-Grubbing in Chicago
Nordic Inpired Brews and Bites in Humboldt Park
The brewery scene in Chicago has exploded over the last decade and the city is now commonly mentioned among the country’s best for beer. There was a time when Goose Island on Clybourn was a new and exciting place where you could try beer that wasn’t available at your local liquor store but these days the city is home to what seems like a countless number of breweries and the liquor stores carry many of their products. There’s so many breweries I sometimes forget todays stop exists. Ørkenoy opened in 2020 which might be another reason I forget about it as that wasn't a good time time for breweries or anywhere that depends on crowds. But Humboldt Park’s first brewery has managed to survive the headaches and the setbacks that most spots have faced since the pandemic.
Ørkenoy’s location inside in the Kimball Arts Center right off the 606 trail gives it a good feel as do the sunny and colorful Nordic vibes on the inside. It’s a good place to day-drink even though they don’t have a patio. If you’re in the area or walking along the 606 and looking for a place to grab a beer and or a bite it’s a good spot to stop. They brew farmhouse style beers while serving up Scandinavian style Smørrebrød plus small bites and shareable plates. Smørrebrød are small open faced sandwiches made with ingredients like smoked salmon, cucumbers and capers. The options are endless as the creations at Ørkenoy suggest. I loved the “Fry Life” which is High Life battered whitefish with cabbage and remoulade. The fish was perfectly fried and would make for a great lead in a Friday Fish Fry, something this city lacks. Both the potato pancakes and the beet pickled eggs made for great bar snacks with the pancakes being just as well fried as the fish and dressed for success with a dill crema and roe. The pickled eggs are painted with chili oil which makes everything better. I’m not well versed enough in beer to tell you this is one of the city’s best breweries as I tend to like them all as much for the good vibes as the beer itself. But I was impressed with the food for a brewery as there’s no burgers or fried chicken sandwiches on the menu. Ørkenoy also serves up tiki drinks made with Nordic ingredients which is another good reason to head over this time of the year.
1757 N Kimball Ave
Chicago, IL 60647