Updated Jul 6, 2023 - News

Chicago cameos in "The Bear" Season 2

Jeremy Allen White as Carmy in "The Bear." Photo courtesy of FX/Hulu

"The Bear" keeps sizzling, with Season Two satisfying fans and brimming with Chicago lore.

Why it matters: The blockbuster Hulu/FX show, which is already outperforming its first season, has the power to shape perceptions of Chicago and its restaurants around the world.

  • That can translate into tourism and economic ripples for years.

The spots: Look for Pequod's, Kasama, Margie's Candies, Publican Quality Meats and Avec, where restaurateur Donnie Madia dispenses wise advice to chef Syd, played by Ayo Edebiri.

A small, elegant glass of king crab, cucumber, sudachi citrus and lemon balm in front of a black background.
King crab, cucumber, sudachi citrus and lemon balm is served at Ever and featured in Episode 7. Photo courtesy of Michael Muser

What they're saying: Ever co-owner Michael Muser tells Axios he let "The Bear" shoot in his restaurant last winter because "it does a great job paying homage to our extraordinary city."

  • "Anything we can do to help represent the city in a good light, we will," Muser says.

Yes but: Frontera Grill chef Rick Bayless lamented this week that the show's gritty portrayal of the cooking profession has set it "back another 20 years."

  • At the Wall Street Journal's Global Food Forum, he said "The Bear" makes cooking "look like the worst profession in the world," inspiring much debate on social media about what's real and what's exaggerated.

Fact check: Muser, whose Ever staff and restaurant stand in for a barely fictionalized elite eatery in Episode 7, says the "level of passion feels authentic" but other stuff, not so much.

  • The character Richie trains at the fictional Ever and gets a small reprimand for cursing in the dining room but "foul language in front of a guest on the floor would mean removal from the floor," Muser says.
  • In another scene he's polishing forks and throwing them into a basket. "We would never allow that. It's way too noisy."

The dishes: A Margie's sundae, Pequod's deep dish, Kasama's breakfast sandwich with longaniza and Ever's caviar with honeydew melon and hazelnut, which (spoiler alert) inspires a dish developed by a chef training in Copenhagen.

Fun fact: Those Copenhagen kitchen scenes were also shot at Ever.

Of note: After we published, Axios readers helped us discover even more Chicago restaurant cameos.

Details: Kelly M. pointed out that we didn't give all of West Town love when we failed to recognize the Ukrainian pierogi shop, Kasia's Deli, as well as Lao Peng You, a Chinese restaurant known for its dumplings.

  • David P. noticed Carmy's receipts from Potash Markets.
  • Susan D. notes the show features the West Loop restaurant Elske, too.
  • Julie P. caught a glimpse of Northwest Side stalwart Superdawg.

Of note: Michelle D. spotted chefs Tina and Ebraheim attending culinary school at Kendall College, which is now part of National Louis University.

  • And, yes, the instructor in the show works at the school and other students were extras.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to add more Chicago restaurant cameos spotted by Axios readers.


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