Pepper Canister's dark-stained oak furniture, slate-covered tables, beautiful tin ceiling, exposed brick walls and focused halogen lamps make this one of the best-designed, most contemporary-feeling (read: least cheesy) Irish bars in Chicago. There is a theme to the decor, but instead of shamrocks, it's churches. The original Pepper Canister is St. Stephen’s, a church in Dublin whose steeple resembles said spice dispenser. In tribute to its namesake, the Chicago Pepper Canister has a large medieval window, rafters over the bar, and steeple-shaped decorative arches. Also, the menu has a distinctly ecclesiastical air: "Burgers of Biblical Proportions," "Sanctimonious Sides," and "Devil's Calamari" (for the not-so-saintly, we assume) are some examples.
The food is mostly masculine with some feminine concessions, like lemon-pepper chicken breast, a tuna filet, spinach salad, and grilled asparagus. But if you are a hungry man, or just eat like one, there's steak & Guinness pie, Bantry Bay chowder (fresh seafood with herbs and spices in a creamy broth) and all-day Irish breakfast.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Abigail Derecho