Bistro Voltaire
Bistro Voltaire

Bistro Voltaire

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.bistrovoltaire.com/
  • Phone: 3122650911x
  • 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, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Contact: Bistro Voltaire 3122650911x
  • Special Events: Bistro Voltaire celebrates casual dining with bold and inspiring flavors of traditional French cuisine perfect for your special event. The dining room is a warm and intimate setting accommodating up to (45) seated guests, and cocktail receptions. Bistro Voltaire is pleased to tailor prix fixe menu with wine pairings from our exclusively French wine list. 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: Easy public parking next door or plenty 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.

Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFrench
Bistro Voltaire reviews from OpenTable diners
80 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (53)neighborhood gem (47)special occasion (36)fit for foodies (34)notable wine list (20)late-night find (4)hot spot (3)great for lunch (3)good for groups (3)vibrant bar scene (2)scenic view (1)great for brunch (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Love this place!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bistro Voltaire Never Disappoints
    Wexie2VIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The foods is always great. The service is impeccable. The closest thing to a french bistro this side of the seine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Joestalin
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    I ate here twice last week. I had shortrib one night which was well executed, paired wonderfully with a Bordeaux. Their French 75 Cocktail is unique, I will not spoil the experience by relating why, you should experience that for yourself. Another night I invited a guest and we had Branzino on a bed of pureed turnip with sun dried tomatoes. The fish was cooked to precision, the puree was an excellent complement. The suggested accompanying wine, a crisp Sauvingnon Blanc was superb and priced right. The wait staff is very engaging, knowlegeable and attentive. I will return here again with pleasure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Real French setting with good food
    Lkc1
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    When you walk in you are transplanted to Paris Service is outstanding, great wine and food yum yum Fav : pork medallions, either salad short ribs salty for my taste Dessert good but not great Pre fix dinners available Great neighborhood spot
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find
    danquixote
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Bistro Voltaire has it all: very friendly, helpful and charming wait staff, flavorful, complex and yet familiar food, right-sized portions, very pleasant ambience with low appropriate music - what a great place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Relaxing, perfectly paced meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We're big fans of Bistro Voltaire. My favorite is the duck breast and my husband's is the steak frites. You also can't go wrong with the escargot or french onion soup. This time we took friends with us, who loved it as well. They had a great observation, that this is one of the few restaurants that you can go to in the city that actually paces you French-style--it was very relaxed, and we knew that the table was ours all night if we wanted it (which we did). That said, if you're in a hurry, it would be worth telling the server your schedule.
    Special Features:
    romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • MamieVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Bistro Voltaire is a true French bistro, a bit off the beaten path in Chicago. The wait staff is exceptionally professional--unobtrusive, yet always just a step away. Menu is classic French, from mussels to steak frites, with short ribs, lamb shank and duck along the way--bouillabaise, too. It is not extensive, and there were no specials. The space is not large; a bar runs the length of the room, and tables are on the other side of the long, narrow room. Light, classic jazzy tunes waft through the air. The food is beautifully prepared, and the atmosphere is cozy and friendly. We brought along our own bottle of wine, for a $20 corkage fee. We get there as often as possible!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An unforgettable meal in Chicago!
    SuzyGreenberg
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    We came here during our most recent trip to Chicago for a special birthday dinner. From the moment we stepped into Bistro Voltaire, we felt as though we were transported to France. Our waiter Steven was entertaining and accommodating to each of our requests. The food was fantastic and perfectly seasoned. We ordered the Soupe a l’oignon, Salade Lyoninaise, Steak Frites, Herb-crusted Lamb & Ratatouille, Creme Brulee and the Gateau au Chocolat-- all were delicious and highly recommended. We will definitely come back the next time we are in town!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience
    dantVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    we had a wonderful evening at this authentic French bistro. Very intimate atmosphere with only 29 tables, our food was great and service very attentive. Most dinners seem to be locals who are return customers. we were wavering on whether to have dessert and our waiter said the chef wanted to prepare something special for us. He returned with a delightful frozen mousse with various accompaniments, and no charge when the bill came. We will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Don't get the port tenderloin
    EmberVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Bistro Voltaire has all of the ambience of a bistro in Paris. It even smells French. It's small - maybe 40 seats. There is so much that's positive about it, except for the pork tenderloin. From steak frites to lamb to scallops to bouillabaisse done without salmon upon request, our meal was scrumptious with one exception - the pork tenderloin. It was the last plate to be served and it amounted to four tiny shards of singed pork on a raggedy bunch of shaved brussel sprouts. It should have been sent back. Not sure why it wasn't. Every other plate was beautifully presented and tasted amazing. And the desserts with their homemade gelato were fabulous too. We will definitely be back. We just won't be ordering the pork tenderloin.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unbelievable Gem!
    BobbyPVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Hard to believe that hidden under the L tracks patrons can step into a delightully enjoyable French Bistro with service and food comparable to any in Pari. And after a bottle of wonderful French wine, we hardly knew the difference. Our waiter could not have been more attentive, polite, attentive and curtious...and our true compliments to the chef, remarkable French cuisine.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great find!
    Katy09VIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We love French food and try as many bistros/brasseries as open in the city. This has been on our list to try for a while, so glad we finally got here! Service was friendly and knowledgable, food was perfect, wine great. Not quite Paris, but darn close! We will return, and recommend to friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Paris in Chicago!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    A charming, quiet, lovely French bistro without the attitude you often encounter in Paris! The best onion soup ever...all the food was prepared and served beautifully, with no rush to get us in and out, and the restaurant is quiet and invites lingering. Monday night prix fixe menu is a great bargain for food of this quality. Service was fabulous--definitely worth a visit, or two or three!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Magnifique!
    BecketmonkVIP
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    La nourriture était magnifique! The food was absolutely magnifique!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing & authentic French Cuisine
    GoodCuisine
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    The service was amazing from beginning to end, the food was authentic and simply superb. The sizes are very appropriate (not exaggerated like many American restaurants), and the prices I think we're very appropriate to the food, ingredients and service (30-50 per person including a glass of good wine, entree and a shared appetizer). Just amazing! Definitely coming back for special occasions!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bistro Voltaire
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Quiet and classy place for great food and atmosphere
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentique!
    FoodieJamie
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    About as good a replica of a good, solid french bistro as one could hope to find in a large US city. Great food; attentive service - including an authentique french waiter in our case! - and loads of lovely red and white wine by the glass to accompany the meal. Well done!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent dining experience.
    Griff
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Dining solo on business trips is never ideal, but Bostro Voltaire staff welcomed me with very attentive service, excellent food, and a comfortable atmosphere. I dined early, it was quiet and fairly empty. I assume the small room fills with energy when tables are full and the bar has patrons waiting to dine. The charcuterie appetizer was delicious and appealing to the eye as it was presented. The in-house prepared country pate was a highlight. My lamb shank entree was savory, tender, and tasty. Overall an excellent dining experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Definitely a Revisit!
    Cara
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    My boyfriend and I went here on a Monday night. Food was amazing and service was great as well. The only unusual thing that occurred was that they started closing up around 9pm just after we ordered desert. We were caught off guard and checked online to confirm: the website said they closed at 11pm. There was no rush to get us out, but it definitely felt a bit awkward to be the only table in there as the servers were closing up and having casual (though somewhat loud) conversation. We'll certainly be going back for the food, but we'll make sure to go a little earlier next time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent and Consistent
    wowzaVIP
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    This place excels every time. You feel like you just walked into Paris! The food is authentic and properly prepared. They will adjust meals as you need. The waiters remember you too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hard to find these days
    Privatediner
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Thank you for a memorable experience. Great food, quiet and romantic, great service...and reasonable pride for that.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice people amazing food
    DoubleJVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Exactly what you would expect in a great French bistro. Many French restaurants fail to deliver this expectation, but this place is terrific.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Outstanding experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    Myself and a friend had dinner and it was fantastic! The service was very attentive and pleasant and the food was wonderful and I felt the pricing was very fair as well. I will definately return on my next trip to Chicago!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food OK...But
    BBrownVIP
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    The food was good, but the portion size (salad in particular) was way too small for the price. Wait staff is very accommodating. Menu selections offer good choices. However, the prices are out of line.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    Bistro Voltaire is quite possibly my favorite restaurant in the city! This was my third time there, and the waiter remembered me and called me by name. The service was stellar and the food was incredible. The Monday, $29 prix fixe menu is an excellent deal, and they pace them out so well that you don't feel overly full. Bistro Voltaire is always a lovely experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate