Bacon’s inexplicable ability to be at once classic and trendy is precisely why it’s sprinkled throughout menus at some of Chicago’s best restaurants. To celebrate its versatility (and deliciousness), we’ve rounded up five unique ways to enjoy bacon that stray far from mere burger toppings and breakfast side dishes.
Little more than the size of a shot glass, this layered creation delivers so big on flavor that you’ll find its size more than adequate. Caramelized onions, smoked pork, and cheddar grits are stacked on top of each other, followed by a crowning glory of chopped bacon, green onions, and a thick slice of slow-cooked, maple-brushed smoked bacon. 1352 W. Taylor St., 312-929-2528
Take what you know about old-fashioned milkshakes and strike it—this porcine delight from Stephanie Izard’s diner concept is anything but old-fashioned, ordinary, or expected. The sweet factor of the ice cream is tempered with a barrage of crunchy bits of toffee and smoky bacon, which impart a hit of saltiness and textural variation. Your best bet? Employ a spoon. 820 W. Randolph St., 312-888-3455
Have you ever reached into a bucket of popcorn and thought, “This would be so much better with bacon?” Yeah, so have we. Thankfully, Revolution has answered our prayers with its bacon fat-drenched snack. In addition to a thorough toss with grease, the popcorn’s topped with thinly shaved Parmesan, chunks of bacon, and crispy fried sage. 2323 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-227-2739
This Wicker Park sausage and beer resto does BLTs like you’ve never seen before: house-made duck and bacon sausage, oven roasted tomato, aged Gouda, leaf lettuce, and aioli. Team the sammie with your choice of 32 brews on draft (might we suggest Tyranena Imperial Pumpkin Porter for something seasonal?) for a balanced meal. 1670 W. Division St., 773-252-6499
BoHo’s innocent-looking buns are actually fully loaded with bacon.]
These puffy, little buns may seem innocuous at first glance, but just beyond their pastry-like exterior lay chunks of smoky, salty bacon. As if that weren’t enough, that seemingly simple exterior is actually brushed with bacon fat—a move that promises both flavor and a glossy, golden finish—and sprinkled with just enough sea salt to keep it savory throughout. They’re served with house-brined sweet pickles and a plum marmalade, both of which balance the heaviness of the buns. 11 W. Illinois St., 312-955-0439