Vegans, Vegetarians and Omnivores alike.

Just a neat pic I saw outside 

We also had a round of drinks only I forget what my drink was called, it was hibiscus tea, orange juice, and vodka. My husband had a great drink too that was coconut water, lime and rum. I think this is definitely going to be one of our ‘go-to’ places. I already can’t wait to eat there again. So if you live in the Chicagoland area and are looking for a cool little pub with lots of delicious vegan fare, this is the place for you. Check it out!

2311 W North Ave, Chicago, IL
Phone:(773) 384-9546


  1. Loved this place!! Great food, great staff & great atmosphere! I had the Fried avocado tacos,they were superb!!! S.T

  2. I'm so glad we found this place b/c the food is delicious & the portions are large enough to keep you full for awhile. Plus, for what you get, the prices aren't bad. I really liked those tacos & the wrap I had the last time was amazing! It's also cool b/c if you take omnivores w/ you, perhaps they'd be willing to try something that doesn't include fish in their meal since the foods they serve aren't too "weird" for omnivores. lol