Bangers & Lace
British-influenced bar names may be all the rage, but what’s not to like about one that focuses so successfully on suds and sausages? Here, beer gets marquee billing (lace refers to the web of beer foam that adheres to a glass). Cicerones, so-called beer sommeliers, help decipher the lengthy list of international craft brews. The bar even boasts an antique beer cooler built into the brickwork. Yet before things can get too precious, the menu brings it back to hot dogs and brats—bangers, if you must. Despite the fancy toppings (housemade beer mustard, whiskey apple jam), the menu requires plenty of paper napkins to manage, making this Wicker Park pub the macho antithesis of highfalutin wine bars. 1670 W Division St (773-252-6499).
Other nominees the Boiler Room, Curio, Haymarket Pub & Brewery, Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar, WaterShed