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A plate with grilled chicken and slices of summer sausage, and french fries
Farm chicken at The Publican.
Bill Addison

Where to Eat Succulent Roast Chicken in Chicago

The bird is the word

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Farm chicken at The Publican.
| Bill Addison

A whole roasted chicken is one of the best dishes a home cook can have in their arsenal. It’s simple, it’s comforting, and because it involves a whole bird, it looks like it requires far more skill to cook than it actually does. But sometimes it’s nice to eat a chicken prepared by a professional, with professionally applied spices and a professionally controlled fire. As a bonus, there’s a world of roasted and rotisserie chicken in Chicago — literally, since you can order whole birds in Indian, South American, European, and plain old American restaurants. Some are fancy, served on china plates on white tablecloths, and some are to-go only, transported in a styrofoam container. But all of them on this list are delicious.

As of January 3, the city has mandated that those ages 5 and up be fully vaccinated and masked at public places indoors while not actively eating or drinking. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Brasa Roja

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This mom-and-pop Colombian restaurant gets the charcoal fire going in the early morning and doesn’t stop until everyone’s satisfied. Diners can watch the action up front, where the chickens are seasoned in a secret recipe and roasted for two hours over an open flame. It’s also quite affordable — a whole chicken will only set you back $14.95.

D'Candela Restaurant

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On the border of Irving Park and Albany Park, D’Candela serves up spicy, garlicky Peruvian pollo a la brasa, or rotisserie chicken, available by the quarter, half, or whole bird, for dining in or to-go, with a choice of sides.

Basant Modern Indian Restaurant

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The tandoor is one of the oldest methods for roasting a chicken and still one of the best. And that’s how you get a half chicken at this family-owned Indian restaurant in North Center. The preparation here is chicken tikka, which means it’s cooked on its own, without a sauce.

Athenian Room

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Lincoln Park’s Greek eatery has been a neighborhood staple for more than four decades, thanks in large part to its popular roast chicken. In fact, Tiny Fey loves the dish so much she called the restaurant one of her favorite places to eat in town. And when it comes to food, we won’t argue with Liz Lemon.

The Bristol

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A half roasted chicken at the Bristol comes beautifully browned on a bed of gnocchi and greens, nicely solving the dilemma of whether to order the pasta or the protein.

Lee Wolen rose to prominence at The Lobby with his roasted chicken so it's no surprise the dish has become a mainstay on the Boka menu. The preparation has continuously changed over the years but it remains consistently excellent. In its current iteration, the flavorful bird gets elevated with smoked kabocha, chanterelle, and sage.

A whole rotisserie chicken at this Southern-style Humboldt Park spot is $13.29, quite a bargain. First, it’s delicious, and second, leftovers can be turned into one or two extra meals. Half and quarter chickens are available as well, with a choice of light or dark meat, and so are wings.

Peruvians take their chicken seriously and the pollo a la brasa at Tanta does the national dish proud. The signature entrée is brined for 24 hours in a mix of Coke, garlic, cumin, soy sauce, and other ingredients before being roasted in the oven. The crispy final product arrives at the table alongside cannellini beans, potatoes, arroz con choclo, criolla salad, and a trio of aji sauces.

River Roast

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Come for the picturesque views, stay for the roasts. There are several types offered, from beef and pork to fish, but it would be foolish to pass up the whole chicken. It’s wood-smoked, comes accompanied by crispy potatoes, and is carved tableside. Best of all, there will be enough leftovers for days.

The Publican

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It’s not just pork and seafood at one of Chicago’s most essential spots. The celebrated farm-to-table restaurant from One Off Hospitality Group serves a succulent plate of chicken using birds from Slagel Family Farm. It’s served with summer sausage and fries for a simple down-home meal.

Roanoke

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Whether it’s for a business lunch or a pre-show dinner, Roanoke is a solid option for rotisserie chicken in the Loop. The restaurant, located inside the Residence Inn, roasts juicy birds on a spit and presents them over a bed of roasted vegetables and kale mushroom gravy.

Bruna's Ristorante

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Chicken vesuvio, bone-in chicken sautéed in garlic, oregano, olive oil, and wine then oven-roasted and served with potato wedges and sometimes peas, is a Chicago classic. Many places claim to have invented it (though the now-defunct Vesuvio Restaurant took the credit, hence its name), and now it’s a standard at Italian restaurants around the city. Bruna’s, open since 1933 in Heart of Chicago, serves a particularly fine specimen

Virtue Restaurant

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At Virtue in Hyde Park, chef Erick Williams serves lemon chicken, which arrives at the table dripping with its own pan jus with green beans and roasted fennel.

Nicky's the Real McCoy

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The sauce is boss at this Gage Park restaurant with locations in suburban Alsip and Cicero. The birds comes seasoned the Greek way with hints of lemon, oregano, and garlic. A great choice if you're not in the mood for a Big Baby burger.

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Brasa Roja

This mom-and-pop Colombian restaurant gets the charcoal fire going in the early morning and doesn’t stop until everyone’s satisfied. Diners can watch the action up front, where the chickens are seasoned in a secret recipe and roasted for two hours over an open flame. It’s also quite affordable — a whole chicken will only set you back $14.95.

D'Candela Restaurant

On the border of Irving Park and Albany Park, D’Candela serves up spicy, garlicky Peruvian pollo a la brasa, or rotisserie chicken, available by the quarter, half, or whole bird, for dining in or to-go, with a choice of sides.

Basant Modern Indian Restaurant

The tandoor is one of the oldest methods for roasting a chicken and still one of the best. And that’s how you get a half chicken at this family-owned Indian restaurant in North Center. The preparation here is chicken tikka, which means it’s cooked on its own, without a sauce.

Athenian Room

Lincoln Park’s Greek eatery has been a neighborhood staple for more than four decades, thanks in large part to its popular roast chicken. In fact, Tiny Fey loves the dish so much she called the restaurant one of her favorite places to eat in town. And when it comes to food, we won’t argue with Liz Lemon.

The Bristol

A half roasted chicken at the Bristol comes beautifully browned on a bed of gnocchi and greens, nicely solving the dilemma of whether to order the pasta or the protein.

Boka

Lee Wolen rose to prominence at The Lobby with his roasted chicken so it's no surprise the dish has become a mainstay on the Boka menu. The preparation has continuously changed over the years but it remains consistently excellent. In its current iteration, the flavorful bird gets elevated with smoked kabocha, chanterelle, and sage.

Feed

A whole rotisserie chicken at this Southern-style Humboldt Park spot is $13.29, quite a bargain. First, it’s delicious, and second, leftovers can be turned into one or two extra meals. Half and quarter chickens are available as well, with a choice of light or dark meat, and so are wings.

Tanta

Peruvians take their chicken seriously and the pollo a la brasa at Tanta does the national dish proud. The signature entrée is brined for 24 hours in a mix of Coke, garlic, cumin, soy sauce, and other ingredients before being roasted in the oven. The crispy final product arrives at the table alongside cannellini beans, potatoes, arroz con choclo, criolla salad, and a trio of aji sauces.

River Roast

Come for the picturesque views, stay for the roasts. There are several types offered, from beef and pork to fish, but it would be foolish to pass up the whole chicken. It’s wood-smoked, comes accompanied by crispy potatoes, and is carved tableside. Best of all, there will be enough leftovers for days.

The Publican

It’s not just pork and seafood at one of Chicago’s most essential spots. The celebrated farm-to-table restaurant from One Off Hospitality Group serves a succulent plate of chicken using birds from Slagel Family Farm. It’s served with summer sausage and fries for a simple down-home meal.

Roanoke

Whether it’s for a business lunch or a pre-show dinner, Roanoke is a solid option for rotisserie chicken in the Loop. The restaurant, located inside the Residence Inn, roasts juicy birds on a spit and presents them over a bed of roasted vegetables and kale mushroom gravy.

Bruna's Ristorante

Chicken vesuvio, bone-in chicken sautéed in garlic, oregano, olive oil, and wine then oven-roasted and served with potato wedges and sometimes peas, is a Chicago classic. Many places claim to have invented it (though the now-defunct Vesuvio Restaurant took the credit, hence its name), and now it’s a standard at Italian restaurants around the city. Bruna’s, open since 1933 in Heart of Chicago, serves a particularly fine specimen

Virtue Restaurant

At Virtue in Hyde Park, chef Erick Williams serves lemon chicken, which arrives at the table dripping with its own pan jus with green beans and roasted fennel.

Nicky's the Real McCoy

The sauce is boss at this Gage Park restaurant with locations in suburban Alsip and Cicero. The birds comes seasoned the Greek way with hints of lemon, oregano, and garlic. A great choice if you're not in the mood for a Big Baby burger.

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