1954 W. North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622Neighborhood:
Bucktown / Wicker Park
FrenchPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.cafe-absinthe.com/
- Phone: (773) 278-4488
- Hours of Operation:
Sunday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic, French
- Executive Chef: Jose Garcia
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
- Catering: We do large parties of up to 60 people. You may buy the entire cafe out for an event Sunday-Thursdays. Please enquire with James Romeo for details.
- Private Party Facilities: Cafe Absinthe can accommodate parties up to 65.
- Private Party Contact: James Romeo 7732784488x
- Special Events: Cafe Absinthe is offering a Great Prefix 3 course dinner on Sundays and and Tuesdays for $35.00 a person. For starters (seared blackwing ostriche or crab cake) Soup du jour or Salad, Filet Mignon, Fish dujour or Risotto. Wednesday is 1/2 price on wine.
A word from Café Absinthe
Since its opening in 1994, Cafe Absinthe has garnered critical acclaim for it's innovative French/ American cuisine, use of the finest ingredients , attention to detail, an extensive wine list, and attentive and knowlegeble staff make Cafe Absinthe a Bucktown/ Wicker Park treasure.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Café Absinthe - Best Restaurants in Bucktown / Wicker Park ›
Café Absinthe reviews from OpenTable diners
63 reviews since July 26, 2014
- Ambiance4.3Noise LevelModerate
romantic (39)neighborhood gem (30)special occasion (29)fit for foodies (28)notable wine list (9)late-night find (9)good for groups (5)hot spot (3)great for brunch (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- Nice Romantic SpotMrPresidentDined on 11/13/2014My and girlfriend and I went here on a date night. Its a romantic atmosphere. I started with French Onion soup which was actually not very flavorful and a bit disappointing. She had a crabcake which was good. I had the lamb and she had steak, both were perfectly cooked and delicious. They have a nice French Wine list which we both enjoyed. The service was excellent, very attentive and relaxed waiters. Overall, it was a good meal but too pricey for the value.Special Features:
- Great ExperiencecuisineartDined on 11/9/2014Every aspect of our dining experience was exceptional .Special Features:
- Unique diningFridydateniteDined on 11/7/2014The food was delicious-especially the baked French onion soup and the scallops. We enjoyed the flaming Pernod too! Our server was new, but she was friendly and doing her best. Great AmbianceSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pleasantly SurprisedLeighVIPDined on 11/7/2014After reading very mixed reviews about this place, I was pleasantly surprised with my experience there. Good ambiance - warm, cozy, and romantic. My waiter was very friendly and helpful, and he provided great service. The food was very tasty. I particularly enjoyed the foie grass appetizer and the lamb entre. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to a friend and will be visiting again.
- Can't wait to go backMela526VIPDined on 11/6/2014The food was wonderful. Limited menu but there is something for everyone. I highly recommend the cheese plate appetizer. It was wonderful!!! Service was very friendly and attentive. All in all you will enjoy it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice night outJuanitaDined on 10/23/2014This restaurant is perfect for a special occasion. It's quiet, and the food is very good. The server was exceptionally friendly, but I thought the service was a little slow. Prices are a little higher than we normally pay, which is why it's mostly for special occasions (husband's birthday).Special Features:
- kikiDined on 10/19/2014Attentive and friendly staff. Excellent food presentation and quality. A bit dark to read the menu tho!Special Features:
- Entrance in the alley-it's OK go incasualdinerDined on 10/19/2014Went with friends & did lots of sharing so got to taste a big variety. While we enjoyed the cheese tray& mussel appetizers the spinach salad was AWESOME. I had the scallops which were grilled perfectly, the fish and filet were enjoyed also but the lamb was a little blah-better with some salt. For dessert pumpkin cheesecake! The apple cobbler served warm was delicious too but the brownie just Ok. The server was charming and attentive, there was someone else delivering the food so it was served quickly and hot off the line. Overall a great meal!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Hard to find ones like this!TMazDined on 10/12/2014Most city contemporary restaurants are loud, glitzy and bright. Loved Cafe Absinthe as it combined a soft and contemporary look with low noise for conversation over dinner plus excellent food and service. Love the added edge of entry in the alley to provide a bit of mystery.Special Features:
- NickyVIPDined on 10/11/2014Food was delicious, but when it came dessert, the apple tart turned out to be a berry tart. No real explanation by the waiter. Would also have been nice to have a sign for valet parking.I would recommend this to a friend.
- ason83jayDined on 10/10/2014Had a great dinner with my wife. The muscles and the French onion soup were very different from what I am used to, but we really enjoyed the different flavors. The muscles were probably the best quality we have ever had. My duck breast was OK, nothing special. My wife's rack of lamb was outstanding. I think the menu prices are a big win. Appropriately priced in an area that is known for inflated prices. We'll be back again.
- Great spot for friends!CheleKDined on 10/4/2014While visiting Chicago, I used Open Table to find a restaurant that would accommodate my group of 10 for an early dinner before a show. Cafe Absinthe was the PERFECT choice! It was close to the theatre and the ambiance fit our mood so well. We knew we were in for something special when we entered through the alley. Plush curtains, dramatic lighting, and table linens filled the space. Our hostess was welcoming and gracious. Our waiter was friendly and knowledgeable. He and the bartender happily accommodated substitutions and offered suggestions to compliment individual tastes. The food was A-MAZING! The Asparagus Mushroom Risotto is to-die-for and the lamb chops are so savory and good. Head out of downtown and give Cafe Absinthe a try!Special Features:
- Love This Placegood2goDined on 9/24/2014I really like this restaurant. It is small and intimate, low lighting, quiet. I have recommended it to many other people.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great ExperienceVictoriaVIPDined on 9/21/2014This was our first time at Cafe Absinthe and we both enjoyed it. The service was great, the food was excellent, and the atmosphere was quaint and inviting. I highly recommend the mussels and the scallops. My husband’s beef tenderloin was perfectly prepared as well. We will go back!Special Features:
- good dinnerFood4jasVIPDined on 9/20/2014had an early dinner, post matinee theatre, so the place was very quiet. The lamb and heirloom tomato salad were excellent, others found the tenderloin just average. very nice setting.
- Service and moodYummyDined on 9/12/2014It made we feel we went to Paris. The door of the restaurant is from alley.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very niceFoodlvrVIPDined on 9/4/2014We really enjoyed this place. Nice, romantic atmospher, very good food and very good service. Just a great place overall. Will definitely go back.Special Features:
- We will return.OpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 8/30/2014I know its been there for years, but it was a great experience.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/29/2014The food was excellent; the service first class - attentive and pleasant. It was rather noisy and quite dark ,and the tables were jammed up against each other. Parking could also be a problem, located as it is on a busy corner of two main streets.Special Features:
- Delicious food, great serviceFoodieDined on 8/24/2014This is our second visit and there will be many more even though we live in the north suburbs. Every course could not have been better. Our only negative was the volume of the music and general noise level which were too loud.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food & Great serviceMarkDined on 8/20/2014They were out of a couple items on the menu and one of their wines as well, but they made up for it. They were very attentive to us and made our occasion very special. The waiter was very attentive and gave great recommendations.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great findOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/17/2014Every bite was delicious!! Terrific setting. Great ambiance! Several review said difficult to find entrance not sure what they were talking about had no problem finding it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OK, not greatFlaco05Dined on 8/14/2014This restaurant is an OK value but nothing to rave about. Service is fine, but, as pointed out by others, there is only one waiter covering the whole restaurant. Food is simple and ingredients are very good, but seasoning was lacking (guys, a bit of salt and pepper can go a long way...) Mojito tasted like juice, so stay away from it. Desserts were probably the brightest spot in the menu. This was a one off for us. Will not be visiting again or recommending to others.
- A treat.DandJDined on 8/13/2014This is our treat go to place. The food is always wonderful and the service is top notch. We also like the fact that it is quiet enough to have conversations at a normal level, instead of having to shout. We will continue to go back for these reasons and to recomend Cafe Absinthe to our friends.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Groupon winnerkainateDined on 8/8/2014We landed reservations at Cafe Absinthe on the expiration date of our Groupon, and in retrospect I'm happy we didn't miss out. The ambiance and food were very good. Service was modestly poky and a bit sweaty, but adequate in sum. Prices were very reasonable for the location and quality of the experience. Highlights of the meal were a Caprese-style tomato and mozzarella salad with outstanding dressing that contributed much more than the standard olive oil or balsamic topping. Peppercorn crusted filet was cooked perfectly as requested, medium rare, and my wife's scallops were delivered just right in that sweet spot between chewy and raw. An enjoyable night and we'll be back.Special Features:
- coletteVIPDined on 8/8/2014the restaurant is an unpretentious French restaurant with very good food.Special Features:
- Valet ParkingSteveTDined on 8/2/2014Although this has been one of our favorite restaurants ( we drive in from the far south suburbs) we will not be coming back. The service we received was wonderful. from the hostess, bartender and wait staff. However we waited 20 minutes for valet parking upon arrival and another 30 minutes to retrieve our car.
- Food! Food!GeorgeVIPDined on 8/1/2014The food was good and the service was great. Will go back again!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Cafe AbsintheCdrozaDined on 7/31/2014The steak was extremely tender. The chef was willing to adjust ingredients to meet our specific tastes.Special Features:
- The following 401 reviews are from the Café Absinthe reviews archive.
- Consistent preparation&execution.BB25VIPDined on 6/13/2014The menu options are limited, but everything is executed very we. The tattered paper menus are off putting. Maybe they should use an old fashioned chalkboard or something of that nature. Friendly and timely service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- firsttimerDined on 6/12/2014Varied wine list. Great "French" feel. Great entrance & light fixtures.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not so greatOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 6/1/2014As some other reviewers have mentioned there is usually only one waiter working the whole house, which results in some very slow service if the restaurant is even slightly busy. The ambience was unimpressive, right next to a noisy bar and the odd table arrangement did not lend itself to the romantic atmosphere that I was expecting. I like to think of myself as pretty open-minded, but I couldn't bring myself to finish my order of lamb. It was covered in a sauce that was suspiciously reminiscent of A1, served with over-salted spinach and very cheesy potatoes. Not the sophisticated cuisine I'd been hoping for. Also, I would note that the menu is completely different than the one advertised online, and not nearly as "classically" French.
- jackieDined on 5/29/2014Great food and great service. Good for romantic dinner or girls night out.. Go see Chris the waiter. He's the best! tSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not the same place I rememberfellowdinerDined on 5/29/2014Used to love dining at cafe absinthe but this recent visit was disappointing. They advertise valet parking online but we found out that is only on weekends so we were late for our reservation while finding street parking in busy Bucktown. They could only take us at 7pm and not our preferred 7:30 so we were nervous about arriving late. This wasn't a problem because it was empty so I wondered why the time wasn't available (2 weeks out). One bartender/hostess and one waiter both of whom were friendly. The food was great but the entree took unusually long to arrive, even though there were barely any other customers. I wonder if they had to go out and buy ingredients? I wouldn't return as I think this restaurant is past its prime.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIPDined on 5/18/2014We enjoyed our dinner very much.It's a bit out of the way for us but we would consider returning
- Could use an additional good waiterAnneVIPDined on 5/18/2014Our waiter was very good, worked efficiently and quickly. However, it appeared he was covering all of the tables and, therefore, did not have much time to allot to each table. Additional wait staff would benefit Cafe Absinthe greatly.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Perfect EveningOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 5/17/2014Low Key Lighting, Nice room, great food and wonderful service...Special Features:
- Showing it's age - good & badFoodieKitVIPDined on 5/16/20141st time here. The food was very good & decent-sized portions w/surprisingly good prices compared to other places of similar caliber we've been to. The drinks were just OK, not my favorite part of the meal. They were very busy that night & several staff members made a point of apologizing, even buying us a round of drinks. The tables are right on top of each other - understandable for the limited amount of space - not a big deal for us, but others might not like it. The decor is whimsical & attractive, however, the unisex bathroom was a bit messy, including a dirty toilet seat. Little details are the things that show a restaurant's age (20 yrs), some for good (food quality/portions) & some for bad (attention to cleanliness).Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- outdated but niceWendelDined on 5/10/2014We haven't been to this restaurant for about 10 + years. The location was nice and the food was good but everything seemed like it hadn't changed since last time we were there. Food and Cocktails sytle seemed old to us - we wished that they had updated to keep with current trends.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 5/10/2014Service was terrible. We ordered a cheese plate, delivered by the bus boy and no one even told us what was what on the plate. We saw our waiter when we ordered and when our main dish came- that was it.