Smoke Daddy (Restaurant, Wicker Park)

Location: 1804 W. Division
Phone: (773) 772-6656
Website: www.thesmokedaddy.com
Cuisine: BBQ
Reservations: Not Taken

When thinking of great BBQ in Chicago, Smoke Daddy is one of the first places that comes to my mind. It’s got everything you need in a great BBQ joint — an in-house smoker, live music, and house made BBQ sauce. A bright neon sign ensures you won’t miss Smoke Daddy as you’re walking down West Division, though you might have otherwise. The place seems small in comparison to its other Division restaurant counterparts, but what Smoke Daddy lacks in size, they make up for in character. And the oh so delicious food.

Booths line the east side of the restaurant, while some low tables and the bar make up the other side. TVs dot the walls for important game watching, but not so many you feel your head start to spin or it distracts from the live music. This is no sports bar. Instead, the ambiance maintains a Southern feel. They’ve got live music seven nights a week, usually touting a soulful voice on guitar. Not many bars can say that.

The menu is small, but they concentrate on what they do best — house smoked meats. Everything you get in the BBQ section from ribs to pulled pork to KC style burnt ends is tender meat with lots of flavor. The selection of sides will keep anybody happy and their cornbread and mac n’ cheese especially stand out. The jalapeno beer cheese and the pulled meat nachos are great appetizers.

Their famous bloody mary with house made mix tops the drink list, and if it’s served with a beer back and meat garnishes, it’s pretty irresistible. They also have a decent little list of cocktails. Standard Chicago brews (Half Acre, Two Brothers) dominate the taps, with other regional beers filling out the rest. Beer flights are also available.

Service is friendly and always very fast. Even if there is a wait, you some how always get seated earlier than they say. They even have a nice patio that lines the sidewalks during the warmer months. If you’re shuffling down Division and don’t know where to turn, give Smoke Daddy a try.

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Tessa McLean

About Tessa McLean

There is just something about that feeling when you have been away — maybe for a weekend, a month, 6 months — and you’re driving into Chicago and that first glimpse of the city skyline appears. It just always makes me smile.

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