Chicago is famous for food. Luckily, I LOVE to go on “foodventures”, so it’s a match made in heaven! Most notably, though, Chicago is known for deep dish pizza (fun fact – did you know the gooey cheese dangling when you cut off a slice is known as a CHEESE BRIDGE?!Okay so maybe it’s from Urban Dictionary… but selfie is a word in the real dictionary now, right?), Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago-style hot dogs (we will shun you if you are anywhere in the vicinity of ketchup) and many other delectables.
One thing that doesn’t come to mind? BBQ. Texas, we salute you in your smoky, tangy, meaty endeavors.
But what if you’re craving BBQ during your stay? Enter Green Street Smoked Meats. Not only is it home to some of the most authentic Texas-style BBQ outside of the Lone Star State (We have friends who are either from Texas or lived in Texas for an extended period of time and they’ve given GSM their stamp of approval).
It’s also a great place for groups and a unique nightlife/ happy hour spot to boot. The restaurant is cafeteria-style, so you can self-serve/order food and drinks individually (goodbye awkward bill-splitting/tipping and doing math, woohoo!), but sit together at huge community tables in a lively environment. And it’s a great reason to head over to Chicago’s absolutely BOOMING West Loop neighborhood!
The Smoked Meats
GSM offers everything from smoked brisket to giant chicken legs and smoked bone-in salmon. They also have hot link sausages, pork belly, chopped brisket and pulled pork sandwiches. You seriously cannot go wrong with whatever you order here. Meat comes by the ½ pound and by the pound. Hot links, pulled pork sandwiches and other similar items come “by the each.”
The Sides & Other Stuff to Stuff Your Face With
As with any BBQ joint, the star of the show needs some support. From macaroni salad to potato salad, Frito Pie (kind of like a walking taco, but with brisket chili), baked beans, sweet/spicy pickles, broccoli salad and coleslaw, there is something for every taste. Also, the elotes.
What are elotes? Traditionally Mexican-style street corn on the cob, elotes are seasoned with cheese and spices. What Green Street Smoked Meats does, though, will blow your mind.
The elotes are served off the cob, and mixed with creamy, melty cheese, spices and cilantro. Literally one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. They used to be seasonal, but knock on wood, every time we’ve come back (and admittedly, it’s a LOT) they’ve been on the menu. So fingers crossed they’re here to stay!
The Drinks at Green Street Smoked Meats
Like I said, this place is not only good for eats, but also for the bar. Bonus: the line for food (and it will be long if you go near a major meal time, so plan accordingly) runs up next to the bar. So you can drink while you wait!
In addition to tons of awesome local and imported craft brews (and the old draft standbys, of course) they also have a killer cocktail menu. My personal favorite is the Chartreuse Mule – which is a sultry take on the classic, with gin and Chartreuse liqueur. If you like herbaceous drinks, this is not to be missed! It also comes in a pitcher, so again, very conducive to groups!
Megan is a travel blogger at Some Things I’m Moderately Excited About who writes snarky city guides full of off-the-beaten-path-spots, amazing places to stuff your face and other low key but totally score-brownie-points-with-your-friends-cool destinations for jet setting around the world (and in Chicago, where she’s from).
Green Street Smoked Meats
Hours of Operation
Tue: 11am-12am (kitchen closes at 11pm)
Wed: 11am-12am (kitchen closes at 11pm)
Thu: 11am-1am (kitchen closes at 12am)
Fri: 11am-1am (kitchen closes at 12am)
Sat: 11am-1am (kitchen closes at 12am)