Mercat a La Planxa
Mercat a La Planxa

Mercat a La Planxa

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.mercatchicago.com/
  • Phone: 3127650524
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast: Monday - Friday 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Saturday & Sunday 7:00 am to 11:00 a.m.

    Brunch: Sunday - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Lunch: Daily - 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Lounge Menu Available: Daily - 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday: 5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Latin American, Spanish
  • Executive Chef: Jose Garces
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Sage Restaurant Group has been successful in creating memories for clients by providing them with superior food & service. Please inquire within for catering services.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Balbo
  • Public Transit: Nearest Red-line Stop is Harrison, head east on Balbo, restaurant is on the corner of Balbo & Michigan.

    Bus lines are the #3, #127, #129 all three stop at the entrance of Mercat a la Planxa.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet Parking is available on Balbo located at the Entrance of Mercat a la Planxa, $14 per car.
A word from Mercat a La Planxa
Mercat a La Planxa features an extraordinary selection of tapas dishes from cut-to-order charcuterie and cheeses to fresh seafood, steaks and chops, all inspired by Spain's Catalan region. The impressive menu includes an emphasis on meats and seafood served 'a la planxa' or grilled-to-order. At the bar enjoy a tempting array of seasonally inspired sangrias, Spanish-styled cocktails, an extensive collection of Spanish cavas and our carefully selected wine list featuring 40 Spanish wines available by the bottle or by the glass.

Private dining is available in our upstairs space, La Veranda, overlooking the entire main dining room.
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Mercat a La Planxa reviews from OpenTable diners
216 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (149)good for groups (89)special occasion (87)hot spot (50)romantic (49)neighborhood gem (39)scenic view (37)notable wine list (34)great for lunch (22)vibrant bar scene (19)late-night find (14)great for outdoor dining (11)great for brunch (11)kid-friendly (7)Show More
  • Pre-ballet
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We always come here before Auditorium Theater tickets. By far, one of our favorite dining spots in Chicago. The food is always spot on and thus far, the service has been friendly and non-pretentious (if sometimes a bit rushed). I always order a cocktail called a "SOMBRA." You will thank me later.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sue50
    sweetpea
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    My 1st time here but not my last. A great place to go for an innovative and delicious menu selection before or after a show at the Auditorium.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • SeasaidhVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Always full because lots of very good tapas and good drinks. Pretty noisy usually but that creates a good vibe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excelent experience
    Panamanian1
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Had a great time with my wife, we took the "la Mesa de Jose " with wine matching. Really recommend the place
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • tapas two blocks from CSO
    Rickinchi
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The food was good to great overall. We liked the ambiance it's upstairs on the 600 block of Michigan Avenue. The staff was personable if not perfection. It's major weakness is the price but when you consider the neighborhood and the quality of the food you know it can't be a bargain. The rib-eye, the spicy potatoes, flat bread, dates and garlic shrimp were all winners. There's a touch of heat in some of the food but as someone who can't handle too much heat, none of it was enough to even start to bother me. The chef's tasting took us every bit of an hour and a half to make our way through so plan carefully if you are going to an event nearby.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyable
    Foodandance
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Fun atmosphere, great tasting tapas, some out of this world delicious. A little pricey and the waiter kept startling us with his abrupt and load approaches.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food...officious waiter
    Obviouslysuper
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Food was great...atmosphere was what was expected....waiter left much to be desired....he acted as if we were lucky to be there and fortunate to have him.....our conversation or dining timing had nothing to do with what he had to accomplish at any one moment.....it was all about him and not about our dining experience. Would be hard to imagine a return visit regardless of the good food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    The food was absolutely perfect! The manager even sent over a special dessert that we would never have ordered - warm chocolate croquettes on a bed of toasted marshmallows with rosemary and caramel. My only disappointment was that the restaurant was nearly entirely empty at lunch! I wish the atmosphere had been a little more busy and energetic. It was a business lunch, so it was good to be able to talk with each other though.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good dished but overpriced
    Caty00
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    The food at Mercat was perfectly good but for me just a bit overpriced considering how well you can eat for a lot less at other tapas restaurants. My favorite dish was the lamp chops, delicious! The sangria was just average and the cocktails were good but again overpriced. I felt the prices didn't match the tapas size, (full dish prices for tiny tapas sized servings) Went with my husband to celebrate our wedding anniversary, it was a nice experience but were not likely to return. I am one who loves food, a foodie for sure, loves to eat and try new restaurants but don't really care for all the fancy bells and whistles. I prefer delicious food at reasonable prices
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious Tapas In Lower Loop
    bluekirby
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Tapas were delicious. My only criticism is that, yes this place is $$$ and the plate sizes are 4-5 bites per plate. But if you go with a group you'll be able to taste many things (I was with a group of 3 and we sampled 12 plates for $40 each). Flavors were a break from the ordinary, more hints of smoke and rich sauces that positively distinguish Mercat from the other tapas places (certainly better than Tapas Valencia). A few standout dishes were the Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp flatbread), Albondigas (meatballs) and Fideo de Patatas (gnocchi). The Patatas bravas were recommended but aren't anything special, and the plantain empanadas didn't seem to have plantains anywhere in them.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Post Marathon run--Marathon Dining
    NigelSatchmo
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Perfectly prepared tapas-style foods, and they were delicious....truly delicious Moreover, we were served very well by the great staff. The overall experience was much more than simply memorable. This is a place to put on your list of great Chicago restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun Delicious Food
    FoodLoverFL
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Get the bacon wrapped dates, as well as any of the flat breads! Unreal!
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The One in Philly is better
    AnonymousReviewerVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Went to Jose Garces restaurant in Philly in the spring Armada, and couldn't wait for this one. This wasn't nearly as good. Ordered the chef's choice and thought some of the food was excellent, like the lamb chops, and the prawns, and some just so-so. Good service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mercat Pleases Again
    KirkVIP
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Mercat continues as my favorite restaurant in a city of great restaurants. Thursday's night visit also left two visitors very impressed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    The food was amazing! There was a little confusion with our hostess and we ended up waiting about 15 minutes past our reservation time, but once we were seated it was a great evening! We did the Chefs choice 4 course meal for our group and it did not disappoint!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excelente!
    Viajero
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Got seated right away. Waiter explained the menu. Had the multiple course meal selected by the chef. All food was outstanding. Sangria however was disappointing. I have traveled all over Spain and all the Sangria offerings need a lot of work.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice spot near the Art Institute
    Houstonian
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    A friend recommended this place to try when we were in Chicago and we were thoroughly pleased. Interesting menu items and nice wine selection. And we could easily walk there from the Chicago Hilton, where we were staying. Outside you may not get much of an impression of the place, but when you make it upstairs to the dining room you'll be pleased.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious, courteous service
    Tobysmom
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    First time here, and with new and current business associates. All had the Sampling Tour, which was a great choice for the first visit. Absolutely delicious, friendly and helpful wait staff but not overwhelming, airy atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place for a special occasion!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Wonderful food, wonderful staff, wonderful location; could of not wanted to go anywhere else to celebrate my anniversary.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food but at a price
    Robdeedo
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    If you're a foodie, you'll enjoy this place. We watch a fair amount of Food Network & cooking shows and have liked Chef Garces. So, we were excited to try Mercat. The food was both artistic & very tasty. We went as a group of four and opted for the Deluxe tasting menu as we were having trouble making decisions since so many of the dishes sounded awesome. There were several dishes that came with the tasting menu and they were delicious. My only criticism is that I don't think it justified the $85/person. Everything else was very good: ambiance, service, server was helpful, & they were accommodating since we were ~10 minutes late due to traffic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome food
    WoodstockFoodie
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Everything we ordered - from the lamb chops, Bronzino to the bacon wrapped dates, the cheese, Serrano ham and chorizo were exceptional. Our friends who are first timers loved it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    312dweller
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    If you like cheese, don't pass up the cheese appetizer. The cheese is paired with delicious flavored spreads which are unique. The best I have had. The sangria was also fabulous. Great place to sample many different dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Place to Bring Visitors to Chicago
    BB510VIP
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    This is one of those spots you have to try if you are vising Chicago. I took a visiting friend for dinner on a Thursday evening. It was packed and loud. There was lots of energy in the main dining room. Because it was so crowded, I think the service suffered slightly. However, the food made up for it! We ordered the prix fixe meal. It seemed that the food just kept coming and coming and all of it was all DELICIOUS. The waiter helped us select a great wine for me and a great bourbon for my guest.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful experience
    MattVIP
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Went with 3 business colleagues and this place did not disappoint. We got the deluxe tasting menu and we were stuffed when we walked out. Our server was excellent - and introduced me to a fantastic new tequila. I can't wait to go back the next time I'm in Chicago.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Crowded, Busy, Overpriced
    FoodReview
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Took my gf here for her b-day and mentioned we wanted a special table. We were crammed in a corner half-booth surrounded by a thousand people and a toddler having a panic attack in a stroller. Immediately, the waiter mentioned the chef being the winner of an Iron Chef TV show. The ambiance is dated 70's colors and close tables. My gf and I shared a salad, 4 tapas dishes (mostly vegetarian) and two deserts. She had a wine flight and I had one alcoholic drink. We walked out for north of $145 for what would normally be considered drinks and appetizers amount of food. All was expertly prepared and complex. I've had food that was just as good elsewhere for 1/5th the price (Found). Insane prices for meat items. $50 for NY strip (tapas size).
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tapas
    BuddyVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Great Tapas place worth a visit. Food was superb and worth sharing
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful food, fantastic place.
    Kbee62
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    We went for Sunday brunch and were not disappointed. We selected the tasting menu, which is a lot of food, but every course was more delicious than the last! Bloody Mary bar, fresh sqeezed orange juice, great coffee. Service is fantastic. Loved it and can't wait to visit again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service soured the food.
    yummy7378
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The food was amazing! We loved everything we were served. The tasting menu allowed us to have a little bit of many items available on the menu. The service was another mater all together. Our server spent most of the night ignoring our table. They walked past our table many times and despite trying to get their attention they just kept going. What made it worse is that they clearly knew the people at the table next to us and that table received excellent service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Reasonable prices, great food and service. Gets to be too loud after being in there over an hour.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • De-lish!
    tsmiles
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Came here with a small group of friends. The food was amazing! The atmosphere was great! The vibe was fun! The service was spot on - There when we needed her and offered superb suggestions!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lisab
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    The degustacion menu was excellent, but too much food per person. A scale down in amount and price & would be perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Tapas!
    IrvineFamilyTravels
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    My husband and I ordered a $65/person sample menu for dinner. They even accommodated our different dietary restrictions. I wish we were hungrier! Plates kept coming, each one more delicious than the other. All small plates but there were 13 or 14 of them, we lost count, everything very tasty and beautifully presented. The one thing I could do without was the annoying background techno music but that is a matter of taste and didn't affect the quality of food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Exceeded our expectations
    pvfoodie
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Everything we put in our mouths was divine. Since it was our first experience at Mercat, we didn't really know what to order. I typically don't enjoy tapas and wanted to have a salad and paella. Although the chicken paella was very good, I would say the highlight was one of us ordering the tasting menu. Over the top fabulous. Best lamb chop I have ever eaten. I definitely would like to dine at Mercat again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Too salty
    Lori
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Service was very friendly and fast. The waiter made sure he had picked a glass of wine that I liked and was willing to replace it if I didn't. But the food was very salty and missed a little subtlety. The place was lively, too noisy for me. I thought of the restaurants that I had tried in Barcelona, that's the kind of small, lively, a little disorganized but oh! so delicious place I was looking for. I was disappointed.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very nice
    boooVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    This was only my fifth visit over the years, but food continues to be excellent
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • tapas menu
    liale
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    good selection of tapas, nice choices of 3 different kinds of sangria
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place! You gotta try it.
    oltexan
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Saw Jose Garces on Iron Chef and just had to try this place when we were in town. Its another in a line of stellar Chicago at the end! restaurants. We did the $65 tasting menu and the tapas just keep coming, one better than the other. Then scallops, lamb chops and beef... all delicious. Yes were full at the end! Also has a good list of Spanish wines. Easy 4 stars in my book and on our short list. Would be very reasonably priced to just come and order off the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    My wife and I spend a great evening celebrating our 18 wed anniversary. It was awesome the service and a delicious meal.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent!
    BeverleeVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Been here a few times. This was the VERY best. Bravo to chef and staff. Paella was wonderful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, disappointing service
    jc1291819
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Unfortunately we were in a party of 6 so our waiter Mateo (sp?) had an automatic tip added and no incentive to give good service. We had to flag him down or ask the busboys to get him every time we wanted a drink or to order food, and he was particularly abrupt, would take a drink order and walk away without asking if anyone else wanted a drink. The food was solid, but had to knock a star off for high prices (known in advance) but the price to size of tapa ratio was disappointing. Also bacon wrapped dates are a staple of tapas and these tasted to me like they were made from a box. Otherwise, all dishes were great, oxtail ravioli was fantastic, goat ropa vieja was also a highlight. Cocktails were also great!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.