Chicago loves putting restaurants in alleys. Maybe because (unlike New York, where garbage is proudly displayed on the street) we just have so many of them. Bar Sotano is a cocktail bar in the alley behind Frontera Grill, and it’s owned by the same team. So it’s not surprising that the Mexican food here is great. The menu has a mix of bar snacks (like habanero-glazed fried chicken bites), plus entrees like a burger and a wagyu steak with pureed sunchoke. Which is probably one of the best steaks you’ll have the chance to eat in an alley.
Where we've featured it
There’s a lot going on in this neighborhood, and deciding on a restaurant can be tough. This is where you should be eating.
Search by Perfect For
More spots in River NorthSee more
Go to Bub City for live country music and some action at the bar, but don't expect top notch barbecue.
Xoco is a casual Mexican street food spot from the man himself, Rick Bayless. It's a good move for an easy meal.
Sweetgreen in River North is the gold standard of salad chains. The food is fresh, cheap, and customizable.
More Bar Food spotsSee more
25 Degrees is a solid, dimly-lit burger and beer kind of spot in River North. We approve.
Happy Camper is a semi-sports bar in Old Town that's more about eating pizza and socializing than it is watching anything on T.V.
Suggested by our writers
Frontera Grill is the most famous Mexican restaurant in Chicago. It’s a classic spot that’s doing excellent food in a casual sit-down place.
La Josie is a lively modern Mexican restaurant in the West Loop with a huge selection of tequila and great tacos.
Filter and browse restaurants near you
Text us for personalized recommendationsLearn more