Suckonork at Central Standard (Hilary Higgins/Central…)
Bacon dumplings. Bacon pie. Bacon tacos. Bacon cotton candy. These are just a few of the smoky, salty treats that local chefs plan to serve at Baconfest Chicago this weekend. Unfortunately, the lure of these pork-packed dishes proved so great that the event sold out the same day tickets went on sale. If you're not among the fortunate few that will be stuffing yourself silly at the UIC Forum on Saturday, you still can get your fix. These restaurants are serving the same or similar Baconfest dishes—but for a limited time, so don't wait too long. Find even more options on Baconfest's own Do-It-Yourself Baconfest Guide at baconfestchicago.com.
Suckonork at Central Standard
169 W. Kinzie St. 312-527-9463
Order it: Now through April 25
This serious sandwich can only be described as pig on pig on ... more pig. Ham, bacon and sausage are rolled up in a piece of suckling pig and served on an onion roll with spicy head cheese, bacon mayo and cabbage marinated in a red wine vinaigrette.
Bacon-cheddar biscuits at Frontier
1072 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-772-4322
Order it: April 19-21 and 26-28, brunch only
Get a meaty start to your with chef Brian Jupiter's brunch biscuits. Not only are they baked with aged cheddar, chives and bacon in the batter so they develop a seriously smoky flavor while baking, they're also topped with bacon gravy that's loaded with meat, so you're sure to get bacon in every bite.
Sunchoke, bacon and tangerine risotto at Browntrout
4111 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-472-4111
Order it: April 19-26
This North Center restaurant took a its vegetarian risotto studded with sunchoke and tangerine and added bacon in honor of the fest—and it will serve the carnivore version at the restaurant in honor of the event through next weekend. Try just a taste with the appetizer portion ($12) or order the entree ($22) to make it a meal.
Bacon zelnicky and bacon dacquoise at Gingersnap Sweets & Such
1416 W. Irving Park Road 773-697-8529
Order it: April 21-May 5 (while supplies last)
This Lakeview sweets shop is baking bacon into two of its treats. The first is zelnicky—a simple Czech cracker made from flour and sauerkraut that's meant to be eaten with beer, cheese or soup—sold by the bag. For something sweeter, try the dacquoise, a French meringue-based cake featuring layers of peanut butter mousse, caramel, milk chocolate and buttercream served in bar form. "I'd say it's too pretty to eat but that's not true. I can eat it," manager Stacy VerBurg said. If the bacon dacquoise proves popular, she may keep it on the menu for longer.
Bacon English muffin at Nana
3267 S. Halsted St. 312-929-2486
Order it: April 21-28
If you're looking for this dish—an English muffin with braised pork belly, green tomato jam, scrambled eggs and ancho pepper syrup--on the menu at this Bridgeport restaurant, you won't find it—it's an off-menu special for those in the know, available during daytime hours.
Maple-glazed pineapple and bacon doughnut at Firecakes Donuts
68 W. Hubbard St. 312-329-6500
Order it: Anytime
This sweet-and-salty pastry is the smallest of Firecakes' doughnut offerings—most can devour it in two or three bites—but it packs a big punch of flavor thanks to bacon and pineapple glazed with caramelized maple syrup. They're available daily but have been known to sell out, so the earlier you arrive (the shop opens at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. on weekends), the better your chances.
Banh mi burger at Burger Bar
1578 N. Clybourn Ave. 312-255-0055
Order it: Throughout April
Here's a tasty coincidence: This Lincoln Park burger shop's Baconfest dish also happens to be its burger of the month. That means you have two more weeks to work up your appetite for a curry-spiced pork patty topped with bacon aioli and traditional banh mi fillings such as pork belly, daikon radish slaw, cilantro and jalapeno.
Bacon-wrapped pineapple upside-down cupcake at 2 Sparrows
553 W. Diversey Parkway 773-234-2320
Order it: April 21-28
At this Lincoln Park cafe, the classic pineapple upside-down cake is downsized to cupcake form and enrobed in bacon in lieu of a paper wrapper. After baking, the finishing touches include pineapple frosting and a bit of candied bacon on top.
Bacon bread pudding at Cru Kitchen & Bar
25 E. Delaware Place 312-337-4001
Order it: April 21-28
Cru's entire kitchen staff was involved in designing this dish, which features a traditional bread pudding base topped with bacon caramel and slices of braised bacon. A side of kimchee cuts the rich, creamy taste with both spice and crunch.