Bad Apple

Bad AppleBad Apple
94 Ratings
Bad AppleBad Apple

Type: Bar, Eatery

4300 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60618-1712
United States

(773) 360-8406 | map

Bar Hours:
Monday - Wednesday :: 4:30pm - 2am
Thursday - Friday :: 11:30am - 2am
Saturday :: 11:30am - 3am
Sunday :: 11:30am - 2am

Kitchen Closes:
Sunday - Thursday @ 11pm
Friday & Saturday @ 1am

Added by joe1510 on 08-11-2009

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 94 |  Reviews: 41
Reviews by OutsidersAlmanac:
Photo of OutsidersAlmanac
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 1 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I've been to Bad Apple twice now. The first was, speaking frankly, a pretty disappointing experience.

Bad Apple is clearly not a bar. It has a bar, but it is definitely a restaurant with a bar in it. When you walk in the front door the first thing you see is a bar - low hanging red globed lights, an exposed brick wall and several flatscreen tvs - opposite the bar is about a half-dozen high-sitting tables with stools. They've worked the hardest on this first of three rooms. It's clean, modern, and trying a bit too hard. The room seems to be designed to reflect well off shiny shirts and waxed chests. Not my cup of macho, but it is forgivable.

Unfortunately, the other rooms - the back room and a side game room - have been given much less consideration. Strange layout and cheap furniture force you to take a second look at the front room undoing the rather thin veneer of pretense and paint that may have first fooled you. Bad Apple is just not a warm place, it looks like it might have been decorated by a forty-something day trader redecorating his "man cave" after a divorce. No personality, but a tangible, uncomfortable ache to be liked. But by who?

Our interaction with the staff on our first visit was pretty negative, too. Two of the three people we interacted with were rude even as we went out of our way to be friendly. Fortunately, last night, on my second visit, our waiter was much different. Friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable he helped make me want to repeat our experience.

The music has been pretty terrible both times I've been in there. After enjoying our beers for about 20 minutes last night all the sudden the pretty crummy sound system in the game room started blatting out the Austin Powers theme song - no shit. The rest of the night was a mix of 80's and dub. With the vibe they seem to be going for they should consider hiring a DJ to spin some tasteful, down-tempo beats and help them out with their paper-thin monitors.

The upswing of Bad Apple? Two things. They've got a great beer selection. Last night they had Left Hand Milk-Stout, Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, Two Brother's Heavy Handed, Founder's exceptional IPA, Goose Island's Matilda, Half Acre's Daisy Cutter, Karmaleit Triple, New Holland's Really Delicious and Surprising Charkoota Ale, One of New Belgium's Lips of Faith series, and several others I can't recall. They had Surly Cynic the first visit there, but, even without Cynic last night, they had their bases well covered. Bad Apple offers a beer menu with all of their beers well described with region, tastes, and ABV listed.

The other upswing? The food we had was amazing. We started with their Montreal Poutine. As far as I know there is only one other establishment in Chicago where you can get Poutine, Small Bar. Small Bar serves their Poutine with sausage gravy. It's an amazing twist on the classic dish, I was curious to see if Bad Apple would follow that lead or go the traditional brown gravy path. I was happy to discover Bad Apple went with the brown gravy, and it was an amazing brown gravy. Seriously, it was so good my we sat there rubbing our fingers through the remaining gravy doing brown gravy nummies until the waiter came and took the smudged plate away. It goes exceptionally well with the Charkoota Rye.

We also took the strong recommendation from our waiter and had the Slow Burn burger. Chili peppers and garlic sauteed throughout the day on top a bacon and white chedder hand packed patty and cooked to order. The bun and burger literally melted in my mouth and, coupled with the delicious pepper saute, covered my mouth in a subtle, but thorough coat of easy warmth that hung around several minutes after each delicious bite. Masterfully made to have heat, but deliver it gently over time and with surprising sustain, dip this wonderful little beast in a just a dab of the table mustard and sit back and let your taste buds coo. Kudo's to our server for recognizing the brilliance of this burger and being able to read his guest's well enough to recommend it.

We also got our hand cut fries covered in truffle oil. It's like an extra $.75 or something menial, but the deep flavor of the truffle just pops on the crispy fries and is an ideal compliment to the burger.

Chicago's Bad Apple, is not without it's flaws, but it's upswing makes passable the bummer atmosphere. If they could get their aesthetic a bit warmer, find comfort in a personality, and lose that offensively dumb apple with the mohawk they could have a really fantastic place. Until then, I will be visiting again to try the goat cheese fondue and their Ebel Weiss ham and swiss, but if they could get their comfort level up they might not ever be able to get me to leave.

Oh, hey, guys, get a freaking website too, eh?

 4,786 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of seanchai
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Gorf_Minor
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of JArt
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
4.34/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of drac86
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Visited this again for the first time in a few years, and I was very pleased. The food is standard pub fare, but the quality is definitely above average and is fairly priced, especially considering that it is in Chicago! The beer selection is expansive and well curated. Plus, it is literally across the street from Half Acre Brewery, which makes it even more appealing as a destination.

 387 characters

Photo of bolognasuave
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Photo of djhowell
4.08/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of KeithE
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of aussiebeer
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of 30MinutesSouth
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of djgoodwi
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of misternebbie
4/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of mtoriski
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

This place takes its beer selection very seriously. Love the atmosphere and it is often a place I bring out-of-towners. Food selection is good, basically above average pub grub, but the beer more than compensates.

 213 characters

Photo of HartsyThaiFood
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of Barnoloid
4.81/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I've liked this place for a while now but I have to say they have really become, for me, one of the best beer and burger spots in the area. The food in on point and the beer menu (bottle and draft) is outstanding. From fairly rare Midwest offerings mixed with a healthy selection of newer or prominent local breweries. Servers are friendly and knowledgable.

 357 characters

Photo of KrajDoesBeer
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

my favorite place by far to get beers and food. just awesome

60 characters

Photo of Sweffin
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Photo of cfh64
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of drewone
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of waitwhatamidrinking
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Nuggetz
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bad Apple in Chicago, IL
Place rating: 4.34 out of 5 with 94 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.