Cafe Marbella Tapas
Cafe Marbella Tapas

Cafe Marbella Tapas

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://cafemarbellatapas.com/
  • Phone: 7738530128x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Sunday Brunch: 12:00pm - 4:00pm - 9:00pm Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm

    Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

    Monday: Closed
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Virgilio Trujillo
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: BYO Liquor, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access
  • Catering: Catering menu is based in our regular menu but is not limited to it. By contacting us we can set up a convenient menu.
  • Private Party Facilities: For parties of twenty to fifty we offer family style menu.
  • Private Party Contact: Maria Roman 7738658391x

Getting there

  • Cross Street: W Bryn Mawr Ave
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Streets...Milwaukee Ave & Bryn Mawr Ave
A word from Cafe Marbella Tapas
Cafe Marbella specializes in Basque and Catalonia"s Cuisine.Relocated from its former Peterson Avenue location, Cafe Marbella Settles in Gladstone Park (5527 N. Milwaukee Avenue) . The restaurant's Chef Virgilio Trujillo has cooked In some of the city's favorite spanish -style kitchens, including La Paella and Arco De Cuchilleros. Chef Trujillo has a wide selection of classic dishes like Gazpacho Andaluz, Gambas al Ajillo, Piquillos con Queso de Cabra and Tortilla Espanola. (BYOB restaurant)
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Cafe Marbella Tapas reviews from OpenTable diners
34 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (31)good for groups (20)fit for foodies (16)special occasion (7)kid-friendly (6)romantic (5)great for lunch (2)late-night find (2)hot spot (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • nice selection of tapas
    Matt
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Had the Plata de embutidos (chorizo, ham, and salchichon), conchinillo asado, and queso de cabra al horn which were very good and cooked very well. The espada ala parrilla was cooked ahi tuna style and some areas were slightly charred from grilling so not exactly my favorite. It's bring your own alcohol so that helps with the bill. Ate alone so couldn't try more plates which sounded interesting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • best tapas in town
    WindyCityLoVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    byob to this wonderful, roomy space - with just a few or a crowd. the menu's nearly endless, then there are the specials. then there are the unwritten specials. go for a first time and you'll visit often ... LOVE this place. oh, it is byob - and the prices are shockingly reasonable!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AN INTERNET FIND
    LMROADREVW
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Was driving in from Indiana going to Garth Brooks concert. Found this on the Internet and gave it a go. Was very pleased with the total experience. Small family operation. Emphasizes BYOB. Definitely cuts the bill down. We had the Pallas and they were well portioned with chicken, seafood, and chorizo. definitely worth the stop. Ask for Rudy (waiter)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Growing Pains?
    meandfood
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The tapas were very good, as usual. However, we also ordered a steak entree which was tough and a fish /seafood entree that seemed a bit overcooked. Our order was a little confused, and we never got one dish. I think that as this restaurant grows more popular and busy they need to write down orders as they take them. I wouldn't exactly say they are having growing pains, but they do need maybe a bigger waitstaff.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for long evening
    NWSidefoodies81
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Great tapas menu-cream of clam soup, goat cheese, avocado/bacon balsamic dressing over greens; mussels in a bread bowl, grilled octopus/potatoes, figs in brandy cream, Spanish meatballs, Valencia paella, mango tart, flan, Creme brûlée for dessert w/coffee between 4 people. Super delicious, served in a non rushed way. Place is BYOB, so a savings to the diner. FREE street parking available.wish there was a bit more atmosphere, very austere decor--but the food is worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • SartVIP
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    I love Cafe Marbella! My wife and I have eaten there probably a dozen times and have always had a great meal. The extensive menu covers the tapas basics but the real treat is the list of nightly specials. For example, on a recent visit we had stuffed clam over portobello mushroom. Food is invariably perfectly cooked, creative when needed, nicely presented, and generously portioned. Servers are friendly and knowledgeable. The ambience is very nice (I particularly like the softly-played flamenco recordings). Prices are reasonable and the BYO policy makes them even more so. There's even easily accessible free street parking. What's not to love?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Food and service was fantastic! Wish I knew it was BYOB ahead of time though.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Tapas yet
    maygrait
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Excellent food, nice staff, great neighborhood find. Very reasonably priced.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good BYOB
    LAZOO
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Never had a bad meal after 5 visit We love specially the seafood dishes
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food!
    JuneBugVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    The place is a gem! Great food, great service! Perfect ambience!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious Tapas
    Katek
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Cafe Marbella has become one of our favorite restaurants. The food is absolutely delicious, we have never had anything we didn't like. Some of our absolute favorites are the mushrooms, grilled octopus, ceviche, baked goat cheese with tomato and meatballs. If gazpacho is available don't pass it up, it is fantastic. Not on the menu but always available is a petite fillet with a brandy cream sauce and roasted potato wedges. My husband always waits until everyone is full then orders it and it blows everyone away. Their desserts are also amazing, we always ask them to put a banana tart on the side because they run out early. We have brought lots of friends and everyone loves Cafe Marabella.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Neighborhood BYOB
    MarMarHTVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Nice tapa selection. Helpfful suggestions on menu from staff. Bring a good bottle of wine and enjoy
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved it - will be back!
    dillydally
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Its hard to find a good tapas place and BYOB, too? Wonderful. The owners were incredible accomodating to our request for a nice, quiet corner table, even emailing me back and forth about the best table. Wow! Maria you rock! Only tiny suggestion is that it could be a tad darker in the lighting department - would make it more romantic. We live in Lakeview but will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great BYOB tapas
    ALBA
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    I love Cafe Marbella. The tapas are delicious, with plenty of seafood, meat, and non-meat options. It is a great value, all the more so for being BYOB.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Spanish food
    illiniry
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Enjoyed the food here, it's also BYOB. Waiter was friendly and knowledgable. It was not crowded.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 19 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 82 reviews are from the Cafe Marbella Tapas reviews archive.
  • Excellent Tapas
    FoodieGolferVIP
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    Before you turn away as you look at the entrance...be determined to open the two squeaky doors and enjoy some of the best tapas in the city. We forgot that it was BYOB, but a nearby liquor store helped satisfy our need for a nice bottle of wine. The Portobello mushrooms are excellent. The goat cheese is perfect. Even the flatbread is something to write home about. Don't miss this place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Tapas!
    BYOBreviewer
    Dined on 5/13/2014
    My girlfriends and I go to a different BYOB restaurant once a month and have found many wonderful places, but Cafe Marbella is at the top of my list! We LOVED 17 of 20 of the dishes we ordered (stuffed avocado, patatas with chorizo, heirloom tomato salad, bacon wrapped dates) and REALLY LIKED 2 other dishes. The presentation of the food was beautiful and, for tapas, the portions were generous. The restaurant is very quaint and feels much more expensive than our bill reflected. I will be going back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dinner Mothers Day
    yomama
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Yet another wonderful dining experience here. Fabulous tapas warm friendly flexible service. This byo tapas restaurant is great for dinner for 2 4 or 6. They also cheerfully accomodate larger parties for showers holiday meals etc. You will not be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Food and Service
    dining50s
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We started out with a few tapas dishes, sauteed spinach, sauteed portabello mushrooms, baked goat cheese, and red peppers stuffed with goat cheese. All were great, very tasty and delicious. Ordered the chicken breast with machego cheese and spinach and the rib eye steaks, they were outstanding in taste and portion size. Much bigger than I would have expected for the price. The last dish was fried thin noodles with grilled shrimp, another fantastic tasty choice. The desserts were very light and great as well, we had the blackberry tart, raspberry tart, and a sponge cake with ladyfingers. Highly recommend this place, would definitely come back here again and again.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food good price BYO alcohol
    WJSK
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Been going here 6+ years nice friendly service small tapas plates average around $7 each can sit for a couple hours & eat 4-5 plates with 2 people they never make you feel rushed desserts look amazing byo beer wine etc really makes your check a lower price! Large & good food selection & there is always a specials menu. Also I don't think there is any cork fee.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and value
    Healthyeater
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    We love tapas, and Cafe Marbella has all our favorites. They were well prepared, served hot when they were supposed to be hot, and very tasty. We were happy that it's BYOB, as bringing our own wine with no corkage fee made it very affordable for us. Service was friendly and efficient. We were very pleased with our visit.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Good Local Option
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    My wife and I selected three tapas: The Steak Special, Sautéed Calamari and Mussels in a white garlic sauce. The steak was full flavored. I would have preferred it to be a little rarer, but that did not destroy the dish. The calamari was sautéed in a red piquant sauce that had the right amount of heat for our palates. The hit of the night was the mussels in a white sauce that exploded with garlic. Since I did not have a spoon, the mussel half shell took its place along with crusty bread to sop up all the sauce. We brought our own wine, a Stones Throw Cabernet Sauvigon that completed all three courses. Surprising, there was no corkage fee on my bill. This is a local gem that we will return to often. The service was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome!
    JuneBugVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    This is a great place for Tapas. Great food, atmosphere, friendly staff. I've been here many times and never had a bad experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrific Tapas - worth the Trek
    WindyCityLoVIP
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    Simple double-wide store front masks the great insides of Cafe Marbella - enjoy the food - ANY of it - the regular menu is great. the handwritten specials menu is also amazing, but the SPECIAL SPECIALS that you'll hear will have your mouth and head exploding! try some of ALL of it, because it's small plates for sharing - saving the figs for the final plate - and leave room for dessert. best of all - in addition to the terrific and family-centric chef and staff - it's BYOB! always a terrific time. RARELY over $35 per person (including tax and gratuity); often less! Absolutely my favorite place in Chicago!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good tapas in a nice setting!
    vxtr
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    Second time I've visited. Food is very good. I am very surprised Cafe Marbella isn't busier. Staff is very kind - we stayed a really long time. I'm happy to have a tapas restaurant in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great tapas in the neighborhood!
    Mish
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    Nice local place to have tapas with friends without going downtown.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun, Cozy and Delicious!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    My husband and I had a great experience at Cafe Marbella. We never had to wait for anything. There were a lot of fun small tapas choices which allowed us to try several different items and still have a little room for dessert (which was also great). The BYOB is fun and saves money. Tables are a little close together so for some that might be a little to intimate, but we were fine. We will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • When we got there we were
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    When we got there we were seated at a table by the door. There were other available tables so we asked if we could have a different table. We were told that since we reserved our table on line the computer gives us a table and it can not be changed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great menu with extensive specials
    raynebough
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    We have been here twice now and really enjoy it. The menu is fairly priced and everything we have had is good to excellent. They have a specials menu and also "special" specials that the server tells you about. It is worth trying a special (or special special) as they have yet to disappoint. It is BYOB too so that can leave you more money for more tapas :) The service is excellent. Very knowledgeable and attentive.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Food & Great Neighborhood Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    The good: The food was very good - the grilled squid in particular. The restaurant is BYOB with no corkage fee. The servers were both friendly and knowledgeable. The not so good: The kitchen and wait staff got overwhelmed when the restaurant filled up. We never received one of our plates and we weren't alone - two tables next to us had the thing happen to them. The special: Do not be afraid to order the "not on the menu" specials that the wait staff will tell you about. Dining at the restaurant had a very communal feel. Tables were comparing and making food recommendations, making small talk, and generally just having a really good time. There aren't too many place like this in the area.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I can't get enough!
    lovestoeat
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    I am so glad I found Cafe Marbella! It is a great BYOB restaurant (no corkage fee!) that we keep coming back to time and time again. A great location for intimate dinners or larger gatherings. You can't go wrong with anything on the specials menu and they keep us coming back for more! I love referring people here and listening to them rave once they have visited. Truly a neighborhood gem!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mediocre food, inattentive service
    Dovakhin
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    It took 15 minutes for a waiter to come to our table and did not improve from there. Looking around, it seemed many diners were in the same boat. Service remained slow all night due to what appeared to be a short-handed staff in a dining room with a few empty tables. The food is very hit or miss. For the money, this is not a bad place for tapas but go elsewhere if you want real creativity and subtlety in the flavors. The dishes were too often myopic, relying on sugar or garlic that overpowered anything else and the meat dish we had was over-cooked. Actually, the only dish we did enjoy was uncooked; a plate of bread, chile sauce, machego cheese and apple. Tapas lovers will likely be disappointed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It was so-so. Service was
    epicure
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    It was so-so. Service was slow and hostess was too flustered despite the fact that there were several empty tables. Food was ok, not bad, but not mouthwatering either. The only thing that stood out was the pork solomillo or medallions in red wine sauce. I've had better tapas and don't think I will come back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice place
    Bobbo
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Food was great, service was as well. BYOB really helps reduce costs at dinner time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • nice spot!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 2/12/2014
    Went here with my girlfriends... Great BYOB. Enjoyed the grilled calamari special. Homemade desserts outstanding!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Does not dissappoint...
    Jenny
    Dined on 1/28/2014
    Amazing tapas! Service was excellent and location ideal (street parking in abundance). It's also a BYOB!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • No iPhone and Lost Reservation
    NoReservation
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    Our experience at the restuarant overall was good and the food was yummy. However, I made a reservation on Open Table, when I arrived, the hostess could not find our reservation. She even went in the back to consult her 'computer.' She clearly did not believe that I made a reservation and reluctantly offered to sit us by the door, on a very cold winter's night. Luckily another person in my party arrived and saved the day with her iPhone, pulling up the reservation confirmation. If a resturant is going to be savvy enough to use open table, they need to honor the reservations.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What more do you want?
    johnp234
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    Great menu with weekly changes to specials, near flawless execution, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, underpriced for the quality, BYOB keeps the tab down, easy parking, lively ambience but not conversation-challenged. Mercat a la Planxa may be a bit more refined, but at 5 times the price, and that doesn't include parking!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very Good Food and Experience
    sarahboo
    Dined on 1/16/2014
    We had a very nice dinner. Every dish we tried was very tasty and well prepared. If you would like to have alcohol with your dinner you will need to bring it with you. They have a BYOB (bring your own bottle) policy. A couple of favorites were the avocado salad as a first plate and we enjoyed the figs with bacon and cheese as a final plate for dessert.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • More than wonderful. Special
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    More than wonderful. Special place for a special night.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.