Parson's Chicken & Fish

Restaurants , Soul and southern American Logan Square
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(14 user reviews)
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 (Photograph: Clayton Hauck)
1/10
Photograph: Clayton Hauck

Parson's Chicken & Fish

 (Photograph: Clayton Hauck)
2/10
Photograph: Clayton Hauck

Parson's Chicken & Fish

 (Photograph: Clayton Hauck)
3/10
Photograph: Clayton Hauck

Parson's Chicken & Fish

 (Photograph: Clayton Hauck)
4/10
Photograph: Clayton Hauck

Parson's Chicken & Fish

 (Photograph: Clayton Hauck)
5/10
Photograph: Clayton Hauck

Parson's Chicken & Fish

 (Photograph: Clayton Hauck)
6/10
Photograph: Clayton Hauck

Parson's Chicken & Fish

 (Photograph: Clayton Hauck)
7/10
Photograph: Clayton Hauck

Parson's Chicken & Fish

 (Photograph: Clayton Hauck)
8/10
Photograph: Clayton Hauck

Parson's Chicken & Fish

 (Photograph: Clayton Hauck)
9/10
Photograph: Clayton Hauck

Parson's Chicken & Fish

 (Photograph: Clayton Hauck)
10/10
Photograph: Clayton Hauck

Parson's Chicken & Fish

Ninety minutes and two cocktails into our wait for an indoor table at Parson’s Chicken & Fish, I turned to my friend on the patio. “I almost can’t believe we’re going to get a bill at the end of the night,” I said, feeling as if we were at a casual backyard barbecue, albeit one thrown by that pal with a killer booze collection and an eclectic assortment of friends.

Parson’s is the latest project from Land and Sea Dept. (the team behind Longman & Eagle), and the company knows how to make a space with personality. The patio held everyone from tattooed couples clutching cans of cheap beer to newborns and their moms and their moms. Everyone commingles on the sprawling outdoor lot, which sports light-wood picnic tables, striped umbrellas, strings of lights, spindly trees, and ping-pong tables. We ran into people we knew, but expected to run into more—the feeling on Parson’s patio is that everyone is just a friend of a friend you haven’t met yet.

I expected to see a grill and someone calling for burger requests, but instead, servers walked by with baskets of chicken and shrimp toast. We ogled these dishes from the cabana-style bar, but there was one upside to the wait: more time for cocktails. There is a reason the Negroni slushy gained instant fame: This is a damn fine Negroni, frozen or otherwise. Bartender Charlie Schott swaps out the usual Campari in favor of Luxardo Bitter, which is less viscous and sweet, making for a balanced cocktail that goes down easy. For the margarita, Parson's eschews salt for malic acid and sugar, resulting in a rim that tastes exactly like Sour Patch Kids and provides a tart complement to the smoky mezcal.

Like an outdoor party that disperses because of rain, the fun ends when your phone buzzes and your table is ready. The interior is tiny, with just a handful of barstools and a perplexing seating option—communal U-shaped booths. The host asked us to sit side-by-side, but a pair was vacating their barstools, and we immediately jumped on them. I occasionally turned to see couples sitting next to each other at otherwise empty tables, and several groups awkwardly wedged in together. 

Chef Hunter Moore’s menu is divided into raw, fresh, and fried categories, and most dishes are $6–$8. While the chicken and fish would seem to be the highlights, they aren’t. Those would be the oysters, which are pristine and served with a lime wedge and citrus mignonette. And the lively chickpea salad, tossed with grilled octopus tentacles, fresh pea shoots, and crunchy pepitas. And the baccala (salt cod) fritters, an ideal salty bar snack. 

We had the closest seats to the kitchen and saw all the baskets of fried chicken coming out—and there were many. But while the grilled chicken, marinated with citrus, rum and habanero, is lovely and smoky, the fried chicken merely passes muster. It has a light batter without much taste, and a splash of the housemade hot sauce is not an optional condiment. The coating on the fried fish—on this occasion, pollock—was dense, but the fish sings with a dash of chili-infused vinegar. 

If there’s going to be a single dessert on the menu, it should be transformative. This was not the case with the confusing funnel cake, set atop lemon whip and sprinkled with green-peppercorn brittle. None of the flavors meshed, and while I love anything lemon, I had to ask the server what the cream even was.   

This brings us back to an earlier point: Unless that barbecue-throwing pal is also a master chef, you’re probably not going to his party for the food. You’re going for an excuse to be outside and start drinking in the early afternoon. Likewise, you’re not going to Parson’s for the food. You’re going for the convivial atmosphere, the outrageously good cocktails and that patio. While I don’t know what will happen come winter, Parson’s patio is exactly where I want to spend all summer. 

Venue name: Parson's Chicken & Fish
Contact:
Address: 2952 W Armitage
Chicago
60647
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-2am; Sat 10am-3am; Sun 10am-2am
Transport: El stop: Blue to California (Blue). Bus: 73.
Price: Average main course: $8.
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Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|14
1 person listening
Samantha S

Everyone knows that this is the ultimate summer restaurant/bar. BUT, I also LOVE the brunch menu that is only available in the winter (with items like biscuits and gravy, pulled pork chimichanga, etc.) It's my go-to place to take out-of-towners.

Leanne L

The food and specialty cocktails are always on point. They provide a comfortable outdoor pet friendly environment in the summer and a cozy environment during the winter months. The service is typically welcoming and fun!

Allison B

My favorite place in all of Chicago! Great cocktails, better chicken (hot chicken is my life), and excellent apps. Atmosphere is the best in the summer!

Grace P

For better or for worse, Parson's is THE outdoor spot in Logan Square-- great patio, awesome drinks, but it usually takes a while to get a table. But if you can snag a table, it's the best place to spend a summer afternoon. Believe the frozen negroni hype. 

Dana B

My favorite chicken sandwich in the city! I have been twice and I can't wait to get back to the patio. It is such a fun environment during a hot day and I could spend all day there! The only downside to me is that they do not take reservations, so there can be a bit of a wait.

Jill F
tastemaker

Parson's offers pretty good fried fish and chicken, and I've heard good things about the grilled chicken too, but the food isn't anything to rave about. It serves Bang Bang! Pie slices (nice local touch). The standout things about Parson's are its frozen cocktails and its patio. The patio is gorgeous and highly sought-after. Imagine a three-hour wait during peak hours--yikes!! But certainly fun for one or two visits during the warm months. It has a signature Negroni slush, but I'd recommend its sweet sister instead, Purple Drank. Refreshing, nostalgic and delicious. OH! I'd love to go ice skating here next winter too. That's pretty awesome. 

Jyoti G
tastemaker

This is one of my favorite spots to check out in the summers. The patio is unreal. Though there are often long wait times, you can sit around on the patio and drink while you wait for your table. The food here is great as well. I'm a pescatarian so I only get the fish dishes. You can now purchase their amazing hot sauces as well. The people who come here are also very interesting and super nice.

Nick Kotecki

The patio is excellent in the summer time, but as a vegetarian, it's kind of difficult to find things to order that aren't of the liquid variety. Yes, I already knew that going in (Ding ding ding: Chicken and Fish is part of the name), but it'd be nice to have a few more things to munch on while enjoying the beautiful space. All said, I still love it. Parson's drink menus are lovely.

Chelsea M
tastemaker

It's officially patio season in Chicago and that means it's time to spend a Sunday Funday at Parsons! This huge and sunny patio never disappoints with its vintage picnic seating, ping pong tables, eclectic crowd and amazing bar! Yes, it will be an hour long wait for a table on a nice day. But the stream of drinks just keeps coming and can keep you here all day - everyone's favorite negroni slushie and did I mention the frozen Dark and Stormy?? Food favorites include the pimento cheese toast (got em with a side of coleslaw because I was really embracing the summer vibe that day) and hush puppies. Parsons is always worth the trip but you might want to clear your whole afternoon for it!

tmjh86

I was visiting Chicago and was brought to Parson's with a bunch of work colleagues - was not disappointed!! Eating and drinking with a big group is the way to go, as we got to eat everything. Fried chicken and fish are a definite must. If you combine this with a regular stream of frozen negronis, you're in for a good night. Get in early to get a good spot!!

Erin Delahanty
moderatorStaff Writer

This patio is THE place to spend a summer night (or hell, the whole day) in Logan Square. Start with the hush puppies and a frozen negroni and then eat your way through the whole menu while the negronis keep coming.

Madeline N
Tastemaker

I've been to Parson's twice now and love it! They don't take reservations so you'll probably have to wait a bit to get a table if you go on the weekend, but they have plenty of seating and two ping pong tables if you wanna pick up a game. The atmosphere is definitely casual and not super rowdy. They've done a great job of making the decore retro trendy without being to hipster. The first time I ate here I was with some friends and the second was with my parents, so its enjoyable for any crowd you're catering to. My personal favorite is the Parson's hot and their frozen drinks are great!

Laura R
moderator

The patio at Parson's Chicken & Fish gets packed on summer Saturdays, but it's pretty much always worth the wait. Even if you only go to this Logan Square favorite for the negroni slushy (which of course you won't -- you'll also want some of that fried chicken goodness, but seriously, that slushy is strong and delicious), you'll have a perfect afternoon or evening out back on the picnic table under an umbrella. And you can count on the service here always being attentive and friendly.