Bistro Voltaire
Bistro Voltaire

Bistro Voltaire

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.bistrovoltaire.com/
  • Phone: (312) 265-0911
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner:
    Monday - Saturday, 5-11pm

  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: French
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wine
  • Private Party Contact: Bistro Voltaire 3122650911x
  • Special Events: Bistro Voltaire lends an intimate and festive dining room filled with Parisian charm and can accommodate up to (45) seated guests. Please contact us for further information.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Franklin
  • Public Transit: Conveniently located across from the CTA Chicago Brown-Line stop
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: parking lot right next door (must pay machine) or plenty of street parking per signs.
A word from Bistro Voltaire
Bistro Voltaire is a favorite of the patron well traveled... wanting to indulge in the sensibilities of France without leaving Chicago.

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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFrench
Bistro Voltaire reviews from OpenTable diners
79 reviews since July 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (51)neighborhood gem (48)fit for foodies (46)special occasion (33)notable wine list (18)good for groups (6)late-night find (3)kid-friendly (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Excellent and Elegant !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    A must visit restaurant for a fine French meal. You will not be disappointed. Prices are more than fair unlike a few other French locales within the Chicago area. Couldn't have been more pleased. Service was exceptional. Keep up the great work !!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oh wonderful Paris
    romaVIP
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    All four of us love Paris, and this is the next best place to be when you can't. It was a lovely time , the food , service, and atmosphere was truly a night to remember .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great place
    olala
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    very much like French Bistro, feels like being in Paris! excellent spot for family dining. but DID NOT ACCEPT MY COUPONS !!!obtained tru OpenTable
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great!
    Food
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    My wife and used OpenTable to find a nearby restaurant at 9:30PM on a Thrusday, and Bistro Voltaire came up. This place felt transported out of Paris. Everyone lingered at their tables enjoying conversation and company. The staff did everything big and little to help us feel comfortable and welcome. On top, the food was outstanding. We really feel like we stumbled onto a true gem and will go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Noteworthy
    SouthLoopFoodieVIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    If you are looking for a proper French meal, Bistro Voltaire is a great destination. On my first visit I was impressed all around. Service was well-paced, attentive and unpretentious. The restaurant has a casual and friendly yet romantic ambiance. More importantly, the food is delicious! The three of us ordered onion soup, escargot with puff pastry, and mussels to start, then bouillabaisse, and pork tenderloin. Each dish is highly recommended! Our waiter made an excellent wine suggestion that paired well with every dish. For dessert we had the chocolate cake and apple tart, not groundbreaking nonetheless delicious. Plan to spend the full evening here for a hearty meal, good wind and good conversations. Our meal lasted 3.5 hours.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful hosts
    Charles
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    Bistro Voltaire is an absolute gem. The food is creative yet traditional. The service is beyond reproach. We were made to feel as if we had been coming here for years and had returned after a long hiatus to be treated like the Prodigal son. Maybe you think I am overstating my case but the only way you will know is to go! Our server Steven was gracious and amazing; he obviously knows the menu backwards and forwards. Simply stated: Delicious!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • "Midnight in Paris" experience
    InSearchOfGenuineGoodVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Just based on the ratings, I selected the restaurant - and we were *very* happy with the selection for Saturday night dining. The food - from escargot appetizer to the main dish, Bouillabaisse to dessert, they were all very good, hearty food, nothing pretentious, just like you'd find in a corner of a Paris alleyway somewhere. We thoroughly enjoyed, especially the waiter, Steven, who was working the whole room by himself (with other 'help' but he was the only proper waiter) but we would've never known based on the service between him and the helper who was not letting our water glasses empty for a minute. And the mural of Voltaire is awesome too - it felt like a scene from "Midnight in Paris". :)
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NameeeeeeVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Wonderful find!! We'll go back again!! The food and the service were outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dissappointment.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The loaf of bread served is hardly reminiscent of real french-bread.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • pleasant bistro
    summitepicure
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Comfortable service, comfortable food, decent wine selection and price. Definitely a "get what you pay for" and would be happy to return. Genuinely pleasant, with well presented food that had taste.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic find
    Chip
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    My wife & I stumbled upon Bistro Voltaire via OpenTable while looking to satisfy a craving for French food during a recent visit to Chicago. The setting, service and food had us romanticizing past visits to Paris. We highly recommend the Oeuf Meurette aux Escargots to start - out of this world. The staff were also very accommodating to my wife's dietary restrictions, and went out of their way to assemble an alternate entree that both fit the bill and tasted fantastic. I had the Canard au Vin, which was perfectly prepared and I would absolutely order again. Delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful new experience!
    jsm1
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    First time visit. Wonderful place. Outstanding service, wonderful menu, amazing food. We would and will recommend the Bistro to our friends and we will be back!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful
    MizzouMikeVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We had just a wonderful evening at Bistro Voltaire. The food was delicious. Each course was great starting with the French Onion soup which was probably the best version of that soup that I've ever had. The service was fantastic. Our server could not have been nicer or more helpful. He took care to make sure the meal went at the pace we wanted it to. It's also got a nice cozy atmosphere. I highly recommend Bistro Voltaire and we'll definitely be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • luv2dineVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We enjoy a "French" experience and this restaurant felt very authentic. Ambience, food, wine, service, all excellent. This was our first visit, but we will return, frequently!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • momof2
    momof3
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Adorable French bistro. Reminded us of the bistros we frequented in Paris. Friendly, helpful, knowledgeable wait staff. Yummy sauces. Elegant presentation. Menu has delicious basic French cafe staples plus some adventurous dishes. Great desserts! We celebrated my daughter's birthday and she raved about the food and atmosphere. Would definitely recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    We always enjoy Bistro Voltaire. The food is excellent and the service matches. The restaurant feels intimate and although it was a Friday night it didn't feel crowded.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A true French Bistro
    ThePunditVIP
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    A visit to Voltaire is a visit to Paris! Authentic french bistro fare such as onglet aux échalottes and salade frisée aux lardons really makes you feel transported to the banks of the Seine. Very friendly staff. On Monday Voltaire offers a $29 prix fixe menu that is a great deal!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best vegetarian dish I've ever had
    TayloraeVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    I had it a week ago - their deconstructed ravioli - and it's not on the menu anymore. I'm hoping they bring that one back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great meal and Great Service
    GlobalphileVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    I had not been there in a while, but I always like the warm, inviting atmosphere and the really great food. I loved the swordfish special and my friends' pork tenderloin entree which I tasted. I highly recommend going. It is perfect on a cold Chicago winter night!!!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Off the tourist's beaten path
    BondQueenVIP
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    We found Bistro Voltaire during abusiness trip to Chicago. It was not at all crowded on a Thursday night, possibly because it was farfrom the standard tourist locations. The food was excellent -- we had endive salad with apples,grapes and Rocquefort cheese. I had duck breast and my dinner compansions had steak/frites and short ribs. Everyoneliked their meal. It was a very good value. A hint -- the waitersdon't really speak French!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • sweet little place
    Doorman
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    This moderately priced little bistro located very near the EL on Chicago is a wonderful little hide away that service standard French fare. Bouillabaisse, lamb shanks etc. They have a good (if not inspired) wine list and is fairly priced. Wonderful little place.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    The staff was terrific especially because we were 5 high maintenance ladies! Will definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place!
    lovefrenchfoodVIP
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    I love the food and wine here, everything is just amazing! I feel like I am in Paris when I am at this restaurant The wait staff are so helpful and patient, nothing is rushed. It is just an awesome place. I would eat here everyday if I could!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    There were six of us and we all loved our food. When we walked in we were surprised at how small the dining area was. Our apprehension was soon put to rest as our server treated us like family. Because it seats so few people, you get extra attention and the food is great. Thanks so much.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    The pork tenderloin was out of this world! The short ribs were quite fatty-I would not order those again. Everything else was a win! Loved this spot.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Memorable Evening
    paris42
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    My wife and I celebrated our anniversary at this restaurant. We had exceptional service. The food was excellent which along with the atmosphere contributed to a wonderful experience. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Little Bit of Paris
    wmacgoodines
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Bistro Voltaire was a surprise for my wife and I. I could easily imagine that I was back in Paris in a small bistro having a good meal. The service and food were excellent. An unhurried meal during which one had time to take in the flavors and the conversation. The escargot were wonderful and the sea scallops melted in your mouth. The service was attentive but not obtrusive. We will be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food, cozy atmosphere.
    Mela526VIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The food is wonderful. Very small restaurant with tables that are close together as to wear it is difficult to not become friendly with your "neighbor". In spite of that it makes for a very enjoyable meal. The food was very tasty and the presentation was quite nice. I recommend the green bean salad as an appetizer.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • jj44
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We went there for our anniversary dinner. Everything was superb - from the hot, crusty bread and garlic butter to the creme brulee. The pork tenderloin and duck were exquisitely prepared, tender and delicious. A wonderful find!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A hidden gem!
    LetsCelebrate
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    This is a must try! Very unexpected. The server was outstanding. Made the evening perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Like going to Paris...
    FoodventurousVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We were shopping at Nordstrom and decided to do dinner downtown. Read OpenTable reviews of Bistro Voltaire and booked it - was like going to Paris. We really enjoyed our waiter and his French accent - made it feel even more authentic. He was very knowledgeable about the dishes. Loved the food - very pleased!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lily
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Charming bistro with excellent food and service. We chose the prix fix menu, but were allowed to upgrade, and we received a complimentary dessert! Escargot, salmon tartare, bone-in double cut pork chop, short ribs, crème brulee, and chocolate lava cake- all heavenly, and easy on the wallet. Would also recommend the French 75 cocktail and the red Bordeaux.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant closed, no notice
    JP121975
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    I had reservations here, but when I arrived the restaurant was closed due to a 'maintenance emergency'. All fine and good if they had to close unexpectedly, but I received no notice from the restaurant to notify me, and no apology afterwards.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Truly authentic French bistro
    penguinpersonVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We feel transported to Paris in a little neighborhood bistro. The food is fabulous save room for desserts! The creme brûlée was out of this world. Service perfectly attentive but not intrusive. We will be going back there definitely.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • intimate bistro
    windycityVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I have been to many of the french bistros in Chicago. Voltaire is excellent and a bit more romantic than Zinc and Monet. Nice wine list and a very attentive and on the ball staff. For example when the kitchen was in the weeds and there was a long break between courses, we didn't need to inquire as they let us know and they comp'd our desserts and one of our dessert wine glasses as well. Staff is knowledgeable on their wine list and can do a good job of recommendations.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • High Voltage at Voltaire
    ChicagoFoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    While classical French bistro may no longer be at the cutting edge of molecular cuisine w/hay smoke or NO2 wafting above a teaspoon of a 22 ingredient special, it yet provides good food, good value and an enjoyable dinner-at a reasonable price. The food we had was excellent, eg my chicken ballotine and wife's roast salmon-prepared rare as order, as were our salads. I should not have eaten the apple tart, I avoid sweets, but it was included and so I splurged.....enjoyed every bit, and it was worth the guilt. All in all, Voltaire is a great place for that kind of food. Makes me want to get back to Paris....so now its time to brush up my French. A bientot
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JimFVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Food was very good; wine list was not at the same level as the food
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Simple elegance
    Tastebuddy
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Lovely, authentic ambience greets you first thing in the door. The intimacy of the space surprises and the service is excellent. The food was delicious, well-prepared, and served with simple flair. The chocolate cake was just a bit too sweet for my taste but the French onion soup was a treat and the duck nearly perfect. I'd love to return soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    We enjoyed everything about Bistro Voltaire, especially the personal attention of our waiter, and the delicious food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • so happy to have found this place
    mhutcheson
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Gosh, once inside you are in France. Waiters speak fluid French but easily move to English. My server and all staff were so knowledgeable and welcoming. I had the duck but requested risotto in lieu of potatoes. Every bite was dreamy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.