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The cheese curds at Queenie’s Supper Club at the United Center
Hilary Higgins

12 Gooey and Crunchy Cheese Curds That Make Chicago Feel Like Wisconsin

These cheese curds feel like an escape to the north woods but with city-chef flair

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The cheese curds at Queenie’s Supper Club at the United Center
| Hilary Higgins

For a cheese curd to be good, it must meet a few requirements. It needs to have a crispy exterior with a distinctive crunch; and the cheese must be gooey, but not gooey enough that it doesn’t squeak. But let’s face it, if it’s fried cheese, chances are it’s going to be eaten regardless.

Here’s a map of the best and most interestingly-prepared cheese curds in Chicago, from excellent takes on the Wisconsin classic to more innovative and different variations on the cheesy favorite, including pizza and mac and cheese that feature curds.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Mordecai

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This gourmet Wrigleyville whiskey house serves everything from dinner to gameday snacks inside the Hotel Zachary. Cocktails are the belles of the ball at this bi-level eatery, but snagging a seat at the bar calls for beer battered cheese curds topped with scallions and togarashi, and served with black garlic aioli for a nice departure from the requisite ranch with a toasty kick.

Mordecai [Official Photo]

Commonwealth Tavern

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It doesn’t get much more Wisconsin than Miller Lite beer batter, which is exactly what Commonwealth Tavern serves up in Roscoe Village. Wisconsin white cheddar curds are fried and served with ranch, making an excellent accoutrement to the Badgers game.

Commonwealth Tavern [Official Photo]

Will's Northwoods Inn

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Perhaps the most Wisconsin bar in Chicago, Will’s Northwoods Inn is the place for Wisconsinites to find respite. From Musky Fest to Packerpalooza and even a cheese curds crawl, Will’s Northwoods embraces everything Wisconsin. Traditional and simple, grab the cheese curds with ranch and dream sweet dreams of New Glarus Spotted Cow.

Will’s Northwoods Inn/Facebook

HopCat - Chicago

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Chicago’s location of the Michigan beer bar with a huge selection of brews serves cheese curds to keep the liquid flowing. The dish ‘Curd Your Enthusiasm’ offers battered Wisconsin cheese curds with avocado-ranch dressing for a more traditional take on the cheesy bites. But what they excel at is being fuel for a night of imbibing.

HopCat [Official Photo]

Daisies

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For one of the city’s most popular gourmet curd twists, head to Daisies in Logan Square for the fried mushrooms and cheese curds, a dish that’s been requested so often that ownership says it’s never coming off the menu. Fried slices of portobello mushrooms top Manitowac, Wisconsin curds topped with shavings of 12-month parmigiano reggiano. The whole thing is paired with buttermilk tarragon dipping sauce, bringing the cheffy dish a familiar feel.

Neil Burger

Parson's Chicken & Fish

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Three Parson’s negroni slushies in and it’s nearly inevitable that snacks are happening too. While any of the fried chicken entrees may be calling, sides of cheese curd fritters are popular too. Think arancini-sized fried balls of aged cheddar, potatoes, garlic, cream, and jalapeño with a buttermilk dressing. They’re crunchy, crave-pleasing, and a steal at only $5.

Clayton Hauck

Links Taproom

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If a classic curd battered with Wisconsin brew is tugging at the heartstrings, Links Taproom obliges in addition to a wide variety of beer to wash them down. These are made with a 3 Sheeps Brewing Amber Ale out of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Pair them with a couple beers and they might as well be fit for a meal.

Links Taproom [Official Photo]

LG's Bar

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LG’s, the former Lady Gregory’s in Old Town, serves cheese curds made from Ellsworth, Wisconsin cheese and finished with sriracha aioli and a secret spice. At happy hour, which also has discounted cocktails, shots, and wine, they’re just $7 from 5-7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

LG’s Bar [Official Photo]

Baptiste & Bottle

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Baptiste & Bottle serves up an over-the-top take on cheese curds — in mac and cheese. The 2017 Mac & Cheese Fest winner has smoked cream cheese, American cheese, pimento cheese sauce, Wisconsin cheese curds, chili sauce, Panko bread crumbs, and jalapeños for one of the most interesting cheese curd dishes in Chicago.

Neil Burger

Bar Cargo

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This River North spot is a Wisconsin bar which specializes in pizza — so it naturally puts cheese curds on top of one. The “Wiscurdo” pizza features mozzarella cheese, garlic Panko bread crumbs, Wisconsin cheese curds, and a drizzle of ranch.

Bar Cargo [Official Photo]

Parlay at Joy District

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This University of Wisconsin Badger bar on the ground floor of River North clubstaurant Joy District has Wisconsin cheese curds as an ode to its team. An ultra-traditional curd, the first floor sports bar serves them in an Allagash beer batter with house ranch, but adds beer cheese fondue for an extra layer of cheese for those looking to truly indulge.

Adam Sokolowski

Queenie’s Supper Club at United Center

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It’s only fit for a supper club-style restaurant in Chicago to serve cheese curds. The new United Center restaurant, which is open for both event-goers and the general public, serves killer cheese curds from Widmer in a beer batter made with the proprietary Queenie’s Kolsch by Whiner Beer and served with a side of black garlic ranch sauce.

Hilary Higgins

Mordecai

Mordecai [Official Photo]

This gourmet Wrigleyville whiskey house serves everything from dinner to gameday snacks inside the Hotel Zachary. Cocktails are the belles of the ball at this bi-level eatery, but snagging a seat at the bar calls for beer battered cheese curds topped with scallions and togarashi, and served with black garlic aioli for a nice departure from the requisite ranch with a toasty kick.

Mordecai [Official Photo]

Commonwealth Tavern

Commonwealth Tavern [Official Photo]

It doesn’t get much more Wisconsin than Miller Lite beer batter, which is exactly what Commonwealth Tavern serves up in Roscoe Village. Wisconsin white cheddar curds are fried and served with ranch, making an excellent accoutrement to the Badgers game.

Commonwealth Tavern [Official Photo]

Will's Northwoods Inn

Will’s Northwoods Inn/Facebook

Perhaps the most Wisconsin bar in Chicago, Will’s Northwoods Inn is the place for Wisconsinites to find respite. From Musky Fest to Packerpalooza and even a cheese curds crawl, Will’s Northwoods embraces everything Wisconsin. Traditional and simple, grab the cheese curds with ranch and dream sweet dreams of New Glarus Spotted Cow.

Will’s Northwoods Inn/Facebook

HopCat - Chicago

HopCat [Official Photo]

Chicago’s location of the Michigan beer bar with a huge selection of brews serves cheese curds to keep the liquid flowing. The dish ‘Curd Your Enthusiasm’ offers battered Wisconsin cheese curds with avocado-ranch dressing for a more traditional take on the cheesy bites. But what they excel at is being fuel for a night of imbibing.

HopCat [Official Photo]

Daisies

Neil Burger

For one of the city’s most popular gourmet curd twists, head to Daisies in Logan Square for the fried mushrooms and cheese curds, a dish that’s been requested so often that ownership says it’s never coming off the menu. Fried slices of portobello mushrooms top Manitowac, Wisconsin curds topped with shavings of 12-month parmigiano reggiano. The whole thing is paired with buttermilk tarragon dipping sauce, bringing the cheffy dish a familiar feel.

Neil Burger

Parson's Chicken & Fish

Clayton Hauck

Three Parson’s negroni slushies in and it’s nearly inevitable that snacks are happening too. While any of the fried chicken entrees may be calling, sides of cheese curd fritters are popular too. Think arancini-sized fried balls of aged cheddar, potatoes, garlic, cream, and jalapeño with a buttermilk dressing. They’re crunchy, crave-pleasing, and a steal at only $5.

Clayton Hauck

Links Taproom

Links Taproom [Official Photo]

If a classic curd battered with Wisconsin brew is tugging at the heartstrings, Links Taproom obliges in addition to a wide variety of beer to wash them down. These are made with a 3 Sheeps Brewing Amber Ale out of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Pair them with a couple beers and they might as well be fit for a meal.

Links Taproom [Official Photo]

LG's Bar

LG’s Bar [Official Photo]

LG’s, the former Lady Gregory’s in Old Town, serves cheese curds made from Ellsworth, Wisconsin cheese and finished with sriracha aioli and a secret spice. At happy hour, which also has discounted cocktails, shots, and wine, they’re just $7 from 5-7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

LG’s Bar [Official Photo]

Baptiste & Bottle

Neil Burger

Baptiste & Bottle serves up an over-the-top take on cheese curds — in mac and cheese. The 2017 Mac & Cheese Fest winner has smoked cream cheese, American cheese, pimento cheese sauce, Wisconsin cheese curds, chili sauce, Panko bread crumbs, and jalapeños for one of the most interesting cheese curd dishes in Chicago.

Neil Burger

Bar Cargo

Bar Cargo [Official Photo]

This River North spot is a Wisconsin bar which specializes in pizza — so it naturally puts cheese curds on top of one. The “Wiscurdo” pizza features mozzarella cheese, garlic Panko bread crumbs, Wisconsin cheese curds, and a drizzle of ranch.

Bar Cargo [Official Photo]

Parlay at Joy District

Adam Sokolowski

This University of Wisconsin Badger bar on the ground floor of River North clubstaurant Joy District has Wisconsin cheese curds as an ode to its team. An ultra-traditional curd, the first floor sports bar serves them in an Allagash beer batter with house ranch, but adds beer cheese fondue for an extra layer of cheese for those looking to truly indulge.

Adam Sokolowski

Queenie’s Supper Club at United Center

Hilary Higgins

It’s only fit for a supper club-style restaurant in Chicago to serve cheese curds. The new United Center restaurant, which is open for both event-goers and the general public, serves killer cheese curds from Widmer in a beer batter made with the proprietary Queenie’s Kolsch by Whiner Beer and served with a side of black garlic ranch sauce.

Hilary Higgins

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