Mercat a La Planxa
Mercat a La Planxa

Mercat a La Planxa

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.mercatchicago.com/
  • Phone: (312) 765-0524
  • 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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSpanish
Mercat a La Planxa reviews from OpenTable diners
240 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (165)good for groups (106)special occasion (91)hot spot (69)romantic (50)neighborhood gem (48)notable wine list (40)scenic view (37)great for lunch (22)vibrant bar scene (19)late-night find (13)great for brunch (10)great for outdoor dining (6)kid-friendly (6)Show More
  • Great Anniversary Dinner!
    birthdaydiner
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    We reserved a table for a double date with both couples celebrating their anniversaries. We had a fantastic time! Our waiter was patient and helpful, he took great care of us including hooking us up with a champagne toast. He talked us into doing the deluxe chef's tasting menu and it was amazing. We went without the wine pairings so we could try all the fun cocktails. Be sure to try this place when you have a chance to treat yourself!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food but service off
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Arrived on time for 6pm booking on a Wednesday night. Once seated at a more acceptable table away from swinging kitchen door (two others in same area were open) waited 15 minutes for someone to arrive for drink order...she was very pleasant, we placed order of four tapas. One arrived--it was outstanding, but then we had to flag someone down to check on remaining items. Two more were delivered--again very good food, but we had to cancel the fourth so we could exit to get to the Auditorium. We loved the food, but experience makes it hard to recommend.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • mercat al la planxa
    CinCin
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    A wonderful treat for foodies! Traditional and non-traditional tapas abound and in rare form- combinations and great flavors not usually encountered. A gem for the area and I will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Party of three, right this way
    foodserviceveteran
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    Chicago wind chill was unbearable and we needed a table for three not far from the Chicago Hilton. Mercat came highly recommended, so we gave it a try. Not only was everything superb, but it seemed as though the menu was made perfectly for a three person party...lots of Tapas in three piece combinations, so we had a wonderful time trying many delightful trios.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place!
    Ljmm
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We got the Chef's Tasting Menu with wine pairing. Every bite we tasted was amazing. A very fun place to go with a group or for a special occasion. It's a great room with awesome windows overlooking Michigan Ave.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mercat was a great location for lunch with family.
    IMCIAB
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    The atmosphere was energetic, but not too loud. The music was a spanish jazz, which was very nice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • lot of money, minimal food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Been to Spain twice, enjoyed the food there, Mercat food was good, but the quanitity was fairly minimal. Barely saw our waiter, just servers, did not like the bottle of wine being almost 5 tables away instead of by us. Had to wait 5-10 minutes to have more poured, hate the fix price dinner, hate to say it but we left hungry after spending $130.00 for the food for two. The couple next to us ordered the same meal, and we joked about it with them, for some reason, they received more food, especially the lamb chops and other plates than we did, we joked about it with them.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • StrangeOne
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    we had a terrific time. We ordered from the upper end tasting menu and everything that was brought to us was terrific. We'll definitely return
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mercat never disappoints!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Great tapas menu. The variety is pretty awesome. Please get the lamb chops and the bacon wrapped dates. If this restaurant were in a prime location, it would be very difficult to get a reservation. Nicely tucked inside the blackstone hotel. Service was great as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tapa & paella
    javierVIP
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Before ordering drinks...order the valenciana paella. Excellent The iberico ham and cheeses were great
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing!
    SKQW
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Amazing food and wonderful service. The Chef's Luxury Tasting Menu is a must have!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • consistent service and quality
    planxa
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    A la cart or chef's selection. You can't go wrong. All choices are heavenly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tapas
    JaykayVIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Every dish was delicious! Dates, short rib flatbread, shrimp, char, butternut squash dish and mushrooms (my favorite). Good service, great location (south loop). Will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • To go
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Mercat is located in the Blackstone Hotel (another good restaurant south of the river in Chicago). We'd made a reservation for breakfast, but my husband wasn't ready. So, I went to the restaurant and asked if I could take our breakfast to the room. Yes. And we got our 100 OT points. Very accommodating. Great food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fantastic
    Vvdd
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    This iron chef really mastered his vasque cuisine! Great tapas with a twist. Lamb ravioli, cochinillo asado and the bacon dates are simply to die for! A must while in chicago
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique experience
    Merlo
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Very knowledgeable waiter. Very interesting and original favors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wonderful lunch spot
    liale
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    I had lunch on Saturday for my birthday. Service was excellent had lunch special 2 courses plus drink for $18. Great value. Drink refilled for free, plus a got one to go. Fig and proscuitto salad delicious, plus had shrimp chorizo pizza. Very generous portions. Will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    We went to this restaurant before the All Blacks Rugby tournament, and it was a good experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nevery disapointed
    SLoopHangry
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The Server did an excellent job describing each dish. I am glad I took his advice when ordering. The Sangria was also tasty. Our Bus Boy did such a good job clearing plates and refilling water. I kind of have a "thing" with used/finished plates sitting in front of me...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food is excellent
    Jilly
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Always have wonderful grub at Mercat, but was a little disappointed with our server.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good great - wait staff bad
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Great food - wait staff were not courteous and slow.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tasty Tapas
    FeedMeMohr
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Our service was great. The food was amazing, served tapas style. Great date spot!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Perfect
    DaveCy
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    From the staff to the speed of service and the great unique wine list, our group of 5 had an amazing experience. They also were very helpful with people who may have had special food needs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Okay
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    I was rather disappointed by Mercat. I had heard really great reviews about the chorizo dates and the restaurant in general. It's a beautiful restaurant and the service is great when it's not busy. However, it is incredibly overpriced for what it is. Four chorizo dates the size of my thumb were extremely underwhelming. I understand that the pricing is probably due to the massive space and its prime location. But, the taste of the food doesn't match and parking is horrendous here.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, fair service
    GoodTaste
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    Tuesday night visit. Place was crowded w several groups. Server was knowledgeable and, when present, very good. Problem? Management grossly understaffed the servers. Our server was covering a large number of tables so neglect was inevitable. Food was very good-Tapas style. Would have ordered more if we saw our server. Overall, I expected way more
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What fun!
    ZeusGuyVIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    A group of 4 went to Mercat & ordered the Chief's tasking menu. We had a great time. The waitress was fun and informative. One person didn't eat beef or pork and they accommodated her with separate dishes when appropriate. 90% of the ~20 dishes were fantastic. Highlights were the garlic shrimp, wild mushroom flatbread, rabbit pasta, lamb chops, and bacon wrapped dates (& I don't like dates). The spanish omelet was too salty. The deserts however were a bit disappointing.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • very good, on the verge of great.
    snobbyprick
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    My complaints are pretty minimal and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place to a friend. We ordered the chefs lux tasting menu with wine pairings and save for one dish it was excelent. It's a lot of food, it's a bit pricey (350ish) for what we ordered but you could certainly have a cheaper night there ordering differently. The place is busy and some times it felt like the courses were either coming out too quickly or too slowly, the noise level was also high. It wasn't as tuned of an experience as I would have liked but over all it left me satisfied. Definitely worth a visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious!
    LavidaBuena
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    The hubby & I arrived for our 6 pm reservation on a Monday - a good time because it was not overly busy. (It was nearly full by 7 p.m.) We sampled several tapas over the course of 1 1/2 hrs. The wait staff was polite, helpful and quick to replace empty plates with the next course. We started with the Boquerones and Pulpo. I was hesitant about the anchovies, since I normally don't like them, but these were fresh and delicious. The octopus was perfectly smoky-seasoned (and not rubbery.) Other hits: the lamp pintxos and arctic char (Peixos.) The "coca de hamon & queso" was also fabulous, and of course, the bacon-wrapped dates were a perfect slightly-sweet finish to the meal. Don't miss those!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Saturday dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Great food, place is busy and loud, your server can make or break a meal and our server did nothing for us and spent very little time at our table. Would definitely go back, it's good food and a good time trying all the small plates.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, ok service
    Dutch1964
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We were impressed with the food. All of the choices we made were excellent. We ordered 5 tapas with the two of us and had 2 dessert tapas more than enough food for sure. The service was OK...the person filling up the water was very attentive the server was not very attentive, almost felt like we were a bit of a burden.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • KTrav
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Mediocre paella Nero and our waiter was difficult to find when we needed something
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Spanish Tapas!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Mercat a La Planxa is incredible! Wonderful lamb kebobs, squid and shrimp. The wine selection by the glass was excellent as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic experience
    CharmCityEaterVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    I've visited several of Jose Garces' properties in and around Philly, and never been disappointed. With Mercat, the Iron Chef is batting a thousand! Food, service, presentation and overall vibe are stellar. Our server made excellent wine and food recommendations; however, unless you skipped lunch or are just starving, it's probably not necessary to order three plates per person. Although everything was delicious, I'll be dreaming about the Rabbit and Foie Gras Rillette and Quinoa Salad.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • excelente!
    andersonfortuna
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    preferimos somente os tapas, os camarões e as vieiras estavam excelentes. a carta de vinhos tem bons rótulos, mas nada fantástico.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    Caribbeanfoodie1
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    I was very disappointed of my dining experience. Having heard so much about place and having had a positive experience before, I decided to go there with a group of doctors from out of town. I was embarrassed of my recommendation to the group because the service was terrible, it was hard to hear our conversations at the table, and the food could have been better. One of the main reason I suggested this restaurant is because several people from our party had dietary restrictions so I thought this restaurant would be able to accommodate us being more high end versus fast food. I was wrong. Any requests we made was more of a pain for the server. He was frustrated with our table and let it show. The food came out w no explanation, very confusin
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pre-ballet
    WilliamShakespoon
    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