Best British food in Chicago

From a fish fry to Irish whiskey, here's where to find the best British food in town

Photograph: Martha Williams
The Gage is one of the best downtown bars in the Loop.

Britain may not be renowned for its cuisine, but it turns out that Chicago offers some pretty great pub grub and renditions of classic dishes, like flaky, vegetable-filled royal pies at Pleasant House Bakery. Plus you can hit an all-you-can-eat fish and chip nights at Duke of Perth or dig into hearty beef stew at Mrs. Murphy and Sons. These restaurants offer the best British food in Chicago.

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Best British food in Chicago

Duke of Perth

You’ll never know how relaxing Celtic music can be until you spend an afternoon at this Scottish ale house. Listen closely as you hang out on the serene outdoor patio, eating fish and chips (it’s all-you-can-eat on Wednesdays and Fridays) and drinking from one of the best Scotch lists in the city—soon you’ll be humming along.

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Lakeview

The Gage

Critics' pick

Owner Billy Lawless and chef Chris Gawronski nailed the gastropub with this Mag Mile hit. The whiskey list is lengthy, beer options reach beyond the basics, and wines are accompanied by clever, straightforward descriptions. The food is rich and aggressively flavorful, from the perfect-for-snacking Scotch egg to the Gage venison burger, served a juicy medium-rare and dripping with melted onion marmalade and gouda.

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Loop

Mrs. Murphy and Sons

Soda bread? Black-and-white pudding? Not so much. This Irish bistro serves food you’d find in modern-day Dublin, which means Guinness isn’t just on the epic beer list, but also in a rich onion–and–white cheddar stout soup. You’ll also find it in the beef stew, along with chunks of parsnips and carrots. It’s even in the mac and cheese served alongside barbecue ribs. Not hungry? Stop by for a great selection of Irish whiskey at the gorgeous bar.

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North Center

Owen & Engine

Critics' pick

At this gastropub from the folks behind the adjacent Fat Willy’s, classic British comfort food is seemingly simple but incredibly flavorful: Welsh rarebit features melted cheddar deepened with Worcestershire and stout and is served with a mustard-glazed soft pretzel; massive haddock fillets are turned into ethereal fish-and-chips; and an excellent charcuterie plate features rotating rillettes, pâté and fresh sausages. A great beer program inspires lingering while seemingly simple but delicious desserts erase any thoughts of starchy English custard.

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Logan Square

Pleasant House Bakery

Critics' pick

Individual pies filled with earthy kale and mushrooms. On Fridays, fried fish alongside crisp nubs of fries, Meyer-lemon tartar sauce to spare. These dishes, re-creations of homey British food from Art Jackson (formerly the chef of Bijan’s Bistro) and his wife, Chelsea Kalberloh Jackson, are the bread-and-butter of this small Bridgeport shop. But the taste you may remember most may be a stray piece of arugula. Because like so much of the produce here, it was grown by the owners at their small urban plots called Pleasant Farms.

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Bridgeport

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