Macarena Tapas - St. Charles

Macarena Tapas - St. Charles

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Phone: (630) 945-3458
  • Payment Options:
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: John Borras
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Parking: No
A word from Macarena Tapas - St. Charles
Macarena Tapas was opened by Executive Chef John Borras in 2007. Whith an emphasis on traditional yet creative Spanish tapas cuisine, the menu incorporates both classic favorites and original new dishes. Macarena has a contemporary flare, but encompasses a welcoming, traditional Spanish tapas atmosphere.
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Macarena Tapas - St. Charles reviews from OpenTable diners
41 reviews since August 1, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.2
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (26)neighborhood gem (23)special occasion (17)good for groups (15)romantic (11)hot spot (8)great for lunch (5)kid-friendly (5)vibrant bar scene (4)great for outdoor dining (3)late-night find (3)great for brunch (1)notable wine list (1)Show More
  • A hidden GEM!
    MamaRogersVIP
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    Recently visited for the first time with 4 girlfriends. Arrived early and spent a delightful 30 minutes talking to the owner/Chef regarding life in Barcelona, food, travel, and life. (His wife is an NIU Graduate...ask for the NIU Faculty discount...) Food--OMG--excellent variety and flavors. Must have the quick fried goat cheese--creamy, light, and paired with a touch of balsamic and honey. The bacon wrapped figs and scallops were also delightful. We tried a variety of items, but these 3 stuck out and were ordered in duplicates. Must go back and try the paella...hard to find in this area. Note--advised it is a dish that takes 40 minutes to prepare. All in all I would highly recommend a visit. I wish I would have discovered this sooner!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden Quality
    Diner29
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Don't let this restaurant's location in a strip mall fool you, it's a high quality dining experience. Worth the price, though there were fewer options than I was expecting for a tapas place. Excellent food. Excellent service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food!
    Live2Eat
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    I dined at Macarena's with a group of 12 (6 adults, 6 kids). The food, service and atmosphere were really great, but the prices were too high. I recommend this place for a group of adults, no kids.
    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 accessible gem!
    lovage
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We have dined here several times and look forward to returning many more. Chef John Borras has created a magic little place where casual intersects with sophisticated and the Old World is infused with the New. Comfortable dining with small plates in the tradition of Spanish tapas with a New World twist, Macarena offers a widely varied menu that allows you to dash in for a bite or to spend an entire evening with friends. We enjoy sampling and passing a bunch of different treats but they also make an outstanding paella for those that want a family dining experience. The paella takes awhile to make so call ahead and they'll start it for you or better yet order it when you arrive and sit and sip a glass or two of sangria or wine (from a small but carefully chosen list with some real surprises) and enjoy a treat while you wait. Prices are reasonable - excellent considering the hand-made care that goes into each dish - and the service is attentive and friendly without being pretentious or overbearing. This is a perfect place to take a date: it's got something for everyone, it's fun and interesting and just a bit adventurous - and it won't bust your wallet.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Don't bother - waste of money
    PickieVIP
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    I finally tried out this place - based on reviews from yelp it was supposed to be good. NOT!! Maybe it would remind you of Spain - if you'd never been there! The octopus was actually *burnt* and they served it to me anyway. The chicken skewers were just the fatty parts of the thighs - so fatty that I actually (ok first time ever) spit it back out !!! I should have realized that if I was the only diner on a Wednesday night that I should've just walked away. Server was overly officious. I did (mildly) complain, didn't eat the food, and they still charged me full price for everything although 7/8 of it was left untouched on the table. Wretched place - I won't go back. Try one of the truly good places in st Charles and geneva!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tapas in St Charles
    gplattinum
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    I would give this restaurant a mixed review. We ate several tapas dishes and did not opt for the paella which looked good at other tables. The garlic potato salad was very good. The Cubano slider was ho-hum. The grilled octopus and grilled asparagus were both good. My friends said their Margaritas were excellent and my sangria was good too. Service was slow but very friendly and helpful. Overall I'd say this restaurant is good but not great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A New Favorite!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    I think we found another favorite! We are looking forward to returning soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place to eat!
    ReggieVIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    My wife and I enjoy Macarena's (St. Charles). We ENJOY the food, the sangria.....you've gotta try the red sangria, the desserts and you cannot forget the staff (Jordan especially). The staff personnel are laid back but knowledgable and aware of customer needs. What a great place. You will never feel alone at this spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Chef John was very friendly and the food was excellent! If you like Tapas this is a great place to go.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Extremely Underwhelmed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Wasn't looking for anything spectacular but ended up extremely underwhelmed with the experience. Forgotten order resulted in cold food with waiter saying 'it wasn't supposed to be hot'. Reordered and got hot food but all 4 items were pretty greasy. Very poor decision making by host. Mostly empty restaurant when we arrived but ended up being seated 3 feet from a family with baby. I'm all for family style dining but in this case wanted a quiter nite with the wife! I can see potential there but it didn't come through on this night!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, really nice staff
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We came in right before a big dinner rush. One of the rounds of tapas was a little cold (because of the rush and our waiter said her they were down a couple people) but the second we said something they remade the food and gave us the entire meal on the house. Amazing customer service!!! The food was really good too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Will be back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    food was outstanding. i had read the reviews regarding SLOW service so I went in expecting the worst. We felt the service was spot on, as we prefer to not be rushed especially while eating Tapas (it allows for time to discuss the dishes, flavors and preparation). limited selection of moderate price/quality wines but overall a great dining experience. we will definitely return soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Don't be Fooled by Location
    ChelseaFC
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    When first arriving, you see that it is located in a small strip mall. We immediately thought the experience may not be a great one. But we were completely wrong. The inside is very unique. Dark lighting, very nice decor. The restaurant is pretty loud, but that's the only knock I have against the place, and it's a minor one. The food was great. A lot of flavor. Abundance of options. We recommend the fried goat cheese for sure! Don't go for beer, as they don't have many (maybe 4?). Overall, very good experience, and we'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • suprise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    We were very suprised that we didn't hear about this place before, If we hadn't gotton a groupon we would never had tried this place. We were very impressed with the service and the food. Would definitly bring other friends here.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place
    JoeRodriguezVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Great food great service and great location, need more restaurants like this.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great addition to St Charles dining
    JustgreatfoodandwineVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    I have been here twice, and the second time was better than the first. Room, food were great first visit. Service has been improved, but still just a little slow.Very happy with my last meal and this one has gone into my permanent rotation of favorites.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, really slow service
    Jesima
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    My friend and I were seated immediately, and drinks were served within 10 minutes. Appetizers took 50 minutes to come, and after an additional hour we still hadn't gotten our entree (paella to share between two people) we got the check and left. The server came and apologized a few times and brought us some olives on the house. He was really sweet. The place was only a third full, maybe going up to half in out two hires there. There was a live guitarist and the music was too loud at first, but he stopped later on. Such a pity, because the two appetizers we did have were delicious.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • MacarenaTapas
    MEH63
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I love tapas and was not disappointed with the menu. I was later annoyed by the noise level when the Spanish music and dancers started. I love Spanish guitar and though authentic the stomping was too loud for such a small venue.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Loved the food and service was Great. Our waiter Renee was very attentive. We sat outside and the only negative thing was music was a bit loud. Other than that I hope this place stays in business because it is great!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • HP
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Food was good overall, but disappointed with Meatball Tapas dish. Very lively entertainment. Noise level very high, so conversation very challenging!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tasty but pricey
    CSM3
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We used a Groupon which i would highly recommend. Also definitely recommend making a reservation. Service was great on a Friday night, 7pm. Although the food was delicious, the portions were small for the not-so-small prices, especially the steak skewers. Again, very yummy still, and would still recommend those! Awesome rasberry sangria!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Frozen reheated food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Took almost 2 1/2 hrs to get four dishes and the sound was so loud we couldn't hear each other unless right up in each other's faces. Not a fun time. Ran out of Perrier. Really? Thought about walking out but had guests. Our server was lost in himself. Will never return. Will never recommend. Stay home, eat oatmeal before visiting this place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 19 ratings-only reviews submitted since August 1, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 64 reviews are from the Macarena Tapas - St. Charles reviews archive.
  • FooDlvr16
    FooDE2
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    A little bit of Spain in the western burbs. My first visit to enjoy tapas, crab cakes, potato & egg omelet, asparagus fresh and tasty. Paella as main dish below average since I have been to Spain and ate plenty of delicious paella. But the main draw was the "more than Excellent entertainment"...a group of Flamenco dancers and guitarist who were first class, the energy and music were "outstanding". The ambiance of the restaurant made this evening a really great night out....OLE! Macarena Tapas...Bravo! I will be back...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Somehow not as good as Naperville
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    I've been to the Macarena Tapas in Naperville and their food is amazing!! The service is also great - the only problem is the small space the restaurant is in. The one in St. Charles has more than enough space and is beautifully decorated. Despite having a similar menu, the food just was not as good and the service was even worse. We were told our items would come out quickly so not to order too much at once. Well, the first dish did not arrive until 20 minutes after we ordered it, and it was cold. The rest of our food was just so-so, and also was coming out slowly and cold. Our waiter was no where to be found most of the time, despite the fact that it was a Wednesday night and they were not crowded at all. Try Naperville instead!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • nice experience
    loveoffood
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We went early evening. It was quiet inside with not many patrons yet. The crab cakes were delicious! My Mojito was also excellent.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Poor service
    MEO12
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    This was our first visit to Macarena Tapas and I was extremely disappointed. The service was extremely slow and unprofessional. We arrived on time for our 6:45 reservation on a Friday night and the place was pretty empty but got busier as the night went on. We started with 2 tapas which took very long to come out by a food runner. Our waiter never returned to our table until long after we were finished with the 1st two tapas plates which was pretty quickly since the portions are smaller than many other tapas restaurants we have been to. By the time we ordered 3 more items we had almost been there an hour already and the next items also took a very very long time to come out and we're not even hot. Flavored good. Service ruined this place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellently Prepared Food
    KKISVIP
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    We went for an early dinner and enjoyed a variety of both cold and hot tapas. The host had a wonderful sense of humor, and the waiter was very attentive. The have a delish garlic potato salad and a unique jar of olives. We ordered the BLT-pork belly and the skewers of beef tenderloin with carmelized onions. Both were excellent. We used a groupon and enjoyed the discount. The fruit in the white sangria was so crisp and flavorful too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • out of this world!!!!!
    garpie
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    the food was very, very tasty. we enjoyed each tapas we had. My favorite was the bacon, garlic, scallops
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wish We found it sooner.
    PatpVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Thanks to groupon we had the opportunity to find and experience great tapas in St. Charles. Good location and atmosphere. Great service. Great tasting food and nice presentation. Wine list small but our selection was good. Good selection of tapas. Which is the best? You will have to try. Not sure you can go wrong with any. Prices can be better- but that can be said for any establishment. I believe the value is similar to other Tapas in the general area as well as different countries. Give it a shot. C ya there!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rushed to order
    Foodrush
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    Food was ok.. Scallops were great! Server was too much in a hurry to take our food order..delay in giving our check tho..
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Enjoyable Experience
    swwsww
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    The reviews I read were all over the map for this place. So I had to make my own determination. My wife and I went here on a Saturday evening and enjoyed everything. The food was really good, the service was outstanding, and we even enjoyed the outdoor seating even though it is in a strip mall. I didn't think it was overly priced as some reviewers had thought. Seemed pretty typical for tapas. I will say that the portion sizes are much better than a typical tapas restaurant though. We will definitely go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Macarena Tapas CD
    NicheSD
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    I liked Fat Rosie"s and was looking forward to the new restaurant in that location. Food was good, and I know it's tapas, so small plates, but seemed a little pricey for what we got. Spinach salad was very good and plenty to share.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hit and Miss
    FoxValleyDinerVIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Unfortunately, we ended up finding more of the bad with the restaurant than the good. Overall service was pretty good. Food delivery was a bit slow, but the server was attentive Avoid the cocktails - they don't know how to make a mojito and the white wine was served warm. Some tapas were great, like the skewers and grilled shrimp - I liked the roast beef sliders. But avoid the bacon wrapped dates and the empanadillas, while tasty, were pretty greasy. I don't think we will try this again, since it seems to be trying to be more than they are. Too bad, since St. Charles could use a good tapas restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice
    Mom9490
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Went for dinner it's a nice atmosphere love the music service was good the food was ok not the best maybe it was just a bad night?
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ridiculously slow service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Our second food request took 45 minutes to receive because it was: a) order was backed up in the kitchen b) dropped on the floor c) given to another table. You choose the answer because these were the excuses we were given. Then, after this item was received, the waiter wanted to give us the bill and we weren't even done yet. We watched the next table arrive 20 minutes after we did, get their food and leave before we did. The waiter removed the last item from our bill due to our extended wait time. Usually, you get clean plates after each entree, but not here. We had to use the same little plate until we asked for clean plates; usually there is a stack of plates on the table of tapas restaurants. We won't go back.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • not sure it will make it.
    Mobiusring
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    Meh.............1/4 good 3/4 ok. Need to work on their bacon wrapped dates
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 2nd To Naperville, But Divine
    DapperDan
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    The food, like that of the Naperville location, is fantastic. It is my understanding that the owners and proprietors of the St. Charles location have had turnover with the on-site, but this did not hurt our experience. We ordered a few dishes we always enjoy from Naperville and they tasted creamier than usual (chicken fritters, goat cheese fritters, patatas bravas) -- tasty just different than we're used to. The portions were remarkably smaller than Naperville, too. The larger space is a change as well, but we went on a quiet night. In spite of this, it was nearly 15 minutes before we saw a server or received bread&water. The gentleman serving us was ultra pleasant (he had tattoos and trendy hair), and very hospitable. We will be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Fox Valley Addition
    FineDinerVIP
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    Not only is the Tapas great, but the service, especially Alex, is exemplar. Don't let the "strip mall" appearance fool you. Don't miss it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A little gem in St Charles!
    goldenpaw
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    This wasn't our first visit to Macarena St Charles. In fact, we love going to their other restaurant in Naperville too. Since they opened this restaurant in St Charles, we have been frequent patrons. The tapas are little plates of heaven! It is so much fun to decide on the dishes to order and then share them with family and friends. Along with a delicious glass of sangria, it makes for wonderful dining experiance! You won't be disappointed!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    Disappointed
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    6 of us came to Macarena to celebrate a family birthday at 7pm on a Saturday night. The food was quite good. However the service was terrible, and the ambiance was sterile. The waitstaff were overwhelmed, even though the restaurant was only about 2/3 full. We waited almost 20 minutes to get our bottles of wine, and the cocktails we ordered never arrived. The server was quite apologetic, and it seemed like the issue was in the kitchen and bar. St Charles has many other nice restaurants and we would not return here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate