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“Love this place!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Half Shell, Inc

Half Shell, Inc
676 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)
(773) 549-1773
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Ranked #792 of 8,264 restaurants in Chicago
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Bar scene, Outdoor seating
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Love this place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

The Half Shell is a cozy dive bar with great seafood! You walk downstairs to enter and you are always greeted with a friendly hello. They always have daily specials and usually have King crab legs available at a reasonable price. We visit this place several times a year just us or with friends. It's a small place so there aren't an abundance of tables so go early:).

Around the holidays, they have hot buttered rum. For years I turned my nose up but when we went recently i tried one. I asked our server what it tasted like and he said people say "Christmas." I braved up and tried it and it is lovely. It's hot, buttery, and brown sugary. Try it!

We always try to go before the dinner rush and they are cash only. They have an ATM on premises. I love their old fashioned cash registers.

A great hidden gem!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 reviews from our community

91% Recommend
    21
    10
    2
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado, United States
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Love this place....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

this restaurant feels like coming home. I have never been disappointed when coming to this place for over 25 years. Food is outstanding and you feel like you have stumbled on a real gem.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kokomo, Indiana
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Stepped Out Of My Shell And Into This One...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

I learned of this place as a "Hidden Gem" from the Chicago-area exploration TV show "190 North". For a dear friend's birthday, we decided to check it out. The dining area is a narrow and recessed downstairs space that fills up fast and feels like a secret hideout that has amassed a cult following. The menu is simple but that suited me just fine, as I would discover that the Half Shell crew sticks to its guns to carefully prepare and proudly serve some of the best seafood around. The interior of the room has a transcending feel which combines a seaside eatery with a neighborhood pub that is also electrifying and eccentric. The atmosphere altogether is laid-back. The service was great and the food was greater. Seafood fans unite. This is one of the places that makes Chicago kick major tail on a bed of oyster shells.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Don't Share - Keep it our best keep secret!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

I almost don't want to write a review about this place because it is one of the best kept secrets in Chicago! Alas, I am sharing with you.

They are located down a half flight of steps and it is what some of you may call an absolute dive of a restaurant and bar. WHO CARES!?!?!? The food is fantastic and the prices are wonderful.

We started with the oysters on the half shell (gotta stick with the namesake of the restaurant) and no mistake was made there. The oysters were fresh and wonderful and that homemade cocktail sauce was the best I have had in a very long time. Kudos for going heavy on the horseradish!

For a main course we both decided the soft shell crab was the way to go. They were perfect. I was tempted to order more but that would have been just too much food. The table next to us got the king crab legs and they were huge!

The servers were friendly and the service was quick. Don't go in there expecting any five star dinner service with the best linens and china because you are going to get paper napkins and a plastic basket for some of the selections. What you are going to get is some of the best seafood in Chicago.

Prices are reasonable but be warned, stop at an ATM first because they are CASH ONLY!

There is a small outside dining area but the atmosphere of the interior is a wonderful trip to the past as it probably is as it was when they first opened there in 1968. They are busy so be prepared to wait for a table. So enjoy it and sit at the bar and order a drink from the past and live the atmosphere.

We will be back when we are in Chicago.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Bring cash!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012 via mobile

This place is great for crab legs, just be prepared to wait a while for a table by a host who keeps the list by memory! Very reasonable and delicious!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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