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5 places to eat poutine on Canada Day

These gravy soaked cheese fries will have you longing for the Great White North
Breakfast Poutine at The Big Cheese Poutinerie
Photograph: Lynn Marsden Millspaugh Breakfast Poutine at The Big Cheese Poutinerie
By Beth Newhart |
O, Canada! Now you can celebrate the northern nation's birthday without ever leaving the Windy City. Visit one of these Chicago hotspots for a taste of the number one unofficial Canadian snack: poutine. If you've always had a hankering for fresh cut fries covered in gravy and cheese curds, it may be the dish for you. Canadians would be impressed to find a breakfast option at DryHop Brewers in Lakeview, a dinner dish at Red Door in Bucktown, upscale choices at the Gage in the Loop, vegetarian variations at the Bad Apple in North Center and every dish combination imaginable at the Big Cheese Poutinerie in Wrigleyville. From brunch to late night and everything in between, Chicago has your every poutine need covered.
Restaurants, Hamburgers

The Bad Apple

icon-location-pin North Center

The Bad Apple, a corner pub and grill in Lincoln Square, advertises that it proudly serves burgers made from Pat La Frieda beef. If you just thought, “Who the hell is that?” you’re not alone. During my two visits, I overheard a half-dozen people ask the same question. New York foodies are likely the only ones to know the answer—Pat La Frieda is a wholesale butcher that’s been operating out of Manhattan for nearly a century, only recently coming into vogue thanks to customers like Shake Shack and Little Owl.


Big Cheese Poutinerie

icon-location-pin Lake View

The Canadian export opened in Wrigleyville to provide the drunk masses with exactly what they want: huge portions of fries topped with everything from eggs and sausage to pierogies.

Bars, Gastropubs

DryHop Brewers

icon-location-pin Lake View

The hopping new brewery is just what East Lakeview needed. The rotating selection of house beers includes IPAs, wheats and pale ales, and a flight of each draft offering is an easy way to find a favorite. The food menu encourages sharing dishes like the bacon poutine with sausage gravy, Scotch eggs and frites with a tangy "dragon sauce."

Restaurants, American

The Gage

icon-location-pin Loop

The people of the Loop have been waiting. They’ve been waiting for an alternative to Bennigan’s or for a liquor list that goes beyond Old Crow and Miller draft. Now, thanks to Billy Lawless, the wait is over. The beer list goes beyond the basics and wines are accompanied by clever, straightforward descriptions. Assuming that even happy hour–goers need something quality to munch on, chef Dirk Flanigan has created a “snack” menu that includes shrimp cocktail (fresh but with a blah aioli) and poutine.

Restaurants, Gastropubs

Red Door

icon-location-pin Bucktown

The menu at Red Door appears at a glance to be pretty heavy—steaks, sloppy joes, poutine—and in addition to enjoying the nice weather, I thought being outdoors would provide an airiness I might not find on the plate. But that poutine, layered with chicken confit and spiked with curry, was not nearly as heavy as poutine can get.

More to explore