Neighborhood Restaurant Review: Chicago q

While Chicago may be known for its hot dogs and deep-dish pizza, our Neighborhood Restaurant Review team thinks that Q Chicago could redefine urban BBQ. We recently went to visit Chicago q, located in the heart of the Gold Coast on Dearborn just south of Division.
Featuring artisanal house-made rubs, southern quality service and a modern ambiance, Chicago q is an elevated BBQ experience.    In addition to being the Chef at Chicago q, Lee Ann Whippen is also President and Owner of Wood Chick’s BBQ Restaurants & Catering Company, Lead Pitmaster for Wood Chick’s BBQ Competition Cooking Team, a member of the Kansas City Barbecue Society, a KCBS Certified BBQ Judge, and has spent more than 14 years cooking competitive BBQ. For her, BBQ isn’t just pastime, it’s a passion. Before the sun rises, Chicago q chefs are smoking their signature Kobe brisket in wood burning smokers to get the tender, made-from-scratch, deliciousness. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, she beat out celebrity chef Bobby Flay on Bobbly Flay’s Throdown.
Our team had no idea what they had coming to them when they sat down at Chicago q.


The ambiance was stunning and the smell of BBQ was intoxicating. Chefs wake up in the early morning hours and begin smoking all of the delicious meats at Chicago q. They were kind enough to let us into their kitchen to see the smoker in action.


We started our adventure at Chicago q with bacon cheddar hushpuppies. Any of the three are already incredible, but combining them together makes for more than we could even begin to handle.

Next, we munched on some freshly-prepared sweet potato chips and house made pickles. The sweet potato chips were piping hot and delicious and the cool, crisp pickles were tangy and spicy — and absolutely delicious.

We continued the tour with Chicago q’s smoked-dry rubbed wings. You really can’t compare them to any other wing you’ve tried in your lifetime. So tender, so full of flavor, and no ranch or blue cheese dipping sauce is necessary.

In true Southern style, we rounded out our tour of the appetizer menu sampling some fried green tomatoes. We’re sure Kathy Bates would approve of these!

While we waited for the main courses to arrive, we took note of Chicago q’s bar. With an impressive collection of whisky and other fine spirits, expert mixologists serve up incredible cocktails. In keeping with the Southern theme, we opted to try a refreshing mint juliep.




For our meals, we tried a whole sampling of all Chicago q has to offer — from melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork, to succulent ribs that literally fall off the bone, to the incredible Kobe sliced brisket.


All of this deliciousness was complimented with Southern sides including creamy bruleed macaroni and cheese, honey butter cornbread, poblano cheddar cornbread, Kobe brisket baked beans, braised greens, and coleslaw. It was all stick-to-your bones food for the soul that was unlike anything we had ever tasted.

And, all of our meats were served with different sauces, each unique and freshly prepared to compliment the delicious meats.

If you couldn’t tell by all of the pictures, we had quite the spread that would make any Southern grandmother weep tears of joy.

And, if all of this weren’t enough, Chef Lee Ann Whippen came out to have a drink with us and insisted we try some of their made from scratch desserts. Really, it was too much, but we couldn’t say no. We sampled the strawberry infused cheesecake , carrot cake, vanilla burbon pecan pie, and espresso brittle ice cream. There truly are no words for how decadent and delicious these desserts were. They were just as good as everything else we ate!

We all needed a nap after eating at Chicago q, but rest assured we had sweet dreams with visions of BBq and pecan pie dancing in our heads.
If you want to try BBq like you’ve never had it before, let Chicago q introduce you to how it’s meant to be done.
A huge thank you to Chef Lee Ann Whippen and her team for exceeding our expectations and giving our team some of the best BBq we’ve ever tasted.

Chicago q is open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. They also have an incredible outdoor space as well as special spaces for private events. And, they cater too! Learn more about Chicago q here.  

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