Get Figgy With It at The Bad Apple – North Center, Chicago

Autumn is here and I have figs on the brain.  Chewy, earthy, sweet figs are what I am all about right now.  That in mind, I decided to seek out the perfect vehicle for delivery of this delicious fruit and I found it at The Bad Apple in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood.

The Bad Apple

Corner of Lincoln Avenue and Monrose Avenue in North Center


The Bad Apple is a really cool corner bar with a focus on

some fabulous burgers and sandwiches.  It is located 4 blocks west and 1 block south of the Montrose ‘L stop along the CTA Brown Line.  If you’re not up for that walk, you can take the #78 Montrose bus to Lincoln Avenue and walk 1 block south.


Montrose 'L' stop near The Bad Apple


The last time some friends and i tried to gain access there on a Saturday night, the wait was very long.  Today, I stopped by during mid-afternoon and strolled in without incident.  I believe I found my new “happy place.”  Here’s how my lunch went down:

There are several creative burgers, sandwiches, salads and poutine from which to choose. However, as I mentioned earlier, I wanted figs.  Luckily there is a delightful burger named “The Figs Is In” on the menu.  It is made with a Porter beer, fig and bacon relish with smoked onions. A thoughtful and non-gluttonous circle of goat cheese tops it off.  


The Bad Apples' menu

The Figs Is In burger

For the love of all that’s figgy, do NOT add any ketchup or mustard to this burger!  It needs no help from any additional condiments.

All of the burgers and sandwiches at The Bad Apple come with hand-cut fries which can be fancied up with your choice of several different herbs and sauces.  Since I was trying to be “good,” I swapped the fries for a fresh and seasonal slaw consisting of shaved brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, carrots, radicchio, dried cranberries and apple cider vinaigrette.


Burgers at The Bad Apple

The Bad Apple on the north side

Perfect medium-rare burger!

I am so happy that I skipped breakfast.  I don’t mean to imply that this was an overly filling meal.  In fact, I felt perfectly satiated without feeling “blown up.”  I even had room to wash it all down with a Tyranena Chief Blackhawk Porter from Wisconsin.  It is the very same Porter that was used in the fig and bacon jam on my burger.  Woohoo!


Beer menu at The Bad Apple

Chocolately, caramel, molasses porter!

The Bad Apple has a terrific and extensive beverage program filled with domestic and international beers, cocktails and house made sodas.  

The other thing that makes this sunny, corner joint a very happy place is the eclectic mix of kick-ass classic rock being played.  Not just the more popular tunes from your favorite bands but the lesser known stuff as well.  It brought me back to the days when there were real rock stations that played perfect album sides.  Remember those days?


The Bad Apple in Chicago

I am so happy I got to spend part of this perfect autumn afternoon in this awesome burger bar a.k.a. my new “happy place.”

The Bad Apple is located at 4300 N. Lincoln Ave.  They are open Monday – Wednesday beginning at 4:30pm and Thursday – Sunday beginning at 11:30am.  They do not take reservations.  Click here for more information.

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Brown Line or #78 Montrose bus to The Bad Apple. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking.  Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!