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  • Mercat a La Planxa

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Mercat a La Planxa
Mercat a La Planxa

Mercat a La Planxa Details

  • 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: Spanish, Latin American
  • 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "I cannot express how wonderful all of our dishes were! The pork al a planxa was fabulous!!! The oxtail pasta was wonderful as well as the octopus! We had no complaints about the food or the service, top notch. Our only complaint is the seating, which I know is trendy, but when the sex life of those seated next to us is now embedded in my mind, it's a bit too close! Ask for a seat with no bench/couch, you'll thank me later."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Second time here. Enjoyed our food very much, delicious. Will return for sure."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "The food was generally tasty. The paella was excellent. The "jumbo shrimps" probably referred to the price and not the size of the shrimps. The 5-foot high table and high stools were a bit dizzying for us older folks. Unfortunately, the hostess turned down our request for a table closer to ground level."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "The food was outstanding. Good ambiance and the noise level was appropriate."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "We treated our palates to a most pleasurable adventure at Mercat a La Planxe! While most of our tapas selections were very rich and the garlic shrimp slightly over cooked, we have never tasted such amazing flavors! The bacon-wrapped dates with fondue and the short rib flatbread were our absolute favorites! FUN ambience! We will go back again most definitely!!!"
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Mercat exceeded expectations in nearly every way. The food was absolutely extraordinary. I recommend the padron peppers especially. This are nearly impossible to find. The service fell a little short, though. Althouh it was prompt and generally courteous, the burly gentleman with thick hairy arms who cleared our multiple courses was dressed in a green T-shirt and was clearly more concerned about clearing dirty dishes than providing a first rate dining experience. For me, this was not a big deal (I love dive restaurants), but I can imagine others being put out. His atttire and demeaner was not befitting the elegance of this restaurant."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "Great variety of dishes and each well prepared. our group each had personal favorites that make for interesting comparisons. Of special note is the excellent table service that choreographs delivery of shared dishes in a way that is constant and without wait. We enjoyed the atmosphere and friendliness of staff."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Beauitful restaurant with delicious food- I am vegetarian and was able to find some great tasty options!"
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "We were in town for the ITU triathlon and wanted a hearty breakfast at 7 am. We were delighted to find a place that took reservations at 7 and were looking forward to some tasty fare. Sadly the restaurant was dark and locked at 7. We waited until 7:15 and found a back door (in the hotel) open but no signs of staff. Sorry, but this is clearly a one-star rating."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "We were celebrating our anniversary and looking for a special place. This was it. We were seated by the windows and had great views. The Sunday Supper menu took the guesswork out of tapas selection."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "We did a girls dinner here on a Friday at 5:30 before a concert. Some of the food was delicious, others were just ho-hum. Get the arroz verde, bacon wrapped dates, and halibut. Our top 3 favorites. The restaurant itself if interesting, service was attentive, and prices are definitely Michigan Ave, Chicago. He said to order 3 items per person, but we only did 2 per person and still left full."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Had a truly enjoyable evening with fine dining and great service. Shared six different small plates each better than the one that came before."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Excellent selection of exotic tapas as well as traditional items found at most tapas restaurants. Multiple levels of dining area gave an intimate feel. High ceilings and large windows looking out toward Grant Park. Chef is notable and was of Iron Chef fame. We really enjoyed the meal!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Loved the atmosphere as well as the food. Going back to try other dishes."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "I wouldn't recommend this place. The food was greasy and too salty. Simple quality tapas trumps elaborate any day. The chef meat selection was very average and the jamon salad far too salty. The mushroom bread was a doughy pizza However, the scallops were good."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "Delicious is all I can say. Every plate is amazing in both it's construction and taste. Tapas is one of the most fun ways to dine, letting you taste so many things without getting stuffed. It was our second time there and we loved it both times."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "My wife and I were having dinner with our friends (another couple). We were having a great time. The food and drinks were very good! Skip to end of dinner and desert. We recieved our check and settled our bill. We were contemplating having another drink at the bar when the manager came over and asked how our meal was. About a minute later he came by again to grab our payment. He returned in one more minute and said "I hate to do this but..." My friend said "You must need the table." The 4 of us started to get up when he said "Yeah, most people take about 2-2 1/2 hrs. to eat and you guys have been here 3hrs." WTF! We just spent $375 and got insulted and embarressed!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "We did the Chef's deluxe tasting. The service was wonderful and they explained every dish we had. There was A LOT of food for the two of us. Each dish better than the previous."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Though noisy (it was almost hard to hear our waiter) , the service, food, and atmosphere were fantastic! The paella nero was great, and highly recommended, just make sure to wipe your mouth when done. Many of the appetizers looked delicious as they passed by , and the pulpos con patates (octopus with potatoes confit) were my personal favorite. Having reservations , we were seated immediately, and the staff is very professional, and courteous."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Trendy, Chicago tapas restaurant overlooking grant park. Excellent Spanish wine and sherry list, excellent. I started with the Verdosa salad. Mixed greens, asparagus, green beans and avocado all mixed together with thinly sliced Idiazabal cheese slices on top. Dressing was a little heavy, but a very good salad.Next I had the Pulpito A La Planxa, baby Octopus grilled over the plank. Meaty octopus grilled to perfection with a lemon, herb sauce. Octopus is the focus, nothing else, the way it should be. Finally the croquettas, just to compare them to those cooked by Jose Andres as Jaleo. Not quite as good as Jaleo, but mostly because of the spicy tomato sauce served with them, it was overpowering. Great service, very cool atmosphere."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Very good food, but horrible service. Had to wait an hour for dishes when we told the server we needed to make a symphony concert. Ruined what was a delicious meal. Had the same problem there last year. They have serious issues. Disappointing. If they are going to do small plates at premium prices, they have to get their act together. Unlikely will return."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Mercat is a wonderful dining experience. The restaurant is a very cool space with a comfortable feeling! The food is great! Each bite is filled with flavor and a unique taste. Love the tomato bread at the beginning of the meal. You are in heaven immediately! Also, the wine list is great, along with the flight of Sangria!"
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "We were looking for an interesting dining experience close to our hotel for the day of our arrival in Chicago - the cuisine and excellent reviews for the Mercat intrigued us as we enjoy Spanish cuisine. This was a great experience - many items on the menu we had not yet tasted, the wait staff were very friendly answering our questions and sharing their favorites to help in our tapas selections. The restaurant has a beautiful view and is tastefully decorated. Even as the restaurant filled for the dinner hour, the noise level was such that conversation was easily held. The portion sizes were more generous than we anticipated. Listen to your waiter - when s/he tells you that 3 courses are sufficient for most appetites, it is true! Enjoy!"
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "Had a lovely dinner here on a Friday evening. We had reservations, but it didn't seem as busy as usual, so I imagine folks could have gotten a table without reservations. We started with some shared tapas -- all of which were great. The octopus was not as tender as we've had before, but still tasty. We then each ordered another dish that we shared amongst the table. All were delicious, but the oxtail ravioli was the star of the show. Our waiter recommended a great Tempranillo that went well with everything and was moderately priced. All-in-all a very enjoyable dinner."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "We had bought a gift certificate to Mercat for a work colleague and received a "rewards" certificate for ourselves that we accidentally let expire. Unintentionally, it became a couple years before this actual first meal with them. We now regret the long wait. We ended up here because Telegraph did not bother to let us know that, despite a long standing reservation with them, they closed their doors the weekend before! So, I had to scramble for an alternative. Since we like small plates and I really needed some sangria, we found a late night slot open with Mercat. Their dishes are largely well prepared and some even creative and unique. The sangria was only average but it hit the spot. It won't be years before we return!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Wonderful tapas meal. We wanted the pig but had to order in advance (so sad...). Highly recommend their tapas samplers."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "I thought it was a fancy restaurant, but the servers were rude and uninspired, the glassware was filthy, as was the floor and the food was mediocre - it was like a Chili's tried to so tapas. Save your money, go elsewhere, unless you're a tourist and have no taste, otherwise you feel right at home."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "A super convenient, tasty, and very pleasant breakfast. Menu has all the great standards; all done with a little extra tuning up."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "I recommend ordering the chef's selection with sangria. It was a delicious journey of taste that paired with great friends. Service was attentive, informative and not intrusive. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Excellent service. Great sangrias and good variety of tapas & other Spanish fare. "Chef selection" is excellent, but too much food. Would love a less expensive option: e.g. a petite selection for less. "
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "beautiful room, not too noisy in the early evening (pre-theater dining), everything delicious and beautifully presented, attentive and well paced service, love that there are three versions of sangria - red, white, and rosé -- had the latter and loved it - not overly sweet, very bright and summery. "
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "I always enjoy eating at Mercat a la Planxa. I adore the bacon-wrapped dates and the garlic shrimp. Tried the rose sangria this time around and quite enjoyed it. Our server was really great but one support staff member in particular smelled so badly of body odor that I could smell him coming before he arrived at our table. It dulled the shine of an otherwise sparkly experience."
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "We came to celebrate an anniversary. We opted for the premier tasting menu. Before our drinks had even arrived, there were three dishes on the table for which we didn't get the full description because we were speaking with the sommelier/bar manager.The server told us that the dishes would be spaced out, we often had 3-4 plates on our table. Eventually we asked for a menu so we could figure out what was what. When we asked the server to slow down the dishes, we were told that the last one was already prepared and it would get cold in the kitchen. The next dishes arrived 30 minutes later. The food is very good but needs to have better continuity. Rice + quinoa dishes arrived together. only 1 seafood dish out of 12. NO dessert included?!?"
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "Delicious food, fabulous wine & cocktails, terrific service. Highly recommend!"
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "I need to remind myself why I don't care for tapas style restaurants...they are always overpriced for what you get. Mercat was no exception. I will say the small plates were tasty, but not worth the price. But are they anywhere? If tapas joints could charge $5-$7 a plate vs $10-$15, it might be more palatable. The service was a bit haphazard as well. I had 7:45 reservations, we arrived on time and I was told the table was not ready and to go sit "in the circle' and we would be notified. While sitting there, one waiter came up and gave us a bill (not ours of course), another server came with dessert (not ours again). I finally had to go back to the hostess stand to ask again for our table..we were finally seated at 8:10pm. "
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "Restaurant serves tapas dishes. Mostly are delicious but a bit too salty. It is difficult to judge the portion of each dish. Consequently, hard to know the appropriate amount to order. You need assistance from your server. Ambience is becoming tired. "
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Tapas were incredibly good--branzino with little potatoes in a golden sauce, octopus with tomato confit, tender shortribs on flatbread, eggplant fritters with a tomato/goat cheese spread, a dessert with little chocolate balls that exploded in your mouth, and more. This restaurant is in my top 20 ever, maybe my top 10 ever, strictly for the food. The service was very good, but not great, the décor is a bit garish and it's noisy. But who cares with food like this? "
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "Mercat a la planxa never disappoints. Food, wine and ambiance were perfect. I look forward to returning in the future"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "My family was in from out of town and I brought them here for Mother's Day brunch. The food was amazing! Also loved the energy of the restaurant. I definitely recomment."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "An engaged waitstaff was knowledgeable about the menu. Had a chance to come three nights in a row and sampled much of what was on the menu with a number of different folks. Only a couple of dishes were sub-par -- not terrible, just average, while overall, the food quality was very high. Not super-fancy, just good food, and pretty reasonably priced. Decent wine list, not big, but Spain-focused for sure. VERY convenient if you're staying at the Hilton, Blackstone, or Congress hotel. One night we had to wait a while for our res -- previous diners just wouldn't leave -- but the manager kindly comped us a bottle of wine and dessert."
    Dined on 5/29/2014