Magnolia Cafe

Magnolia Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://magnoliacafeuptown.com/
  • Phone: 7737288785
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Sunday: 10:00AM - 3:00PM;
    Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday : 5:30PM - 10:00PM
    Friday & Saturday: 5:30PM - 11:30PM
    Sunday: 5:00PM - 9:00PM
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Kaz Medhat
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: Thank you for your interest in the private services at Magnolia! Our dinning fits 150 for a cocktail reception. Perfect for weddings, banquets, roasts, seminars, business meetings and special events of all kinds.
  • Private Party Contact: Manager 7737288785

Getting there

  • Cross Street: N Magnolia Ave
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Magnolia Cafe
Magnolia Café is located north of downtown Chicago in the newly revitalized neighborhood of Uptown. Magnolia Cafe celebrates another year as an Uptown Chicago's best restaurant. To show our appreciation to all our customers we are offering a vast array of fine dining specials. What better way to enjoy a night of Chicago fine dining than at Magnolia cafe. Our menu incorporates seasonal French American ingredients and other techniques.
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Magnolia Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
65 reviews since June 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (50)fit for foodies (34)romantic (27)special occasion (18)good for groups (8)great for brunch (7)notable wine list (5)late-night find (2)kid-friendly (1)hot spot (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Great food, okay service
    CarlosS
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    This is a real neighborhood gem. The food is delicious and the portions are generous, making the price-tag a little more reasonable. The only thing is sometimes the service is very robotic. The service isn't terrible, it just makes a difference when the server is more than professional and is friendly and passionate about their food and restaurant. I've experienced excellent service before, and the server here was just ok.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Date Night for great food
    8conor8
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Put simply it is a wonderful cozy neighborhood restaurant that serves up terrific food. Close to Green Mill, Aragon, the Riv and Andersonville night life. Don't pass it up
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yum
    Roxanne
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    I brought out-of-town visitors here and it was perfect for us. Fresh food well presented with well thought out flavors. I loved the ceviche and the wait staff's recommendation of bread pudding was a hit for all of us to share (we wanted to try a dessert but were too full to get one for each of us). I will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food mediocre service.
    Mojo
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Stopped by for Sunday brunch. Our meals were good but the servers were less than attentive. We had to ask for drinks/refills several times until we eventually just gave up. What made this surprising was that we were one of only three tables seated. The menu was interesting enough and the food was good enough that I may try this place again but I am tempering my expectations.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovvve
    FrancesVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Seaweed salad, macnchz, and Sweet Onion Soup - OhMy... but the service was really the cherry on top!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Eh
    brodyboyVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Food is pretty average, service is amazingly slow and the room is about as exciting as a neighborhood coffee shop. Winelist was pretty mediocre too. Better choices at this pricepoint
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food great place to chat
    MsOver50foodie
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The food and service was very good. One of the few places that is well lit. Yes I could read the menu without having to have a flashlight and the place was quiet - so you could talk across the table. I met a friend and we could easily catch up without screaming. Quiet place- think it would be a good first date place - so you can have a conversation.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice surprise
    KywineloverVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Get together with friends from work -- very nice meal- well paced & delicious! More people should enjoy Magnolia.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service
    ward
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Went there on a Sunday night, parking was easy on the street, waiter was very attentive, helpful with cocktail suggestions and helpful with the menu. Seasonal specials, nice presentation, relaxed atmosphere. Dining room is small, so reservations suggested. My wife had the watermelon salad followed by orecchiette pasta, and she enjoyed both. I started with the crab cakes and then had the braised beef short ribs served over spinach, with a side of bacon mac 'n cheese. The beef was very tender and tasty. I would definitely eat here again. Great neighborhood find.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious Brunch
    PJRNVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    We met some friends for brunch on Sunday and had forgotten how great Magnolia Café really is. Each of our dishes were spectacular. I had the Huevos Rancheros which is two eggs sunny side up served over black beans, sweet corn, chorizo sausage, tostadas, homemade salsa and sour cream and I added the guacamole. MMMM - I have this dish many places, but the presentation and flavors here are like no other. If you have a hearty appetite, the Brioche French toast stuffed with raspberry preserves and cream cheese was also incredible. So if your looking for a great brunch place, this is the place to go!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food4two
    Food4two
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    My friend and I both ordered the hangar steak (medium)... It was WAY overdone... We sent it back and it was perfect second time around... They were training a new cook...
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really Disappointing
    JoeFoodVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    We have walked past cute Magnolia Café many times commenting "We need to try that place!" So we did and it was a sad experience. I'd have to say it was one of the worst dinners I've experienced in years. Maybe we hit the place on the chef's (if there is one) night off. Bread basket was full of undercooked flatbread. Ravioli appetizer was pasty, glue-like in texture, inedible. My roasted chicken appeared to have been rewarmed in a deep fryer and tasted old. Pasta entrée was ridiculously huge and relatively flavorless. Plusses: Friendly service, good heirloom tomato salad and solid cocktails. Again, hoping we just caught a (very) bad night in the kitchen. We really wanted to like this place, but $100 later we were bummed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • EXPECTED BETTER
    Luv2eatoutVIP
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    I expected a good meal at a trendy restaurant. What we got was a musty smell when we walked in. Food that was either bland or way too salty. Tt was a disappointment. Ordered Pulled Pork Ravioli appetizer, it was totally bland. Also ordered onion soup that was exceedingly salty. My main course was the Shrimp Risotto appetizer (more than big enough after the soup). So salty I could not finish it. My friend had the steak topped with short ribs. Would have been good if less salty. The service was very good and pleasant. There were a lot of people there on a Wed. night, so maybe it was just an off night, but we won't go back again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great meal at a good price
    Csharrow
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Bottles of wine range from $26-$55 which is great for a nice dinner out without breaking the bank. We had a bottle of wine, appetizer, 2 entrees, and dessert port for just over $100. We were there late and never felt pressured to leave although they were closing down.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great neighborhood spot
    westlooperVIP
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    I came here w/ a friend and we were both really blown away by the fantastic food but also the incredible portion sizes. In Chicago, where small plates are en trend and bills add up very quickly, it was nice to see a spot give a very large portion for appetizers and even larger portions for main entrees and dessert. All at very decent prices (apps were average. $10-12, entrees were $25- 35, desserts were all $8). I was really impressed by our server who somehow managed to wait on all tables in the restaurant, which meant around 20 tables at any one given time. Given that element, she wasn't overly attentive, but managed well despite it all. She was really pleasant. Overall, a great experience and I'll definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great little intimate place to dine
    good2go
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Magnolias was a pleasant surprise. The service was slow, but we didn't mind, we were not in a hurry. We arrived early and there was only one table seated. There appeared to be only 2 people working (Bar and Server). They helped each other. Very friendly staff, the place was full by the time we left. Will go back soon.
    Special Features:
    romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Out of the park!
    ThorVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    We dine here a few times a year and always have a great experience. This is our go to restaurant for good food and a nice evening out! We decided to take our out of town guest here for dinner on Saturday! Everything was delightful! I frequently order the pork chop and again it was over the top. We highly recommend this restaurant. Great food, nice atmosphere, and great service what more could you ask for?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Poor service, so-so food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    It was a Sunday night, fairly empty, and the waiter - who was also the bartender - didn't pay us much attention, despite the fact that there were under 10 people in the place. Two of the specials were sold out (a soup and an entree) and the food we did order was not great. Luckily, we were there on a Travelzoo voucher and so we weren't paying full price. Maybe that's why we weren't treated well? If so, not a way to generate repeat business.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious
    Seans
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    My family and I went there for my birthday. We enjoyed the food very much. My wife had the filet and I had the pork chop, my children had the short ribs. Everyone enjoyed it
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Home again , naturally
    Jeffortless
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    It's rare to dine at a restaurant for the first time and feel like you've been there before but that's Magnolia Cafe. The food was outstanding and the wine/drinks menu a thoughtfully chosen compliment. All well-served by people who seemed to really want you to enjoy being there. I arrived early and watched the restaurant fill up and no one seemed rushed or harried. I listened to the people around me and everyone was pleased by their selections. My hanger steak was so good if I had been with a group I would have been reluctant to share. This is a comfortable place with really good food and service and you should plan to dine there soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Friendly, relaxed
    Foodismyfav
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Dined on a weekday evening with two friends at this quaint, clean neighborhood restaurant. Waitress was very friendly, fun and accommodating. Menu is limited but a varied choice of dishes from which to select. A friend and I chose the Roast Chicken while a third friend had the Seafood Pappardelle and requested no mussels, which the waitress indicated was no problem at all. The food was outstanding, in my opinion. The waitress was very attentive, allowing us to take our time deciding and stopping by to check on us often but not in a pushy way. I would definately return for dinner here and will need to stop by and try their brunch. Wonderful weekday atmosphere and amazing food and service.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and drinks
    buttface1010
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Excellent food and service! I did feel a little bad for the bartender/server/host. I saw one table leave without paying the bill and also some crazy lady walked demanding that she "have a plate"? The bartender remained calm throughout this awkward encounter with this lady, but it made some people uncomfortable. First time there, it was an upscale experience, but the neighborhood surrounding was a little bit questionable at some points. I would definitely recommend it, but don't get too comfortable after it gets late.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • mixed bag
    hrubVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    I reserved on-line. They handled very nicely. The time to order and be served was too long. The waiter was not very friendly or interested. The servers were pleasant and appropriate. The coffee was very bitter and getting a cup of tea took some arm twisting. The food was very well done. Nicely presented, well spiced/balanced, and reasonable in quantity. On the strength of the food we will be back. I hope the wait staff were just having an off day. If they are more appropriate, this place overall rating would be significantly higher.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not for Sunday brunch
    JandBVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    From the moment we entered we overheard the bartender complaining about working the sunday brunch. He said , just tell me hoe you want your fricking eggs, as he was complaining to a customer at the bar. We were seated promptly and given water and asked if we wanted champagne. We all declined and I did not hear the waiter ask if we wanted coffee because he spoke so softly. When our order came it was wrong. the food tasted good, so maybe I will try another time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Magnolia Cafe
    Foodie
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Great food, atmosphere, wait staff - best meal I've had in a very long time!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great spot
    JiggyJ
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    Stopped in before show at the Aragon. When staff inquired who was playing (New Order) they volunteered to switch to New Order Pandora channel. Great menu, great food and great service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Suzanne
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Pride weekend and evening service was staffed by one person. Wiped out any value / pleasure in the meal. Very disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 38 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 350 reviews are from the Magnolia Cafe reviews archive.
  • Just good food
    ChicagoFoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Much enjoyed the food, creative, if not leading edge, good value. Been there before, will come back, well worth trip.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a Great Time
    Reggie
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    This place one of the best brunch on the Northside. The food is great and it the serve is mighty tasty! I would strongly suggest Stephen as a waiter. It is friendly with some southern charm.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A great night out for a couple
    Bobby
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Wonderful place for a night out. My wife & I had a great night out without our kids for the first time in a while and everything went really well. I would recommend it to everyone.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very pleasant experience
    Sandi
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    As we have said previously ... why don't we go there more often? Everyone enjoyed their food. Two of us approached the dinner in a somewhat unusual manner ... ordering just diverse appetizers and salads. The orchietta with shrimp (replaced the unhealthy sausage) was terrific. Everything was excellent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Brunch
    Ciccone
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Favorite Brunch spot for miles...Outstanding food and great service..Too often Brunch feels like an afterthought at restaurants. However, at Magnolia, all of the items I've ever tried have been fantastic.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good and creative brunch
    ChurchillVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Had brunch here after many dinners and I was impressed. The servings were creative like Crabcake eggs benedict and wild mushroom omelet but the basics were still there. I always love the service and the ambience here also. I will return for breakfast and dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food, server a bit of a downer
    tiffetalVIP
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    We enjoyed the good, but the server was sort of a jerk. Rude, impatient and never even looking at you when you order, in fact... in the middle of my order, he walked over to another table w/o saying excuse me or just a moment. He forgot things and had to be reminded many times. Maybe he had too many tables, or maybe he was just bad... hard to say?
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Neighborhood gem
    yosh62VIP
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    what a find! downtown food and service nestled in Uptown. who would think it. Solid food, great waitstaff. Will definitely be back w/friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • neighborhood gem
    easytoplease
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    Presentation was excellent. portions were large. shortribs were great. I didn't care for the pork shank. Prices were fantastic. On street parking, and no waiting for a table was such a pleasure.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great Food
    Mela526VIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    This is a great find. So glad that we had a certificate or we may have never found this place. Now that we know where it is we always want to go back to try something different rfrom their wonderful menu. Food comes out steaming hot and full of flavor.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experience
    SherrieVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Everything was excellent, from food to service to wine/cocktails and timeliness!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Magnolia is the best
    LandSVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Magnolia Cafe is one of the best restaurants in the city. The food is always superb. We had the bouillabaisse and it was the best we have every had. Rich, fragrant, excellent flavors, and great presentation. There drink menu has interesting cocktails
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delightful evening
    Joycee
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    After a long drive from a NW suburb we were not disappointed. The restaurant was full when we arrived so the owner offered us a choice of immediate seating in an adjacent room or a short wait at the bar. We opted for the wait which was not too long and I enjoyed a delicious lemon drop martini. The atmosphere is cozy and we were seated in a corner space for dinner where talking was pleasant. Our food was delicious. They split the wedge salad for us and I enjoyed the mussels as my entre and my husband loved his boulliabaise dish. I was not happy with my choice of Pinot noir and the waiter graciously offered me another choice. The owner came and chatted with us. All in all it was a very enjoyable evening and we plan to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic