The small storefront of Resi's Bierstube is easy to miss, but this German mainstay's loyal customers know its door well. The main dining room reflects its opened-in-'64 history with a narrow and dark space lined with various German tchotckes, beer signs and paintings. Those in-the-know head straight toward the back, where the cluttered dining room gives way to one of the best beer gardens in the city. Two enormous trees shade the fenced-in backyard, whose flowers and foliage make this quiet corner a scenic place to share a sausage plate or sample one of Resi's 150 imported bottled beers (Resi's was supposedly the first to offer weiss beer in Chicago, and offers more than 20 weiss beers today).
The food here is less expensive than the average German restaurant, with schnitzel dishes at $10-$15 and sausages running less than $10. Resi's specialty is its potato pancakes, served with applesauce and rye bread (the almost-key sour cream is a pricey option, adding $1 to the price of the dish). The crowd here is slightly younger and hipper than what you might expect, perhaps attracted by the selection of obscure beers, kitschy decor or the affordable prices. It's not a scene, by any means, but this little neighborhood gem is certainly worth a visit.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Aimee Hall