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Cafe Spiaggia
Cafe Spiaggia

Cafe Spiaggia Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.spiaggiarestaurant.com
  • Phone: (312) 280-2750
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 5:30pm-9:00pm;
    Closed December 24th and 25th, July 4th, Memorial Day, & Labor Day
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Tony Mantuano
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Cafe, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Smoking Area, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Private dining rooms seat up to 250 guests for dining. Can accommodate up to 400 guests for receptions.
  • Private Party Contact: Marlee Schuster and Colleen Kookoothe (312) 280-3300
  • Entertainment: The warm setting is enhanced by a mosaic of contemporary jazz

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Oak Street
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Discounted parking is available for Cafe Spiaggia in the One Magnificent Mile building (entrance on northwest corner of Walton and Michigan, just west of Michigan Avenue) at 120 East Walton St. From there, the elevator can be taken up to Level 2. An additional parking option is located in the building directly across the street at 1000 N Lake Shore Drive.
A word from Cafe Spiaggia
As the more casual sibling of renowned Spiaggia, Cafe Spiaggia has come into its own as a favorite dining destination for locals and visitors alike. In an artful, warm setting featuring reproductions of 15th century Italian murals, the contemporary Cafe serves dishes reminiscent of authentic Italian sidewalk eateries and trattorias. Chicago Magazine said, “This stylish Cafe sends out lively versions of regional classics…topnotch handmade pastas, fine main courses, and the best tiramisu and ice creams in town."Continued
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Diner Reviews
  • "Went there with wife and two teenage children on Sunday evening. The service was excellent- the waiter had a nice sense of humor and very helpful in explaining plates and making recommendations. The food was excellent. Atmosphere was relaxed and the noise level was low to moderate allowing us to have nice conversation and enjoy the evening."
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "Have eaten here several times. This time the food was meager, tasteless and over-priced. My husband and I were entertaining friends from Europe and I was embarrassed. I didn't say anything but we won't be back."
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "Bar at the Cafe was very accommodating. Meal was excellent and service just right. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole dining experience here. Highly recommend this restaurant. Did not have a good experience in the bar at Spaggia Restaurant the same night. Too stuffy, condescending, and poorly made expensive drinks."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "We went to this cafe with much hype and expectations. We ended-up being quite disappointed. The entrees were the best part of the meal. Very tasty but in the end quite conventional for Italian cuisine. Then, for the main dishes, it all fell apart. The pork chop, which was recommended as one of the best dish, was a very large piece of meat, not well cooked (not tender) on a very little amount of polenta. That was it. The trout had very little taste and was served whole, not very appetizing. The wine list only has Italian wine (bizarre for such a renouned cafe). My biggest issue was the price quality ratio which is not good. Overpriced for a meal that was not innovative and not very tasty."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "This expensive luncheon jewel has become more affordable, but now there's nothing to eat. Our recent lunch was disappointing ... tiny bits of rock hard peaches and little tasteless buratas adorned a heaping mound of arugula, bread plate was unappealing save for three wafer thin crackers, which were never replaced when they were gone. Pizzas were larger than we remembered but were lacking in tasty toppings, which provided us the requisite bread for the meal, but at quite a hefty price. Coffee was bitter and was served sloshed into the saucers. I have sworn by Tony Matuano (sic) since I moved to Chicago in 1987, but I think he needs to spend some time in the cafe kitchen -- overseeing the quality of his food and/or reworking his menu."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "Over the years we would enjoy the Cafe as a less pricey alternative to Spiaggia. At some point some time ago they made a decision to change the menu and pricing and we wandered off. After reading about the "new" renovation we went back with a daughter who was in town (she was engaged to her husband at dinner in spiaggia some time ago) and ended up in the back of the room with a louder group next to us. The food was very good as usual, the service didn't seem up to par on a not so busy night--had to ask to have our white wine chilled--and the room seemed dark. Overall, didn't quite match the memory!"
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "One of the finest lunch stops in Chicago. A tremendous time."
    Dined on 8/18/2014
  • "We had a marvelous time -- the arugula salad was delicious with grilled peaches, the trout entry was simply out-of- this world (the delicate fish was stuffed with fine bits of lemon and arugula). We will return soon!! Jane"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "This restaurant is outstanding. The layout makes for several very intimate eating areas, with a great ambiance. Food is delicious, although the menu is mostly in Italian, so prepare to ask questions."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Fresh and delicious food with great atmosphere. Second time to eat here and it doesn't disappoint. Staff is attentive but doesn't react to your every sip of water. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "I took a friend earlier in the week and enjoyed it so much, I insisted my husband try it out too. The thing is, food is only one part of any dining experience. The menu isn't the most adventurous, but the food is well-prepared and the ability to talk to each other (even crowded, the noise level is muted) makes it a jewel. The service is also good without being fussy. We have been looking for a reliable place we can take out-of-town guests and now we've found it."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "The food was fantastic. Service was also spectacular. Small cozy tables make it perfect for romantic dining. The homemade gnocchi was out of this world. Be sure to save room for the Italian doughnuts!!"
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "Upon arrival the host who greeted us was very friendly. I loved the fact that I was just as welcome in my sandals, shorts, and Tommy Bahama as the guy in a suit. We had made a table reservation but decided to eat at the bar. The bartender (forgot her name) was very friendly and social. We shared 2 apps--the ricotta and a pork terrine. Both were exceptional. We each chose a pasta as a main. My Bolognese was excellent and prepared as authentic as you can get. My wife's dish--Tagliatelle w/ Hamachi--not so great. The fish was overcooked and dry, and the sauce was so lemony it made you pucker. A disappointment for sure. It was still a great experience, and we will be back to try again. The 3-stars for food was only because of the one dish."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Service was very very good and friendly, and food was very delicious. If we go to Chicago again, we will go to Cafe Spiaggia!! We will recommend Cafe Spiaggia for my Tokyo's friends."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "I took a friend there for lunch for the first time earlier in the week and enjoyed it so much, I am going back with my husband this weekend. The menu isn't very imaginative but the food is very well prepared and the quiet, unobtrusive service makes it a great place to have a meal. You can actually have a conversation, which isn't something you can say for most of the trendy places in Chicago."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "Found Cafe Spiaggia staying downtown, great location and best romance ever! The waiter was pleasant and prompt, drinks perfect and meal tasty."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "Atmosphere is romantic. Service is personal and attentive. Foor was good but a bit salty. We had caprese salad that was very good. The crackers served with the bread were delicious bits of raw thin pasta dough spread with olive oil and cheese, then baked. We had gnocchi with wild boar meat and trout covered with mushrooms and flash fried baby artichokes. Both were good but too salty."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "2nd visit in same weekend as a foodie friend wanted to go and we had already been. They accommodated us close to closing time on Thursday evening. Had salads (beets & asparagus) & pasta. Everyone happy! Sunday lunch - same salads again. Shared a pasta (w/ pesto & potato) so everyone could taste and then pizzas. Margarita - excellent. Funghi - too salty but they took it off the bill. Excellent place. Everyone was very nice. No snobbery! Only complaint was that the 'cheap' red wine on the menu ($42) was terrible on Thursday night. Tasted like perfume. Our experience is that any good restaurant's lowest priced wine is still very good."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "Informative, pleasant service. Spicy carpaccio and trout were lovely."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "The name "Cafe" is a little misleading, as this is truly a fine-dining establishment. The check will be more modest than if you dined at Spiaggia, but the food is every bit as well-thought-out, expertly prepared and authentically Italian. In a true Cafe, the selection would be smaller, the portions slightly larger and a bichette would be available for a few Euros (aka $5-6 vs $13 for a 5 oz pour.) If you're out to impress, as I was, you'll succeed at Cafe Spiaggia."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "The evening started off rough when my h and I were seated next to (I could have touched them) a party with 9 children of which at 1/2 were 5 or under. We were accommodated when we asked to move. The service was spotty probably because the bartender was sent home because it was a slow night which had our waiter making drinks and waiting tables. When bread was brought to our table he did not ask us if we wanted pepper or cheese for our oil although we heard him ask an adjacent table later in our meal. No cheese was offered with our pasta. The food was decent but not worth the inconvenience we experienced. I really wanted to like Cafe Spaggia but this was not what I expected. I'm not a complainer normally, look at my other reviews."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "First visit to Cafe but not my last I hope! Food excellent along with service & ambiance."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Went for dinner on a Friday night. Situated on the second floor of an office building. Somewhat of a small space but a romantic vibe. The food was excellent. Shared the meatballs and the caprese salad, which were both excellent. We all ordered pasta which was very flavourful and good portions. The flavours were perfection. Service was attentive but not overbearing."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Our group of 4 dined here on a Friday night. Not too busy. The beef carpaccio was beautifully presented and was a taste hit. Three of us had nduja on the server's advice. We have never had such good Calabrian sausage and the dandelion honey elevated this appetizer to another level. Two of us loved the Berkshire pork chops. Our friends chose pasta mains. The ravioli was excellent and the spaghettone was very good until he had a taste of the ravioli, which he liked better. Great wine choices and it was quiet enough that conversation was able to take place without raising our voices. Very pretty little restaurant. Good alternative to big sister Spiaggia."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "We found the food to be excellent (we both had pasta). However, we just expected more from this restaurant. The service, quite frankly, didn't have it "together". They didn't bring our Polenta, the wine glasses (very expensive I might add) were covered in lint and it was in the wine itself. I had to ask for bread, I had to ask for a spoon and worst of all, I had to ask for Parmesan cheese for my pasta. The whole evening just seemed "off". It was a lovely gesture at the end to not charge for the wine or Polenta, but it is just not enough for us to come back."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Very good Italian food worthy of any foodie. They still have the right stuff"
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "So we're in Chicago, and we're serious foodies having just returned from a month in Italy. Yet, on vacation we don't want to get dressed up and prefer a more casual vibe...enter Cafe Spiaggia. Supreme service, slightly larger portions of food, and most importantly the quality! No I didn't have the truffle sauce like I wanted, but the wild boar ragu hit the spot just the same. Some of the best Italian food, and most traditional, that I've had since Italy...and better than some I had in Italy. Will certainly return time and time again when in Chicago."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "I have discovered Spiaggia Cafe by chance, after a Google search. I've had with my family a great dining experience. The food was very good and the service outstanding. The only caveat were the glasses of wine we've had, which were totally overpriced."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "I have'nt been here for a couple years. Food excellent as always. Service excellent for cafe environment. The space is very cramped. Avoid the back room--very noisy with no air circulation. If you can afford it, spend more next door at Spiaggia"
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "The food and service were both phenomenal! Fresh ingredients, nice presentation and very tasty. My family of four all enjoyed our dinner."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Probably not so under the radar anymore, as its excellence is now well known. Once perhaps a bit overshadowed by its famous restaurant sibling across the lobby, this place has really hit a stride. It has been a favorite of my wife's and mine for years. The food is stellar, somehow seemlessly combining rustic and elegant. Always fresh and seasonal. The service is stellar. Attentive and professional, never hovering. The Cafe Spiaggia experience is just special, never fussy, always accomodating, warm ambience, spectacular views of Michigan Ave and the lake if you ask for a table window."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Nice quiet place with great tables for two.. Loved the food. Several dishes had a really unique twist to them, which we liked."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "We return to this restaurant every time we are in Chicago; it never disappoints. The food is exceptional: fresh, inventive, very tasty. The atmosphere is and relaxing and the service is very attentive."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Food allergies and a vegan diner. Very accommodating and helpful wait staff. This was not the case at the big Spiaggia restaurant."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "I have been coming to this restaurant since the early '90s. I have never been disappointed and will continue to dine at Spiaggia! My meal was outstanding as was the service. Thank you!"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Everything I ate was beautiful and delicious. The salad was so refreshing and flavorful. The presentation of each dish was half of the fun! Great plating and perfect sized portions. The pasta was by far the best pasta I have eaten since being in Italy. You can tell by its texture it is homemade. Every bite was better than the next. I cannot wait to return"
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "We came to cafe spiaggia because a staff member at spiaggia said the cafe had a great brunch. We were a bit disappointed to find out there was no brunch, but lunch. The food was very good, but I gotta tell you the limoncello martini I had was tops, also, the service was really great. I would recommend this place for special occasions,"
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "Atmosphere charming..food good! Great location ask for a two top by the windows. Service excellent"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Every time we visit Chicago, this is the only "must" we have on our list. This is hands down our favorite restaurant. Every dish is consistently great!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "1 of our favorite neighborhood finds. We like that it's great food and causal dress which is convenient (vs. its more formal sister restaurant Spiaggia). Price is very reasonable for the quality of food."
    Dined on 7/11/2014