Gilt Bar

Lounge with vintage library decor serving the same upscale American menu as Gilt Bar upstairs.

Once upon a time, the design district of River North wasn’t dominated by high rises and popular restaurants. It was mostly full of galleries, dive bars, and the always-irritating-to-navigate Merchandise Mart. Then, along with the iPad and Season 1 of The Walking Dead, Gilt Bar popped onto the scene. It was trendy, interesting, and completely different from everything else in the neighborhood. And while today it might feel like old news, the more popular (and crowded) this neighborhood gets, the more you need to remember that Gilt Bar is still great.

Gilt Bar is from the same people who own Au Cheval, Bavette’s, and a bunch of other places that are both popular and really good. But contrary to the myth that Prometheus gave us the Au Cheval burger along with fire, Gilt Bar actually preceded all of them. It’s the origin of the extremely dark, chill, speakeasy-type atmosphere you find at these restaurants – and while it doesn’t get a lot of attention anymore, Gilt Bar still has great food (including a burger that’s basically the same as Au Cheval’s). Plus, you can often just walk in and get a table.

The menu here doesn’t have any obvious theme. In fact, it sounds more like a buffet, with starters, salads, a lot of housemade pastas, and entrees that range from fried chicken to mussels to a ribeye.

Chicago Multi-Entry Multi-Directional Visitors Guide © Simon Monika Newbound

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  • Friday16:00 - 23:00
  • Saturday16:00 - 23:00
  • Sunday16:00 - 22:30
  • Monday16:00 - 22:30
  • Tuesday16:00 - 22:30
  • Wednesday16:00 - 22:30
  • Thursday16:00 - 22:30
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