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Resi's Bierstube

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Resi's BierstubeResi's Bierstube
36 Ratings
Resi's BierstubeResi's Bierstube

Type: Bar, Eatery

2034 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, Illinois, 60618-3910
United States

(773) 472-1749 | map

Monday - Friday: 2pm - 2am
Saturday: 2pm - 3am
Sunday: 2pm - 12am
Kitchen opens at 5pm (closed Monday)

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Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 24
Reviews by 4thoseabout2bock:
Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
4/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Two of the my favorite and most authentic Chicago/Germanic experiences are found on this block on Irving Park. Resi's and Lachet's are conveniently located across the street (Irving Park) from each other are the venerable remaining veterans of a host of fine German bars that used to populate the near northside of Chicago. They are easily reachable via the Irving Park brown line stop (walk three blocks west).

When you walk into Resi's you enter bar in a small town somewhere in southern Germany. The bar runs the length of the side you enter on, and the bar wall is covered with German postcards and beermats. The other side of the room has a half dozen booths with are a few free standing tables in the center of the room. The kitchen is at the back of the one room bar/restaurant and the hallway to the back patio is between the kitchen and the bathrooms. The patio is not a "beer garten" in any authentic German sense, but it is a nice outdoor backyard with eight tables round plastic tables.

Resi's has about a half dozen German beers on tap at any given time. Steins are 8-10 dollars which can seem pricey, but they are also about a pint and a half. The quality has always been good, the lines are clean and they go through their beer at a decent pace.

Service has always been good here, although sometimes the waitresses have sort of a friendly gruffness about them.

Resi's is a Bierstube moreso than a restaurant. Their food is german, good and satisfying (and they offer potato pancakes on Fridays, whereas Laschet's does not offer potato pancakes at all). Its a little more expensive than most bar food, but as you might expect, it is homemade, hardy and filling.

The back patio which can be delightful on summer nights with a breeze. In all other respects I have to say the food is a cut above at Lachet's, but Resi's feels more like you are in a bar in a small town in Germany.

If Resi's is more of a bar than Laschett's, both of them seem more German than Glunz's (around the corner on Lincoln) which is pretty much primarily a restuarant in this incarnation. We had a fine meal at Glunz's, but there is more German spoken by the clientele at both Resi's and Laschet's.

Between Resi's and Lachet's you will experience the best of Germany in Chicago. Berghoff downtown recently closed, but they were a shadow of their former selves for quite a while before they did. Another great German restobar (Edelweiss in Norridge) is much further out and harder to get to unless you are driving. (Mirabell has a nice beer selection but I wouldn't rate them as highly for their food).

Resi's is a fine stop for German beer and food, especially potato pancakes. The ambiance is not black forest German kitsch (which Edelweiss, Mirabell and even Glunz have more of). It is more real German like the bars we experienced in small towns around Frankfurt, Munich and Bamberg. German VFW is dead on. If you love German beer, it's a cheap trip to Germany.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of cryptichead
3.85/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This place has a neat little biergarten in back. You can tell you're walking back in time when you enter here. I like the fact that the owner has stayed true to the setup and d├ęcor.....yes, the tables and chairs are from the 70s but you have to put that aside to feel the true spirit of this place.

 301 characters

Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of puftdank
4.23/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Photo of Canada_Dan
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of misternebbie
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of TheRealPour
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of birdsellam
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of SandMan00
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Resi's was a pioneer, being considered by many to have been among the first, if not the first, to serve Weiss beer in the U.S. My first experience was circa 1979-80 as a college student. Had never had a wheat beer and had barely heard of it. First visit, went in, sat down at the bar. Two or three old guy regulars sitting at the end of the bar, speaking German and drinking beer with lemon slices out of big glasses. I'll have what they're having. Long story short, after a few of those, some backslapping camaraderie, a jager schnitzel and complimentary shot of Flimm's apfel liqueur as a digestive, I was hooked. Thirty five years and 700 miles away now, I get to Chicago maybe once every 2-3 years. And I still make the pilgrimage out to W. Irving Park Rd.

 767 characters

Photo of Beerpiggie
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of cadaugherty
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Jordanmtate
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Tex_hex
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of PopnLoads
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of USAF77
4.23/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

I wish I had a nickle for every afternoon I riled away in the stube. We even had a word for it back then amongst my friends, we called it "getting stube'ed". As in ,"lets go get stube'ed". I must have been 16 or 17 when I first started going to resis, it is after all, or was, old style German. I knew Carl the owner and his son, whom I hope still runs it. At one time it had the largest selection of beer of anywhere in the city. Resis had a big hand in educating the Chicago palate on what good beer was.

Because it was a German Bier garten. A place one spent hours at with good company, where one can hear the other talk and there was never any trouble. I used to take dates there. And most of all there was the good simple food and the great beer.

Before it became a yuppie hot spot it was the classic working man bier stube in a classic old German neighborhood in Chicago. Now Im going back to the '70s here. Then I came back from Military service and the Cubs crowd had started to find it but it was still a great place and I dont doubt it still is.

I always thought the kassler ribs and Brats were the best dishes. They had a great sour kraut and rye bread too and a very good cold potato salad, all with a good mustard. On tap was always Pschoor and Dab tho I imagine they have all kinda stuff on tap now. Remember this place is classic German which means a German brew is a must. Even if it isnt on tap they have a bottle selection that will blow you away.

Resis was a big part of my life at one time. I must go back one day, and do it soon. A medical condition made me give up drinking for many years but now Im allowed one or two and I'd love to go back. I hope its still in the family. I loved this place.

 1,721 characters

Photo of philosobeer
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I'll put this very simply. It's definitely German in the sense that it was made by and for a German immigrant community whenever it was founded. Bric-a-brac celebrating German beer and culture on the walls.

It is by no means fancy and has a very working class feel and clientele. Good food though. The potato salad, wurst, sauerkraut, and potato pancakes are all worth a try.

Often changing tap list includes a great German selection. The food is somewhat expensive, but the beer and liquor (a great selection of schnapps, brandies, and liqueurs) is not. If I lived closer, I would be a regular.

 598 characters

Photo of jrallen34
2.75/5  rDev -35%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Trying to tick all the top rated Chicago places, and this joint is somehow on the first page. Just around the corner from WLV we stopped here after a WLV tasting. A Friday night, we figured it would be busy, walked into a basically empty spot. The atmosphere is something I would like to call homey and nostalgic, but coms across as trashy and chessy. Very old inside, not much updating at all. Some generic German knick knacks, but its forced. Ugly old tables, stools are huge and clunky and make it difficult to sit at the bar....The service is severely lacking and outright weird. Sitting at the bar you have to order and pay from two different people, one for your beer, one for food. The server had a decent but fairly limited knowledge. Neither food nor beer service were attentive...The beers on tap were mostly German, a few things that are not common, but most was easy to find lagers. Bottle list of about 20 beers, more common beers, but mixed with quite a few bmc's...The food that everyone raves about was ok. Potato pancakes are pretty good but too thick and a tad plain. The schnitzel was big but plain. I got a brat but the bun was totally soaked. A plus was some really good sauerkraut....To me this is NOTHING like a real German bar. I would not venture here ever again.

 1,288 characters

Photo of SFLpunk
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went last night with a group of four total. No wait (on a Saturday in Chicago, impressive) to sit down at a table. If you order draft you'll get a .5L unless you specify (I think Liter is the only other option). The waitstaff was knowledgeable about the beers which is always appreciated.

The atmosphere is low-class in a good way. It's not hipster low class, it's just actually. I picture this being a Royal Order of the Something guys' hang out after meetings.

The beers are fresh and tasty. There were only two things on draft that I'd never heard of, and a handful of bottles that I didn't recognize.

Potato pancakes are the straight dope here.

Cool, relaxed, unpretentious place for a good time with old friends.

 721 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped in on a Saturday afternoon. Small and old looking on the inside. A bit dark, and worn but gives it a nice touch. Bartender greeted us immediately, and told us what was on tap. He told us to have a seat out in the beergarden if we wanted, and someone would take our order. The outside, althoug small was quite comfortable. Several trees provided shade, while there were a dozen or so tables with umbrellas. Very comfortable, although I couldn't believe there place was practically empty.

Beers were German. Nothing outstanding, but some good solid choices. Julius Echter Heferweizen, Spaten Optimator, and BBK were the ones that stood out. All served in appropriate glassware, and tasted pretty nice.

Our waitress was frinedly and attentive. We split some potato pancakes that were very good. Standard German fare on the menu. Prices were reasonable. Overall, a good stop. Love the beer garden.

 903 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Old-fashioned German decor and 70's diner (seats, tables) make this an interesting stop in Chicago.

BBK and others that aren't on tap at many places can always be found at Resis. In the past, I've noticed servers speak fluent German, as well as the kitchen staff. They've hired a more diverse set of employees on my 2008 visit though.

No food on current visit, but in the past I found it to be traditional Bavarian, and worthwhile if you like the cuisine in general.

Usually on my list for places to go when visiting Chicago. Small, intimate, and always a great German beer selection.

 587 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A small piece of Munich dropped into Chicago's north side. The inside is chintzy but the beer garden is very comfortable, and reminded me a little of the backyard behind our apartment off Bryn Mawr when I was a kid. The beer garden is smallish, ~15 tables, seating for maybe 40. There were two large oak trees in the middle providing ample shade.

I saw 8 taps, serving BBK Kutscher Alt, BBK Gold Export, Bitburger, Julius Echter weisse, Hacker Pschorr lager, Konig pilsner, Kostritzer schwarzbier, Spaten Optimator. The food tasted authentic and was sort of cheap, most things on the menu were <$10. A very good stop for German beer and food.

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Photo of nocheinsbitte
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Resi's is really two different bars; the winter bar and the summer bar. In the spring and summer, the bier garten in the back of the bar is the best place in Chicago to go and have a few biers, talk, eat good Bavarian fare, and begin to think you were in Munich. In the winter, it is a smallish kitschy bar that before the smoking ban, was almost unbearable to be in late in the evening. Now, with the smoking ban, the bar is charming and allows me and my friends to enjoy the great bier selection year round. It does have one of the best Weizen selections I have seen this side of the Atlantic as well as a nice BBK, DAB, and many other bottles.
Service: the bartenders are great and attentive. The waitresses can be a bit aloof and inattentive, but when asked, they respond well and take care of you.
Food: Great food for the prices...don't tell my mom, but they have the best potato pancakes I have had!
Overall, this is one of the my favorite places to go anytime of year, but especially in the summer. If you are coming to Chicago, make sure your stop by Resi's, you will not be disappointed.

 1,100 characters

Photo of malcontent
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Oh, Lord. I curse you, Resi's, for letting me find you. Single-handedly responsible for my current German beer kick, Resi's is dangerously close to my workplace making it a more than tempting option after a grueling shift.

Despite the subtle, pretty brick facade, the interior of Resi's is all kitsch. Think a combination of a VFW and your grandpa's basement/barroom. All sorts of nick-nacks adorn the back bar and the furniture is, shall we say, unpretentious. There is a beergarten in the back but I'm a drinker, nature be damned! There are 2 TV's and neither generally has the volume very high. Instead, one of the two barkeeps (both genuine, low-key dudes) will generally have their music on over the overhead speakers.

Service is top-notch and very personalized although I've never been waited on outside of the bar (although a few of the waitresses are pretty darn cute...). I'm always offered samples of anything on tap, which is a huge plus.

The selection, while not huge, offers a damned good cross-section of German beer (they lose a half point for no Berliner Weisse). On draft count on at least two of the seasonal (Oktoberfest, Hefe, Dopplebock, etc.) along with Kutcher Alt, BBK, Spaten and some other, funkier options. Bottled selection is strong as well with plenty of Avinitus, Ayinger and the like.

The food, while predictably German (read: meaty and heavy) is of the highest quality. Any foodie I know would be impressed to find that all of the sausage served at Resi's is purchased fresh daily from Paulina Market.

Resi's is my new favorite haunt.

 1,574 characters

Photo of KevBrews
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Resi's is one of the last remaining German biergardens in Chicago. Before my trip, I had read a review that stated that Resi's was like a German VFW hall. Can't agree more. The decor isn't much, but this place is still a find. If you like big, hearty Eastern European fare, as well as a wide selection of German brews, this is the place.

I tried a BBK, which I had never heard of. The bartender described it as a German pils, although the beer itself was too sweet and not crisp enough to be a pils. BeerAdvocate lists a BBK Dortmunder, which might be the same beer I tried. Either way, it was pleasant enough, but not something I'd get again.

I would, however, order the Aventinus I had as my second choice again. And again. And again. This beer was big and malty--very tasty. However, if I ever make it back to Resi's, it'll be tough to limit myself to just the beers I've had before. There were about 25 beers on the list, all authentically German or microbrews true to German styles. Very impressive beer list.

And the food was terrific, too. I had Knackwurst, with kraut and German potato salad. Delicious. Made my German heritage proud!

I've heard Resi's is even more spectacular when it's warm enough that you can sit out in the actual biergarden. That may be true, but I'd eagerly head back any time of the year.

 1,332 characters

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Resi's Bierstube in Chicago, IL
Place rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 36 ratings
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