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: 7732784488x
- 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 May 5, 2014
- Ambiance3.9Noise LevelModerate
romantic (42)neighborhood gem (34)special occasion (26)fit for foodies (24)notable wine list (9)late-night find (8)good for groups (6)hot spot (5)vibrant bar scene (3)great for brunch (2)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- 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:
- coletteDined 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!GeorgeDined 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:
- 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 & badFoodieKitDined 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.
- SOOO- LovelyLOVEFOODVIPDined on 5/9/2014We met freinds for dinner, enjoyed the beautiful presentations of food, so much to eat and drink. Acute young couple s were siiting at the table next to us. He puleds out a engagement saphire/ diamond ring, gets on his knee Camera phones going off- clapping the whole restaurant congratulated the happy couple! This is not the first time wonderful events occurred here.Food and service are wonderful in itself. The prices are great. Try it for yourself! i love the spinach salad( big enough to share_ feresh warm breads and the beef tenderloin and apple tart.my hisband loves trhe king size generous portions of scallops alls ered with sdes at no extra cost. the interior deco is so sothing , yet fits in the neighbrohood,Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AGAIN!SpikelawVIPDined on 5/7/2014I was just at CA the week before so my review is probably still standing......ditto! Feels like one of those creaky old french bistros that you would find down a side street in Paris. The menu is not large, but what they do, they do very well. Unless you want pasta, there is something on this menu that you will love. Mussels, cheese plate, and crab cakes are all superb, with the salads and soups being what I believe they do the very best.Special Features:
- Beautiful ambienceLKetVIPDined on 5/4/2014This was my second time here. Love Cafe Absinthe!! So tasty and classy.Special Features:
- The following 387 reviews are from the Café Absinthe reviews archive.
- Mostly happyfoodnservicebratDined on 5/3/2014Great food and recommendations. Servers were friendly and as helpful as they could be.Special Features:
- CASpikelawVIPDined on 5/1/2014Cafe Absinthe feels like an old French restaurant in Paris with French inspired dishes and great service from a very casual and unpretentious staff. The salad and soups are fantastic. The entrees are limited, but very solid. They make their own bread and desserts.Special Features:
- Nicely NoirRockermamiDined on 4/26/2014Great 1920's flare, with a very modern price tag. Gourmet presentation, which means very small portions - not the place to go with a big appetite.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pricey...but worth it!!luvgreatfoodDined on 4/26/2014We recently dined at Cafe Absinthe (first time for me), 2nd time for my 2 guests. We found the overall quality of the food, presentation and service to be among the best we have ever experienced. Of all of the dishes, the Caesar salad arrived without enough dressing. Additional dressing was supplied quickly. Wonderful crostini accompanied the salad as well as white anchovies. Do not miss the asparagus and mushroom risotto!Special Features:
- JennBDined on 4/24/2014Very nice ambiance, a little on the expensive side, beef tenderloin cooked very nicely but I wasn't a fan of the sauce.bSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Birthday DinnerAlieatsDined on 4/23/2014We used a Groupon to eat here and were very impressed. The entrance is not on North Ave but rather in an alley off of Damen. It took a few trips around the block to find a Pay to Park spot. The restaurant was partially filled on a Wednesday night at 7:30 pm. Our waiter was very enthusiastic about everything on the menu and we didn't feel very confident in his answers to our questions. We each got the French onion soup and it had a very good taste with lots of melted cheese. My friend had the lamb shank and I had the scallops. Both were delicious and larger than normal portions for a French restaurant. The wine list was very reasonably priced with a good selection. They gave us a free dessert for our birthdays. I definitely recommend it!Special Features:
- 2650SagaDined on 4/19/2014We enjoyed the food very much. For a Saturday night at 9PM, the restaurant was rather empty!Special Features:
- Great Food, Great ServiceLuvin5VIPDined on 4/18/2014We had a wonderful meal at Cafe Absinthe. We remember eating here over 10 years ago, it was a pleasure to go back and find it still such a great place. Our server was excellent--offered a taste of two wines before we selected our glass (always appreciate it when a server offers that!), and paid careful attention to us because we told him we were heading to the theatre. Lamb, salmon were excellent. Delicious beet salad--one of the best I've had. We will be back and it won't take us another 10 years!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- thumbs upmoodyfoodyDined on 4/15/2014Nice place, good food, fast service. Recommended !Special Features:
- Great LookingBJLEEDined on 4/13/2014The restaurant is nicely set up with tables spaced to allow conversation without being squeezed together with other tables. However the lighting is a bit too low (high ceilings and small candles). Service is friendly and attentive, but hampered by the wait time from the kitchen. We had fish and lamb, each slightly overcooked. If not perfect, it was OK. The entrance is a bit difficult to locate because it is not actually on North Ave. We will try this restaurant again perhaps on a different day or time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful food and service,OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 3/30/2014Wonderful food and service, moderate prices. Friendly staff, nice French atmosphere.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Upon walking in, we were greetedmee45Dined on 3/30/2014Upon walking in, we were greeted with a warm candlelit ambiance and friendly staff. We were promptly seated and brought water, bread and butter. (The bread with the sunflower seeds on it was delicious)! Our server, Chris, was really helpful, didn't cringe when we mentioned we had a Groupon and gave superb service. The duck wasn't as flavorful as I was hoping but it was good all the same. My boyfriend had the salmon and he loved it. Overall my experience at Cafe Absinthe was great and I would certainly come back again.Special Features:
- The legendary Café Absinthe...BucktownBobVIPDined on 3/28/2014Café Absinthe in Wicker Park opened in the mid-90s, and is a piece of modern Chicago history. The country paté was very rich and the beet salad was generous: lots of beets and enough to split, although perhaps predictable in terms of the flavors. The sea scallops with mashed potatoes stood out as the best entrée; the duck--again a generous portion--was overcooked. The dessert menu was a throwaway (too bad). The wine list, however, was refined and affordable. While the ambience here is cozy and romantic, it was very dated (sponge painting and shabby chic). If Absinthe wants to keep up with the trends they started 20 years ago, they need to refresh their menu for a contemporary palate and consider a few updates to their amazing space.Special Features:
- Overpriced and limited winesrjonwardDined on 3/20/2014Food and ambiance is great. Service was poor (aside from the busboy and bartender, which was outstanding!) Wine selection was limited and grossly overpriced. Would think twice about going again for the price