Food Rave: why outdoor BYOB in Chicago is awesome

Costa Rican food and outdoor BYOB in Chicago

I don’t rave enough on here. So it’s about time to post something that I can actually dig. BYOB restaurants. Irazú: Costa Rican Dining. It’s one of those places that I’ve passed by 1,000 times without blinking. Costa Rican food? Huh, sounds interesting. Outdoor BYOB in Chicago? That’s cool too.
But once I saw it on The Food Network, I could not stop craving Costa Rican food.
…and I’ve never even had Costa Rican food.
Check out the video to see what I’m talking about:

Costa Rican food Irazu

Costa Rican appetizer. Avocado. Pico de Gallo. Chicharon. Rice. Beans.

I went there for a lunch last week. It was pretty slow, which is good, since most of you know, I hate waiting for food. And I know it’s cliche, but I got exactly what was featured in the show (because, how could you not?). 2 Pepito sandwiches and the appetizer was barely $20. The food lived up to the video, and then some. It tasted like really good spicy Mexican food. The “Costa Rican sauce” is also kind of sweet. Get the peppers on it to balance everything out for one damn good sandwich. No, I’m not really a “foodie,” so chill out on my half-assed description. You’d probably have a better time reading about it on or I had just as good a time with the BYOB aspect as the food. Anybody ever had De La Costa Sangria? It’s a good mix. And more classy to bring to a BYOB joint than a 6-pack of Coors.

Anyway, the dude that runs it is pretty cool too. You would think that being the only Costa Rican restaurant in Chicago AND featured on The Food Network AND offering an outdoor BYOB in Chicago, Irazu would have it going on enough that the owner could just hire a solid staff and put his feet up in an air conditioned back office. But no, the dude still runs his place like a rock star. In addition to a waiting staff taking plates and keeping the water glasses full, he came around several times asking how the food was and keeping the chip bowl full. He must have known I really like chips, or he just really knows how to run his business. And if that’s the culture of hospitality in Costa Rica, put me on the next flight to San Jose.

Irazu Chicago

Chicago outdoor BYOB and Costa Rican food




  1. I pass this restaurant everyday and I have never stopped but now thanks to this lovely video I am going to have to, everything in the video looks delicious!

    • chicagoranter says:

      Just what I thought! haha so I ordered exactly what he did in the show, and it definitely lives up to the video.

  2. Never heard of this place before, but now, I definitely want to check it out! Thanks for the recommendation & for checking out my blog.

Leave a Reply


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: