This year’s Ribfest promises to be have more food options than ever – with thirty food vendors and sixteen restaurants serving ribs. Check here for the complete menu and links to restaurants. Restaurants in bold are serving ribs.
|Armands Pizzeria – 4159 N. Western Ave. – (773) 463-5200
The first Armands Pizzeria opened in Elmwood Park in 1956. Now the Italian standby boasts seven locations. While they may be better known for their pizza and cannoli, the Northcenter eatery also offers baby back ribs.
Manager: Gary & Mary VartabedianMenu: Pizza by the Slice
|Black Rock Pub & Kitchen - 3614 N. Damen Ave. - (773) 348-4044
More than just your typical bar and grill, Black Rock is off the Roscoe Village beaten path with great food. It’s a bar in the front, with a cozy fireplace area in the back with comfy couches.
Manager: Matt GoldenMenu: Pulled Pork Empanadas, Sweet Potato Fries, MapleBacon Donuts, Lemonade (Strawberry, Basil)
|Blue Sky Bakery and Cafe - 3720 N. Lincoln Ave. - (773) 880-9910
Offering fresh goods, a welcoming space, and friendly service, Blue Sky Café recently moved to Northcenter from Albany Park. It has tempting baked goods, from bread to cakes to scones, made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. The café is an extension of Blue Sky Inn, a nonprofit established to empower Chicago’s homeless youth through job training and creative activities. Read the CSJ review.
Manager: Lisa ThompsonMenu: Cupcakes – Red Velvet, Lemon Coconut, Cheddar Chive Scone
Manager: Jim BokowskiMenu: Funnel Cake, Hand-Dipped Corndogs, Lemonade Shakeup, Hamburger/fries, Brat, Italian sausage, cheese fries
|Browntrout - 4111 N. Lincoln Ave. - (773) 472-4111
With sustainable ingredients, Browntrout cooks up unique dishes in a sophisticated environment. The Northcenter bistro even grows their own herbs on their rooftop garden. The menu is constantly changing, so don’t expect to eat the same meal twice. Read the CSJ review.
Manager: Sean SandersMenu: Lake Trout Sandwich, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Garlic Corn on the Cob, Fries
|Byron’s Hot Dogs - 1017 W. Irving Park Rd. - (773) 966-1205
Byron’s is more than any old hot dog stand – they’ve served up dogs for President Obama in the White House. They also make some of the best fries in Chicago. Add cheese or celery salt for an extra kick in the gut. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better spot for a smoky, charred burger or a Chicago-style dog.
Manager: Mike PayneMenu: Hot Dogs, Burgers, Polish, Fries
|Celtic Crown - 4301 N. Western Ave.- (773) 588-1110
Offering up Irish, Scottish and British cuisine, the Celtic Crown doesn’t disappoint. Its cozy atmosphere and cheap drinks make it a nice spot to unwind for happy hour.
Manager: Tony ZielinskiMenu: Ribs, Chicken/Steak Kabobs,Burgers, Brats, Bag Chips/Peanuts/Nachos, Canned Iced Tea, Lemonade, Snapple
|Chicago BBQ Company - 6546 Windsor Ave., Berwyn - (708) 795-5500
They claim to have the best barbecue in the country, and they compete in rib festivals across the country. Chicago BBQ specializes in low and slow smoking. Say hello to Spare Rib, their mascot in a pig costume.
Manager: Tom Ferguson, Tim Dennis, Ann HaggertyMenu: Rib Sampler, Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket, BBQ Rib platters w/beans, cole slaw
|Chicago Joe’s - 2256 W. Irving Park Rd. - (773) 478-7000
“If you can’t stop by, smile as you go by.” That’s what the sign on the side of Chicago Joe’s Northcenter location says. It offers belly-busting entrees and an all-you-can-eat buffet on Sundays. Their specialty is ribs, so they’ll be a formidable opponent in the Ribfest competition.
Manager: Brad Rompza, Mimi GardnerMenu: Rib Sampler, Baby Back Ribs, Mini Burger, Chicken Wings, Cheese Fries
|Chicago’s Pizza - Four North Side locations, including Ravenswood, Lakeview, Lincoln Park and Old Irving Park
If you want pizza or ribs at 3 a.m., this is who you call. Sure, there are salads and Panini on the menu for lighter fare, but sometimes that big calzone is just what hits the spot. They also offer the best gluten free pizza in the city.
Manager: Martin Flores, Mary Flores, Maria AlmanzaMenu: Stuffed Pizza, Thin Pizza, Snapple
If you’ve never been to a Cold Stone Creamery, you’re missing out. They offer unique flavor combinations and unique creations with their cakes and shakes. Each scoop is prepared and blended on a special frozen granite surface.
Manager: Amit ShahMenu: Ice Cream Sundae, Ice Cream Cups, Ice Cream Sandwiches, Ice Cream Cupcakes/Cookies
Manager: Dan CordisMenu: BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Rib Sampler
|Corner 41 Bar & Grill - 4138 N. Lincoln Ave. - (773) 327-3500
This Northcenter meat place perfectly walks the line between sophisticated and cozy. They serve up great beef dishes from burgers to filet mignon. There’s pork, too. Baby-back ribs are one of their specialties. They’ve won the Northcenter rib contest three times – so watch out competition!
Manager: Al PourbovaliMenu: Rib Sampler, Baby Back Ribs, BBQ Chicken
|Horseshoe Barbecue - 4115 N. Lincoln Ave. – (773) 248-1366
Their barbecue brings a bit of Texas style to Northcenter. On the weekends, it’s a lively nighttime hotspot, with bluegrass and rockabilly bands. Stop in and try one of their barbecue pork sandwiches.
Manager: Mike MasudMenu: Ribs, Pulled Pork, Ice Cream, Cole Slaw, Pita/Hummus
|Jury’s Restaurant - 4337 N. Lincoln Ave. - (773) 935-2255
This Northcenter standby serves up bar staples along with steak and seafood specials. Jury’s burgers have been consistently listed among the best in Chicago.
Manager: John RogozinskiMenu: Burgers, Iced Tea
|Kettle Kabin - (224)-723-7171
The Kettle Kabin cooks up kettle corn and cinnamon roasted nuts. The company started in the northwest suburbs of Chicago three years ago, cooking up natural, authentic treats, making roasted nuts in a German roaster.
Manager: John J. MonroeMenu: Kettle Korn, Roasted Nuts
Manager: Torrance LyMenu: Egg Rolls, Chicken on a Stick w/Rice or Noodle; Orange Chicken; Fresh Squeezed Lemonade; Footlong Corn Dogs, Deep-fried Snickers/Twinkies
|Lincoln Restaurant - 4008 N. Lincoln Ave. - (773) 248-1820
One of the founding members of the Northcenter Ribfest in 1998, the Lincoln is famous for Old Abe’s large visage gazing over Lincoln Avenue. It’s also the home of the Lincoln Lodge comedy show. Typical diner fare dominates the menu. Pancakes are their specialty.
Manager: Tony AthansMenu: Corn, Funnel Cake, Baby Back Ribs, Rib Sampler, Rib Sandwich
|Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro - 3905 N. Lincoln Ave. - (773) 248-3905
This snug Irish bistro in Northcenter offers great Irish staples like corned beef and shepherd’s pie, made with a contemporary twist. But they’re also quite proud of their ribs, made with a whiskey marmalade barbecue sauce and served with bleu cheese slaw.
Manager: Brian MurphyMenu: Ribs, Pulled Lamb Sandwich, Guinness Ice Cream
|PitchFork - 2922 W. Irving Park Rd. - (773) 866-2010
Partnering great barbecue with great whiskey, PitchFork is a friendly corner saloon in Irving Park. They offer pulled pork, brisket and barbecue chicken. Try out their fried Oreos for dessert.
Manager: Pete MazzoneMenu: BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Rib Sampler
|Robinson’s #1 Ribs - 940 Madison Street, Oak Park - (708) 383-8452
In 1982 Mike Royko claimed he made the best ribs anywhere, and he created a Ribfest to show he could win the contest. He didn’t. Charlie Robinson beat him out, leading to the opening of this Oak Park restaurant shortly after. Their ribs are available with original recipe, hot or brown sugar barbecue sauces. With the the Northcenter Ribfest since 1999, Robinson’s is a perennial favorite!
Manager: Don CeaserMenu: Baby Back Ribs, Rib Tips, Corn on the Cob, Pulled Pork, Pulled Turkey, Pulled Beef Brisket, Turkey Leg
|Rub BBQ Company - 2407 W. Lunt St. - (773) 675-1410
“Rub it, smoke it, eat it!” That’s their motto. Rub BBQ’s meats are hand-rubbed with a special blend of spices, then refrigerated until they soak it all in. Then, the meats are smoked for hours.
Manager: Jared LeonardMenu: BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Rib Sampler, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Pulled Chicken Sandwich
|Taqueria La Ciudad
Manager: Rosa Vasquez GarciaMenu: Aguas Frescas, Non-alcoholic pina coladas, Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs
|Teresa Mittons Concessions & Catering
Manager: Teresa MittonsMenu: Chicken Kabob, Smoked Yams w/Vanilla Sugar, Veggie Kabobs, Lemonade/Shaved Ice
|The Fireplace Inn - 1448 N. Wells St. - (312) 664-5264
This Old Town standby specializes in meat – specifically steaks and ribs, both beef and pork. They also offer barbecue meatballs, barbecue chicken tenders and barbecue pizza.
Manager: Juliana SodreMenu: BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Rib Sampler, BBQ Boneless Rib Sandwich, Deep Fried Mozzarella Sticks
|The Malt Shoppe
Manager: Patty Harmon, Don HeilMenu: Ice Cream Creations (Malts, sundaes, splits, cones), Lemonade, Fresh Fruit Smoothies
|The Piggery - 1625 W. Irving Park Rd. - (773) 935-1000
Located in West Lakeview at Ashland and Irving, this spot can get rowdy during important sports games. Appropriately named, they have a pork-heavy menu and claim their ribs are “Flintstone size.”
Manager: Terry Lyons, Kenneth PospeichMenu: Rib Sampler, Baby Back Ribs, Pulled Pork Sliders, Mexican corn elotes, Jalapeno Pepper “Firecrackers”
|Smoke Daddy - 1804 W. Division St. - (773) 772-6656
Smoke Daddy has been recommended as one of chicago’s best barbecue spots by Chicago Magazine, Zagat and the New York Times. Their meats are smoked with hickory, apple and cherry woods, and the spot has been a favorite amongst the best blues musicians around.
Manager: Josh RutherfordMenu: Baby Back Ribs, Rib Sampler, Beef Ribs, Pulled Pork Sandwich, BBQ Potato Chips
|Uncle Bub’s BBQ - 132 S. Cass, Westmont - (630) 493-9000
Uncle Bub’s BBQ says their southern-style barbecue is a labor of love. Their meats are smoked long and slow in a specially designed hickory and applewood smoker for up to 22 hours. Their authentic pit-smoked barbecue is perfectly topped with their special sauce.
Manager: Mark LinkMenu: Rib Sampler, Ribs, Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket, Beans, cole slaw, Dinner Roll
|Windsor Ice Cream Shoppe
Manager: Gerry MendiolaMenu: Ice Cream Scoops/Sundaes (20 flavors); Eli’s Cheesecake/Dippers; Ice Cream Cakeroll; Root Beer Floats
|Woori Village - 8526 W. Golf, Niles - (847) 966-8990
An all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue spot in Niles with authentic and unique barbecue dishes. Their menu spans from the typical short ribs and brisket, to trip, abomasun and beef intestines, for the more adventurous.
Manager: Kristin SchmidtMenu: Rib Sampler, Korean BBQ Shortribs, Deep Fried Dumplings, Stir-fried Noodles w/vegetables, Rice