Half Shell, Inc.

★★★★☆
Served Up Are the Best and Cheapest Crab Legs In Town-Half Shell, Inc.
  • 676 W Diversey Pkwy

    Chicago, IL 60614

    Cross street: Orchard Street

    Map & Directions
  • 773-549-1773

About Half Shell, Inc.

Hours
Mon-Sat 11:30am-10:30pm Sun 12pm-10:30pm

Food

Food
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.

For the man who said they wash their oysters....Obviously you're not a big oyster eater. When oysters are farmed they actually have mud in them. Maybe you'd rather eat mud rather than eat the oyster. Great food great value. Recommend to anyone.

5
★★★★★

For the man who said they wash their oysters....Obviously you're not a big oyster eater. When oysters are farmed they actually have mud in them. Maybe you'd rather eat mud rather than eat the oyster. Great food great value. Recommend to anyone.

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.

As the other reviewers state- this place has great food. Fried oyster appetizers were clean and crisp. King crab legs were GREAT seemed like every table had an order. Huge pieces of succelent meat. The fried shrimp were A+ as well. Great portions with both being served on bed of french fries.

Very small dining area and cramped tables- I wouldn't exactly call it romantic more of a dive bar that would be uninteresting if not for the food.

Total bill was $75 for appetizer, 2 entrees and 4 beers.

2
★★★★★

As the other reviewers state- this place has great food. Fried oyster appetizers were clean and crisp. King crab legs were GREAT seemed like every table had an order. Huge pieces of succelent meat. The fried shrimp were A+ as well. Great portions with both being served on bed of french fries.

Very small dining area and cramped tables- I wouldn't exactly call it romantic more of a dive bar that would be uninteresting if not for the food.

Total bill was $75 for appetizer, 2 entrees and 4 beers.

Pros: Great value

Cons: Parking- cramped seating

.

My Pop used to sneak me in here when it was a biker dive bar in the 70s/80s when I was a youngster and The Turk was the Boss. So aside from many fond memories it is one of my favorite value-for-money places in Chicago AND the best seafood place I have been to and I have been everywhere, from up to downscale. When you enter the Half shell you think you are going into a cave--it is in a basement and has a few tables with Christmas lights left up year round. The service is no frills, and luckily the menu doesn't change much. The shrimp are large and excellent and when softshell crabs are in season (usually in June) they actually prepare them correctly which is saying something about their seafood know-how since most restaurants I have been in (even ridiculously overpriced Loop and river North places), do not prepare them properly. The women's restroom has a bathtub in it. May this place stay open forever. My favorites--softshell crabs in season (usually June), fire roasted clams, and the crab specials. If you don't like seafood don't go--aside from a few side dishes (decent house salad), it's seafood served with a lollipop and lettuce leaf, and there aint much else (there's tenderloin & shrimp too). It's a romantic place, but also they will accommodate kids (but they have to like seafood AND not run around since it is dark!).

2
★★★★★

My Pop used to sneak me in here when it was a biker dive bar in the 70s/80s when I was a youngster and The Turk was the Boss. So aside from many fond memories it is one of my favorite value-for-money places in Chicago AND the best seafood place I have been to and I have been everywhere, from up to downscale. When you enter the Half shell you think you are going into a cave--it is in a basement and has a few tables with Christmas lights left up year round. The service is no frills, and luckily the menu doesn't change much. The shrimp are large and excellent and when softshell crabs are in season (usually in June) they actually prepare them correctly which is saying something about their seafood know-how since most restaurants I have been in (even ridiculously overpriced Loop and river North places), do not prepare them properly. The women's restroom has a bathtub in it. May this place stay open forever. My favorites--softshell crabs in season (usually June), fire roasted clams, and the crab specials. If you don't like seafood don't go--aside from a few side dishes (decent house salad), it's seafood served with a lollipop and lettuce leaf, and there aint much else (there's tenderloin & shrimp too). It's a romantic place, but also they will accommodate kids (but they have to like seafood AND not run around since it is dark!).

Pros: great prices, tasty seafood, nice relaxed atmosphere

Cons: for me there aren't any, but be aware the waitstaff won't hover, CASH ONLY

.

I went one day at lunch time and ordered a dozen raw oysters at the bar. The oysters were the worst I've ever had.

The kitchen actually *washed* the oysters, removing all of the nectar!

I've never ever seen this done at any restaurant before. The oysters were rendered plain, with hardly any taste. They were fairly fresh, but were so bland that I ate 3, paid up, and left. I will never ever go back to this place again. Absolutely horrible.

1
★★☆☆☆

I went one day at lunch time and ordered a dozen raw oysters at the bar. The oysters were the worst I've ever had.

The kitchen actually *washed* the oysters, removing all of the nectar!

I've never ever seen this done at any restaurant before. The oysters were rendered plain, with hardly any taste. They were fairly fresh, but were so bland that I ate 3, paid up, and left. I will never ever go back to this place again. Absolutely horrible.

Pros: Casual

Cons: They wash their oysters after shucking them, rendering them tasteless

.

I stopped into Half Shell tonight and can honestly say it's the second best seafood I've had in Chicago - slightly behind Dirk's Fish and Gourmet Shop on Clybourn. The difference? Price! Half Shell, as a RESTAURANT, was about ? more affordable than Dirk's - a retail seafood shop. AMAZING! I'll definitely be back to Half Shell, but, per the handwritten messages from the owner posted on the door I won't think about wearing a tank top, sporting a baseball cap, or paying with anything other than cash. Make sure you don't either or else you'll be asked to comply with house rules!

2
★★★★★

I stopped into Half Shell tonight and can honestly say it's the second best seafood I've had in Chicago - slightly behind Dirk's Fish and Gourmet Shop on Clybourn. The difference? Price! Half Shell, as a RESTAURANT, was about ? more affordable than Dirk's - a retail seafood shop. AMAZING! I'll definitely be back to Half Shell, but, per the handwritten messages from the owner posted on the door I won't think about wearing a tank top, sporting a baseball cap, or paying with anything other than cash. Make sure you don't either or else you'll be asked to comply with house rules!

Pros: Excellent seafood at a great price!

Cons: Dingy inside - eat out on the patio and do some people watching!

.

I've been going to the Half Shell since 1972. When west of Halsted, was considered dangerous (or German). If you like dives, if you like seafood, you will like this. I am surprised that it's just since 1968, I would have pinned it earlier since my much older brotherinlaw introduced it to me in '72..... well before any of you reading this were born. Yes, "were". Subjunctive.

Don't take any cutesy-wootsy people here, though. We want to keep it cool. For eg, John Cusak (ugh) think's this joint has been here since the 80s. Duh.

2
★★★★☆

I've been going to the Half Shell since 1972. When west of Halsted, was considered dangerous (or German). If you like dives, if you like seafood, you will like this. I am surprised that it's just since 1968, I would have pinned it earlier since my much older brotherinlaw introduced it to me in '72..... well before any of you reading this were born. Yes, "were". Subjunctive.

Don't take any cutesy-wootsy people here, though. We want to keep it cool. For eg, John Cusak (ugh) think's this joint has been here since the 80s. Duh.

Pros: divey

Cons: newly unpleasant neighborhood

.

My sister introduced me to this great place! I love it! The food is great. I'm a huge fan of seafood and this hits the spot, tasty and inexpensive! The service and ambience are great, very casual and comfortable!

4
★★★★☆

My sister introduced me to this great place! I love it! The food is great. I'm a huge fan of seafood and this hits the spot, tasty and inexpensive! The service and ambience are great, very casual and comfortable!

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My friends and I went out to Halfshell last Friday night we has excellent food! The portions were big and the taste was amazing. The only problem service is in the toilet

2
★★★★★

My friends and I went out to Halfshell last Friday night we has excellent food! The portions were big and the taste was amazing. The only problem service is in the toilet

Pros: great food

Cons: sevice sucks

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The food is not that tasty but it is very cost efficient sea food restaurant. If you are short of cash this is the best place to go...Also the atmosphere is ok not too goo not too bad also. I you would ask me if I would go back and eat in that restaurant I would say Yes but only if other options are closed

PROS: Cheap, cost efficient
CONS: Food not that tasty

3
★★★☆☆

The food is not that tasty but it is very cost efficient sea food restaurant. If you are short of cash this is the best place to go...Also the atmosphere is ok not too goo not too bad also. I you would ask me if I would go back and eat in that restaurant I would say Yes but only if other options are closed

PROS: Cheap, cost efficient
CONS: Food not that tasty

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VERY REASONABLE ON THEIR SEAFOOD PRICES,LOVE THEIR OYSTERS AND SOFT SHELL CRABS....IT'S A SMALL RESTURANT,LOCATED IN A BASEMENT,BUT IT'S COZY...THEY HAVE A FULL BAR ALSO AND MAKE EXCELLENT DRINKS.. THEY ALWAYS SERVE EACH MEAL WITH A LOLIPOP HIDDEN UNDER YOUR FRIES..LOL!! I THINK THAT'S CUTE,MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE A LITTLE KID,A ADDED BONUS WITH YOUR MEAL. PARKING CAN BE KIND OF A PAIN SOMETIMES,SO GO EARLY AS I KNOW THE WEEKENDS THERE ARE PACKED WITH PEOPLE...FRIENDLY STAFF..AND THEY RUN "SPECIALS" EVERYDAY AND HAVE GREAT PRICES OVERALL.

4
★★★★☆

VERY REASONABLE ON THEIR SEAFOOD PRICES,LOVE THEIR OYSTERS AND SOFT SHELL CRABS....IT'S A SMALL RESTURANT,LOCATED IN A BASEMENT,BUT IT'S COZY...THEY HAVE A FULL BAR ALSO AND MAKE EXCELLENT DRINKS.. THEY ALWAYS SERVE EACH MEAL WITH A LOLIPOP HIDDEN UNDER YOUR FRIES..LOL!! I THINK THAT'S CUTE,MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE A LITTLE KID,A ADDED BONUS WITH YOUR MEAL. PARKING CAN BE KIND OF A PAIN SOMETIMES,SO GO EARLY AS I KNOW THE WEEKENDS THERE ARE PACKED WITH PEOPLE...FRIENDLY STAFF..AND THEY RUN "SPECIALS" EVERYDAY AND HAVE GREAT PRICES OVERALL.

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Half Shell has delicious, hearty portions of seafood in a no frills environment. The snow crab legs are phenomenal as is the fried shrimp (served with coctail sauce and another sauce, perhaps apple-horseradish, that is sweet and spicy. It can get very crowded, but the wait is well worth it. The prices are really reasonable considering the portion size. They have daily lunch specials as well, for an even better deal.

2
★★★★★

Half Shell has delicious, hearty portions of seafood in a no frills environment. The snow crab legs are phenomenal as is the fried shrimp (served with coctail sauce and another sauce, perhaps apple-horseradish, that is sweet and spicy. It can get very crowded, but the wait is well worth it. The prices are really reasonable considering the portion size. They have daily lunch specials as well, for an even better deal.

Pros: huge portions, mouth-watering crab, great value

.

As a visitor from Texas, I was introduced to the Half Shell over 20 years ago and make a pilgrimage each time I'm in Chicago . It is the best of "The best kept secrets of Chicago". If you prefer great atmosphere, casual dress, cold beer and the most succulent King Crab in the history of ever. Search no further.

2
★★★★★

As a visitor from Texas, I was introduced to the Half Shell over 20 years ago and make a pilgrimage each time I'm in Chicago . It is the best of "The best kept secrets of Chicago". If you prefer great atmosphere, casual dress, cold beer and the most succulent King Crab in the history of ever. Search no further.

Pros: Great food, Great Service, Great atmosphere

Cons: I'm not there now

.

Do me a favor and don't listen to the HYPE the food here is just bad... Now that that has been said I want it all for my self. This is one of the best places for seafood anywhere. BOB CHIN'S in a tight space. The bar tenders here are fun to watch, how they rember all the parties and the order they get sat.

2
★★★★★

Do me a favor and don't listen to the HYPE the food here is just bad... Now that that has been said I want it all for my self. This is one of the best places for seafood anywhere. BOB CHIN'S in a tight space. The bar tenders here are fun to watch, how they rember all the parties and the order they get sat.

Pros: great food, try the salad

Cons: long wait on the week, cash only

.

After a 3 year hiatus from visiting the Half Shell, I was there three times in a week - and each time my King Crab legs were fantastic! I hope this place stays just the same for years to come! I have had enough of waiters & waitresses who introduce themselves by name! As long as they bring my food and my drinks, these people are alright in my book! Its the food that counts.

2
★★★★☆

After a 3 year hiatus from visiting the Half Shell, I was there three times in a week - and each time my King Crab legs were fantastic! I hope this place stays just the same for years to come! I have had enough of waiters & waitresses who introduce themselves by name! As long as they bring my food and my drinks, these people are alright in my book! Its the food that counts.

Pros: Inexpensive, Consistent

Editorial from

The Scene
Set back from the street and down a narrow flight of stairs, Half Shell hides in a dark, low-ceilinged room decorated with Christmas lights and nautical-theme bric-a-brac. Regulars drink steins of draft beer at theā€¦

 

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