Black Bull
Black Bull

Black Bull

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.blackbullchicago.com/
  • Phone: 7732278600x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sunday-Friday 3:00pm - 2:00am
    Saturday 3:00pm- 3:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Entertainment: Music is also at the heart of BLACK BULL, where carefully crafted playlists place guests in their favorite pub madrileño. Artists from Spain, playing 80s rock en español, flamenco and bohemian classics are seamlessly mixed with American and British rock.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Between Hermitage & Paulina
  • Public Transit: Division Blue Line Stop.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street Parking. Valet Parking across the street.
A word from Black Bull
BLACK BULL pays homage to the tapas and pintxos bars of Spain, full of warmth and vivacity, a meeting point for friends, where an unassuming entrance conceals a boisterous setting serving simple yet surprising food. At the heart of Black Bull is the custom of tapeo, a treasured Spanish custom of drinking and socializing, grazing on food, bouncing from one dish to another, always accompanied by a little wine, sangria or beer.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Black Bull reviews from OpenTable diners
53 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (29)neighborhood gem (28)fit for foodies (22)good for groups (20)romantic (16)special occasion (13)vibrant bar scene (12)hot spot (11)notable wine list (8)late-night find (4)scenic view (3)great for brunch (3)great for lunch (3)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Perfect
    Angie
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The food was delicious. The atmosphere was great. Our server Sarah was wonderful, and it made for a perfect girls night out
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    PeruvianfoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    In all categories. From Host to bartender server to the chef
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Decent
    toronegro
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Food was fine, but better tapas can be found for the price.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • authentic tapas
    impunityjane
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Outstanding service. The waiter was beyond excellent. Food five stars.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Black bull didn't receive us !
    isabellefromFranceVIP
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Our reservation was at 9:30 on last sunday. We arrived at 9:25 et mentioned that we had a reservation. The restaurant was empty, just a man behind a bar, very surprised that we could have this reservation. A woman came and said to us that the kitchen was closed. The computer was already switched off. When she saw our faces she said may be they could find something for us. We have chosen this restaurant to eat tapas, which means cooking and not eating a sandwich alone with people looking at you, waiting for one thing : your departure ! So we took a taxi again (12$ each ride) and came back to our hotel near Water Tower. It was too late to find another restaurant so we used the dining-room service . What a nice evening !
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Madelineo808
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The restaurant made my birthday. It was absolutely delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We will be back!
    JTeats
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Great first experience at Black Bull. Myself and two girlfriends had a fun and delicious dinner on Friday 8/1. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fabulous place
    Peggy
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We ate outside, great, friendly waitress! Tapas was outstanding! Never felt rushed! Was a very festive feeling and we'd definitely return!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bland
    Teri
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    The service is the only thing preventing me from giving this place one star. The food was underseasoned and just underwhelming. Pretty much the worst tapas we've ever had.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Authentic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    We lived in Madrid for 6 years and were very happy to find out that the folks at Black Bull are authentic Spaniards from Valencia, Madrid and other places. The food is authentic. Unas croquetas de jamón muy ricas!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great service and small plates
    LuckygirlChicago2013VIP
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Our server Sylvia really made our experience special. She had wonderful recommendations for food, Scallops are a must try! The restaurant is really inviting and would be good for both groups or date night.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect summer night!
    LAA35VIP
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    We enjoyed the red sangria while sitting on the patio. It is delicious and authentic tasting. It just like the sangria in Spain. The meat and cheese tray is our favorite starter. We ate the lamb special and the pork special at the bottom of the menu with some brussel sprouts. Delicious! It was a perfect summer Sunday on the patio!!!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun night
    Nothardtoplease
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    It was fun and vibrant there with our party of 8. Some of our guests were not as impressed with the food as others, but overall I would return. Really enjoyed the red sangria. It got quite lively in there by the end of dinner.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Miss
    Areana
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Food was fantastic and our server JJ aka Jaime (in spanish) was all around awesome! The prices are affordable and just loved the place Will def come back with the family and friends :)
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food, bad service
    iDesign
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    It's a small restaurant, and once the place got crowded, our waitress was not keeping up. Their tables are too small for tapas eating, so I made sure we ordered only 2 tapas at a time. At one point we ordered clams, and she brought out mussels. When I told here they were clams, she insisted I was wrong. Thankfully the table next to us, since they were practically sitting with us, butted in and told her I was right and they're not clams. She took them away and then she forgot to bring back the clam order. Eventually a different waitress brought them, by which time we were out of drinks and the clams were terrible, but everything else we had was good. It then took forever to get the check.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice place
    Cece
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Nice place, nice feel, good friendly service. But, having traveled to Spain several times I was disappointed in the food. It was OK but not great. Other places in the city hit the mark much more so than Black Bull.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Solid food, service could use work
    allaboutservice
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    We ate in a group of 8 outside on a busy Friday night. That said, our server was great. Nothing was forgotten or delayed and she was attentive. What I found lacking was the support staff -- people keeping our water glasses full, switching out plates when one filled up with mussel shells, etc. If those details had been better attended to, the overall experience would have improved.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Food was good, service was very very slow; it took about 20 mins to get a waitress and we had to ask where she was. Food was good, but took a very long time to come out
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Elizibeth was are server and she was very helpful and very kind.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Open table reservation issue
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    This is the second time open table has made an error in a reservation. They put it 30 minutes later and for 6 instead of two. Fortunately each time the restaurant was able to accommodate us. As always black bull was great!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    First time trying this place, definitely a must see. The food was delicious and looking forward to coming back soon.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Took 20 minutes to get seated with reservation- not worth making the reservation
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    My reservation for two of us happened to be 30 minutes before the Friday rush hit, so the place was empty when we got there. We only ordered 3 small plates, which were all great. We had two pitchers of sangria, so we occupied the table for a very long time. Early on, they asked up to move to an adjacent table so they could accommodate a large party. Our server moved our drinks and food, and then she brought us new plates and silverware. We didn't mind moving as the place was getting to be standing room only, and the second table was further away from the crowd. Our server never rushed us despite us being at there for more than 3 hours, and provided some good recommendations on the menu. Can't wait to go back again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 30 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 48 reviews are from the Black Bull reviews archive.
  • What a treat
    Mlash6
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Waitstaff and chef were outstanding! Food recommendations were "spot on".
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing dining experience
    Foodie4life
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Food was unbelievable. Great service. Perfect ambiance. Delicious sangria!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loud
    MGH1
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    Tacos were very good and fun to share. Cocktails A+. I had to lean forward the entire meal to hear the person across from me... The personal diaganol from me, forget about. We were all asking the server to repeat things multiple times.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tapas
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    Hands down, the best tapas in Chicago! Incredible flavors and the service was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It has lost its Spanish taste
    JohnyVIP
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    It seems that in an effort to make it more modern and “cool” this place has lost its soul. Black Bull new menu misses some of the best tapas they used to have – as the blood sausage. Black Bull octopus dish used to be excellent, with a strong flavor, and its patatas bravas used to be the best I tried in Chicago. All of that is gone with the wind!! Nowadays, its octopus is tender but flavorless and the patatas bravas are just a bunch of baked potatoes cubes with ketchup. If I had to describe this Black Bull 2014 experience in few words I would say weak flavors and “Lost in translation”. A big disappointment, I used to recommend this restaurant to friends and colleagues but those days are gone.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Poor Service, Great Meal
    Christina19
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    I took some friends who were in town to Black Bull after a recommendation. Unfortunately the service was pretty poor. We had reservations and the host was pretty vague on heading to the bar. After waiting 15 minutes our table was ready and we were seated at a table right by the hostess stand. After waiting for 10-20 minutes I went up the the hostess stand and asked if we had a server. Quickly a server came over and went into a long story about our server's facebook account was hacked into and she was on break to take care of it (Way too much information...). Once we ordered our meal our service was fine, but a pretty disappointing experience. The food was delicious, once we were able to withstand the lack of service and attention.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Music good food just ok--
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Need more variety--chicken andbeef skewers or even a chicaken breast on the menu would be helpful.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Simonsays
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Tapas bar scene with some good drink listings and selection of different tapas. Nothing beats the homeland of northern spain for tapas, but BB does a fair job at it, with some being a bit too heavy and rich or pureed. I think they offered paella and mention the chef studied in Valencia, but we didnt try it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Finally authentic tapas in Chicago
    Tapasdelish
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    The tapas that we tried were all excellent and reminded us of the typical tapas in Barcelona. Tortilla de patata, pan con tomate and croquetas de jamon were all excellent plus the solomillo was delicious. Paella was prepared very well with great flavors. Plus, one of the few places in Chicago (maybe the only one) to serve Estrella Damm on tap (official beer of Barcelona). Fun cocktails and a stellar Spanish wine list rounded out the menu. Fun atmosphere with great waitstaff!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience.
    memememe
    Dined on 3/12/2014
    Good food, even pleased my parents. Excellent sangria, black paella.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    Our server was attentive and knowledgeable and made an effort to make conversation without bugging us. I'm moving to the area soon and I'll be frequenting Black Bull.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, romantic, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great tapas
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    We were a party of two that made an impromptu reservation on a Friday night. The space is small and a little jammed packed but the decor is nice. The food was delicious and our server was funny and more than accommodating of my special request for a substitution (due to an allergy). I will warn diners, the portions are smaller than other tapas places in the city but the quality is top notch, so I wasn't bothered. Their sangria is also good, but I would skip the house cocktail menu. Over all, we had a great experience and will likely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I can't hear you!
    James
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    Great food. Lively atmosphere. The music level was that of a concert. I thought it could have just been me and my date; however, upon looking at the tables around us, all we're leaning in and yelling to hear one another.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Tapas spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Great neighborhood restaurant with a hip atmosphere. The spanish tapas have a culinary flair and the prices were very reasonable. The service was helpful and efficient.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service was good
    Paco
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Went with our son last Saturday. It is the third time we go there. This time it was very disappointing. It started when we came in and there was that foul bathroom odor in the restaurant. In the past we went during the summer so it was not noticeable because the windows were open. the smell was really bothersome during our whole dinner. The food was average and the meatballs were so tasteless and watery that we could not eat them. I don't think we are going back
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lezbehonest
    TJmaxx
    Dined on 2/13/2014
    Enjoyed a great night for a second date with my lady friend. The goat cheese appetizer was delish! Beef tenderloin--all I can I say is, "it's goin down! I'm yelling tendeeeer!!!" On another note, the music was a tad loud in the dining area. But overall a great experience. Ole!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic food! Had an amazing
    ChitowndinerVIP
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    Fantastic food! Had an amazing time and cannot wait to go back! The shrimp are out of this world!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic