Sure, you could stick to the many great cocktail or beer-focused restaurants around the city and drink well on your whole trip to Chicago. But you'd miss visiting the well-stocked liquor and specialty beer stores - check out one of these spots and pick up a bottle of wine or six-pack of beer, then take it to one of the dozens of BYOB restaurants you'll find in Chicago.
Drink: Provenance Food & Wine (2528 N California Ave.)
Eat: Urbanbelly (3053 N California Ave.)
Provenance, which focuses on affordable, sustainably produced wine, has locations in Lincoln Square and Logan Square. Visit the Logan location and pick up a bottle to take to Urbanbelly, Bill Kim's noodle and dumpling spot, where you'll find Asian squash and bacon dumplings, scallop soba, and pork belly and pineapple rice.
Drink: The Beer Temple (3185 N Elston Ave.)
Eat: Smoque (3800 N Pulaski Rd.)
Love craft beer? Then head to the Beer Temple, which has a terrific selection of Belgian sours and lots of local brews. Grab something to pair with Smoque's ribs, brisket, and other BBQ dishes. They bring in hot links from Taylor, TX, and focus on the meat, not sauce.
Drink: Grand & Western Armanetti Liquors (515 N Western Ave.)
Eat: Kai Zan (2557 W Chicago Ave.)
There are about a dozen Armanetti Liquor stores in Chicagoland, including one at Grand and Western. There's a wide selection of beer and wine, plus hard-to-find liquors. Take your beverage of choice to Kai Zan, which has an omakase sushi menu, along with yakitori, sashimi, and sushi with a twist, like salmon and scallop sushi topped with a citrus glaze.
Drink: Andersonville Wine & Spirits (5201 N Clark St.)
Eat: Sun Wah BBQ (5039 N Broadway St.)
The small but well-stocked wine store's inventory includes organic and biodynamic wines and Midwest beers. Sun Wah is known for its duck feast, but you can also get other BBQ meats, rice plates, noodle dishes, and congee.
Drink: Binny's Beverage Depot (213 W Grand Ave.)
Eat: Lao Hunan (2230 S Wentworth Ave.)
Set aside at least 30 minutes for a trip to Binny's, since you'll want time to wander the aisles. The Binny's locations have a huge selection of wine, beer, and spirits, and you'll want to find just the right wine or beer to pair with Tony Hu's Hunan cuisine, which uses lots of chili peppers. Hop on the Red Line and head down to Chinatown for Lao Hunan's enormous menu, which includes dishes like chili pig ears, stir fried pork with bean curd, and shredded beef with wild chili.
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