Neighborhood: Logan Square
Vegetarian Options Rating: ★★1/2
Pescatarian Options Rating: ★★★
Food Quality: ★★★★
Overall Rating: ★★★★
- Smoke on the Water
- Negroni Cocktail
- Horchata Margarita
- Fries with giardiniera
- Smoked whitefish spread
Best Intentions serves non-dive bar, dive bar realness. If it were a true dive bar, they wouldn’t have super delicious cocktails and I wouldn’t go here because dive bars can feel creepy if you’re not an old man. What I love about Best Intentions is that it has a chill, relaxed feel like a dive bar without the bad smell and depression. The ambience is charming and eclectic with a dysfunctional juke box and some funny video games. They also have a spacious patio for warmer days. It’s tucked away and cozy. If you’re here on a weekend night, get ready to hear some 80’s and 90’s hits and get prepared to see some drunk people dramatically sing their favorite hits. It has unfortunately grown in popularity with some of Wrigleyville’s finest since it opened a couple of years ago, but it hasn’t been taken over like the places on Milwaukee Ave. have. It still has somewhat of a local feel.
Their cocktail list is diverse with an impressive collection of cocktails offered. Being a fan of mezcal, I have always been happy with their mezcal cocktails since you can actually taste the smokiness of the mezcal. Their Horchata Margarita is also extremely refreshing and it’s quite pretty. I love margaritas and horchata so the union of these two fabulous beverages is a dream. I also am a fan of their Negronis – they aren’t too potent but are strong enough to keep you satisfied. I have always been pleased whenever I get a cocktail here. It reaches the perfect balance of bitter and semi-sweet but not overly sweet. The service behind the bar is usually great. They are friendly, on point, and serve you water (this is a necessity if I’m drinking!). I typically see the same bartenders here, which I really like because there’s a familiarity, which is rare.
If you’re hungry and the kitchen isn’t closed, they have some tasty food options and some surprisingly higher-end dishes. While people have bragged about their burger, I wish they had a vegetarian burger because burgers are perfect when you need to soak up some booze. Their fries are amazing though. They are crispy and perfectly seasoned. I like to get them with their delicious giardiniera aioli since buttermilk blue cheese (what they usually come with) sounds a bit intense for me. The giardiniera and fries are a match made in heaven.
I also have tried their Smoked Whitefish spread that comes with lovely microgreens sprinkled on top and toasted bread. The bread was crispy and soaked up the spread really well.
I would have liked for the dip to be smoky/more flavorful but it was decent.
I would like to try more of their food since they do have some interesting looking vegetarian options. I will definitely continue to come back here for their zesty and strong cocktails and neighborhood-feel. Come here on a weeknight, take a seat by the bar and relax or come here on a weekend night, drink some cocktails to deal with the crowd and dance to corny 90’s hits.