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Swift & Sons’ Cold Platter
Boka Restaurant Group

Chicago’s 15 Top Spots For Sterling Seafood Towers

Where to find the city’s freshest raw bar selections

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Swift & Sons’ Cold Platter
| Boka Restaurant Group

The summer sun brings a renewed interest in chilled foods, and one of the best ways to fill up while cooling off is via raw bar options and seafood towers. And luckily, Chicago is rich in both. From Maude’s and Bavette’s sophisticated presentations, to the luxe towers by RPM Steak, below a guide to the city’s most prized chilled ocean animal offerings.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House

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58 E Oak St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 888-2499
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Steakhouse Del Frisco’s Shellfish Plateau is arranged to feed two or more guests, with the market price ranging between $95 to $100. The assortment includes about one pound of Alaskan King Crab legs, six shrimp, and four pieces of chilled crab claws. Cocktail sauce and mustard sauce land on the side, and guests can add on a chilled lobster cocktail for $18 or Jumbo Lump Crab Louie for $16.

Del Frisco's

2. Margeaux Brasserie

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11 E Walton St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 625-1324
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Celeb chef Michael Mina’s Parisian-inspired Margeaux Brasserie within the Waldorf Astoria serves The Grand Shellfish Tower during both brunch and dinner. The $149 ocean animal collection is built for four to six guests, and involves 12 oysters, 12 shrimp, Prince Edward Island mussels escabeche, chilled Maine lobster thermidor, and Alaskan king crab salad paired with three sauces (gin cocktail, avocado green goddess, and house mignonette) for dipping.

Margeaux Brasserie

3. Devon Seafood Grill

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39 E Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 440-8660
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Grab a seat at the upstairs oyster bar within aquatic-leaning Devon Seafood Grill for two chilled shellfish platter options. The $55 arrangement suits two to three guests, while the $98 engagement involves more for four to six. Expect to score shrimp cocktail, oysters, lobster claws, king crab legs, roasted tomato cocktail sauce, and white balsamic mignonette.

4. Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar

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2700 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 661-9577
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As its name suggests, Chicago’s first caviar bar hinges on eggs from the sea. In addition to a wide-spanning selection from Golden Osetra to wild Illinois Hackleback, the eatery also offers preserved fish and a handful of oyster options. Typically $4 a pop, drop in on Mondays for the $28 Red Lobster-inspired all-you-can-eat special from 4 to 9:30 p.m.

Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar

5. GT Prime Steakhouse

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707 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 600-6305
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Boka Restaurant Group’s contemporary steakhouse helmed by chef Giuseppe Tentori offers a bunch of chilled seafood options, like wasabi tobiko scallop ceviche and jumbo shrimp with beer mustard. The single seafood tower, which hit the menu four months ago, run $150 and includes a pound of Maine lobster, half a pound of Alaskan king crab, six shrimp, six East Coast oysters, two ounces of tuna tartare, and two ounces of scallop ceviche.

Boka Restaurant Group

6. Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

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60 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 379-5637
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Miami export and stone crab enthusiast Joe’s goes big with The Whale, a seafood tower assortment priced $27 per person. Each human nabs one shrimp cocktail, two ounces of shrimp and scallop ceviche, two ounces of king crab and half a lobster tail. Old Bay corn chips, cocktail sauce, drawn butter and lemon wedges on the side.

Anjali Pinto

7. GT Fish & Oyster

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531 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 929-3501
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Boka Restaurant Group’s GT Fish & Oyster specializes in all things raw. On the menu since day one (back in March 2011), chef Giuseppe Tentori organizes a $125 seafood tower stocked with one pound of Maine lobster, two ounces of king crab, two large shrimp, three snow crab claws, four mussels, six East Coast oysters, two clams, plus tuna ceviche. But there’s also a bunch of other chilled options, like tuna poke, hamachi crudo, and shrimp cocktail.

Eric Kleinberg

8. Shaw's Crab House

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21 E Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 527-2722
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Classically-styled seafood seller Shaw’s Crab House assembles two seafood platters that serve four to five guests, one hot, one cold. The Grand Hot Shellfish Platter comes with calamari, mini Crab Cakes, fried oysters, oysters Rockefeller, Alaskan red king crab bites, and steamed lobster tails for $85. The Grand Cold Shellfish Platter is stocked with Maine lobster tails, oysters, jumbo shrimp cocktail, Alaskan red king crab bites, and blue crab fingers for $90.

Christina Slaton

9. RPM Steak

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66 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 284-4990
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Surf and turf staple RPM Steak’s Grand Seafood Platter is one to behold. For $155 patrons nab a two-tier silver tower with a half dozen oysters plus mignonette (currently serving Clevedon Coast oysters), tiger prawns, half a pound of Alaskan King Crab legs, and a whole lobster. The kit and caboodle comes with drawn butter, classic cocktail sauce, and wasabi-mustard mayo. Protip: A smaller lunch version is offered Monday through Friday for $78.

John Stoffer

10. Bavette's Bar & Boeuf

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218 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 624-8154
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Hogsalt Hospitality’s French-accented sultry steakhouse Bavette’s offers pretty much the same raw bar options as its Parisian bistro Maude’s not too far away, minus à la carte shrimp cocktail. Which means that patrons can prick between three Chilled Seafood Plateaux options — $125, $165, and $175 — plus lobster cocktail, and king crab as singular orders. In terms of towers, the most comprehensive, of course, is the $175 option, which includes a dozen of each East and West coast oysters, two ounces of cured Scottish salmon ceviche with espelette and pickled Serrano peppers, a dozen shrimp cocktail, half a pound of Stonington Maine lobster, one pound of Alaskan king crab legs, plus cocktail sauces: mignonette, Dijon mustard aioli, and clarified butter.

Tara White

11. Cold Storage

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1000 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 638-6280
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Boka Restaurant Group’s chilled seafood locker Cold Storage lives up to its name, with a number of raw bar options and shellfish towers. Patrons can order little neck clams and scallop ceviche individually, or go whole hog with a tower priced at $20, $40, or $75. The largest of the bunch is studded with three oysters, marinated mussels, three shrimp, three ounces of king crab, scallops, half a lobster and a rotating seasonal item.

Boka Restaurant Group

12. Swift & Sons

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1000 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-9420
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Chef Chris Pandel over at Boka Restaurant Group’s sleek seafood and steak specialist Swift & Sons prices his seafood power per person. The cost is $32 a head and comes with shrimp cocktail, mussels, bay scallop leche de tigre, king crab, and oysters.

Boka Restaurant Group

13. Flight Club

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111 W. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 284-2474
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Newly-minted dart bar Flight Club hit town with the Queen’s Castle seafood tower. Think 12 oysters, 12 shrimp, one pound of king crab, one pound of lobster, plus seafood salad with fisherman’s toast. Chef Rick Gresh is behind the collection, which runs $125.

Flight Club

14. Maude's Liquor Bar

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840 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 243-9712
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Beloved West Loop Parisian bistro Maude’s, by Hogsalt Hospitality, offers one of the city’s most prized and vast seafood tower selections. The Plateau de Fruits de Mer options come in three tiers—$125, $165, and $175—with shrimp cocktail, lobster cocktail, and king crab available à la carte. The grandest of affairs is the Maude’s Tower, equipped with a dozen of each East and West coast oysters, two ounces of cured Scottish salmon ceviche with espelette and pickled Serrano peppers, a dozen shrimp cocktail, half a pound of Stonington Maine lobster, one pound of Alaskan king crab legs, plus cocktail sauces: mignonette, Dijon mustard aioli, and clarified butter.

Tara White

15. Dusek's Board & Beer

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1227 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 526-3851
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Michelin-starred gastropub Dusek’s has a $160 seafood tower, but you’ve got to pre-order it 48 hours in advance. Chef Michael Galen will then assemble a rotating selection of 12 oysters, six little neck clams, a pound of mussels (cooked then marinated in olive oil, lemon zest, beer vinegar, tossed in chives), six ounces of crab legs, about a pound of lobster, six shrimp cooked in Port bouillon, three ounces of hamachi crudo with rhubarb jam and red onion, plus drawn butter, cocktail sauce, Dijonaise and saison beer mignonette.

Dusek's Board & Beer

1. Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House

58 E Oak St, Chicago, IL 60611
Del Frisco's

Steakhouse Del Frisco’s Shellfish Plateau is arranged to feed two or more guests, with the market price ranging between $95 to $100. The assortment includes about one pound of Alaskan King Crab legs, six shrimp, and four pieces of chilled crab claws. Cocktail sauce and mustard sauce land on the side, and guests can add on a chilled lobster cocktail for $18 or Jumbo Lump Crab Louie for $16.

58 E Oak St
Chicago, IL 60611

2. Margeaux Brasserie

11 E Walton St, Chicago, IL 60611
Margeaux Brasserie

Celeb chef Michael Mina’s Parisian-inspired Margeaux Brasserie within the Waldorf Astoria serves The Grand Shellfish Tower during both brunch and dinner. The $149 ocean animal collection is built for four to six guests, and involves 12 oysters, 12 shrimp, Prince Edward Island mussels escabeche, chilled Maine lobster thermidor, and Alaskan king crab salad paired with three sauces (gin cocktail, avocado green goddess, and house mignonette) for dipping.

11 E Walton St
Chicago, IL 60611

3. Devon Seafood Grill

39 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Grab a seat at the upstairs oyster bar within aquatic-leaning Devon Seafood Grill for two chilled shellfish platter options. The $55 arrangement suits two to three guests, while the $98 engagement involves more for four to six. Expect to score shrimp cocktail, oysters, lobster claws, king crab legs, roasted tomato cocktail sauce, and white balsamic mignonette.

39 E Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

4. Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar

2700 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar

As its name suggests, Chicago’s first caviar bar hinges on eggs from the sea. In addition to a wide-spanning selection from Golden Osetra to wild Illinois Hackleback, the eatery also offers preserved fish and a handful of oyster options. Typically $4 a pop, drop in on Mondays for the $28 Red Lobster-inspired all-you-can-eat special from 4 to 9:30 p.m.

2700 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

5. GT Prime Steakhouse

707 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654
Boka Restaurant Group

Boka Restaurant Group’s contemporary steakhouse helmed by chef Giuseppe Tentori offers a bunch of chilled seafood options, like wasabi tobiko scallop ceviche and jumbo shrimp with beer mustard. The single seafood tower, which hit the menu four months ago, run $150 and includes a pound of Maine lobster, half a pound of Alaskan king crab, six shrimp, six East Coast oysters, two ounces of tuna tartare, and two ounces of scallop ceviche.

707 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654

6. Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

60 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Anjali Pinto

Miami export and stone crab enthusiast Joe’s goes big with The Whale, a seafood tower assortment priced $27 per person. Each human nabs one shrimp cocktail, two ounces of shrimp and scallop ceviche, two ounces of king crab and half a lobster tail. Old Bay corn chips, cocktail sauce, drawn butter and lemon wedges on the side.

60 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

7. GT Fish & Oyster

531 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654
Eric Kleinberg

Boka Restaurant Group’s GT Fish & Oyster specializes in all things raw. On the menu since day one (back in March 2011), chef Giuseppe Tentori organizes a $125 seafood tower stocked with one pound of Maine lobster, two ounces of king crab, two large shrimp, three snow crab claws, four mussels, six East Coast oysters, two clams, plus tuna ceviche. But there’s also a bunch of other chilled options, like tuna poke, hamachi crudo, and shrimp cocktail.

531 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654

8. Shaw's Crab House

21 E Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60611
Christina Slaton

Classically-styled seafood seller Shaw’s Crab House assembles two seafood platters that serve four to five guests, one hot, one cold. The Grand Hot Shellfish Platter comes with calamari, mini Crab Cakes, fried oysters, oysters Rockefeller, Alaskan red king crab bites, and steamed lobster tails for $85. The Grand Cold Shellfish Platter is stocked with Maine lobster tails, oysters, jumbo shrimp cocktail, Alaskan red king crab bites, and blue crab fingers for $90.

21 E Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60611

9. RPM Steak

66 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654
John Stoffer

Surf and turf staple RPM Steak’s Grand Seafood Platter is one to behold. For $155 patrons nab a two-tier silver tower with a half dozen oysters plus mignonette (currently serving Clevedon Coast oysters), tiger prawns, half a pound of Alaskan King Crab legs, and a whole lobster. The kit and caboodle comes with drawn butter, classic cocktail sauce, and wasabi-mustard mayo. Protip: A smaller lunch version is offered Monday through Friday for $78.

66 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654

10. Bavette's Bar & Boeuf

218 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654
Tara White

Hogsalt Hospitality’s French-accented sultry steakhouse Bavette’s offers pretty much the same raw bar options as its Parisian bistro Maude’s not too far away, minus à la carte shrimp cocktail. Which means that patrons can prick between three Chilled Seafood Plateaux options — $125, $165, and $175 — plus lobster cocktail, and king crab as singular orders. In terms of towers, the most comprehensive, of course, is the $175 option, which includes a dozen of each East and West coast oysters, two ounces of cured Scottish salmon ceviche with espelette and pickled Serrano peppers, a dozen shrimp cocktail, half a pound of Stonington Maine lobster, one pound of Alaskan king crab legs, plus cocktail sauces: mignonette, Dijon mustard aioli, and clarified butter.

218 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654

11. Cold Storage

1000 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
Boka Restaurant Group

Boka Restaurant Group’s chilled seafood locker Cold Storage lives up to its name, with a number of raw bar options and shellfish towers. Patrons can order little neck clams and scallop ceviche individually, or go whole hog with a tower priced at $20, $40, or $75. The largest of the bunch is studded with three oysters, marinated mussels, three shrimp, three ounces of king crab, scallops, half a lobster and a rotating seasonal item.

1000 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

12. Swift & Sons

1000 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
Boka Restaurant Group

Chef Chris Pandel over at Boka Restaurant Group’s sleek seafood and steak specialist Swift & Sons prices his seafood power per person. The cost is $32 a head and comes with shrimp cocktail, mussels, bay scallop leche de tigre, king crab, and oysters.

1000 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

13. Flight Club

111 W. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601
Flight Club

Newly-minted dart bar Flight Club hit town with the Queen’s Castle seafood tower. Think 12 oysters, 12 shrimp, one pound of king crab, one pound of lobster, plus seafood salad with fisherman’s toast. Chef Rick Gresh is behind the collection, which runs $125.

111 W. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601

14. Maude's Liquor Bar

840 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Tara White

Beloved West Loop Parisian bistro Maude’s, by Hogsalt Hospitality, offers one of the city’s most prized and vast seafood tower selections. The Plateau de Fruits de Mer options come in three tiers—$125, $165, and $175—with shrimp cocktail, lobster cocktail, and king crab available à la carte. The grandest of affairs is the Maude’s Tower, equipped with a dozen of each East and West coast oysters, two ounces of cured Scottish salmon ceviche with espelette and pickled Serrano peppers, a dozen shrimp cocktail, half a pound of Stonington Maine lobster, one pound of Alaskan king crab legs, plus cocktail sauces: mignonette, Dijon mustard aioli, and clarified butter.

840 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

15. Dusek's Board & Beer

1227 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608
Dusek's Board & Beer

Michelin-starred gastropub Dusek’s has a $160 seafood tower, but you’ve got to pre-order it 48 hours in advance. Chef Michael Galen will then assemble a rotating selection of 12 oysters, six little neck clams, a pound of mussels (cooked then marinated in olive oil, lemon zest, beer vinegar, tossed in chives), six ounces of crab legs, about a pound of lobster, six shrimp cooked in Port bouillon, three ounces of hamachi crudo with rhubarb jam and red onion, plus drawn butter, cocktail sauce, Dijonaise and saison beer mignonette.

1227 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608

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