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  • Bistro Voltaire

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Bistro Voltaire
Bistro Voltaire

Bistro Voltaire Details

  • 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, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Contact: Bistro Voltaire (312) 265-0911
  • Special Events & Promotions: 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.

Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFrench
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "We enjoyed everything about Bistro Voltaire, especially the personal attention of our waiter, and the delicious food."
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "The foods is always great. The service is impeccable. The closest thing to a french bistro this side of the seine."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "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"
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "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."
    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!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "La nourriture était magnifique! The food was absolutely magnifique!"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Quiet and classy place for great food and atmosphere"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "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!!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Thank you for a memorable experience. Great food, quiet and romantic, great service...and reasonable pride for that."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Exactly what you would expect in a great French bistro. Many French restaurants fail to deliver this expectation, but this place is terrific."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "The location in River North is great. Atmosphere with French music very romantic. Food selection, especially specials each nite are outstanding! Prices very reasonable. A real neighborhood gem!"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "I was looking for a unique dining spot near Michigan Avenue, found this little bistro on Open Table, and it did not disappoint. Lovely, small, intimate setting. My husband and I felt we were back in Paris! And the food was remarkable! Service was perfect! I had the fish special; my husband had the steak. Both were perfectly seasoned and sauced. We'll definitely return."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "This restaurant had great service and the food was good. However, the restaurant is small and the tables are on top of each other. Any conversation you have with your table mate will also be heard both the tables on each side of you."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Absolutely wonderful experience, the service, food, ambience was perfection. I would recommend this to anyone. Very quaint restaurant! You will not be disappointed!"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Love this restaurant. Great food, service and ambiance. Charming bistro atmosphere with friendly waite staff. Have been several times and never disappointed. Will definitely go back. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "From the moment you walk in Bistro Voltaire, the staff is on a mission to make you feel good. "Bonsoir," the host greets you with a big smile. Diners know they are off to a good start when the waiter brings a fresh, warm and crusty demi-baguette to the table. The salad lyonaisse was fresh-from-the-field frisee with lardons, croutons and topped with a poached egg that gives the salad a memorable richness. The salmon was a thick portion with crispy, buttery skin and impeccably cooked so it melted in your mouth. Finally, I ended the meal on a high note with a rich creme brulee with a delicate burnt sugar crust. Even on a Monday night, the place was hopping and with good reason. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 5/12/2014
  • "Its been a while since I've had service as outstanding as I did at Bistro Voltaire. Our waiter was Steven, you should ask for him if you eat there. First, he was very helpful in making menu selections. Second, he noticed I left my jacket on, and aksked if I would like him to turn on the seat warmer for me. Third, there was a bit of a delay between our appetizer & main course, which I didn not even mind because we were in no hurry, but he still offered to bring us a cocktail on the house while we waited. He pretty much read our minds about what desserts we'd enjoy, and was just so welcoming & didn't rush us, even when we were the last people left in the restaurant. The food was also very fresh and perfectly prepared."
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "Charming decor, doting staff and outstanding food. "
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "The staff was great, the food was excellent. We will return."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Food great. Onion soyp wonderful. Excellent desserts. Second time at restaurant and is really good."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Was slightly disappointed in our evening. We haven't been since January and none of our favorite items remain on the menu! Food was still good, as always, but just not what we were hoping for. Service was a bit lacking and we felt rushed - funny since we were one of two tables. Also could have done without listening to the servers personal conversations and continual use of the f-bomb... "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "I will say me and my now Boyfriend went here for the first time and it was so so good the staff were beyond delightful!!"
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "Food was absolutly delicious, service was great. "
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "3rd visit to Voltaire. Consistently very good. First time they have done "brunch" for Easter or even a day service. Well executed. Excellent service from Steven. Small, intimate. Nice ambience. Escargot very yummy. Scallops delicious. Chocolate cake has wonderful gooey center. All around good."
    Dined on 4/20/2014