Essence of India
Essence of India

Essence of India

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://essenceofindiachicago.com/
  • Phone: 7735060002
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: Friday - Sunday: 12:00pm - 5:00pm
    Dinner: Sunday - Monday, Wednesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
    Closed Tuesday
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Executive Chef: Satya Das
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: For lunch only, we can host private parties up to 50 people on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Private Party Contact: Satya Das 8472089343

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Wilson and Lincoln
  • Public Transit: One block from CTA Brown Line, Western Station.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking as well as public parking lot.
A word from Essence of India
While you are here, our wish is that you experience a culinary and cultural passage to India. From the multiple Indian spices used in our dishes to the dining room decor that represents the distinctive regions and artwork of India, our goal is to surround you with the "Essence of India".
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Essence of India reviews from OpenTable diners
10 reviews since June 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (7)fit for foodies (5)good for groups (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • great local dining
    decisionsdecisionsVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Food is very flavorful and each dish is spiced very nicely. Service is good and helpful if one is not familiar with Indian cuisine. Sometimes service lacks a little during very busy nights, but really a minor issue. Reasonable prices for great dishes. Will surely return many times.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Spicy!! Yum!
    ChilauraVIP
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    If you've been disappointed in the spice level at other india restaurants, they will be able to accommodate you. They ask you to rate what you'd like on a scale of 1-4. The 4 was awesome (we got a good sweat going and my eyes were watering!). I think they might even do a 5, but I'd suggest trying a 4 first!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Essence a cut above
    eatie
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    A small pretty place with good service and much better food than most Indian restaurants. Could be quieter, but otherwise a much nicer choice than the big impersonal places on Devon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Favorite Indian restaurant in Ch
    822newpVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    I always come here when I have a craving for Indian cuisine. The food is fantastic (I always order the Achari Murgh) and the outdoor seating is a nice touch.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Group of eight had fun
    ConnieChicago
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Good food. Attentive service but not hovering. We were not rushed. Fun decor. Moderate prices.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our go-to place for Indian
    Sean
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Food is consistently very good, and the service is always very friendly. We go here a couple times a month.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 4 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 3, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.3
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The following 15 reviews are from the Essence of India reviews archive.
  • Great for vegetarians!
    Tirod72
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    The desserts are very tastefully and made from ingredients that are nutritious. Portions are just right. A lot of vegetarians options.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • my favorite Indian restaurant
    prginoVIP
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    Hands down favorite Indian food in the area if not best in city. I haven't had a bad thing there.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 3rd time is not the charm
    Astaire2
    Dined on 12/28/2013
    This is the 3rd time that I have dined at the Essence of India. The first time was a good experience. 2nd time was a nightmare. Waited over 45 min for a table when I had a reservation and no apology and service was poor at best. The food is always what keeps me coming back. This last time we were able to be seated right away. (there were only 3 other tables on a Friday night at 7:30) but, it was very cold outside and they seated us very close to the door when there were many other options. Service still unattentive and slow. Food still great but I don't think they will see ne for quite a while since the poor service and treatment of people with reservations is a little too much to get me back even for the food which is very good.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our Favorite Indian Restaurant
    Jmom
    Dined on 12/12/2013
    Whenever we have out of town guests, we bring them to Essence of India, which we have done twice in the last two weeks? Everyone was very pleased with the flavors, service, and ambience and will visit again when they return to Chicago. My husband and I go there whenever we feel like a wonderful Indian meal!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good place to eat a simple meal
    JandBVIP
    Dined on 12/4/2013
    We enjoyed our dinner and swapped foods so we all got to taste multiple dishes. Medium spicy was all that we needed and mild have have been better to enjoy the flavors more.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My sister-in-law recommended...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 12/2/2013
    ..and I am so glad she did! The location is in the cute Lincoln Square corridor. Good size menu. Good portions for sharing including appetizers, curries and breads. The staff was very kind and patient with our 16-month old in tow. I will definitely come back here when in town and need a good Indian option in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My number one place
    koukla2014VIP
    Dined on 10/11/2013
    Over the years, this has become our place in the city to celebrate many special occasions, or just to go out and satiate our craving for good Indian food in the neighborhood. Whenever my husband wants to cheer me up, he knows immediately that this is the spot to take me! I recommend the selection of wines that they have from India. Perfect match for all their mouthwatering dishes!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • If it weren't for the food
    Astaire2
    Dined on 10/4/2013
    Last Friday made reservations for party of 3. Reservation was for 8:15pm. We arrived right on time and walked into a restaurant that had every table full. The manager told us it would be no more than 10 minutes. So we decided to walk just outside as to not hover over the tables by the door. 10 minutes, 20 minutes passed (manager poked his head out said it would only be few more minutes) 30 minutes, 40 minutes passed. Finally at after 9pm we got a table. Why did we make a reservation if they would not plan for or honor it. No apology when we were seated, no I am sorry, app is on us for the wait. Food is really good, Service was slow at best. We couldn't get check. Then would not pick it up to cash out. Very Sad because food is great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyable Time W/ Great Indian Food
    Astaire2
    Dined on 9/14/2013
    This was my first time here. The atmosphere was nice. The food was excellent. Service had a bit to be desired but was passable. This is an area to improve. We waited for a long time for drinks. Waited for the check and then waited for the check to be picked up with credit card in it. Overall an enjoyable evening Up the service quality and this place would be a real gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Experience
    822newpVIP
    Dined on 8/25/2013
    Great Indian food!! It's exactly what you want in a small neighborhood Indian restaurant - tons of character, nice décor, delicious food that is fit for sharing. Our reservation was for 6pm on a Sunday and it got pretty packed as our meal went on. People in the neighborhood must be catching on. Service was really exceptional.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My favorite spot for Indian food!
    koukla2014VIP
    Dined on 8/21/2013
    I have been coming to this restaurant since 2008. The service is always on par and the food is something that I crave. This reservation was for my birthday and of course I wanted to go nowhere else for Indian food on this night! We have several places we could go to between Lawrence and here, but I go straight here for quality food! Generous portions, their naan bread is delicious, and I really like the updated cocktail menu. Got my mango fix satiated with the mango martini! I like that it has a quiet to moderate noise level. Makes for a good place to chat and reconnect after a long day. Also, from past experience of their carry out service, they are never delayed and my orders have always been perfect!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Corner gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/8/2013
    We have never been here and have lived in the area for for years. However, now we will be visiting this corner gem more often!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This is my favorite Indian
    Jmom
    Dined on 2/14/2013
    This is my favorite Indian restaurant in Chicago and in the summer, nice to eat outside. Great service, delicious food, nice wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Friendly and delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/31/2012
    Essence of India is a regular spot for us. The service is great, friendly and generally very quick. The food is amazing, although we rarely stray from the Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala because it is just so good. The price is average for Indian restaurants. For 2 people, we also like to get an appetizer platter and split the entree. This is just enough food for us and we are not super stuffed, but leftovers are always amazing the next day too!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Without a doubt Essence of
    KennyB999
    Dined on 10/21/2012
    Without a doubt Essence of India is my favorite place to go for Indian food. The service is good, the presentation is elegant and most importantly the food tastes great. This restaurant is an anchor in the Lincoln Square neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet