Honky Tonk BBQ

Before I leave for Thailand in July, I’m going to do a series documenting some of my favorite places in Chicago.  This first one is in the Pilsen neighborhood, where I have lived four out of my eight years here.  I will do another post of the Pilsen murals, but for now I will focus on Honky Tonk BBQ, one of my favorite restaurants.

I met Natalia, her mom Maria Elena, and Claudia for dinner.  Maria Elena always comes to visit from Bogotá, Colombia for a few months every year.  She and Natalia are planning to travel with me in Thailand and Southeast Asia in August.  Claudia will visit too at some point.


Four Colombians and a Jew walk into a bar…no joke.  Pacha is also visiting from Bogotá.  Here she displays the famous Honky Tonk creation called the Bacon and Brew, an Old Style topped with a piece of bacon candy.


I’d recommend ordering the Brisket Delux with southern greens, mac and cheese, corn muffin, and hot link.  You may choose from three different sauces for your meat.  By the way, I refuse to take pictures of food, so you’ll have to see and taste it yourself.


Somewhere between fine art and kitsch, you will find Honky Tonk’s signature décor.  I’m never quite sure if I’m in an authentic saloon or an ironic one.  Probably both.


Finally, it wouldn’t be Honky Tonk without live music, often from a bygone era.  I’ve heard everything from ragtime and swing to country and rockabilly here.

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