We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“King Crab, Snow Crab, Fresh Oysters Clams, and Mussells” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Half Shell

Half Shell
Ranked #530 of 9,467 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Television, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
110 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“King Crab, Snow Crab, Fresh Oysters Clams, and Mussells”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2013

The Half Shell is lovcated at Diversey and Orchard in Lakeview directly acroos the street from Pier One. They are located on the lower level of a Brownstone and they have been there since 1958. This place is all about seafood. They only have 48 seats but a 20 seat bar. No frills here, just great seafood. Cash Only, no checks, no credit or debit cards accpeted. A great place for a date or after a Cubs game. Ask the bar tender if they have smoked sturgeon. if so do NOT pass it up, it is AWESOME ! Aside from KING and SNow crab, they have fish platters, hot and cold shrimp, and fried chicken wings. I always have a dozen or two of fresh oysters, shucked fresh. They also have fresh clams. Both yummy. All in all a 10.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank M M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

81 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    47
    28
    4
    0
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
chicago, IL
Level Contributor
33 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Lake perch to die for!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2013 via mobile

Our friends have been talking about this place for years and we finally made it here. As other reviewers have said, this is not a swanky, hip, or upscale restaurant by any stretch of the imagination. And if you want your server to do more than bring what you order, then you are best going somewhere else. Everyone in our group of 10 were very happy with their appetizers and entrees. Personally, once I saw the lake perch on the menu I knew what I was going to get. It is not often that I see lake perch on a menu (last I heard it cannot be commercially fished in the great lakes) and whenever I see it, I must get it. It was amazing!!!!!! Will definitely be going back to this little hole in the wall!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank giraffelover5271
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
40 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Love this place!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Monica1124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado, United States
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Love this place....”
5 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Amy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kokomo, Indiana
Level Contributor
257 reviews
182 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
“Stepped Out Of My Shell And Into This One...”
5 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank MrCrossIsBoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Half Shell? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing