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Asador Bastian Chicago

Christine Drinan, Founder


There’s no argument that Chicago has the top restaurants in the U.S. The Midwest is a meat and potatoes country, so it’s also no surprise that Chicago has perfected the art of the steakhouse. Asador Bastian takes a unique angle though, as a Basque-inspired steakhouse. The Basque region of Spain is known as the foodie region, where chefs from all over the world come to the stage at restaurants that push the envelope on cuisine. In 20+ years of Chicago dining, every once in a while a restaurant comes along that goes against the typical grain. This is the review of Asador Bastian, the best Spanish restaurant in Chicago.


The best Spanish restaurant in Chicago is not at all a typical Chicago restaurant. Many of the top restaurants in Chicago are large, buzzy scenes, with guys throwing cash around like it’s the early 2000s. Of course, that’s always fun for a time and a place. But Asador Bastian is a unique breed on the Chicago restaurant scene. The restaurant is set in a completely refurbished historic townhome known as the Flair House. Its clean, intimate, and warm atmosphere effortlessly creates a vibe. Subtle details like the Murano chandeliers add to the elegant atmosphere.

The downstairs has both the full menu to dine in more casual comfortable booths, or to grab a more casual bite and cocktail at the bar. The upstairs dining room of the townhome is elegantly candlelit and like a place you’d find in Brooklyn. There’s a Chef’s Table which has a prime view of the kitchen, where I would come back with 8 or so of my foodie friends. Asador Bastian achieves fine dining effortlessly, without taking itself too seriously. It’s a good spot for both groups of friends as well as a date night.


The Tortilla

I’m going to cut to the chase; Asador Bastian is the best Spanish restaurant in Chicago because of its food. It authentically represents the very best of the Basque region of Spain, and it transports you away from Chicago during your dining experience. I know these are fighting words, but Asador Bastian’s tortilla Espanola gives the beloved Casa Dani in Madrid a run for its money. I’ve not only had both, but I detour to Madrid just to get a slice of the famed tortilla. I think that Asador’s may even be better.

Strong Starts

Pinxtos are typical of the Basque region, and if we’re being technical about it, pinxtos are bites served on a stick, versus tapas, which are small plates. The starters at Asador Bastian in spirit are pintxos, though they’re not necessarily served on a stick. Whatever you call it though, we have two other words for you: caviar churros. The tiny bite-sized churros prove that the savory rendition is better than the sweet. Two come in an order, so you’ll need to add accordingly for everyone in your party to partake. There’s also Iberico arranged so delicately on the plate that you savor every bite. The garlic prawns were Asador’s riff on the traditional shrimp in garlic oil, but these three bites were much more refined. I don’t know if they’re worth the $30, but they were delicious.

The Mains

Asador is the best Spanish restaurant in Chicago, but it’s also one of the best steakhouses. As an homage to its Basque roots, all meats are aged on the hoof, which creates a deep and rich flavor. The meat is cut daily in-house and cooked over coals, which is also Basque-style. It will set you back at least $100 for a pound and a quarter, and more if you’re going to share with the table. All the food actually is meant to share, especially the main dishes.

The seafood is flown in daily from Barcelona. They have fish like Besugo that is rarely found on the menu, even at top seafood restaurants in the U.S. There’s also a Dover sole and a special rendition of the sole that’s prepared with caviar and sweetbreads. Generally, the fish will set you back over $100 as well, but it’s worth it for the quality and preparation. There should be rice on the table as a side, as whether it’s the golden rice with king crab special, or the truffle Iberico version, each bite is gold.


The service at Asador Bastian straddles the level of fine dining at a Michelin-level restaurant crossed with a hipster craft cocktail bar in Brooklyn. In other words, the service is modern fine dining. Servers are experienced, knowledgeable, and not the least bit pretentious. Yet it’s formal enough to justify the hefty nut that it takes to dine at the best Spanish restaurant in Chicago.

Overall: 8.5/10

This is easily the best Spanish restaurant in Chicago, and maybe even the top Spanish restaurant in the United States. Disclaimer: I haven’t been to every single Spanish restaurant in the country, but I have been to the best Spanish restaurants in NYC. Asador Bastian exceeds all of those places on my list.

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Q: Where is Asador Bastian located?

A: Asador Bastian is located at 214 W Erie St, Chicago, IL 60654.

Q: What are the hours of operation at Asador Bastian?

A: Asador Bastian’s hours of operation are as follows:

  • 4:30 PM–10 PM
  • 4:30 PM–10 PM
  • 4:30 PM–10:30 PM
  • 4:30 PM–10:30 PM
  • 4:30 PM–10:30 PM
  • 4:30 PM–10 PM
  • 4:30 PM–10 PM

Q: What type of food does Asador Bastian serve?

A: Asador Bastian not only serves Spanish food, but it’s also the best Spanish restaurant in Chicago.

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