Bistro Voltaire
Bistro Voltaire

Bistro Voltaire

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.bistrovoltaire.com/
  • Phone: 3122650911x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner:
    Monday - Saturday, 5-11pm

  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: French
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Contact: Bistro Voltaire 3122650911x
  • Special Events: Bistro Voltaire celebrates casual dining with bold and inspiring flavors of traditional French cuisine perfect for your special event. The dining room is a warm and intimate setting accommodating up to (45) seated guests, and cocktail receptions. Bistro Voltaire is pleased to tailor prix fixe menu with wine pairings from our exclusively French wine list. Please contact us for further information.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Franklin
  • Public Transit: Conveniently located across from the CTA Chicago Brown-Line stop
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Easy public parking next door or plenty street parking per signs
A word from Bistro Voltaire
Bistro Voltaire is a favorite of the patron well traveled... wanting to indulge in the sensibilities of France without leaving Chicago.

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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFrench
Bistro Voltaire reviews from OpenTable diners
82 reviews since June 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (50)romantic (49)fit for foodies (42)special occasion (36)notable wine list (22)good for groups (7)late-night find (4)great for lunch (3)hot spot (2)vibrant bar scene (2)great for brunch (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • A little gem. Food was very
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/15/2011
    A little gem. Food was very good, though could have a lighter touch on the garlic (prawn and mussels entree specficially. Seating a little too close for comfort and will probably prefer to do lunch vs dinner going forward. Service needs to be polished. It is a bistro but felt like we were at a diner when we were handed our check.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Warm atmosphere. Welcoming
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/15/2011
    Warm atmosphere. Welcoming staff. Soup flavorful and well seasoned. Seafood fresh. Risotto a little too gummy. Tables VERY close together.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very enjoyable experience.
    adrianeVIP
    Dined on 10/14/2011
    Very enjoyable experience. The food was delicious--especially the coq au vin. Very authentic french bistro and a great addition to the neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We celebrated our birthdays
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/14/2011
    We celebrated our birthdays at Cafe Voltaire and will definitely be back! We had the duck and the lamb, both of which did not disappoint. I was initially wary of flavored creme brulee, but I was pleasantly surprised by the subtle cherry flavor. The chocolate cake was tiny but delicious. I love to hear so much French being spoken! Seating is limited, and we had a small table for three people, but I wouldn't call it cramped. My new favorite restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An authentic French bistro
    culinarianVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2011
    An authentic French bistro with superb service, impeccable food and a reasonably priced French wine list. Beautifully decorated and lit. You could be in Paris!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • French cuisine par excellente
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 10/3/2011
    Bistro Voltaire was a great surprise. I felt as though I was in Paris enjoying an excellent meal. In fact, I have had many a meal in Paris that was not as good as the meal here. Authentic French food with all the lush, rich flavors you would expect. The Monday night prix fix options were extensive. The service was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful dinner. Such a
    closetohomeVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2011
    Wonderful dinner. Such a fun little place. Excellent and courteous service. We had a lovely dinner with a reasonably priced bottle of French cab franc from the Loire valley. My only suggestion for the management is to broaden the menu just a bit with a few more seafood and chicken dishes so that we can keep coming back! Perhaps some regular specials to keep the menu with new choices. But this is a very nice place, you won't be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Decor and food and welcome
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/30/2011
    Decor and food and welcome ! Everything was excellent ! One of the best french restaurant
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Step out of Chicago and into France
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 9/30/2011
    We stumbled upon this new bistro last week and loved it so much that we returned again. The staff and food are authentically french, and the place has a great European vibe!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A great new find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/26/2011
    really good food from a simple menu. classics are all there and the prices are very reasonable. Small so if it ever gets really popular good luck getting a table.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A nice addition to the area.
    DiDiVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2011
    A nice addition to the area. Really had a wonderful time, the ambience is so typical of a French restaurant. Felt like we were dining in Paris. The food was very good, BUT quite salty! They need to reduce the amount of salt used. Waiter was very nice, but a bit of a language barrier!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • food was over salted leaving
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/24/2011
    food was over salted leaving it uneatable three friends raved but they need to fix this problem. make food more like real freinds food. not overcooked and fresh. WAY TOO MUCH SALT
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Charming restaurant. Feels
    bariVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2011
    Charming restaurant. Feels like you are in France and the food is delicious. Definitely will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A terrific addition to an
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/20/2011
    A terrific addition to an area of Chicago Avenue that needs a good restaurant. Good French food at reasonable prices.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • After making a res 3 weeks
    sfdrVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2011
    After making a res 3 weeks in advance we were shown a table in front of the door with no wind break. It was a cold windy night and would have been impossible to enjoy a meal at that table. When we asked for a different table, the Parisian hostess just said "NO!" A waiter and another hostess were extremely apologetic but couldn't help either. We had to leave but truly appreciated the fact that at least someone seemed to care. The attitude of the Parisian woman was so rude, that we would have to think twice before trying again. She needs to learn that a simple apology goes a long way. She could have offered a glass of wine at the bar while we waited for a table to open up. Her take it or leave it attitude was a total turn-off.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • One of our new favorite restaurants
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 9/15/2011
    One of our new favorite restaurants! Lovers of french cuisine, we thought that Bistro Voltaire was a close second to actually being in and dining in Paris. The owner and hostess were most gracious and made us feel like welcomed friends from the moment we arrived until our fabulous dinner was complete.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Real Find!
    barb64VIP
    Dined on 9/13/2011
    We had terrific time talking to Collin and Erin about Chicago chefs, and the food, wine and service were great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Worth a few more visits
    KenCVIP
    Dined on 9/10/2011
    A wonderful addition to the River North/River West commmunity. The interior has been transformed into a charming little place that could be somewhere in France with red banquettes along the wall and pictures of philosophers adding gravitas. The pressed tin ceiling and the dark wood bar adds to the atmospherics. The care given to the food matched the attention to detail in the decoration. The roasted chicken is really a coq au vin that was delicious but I couldn't use that standard to compare this French bistro. The lamb was excellent and providing 5 ribs is generous. The ratatouille accompanying the lamb and chicken was excellent. The moules and shrimp-moules risotto were also quite good tho the moules entree can be more generous.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding chef and staff.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/5/2011
    Outstanding chef and staff. My group ordered everything on the dinner menu and were not dissapoonted.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Small, a bit out of the way,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/3/2011
    Small, a bit out of the way, but a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Simple, traditional bistro menu; simple all French wine list; and warm attention to your meal. What's not to like about Bistro Voltaire? Three weeks into their business, this place is a winner. Hope they can keep it up.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was great, hostess was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/3/2011
    Food was great, hostess was wonderful to talk with. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My husband and I had the most
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 9/3/2011
    My husband and I had the most delicious meal on Saturday evening. Everything was wonderful and perfect. We can't wait to come back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • You could be in Paris. I
    culinarianVIP
    Dined on 9/2/2011
    You could be in Paris. I will definitely be back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We went on a Monday night
    JAK1VIP
    Dined on 8/29/2011
    We went on a Monday night - Bistro Voltaire offers a 3-course prix fix menu. Everything we ordered was very good. The service was attentive & friendly. Its a small restaurant so make a reseveration if you're planning to go with a larger group or on the weekend. Thumbs up - highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Yes! Yes! Eat here!
    ChicagofoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2011
    The food is amazing! We ordered the entree portion of mussels for an appetizer (there were 2 of us) and they were wonderful. The wine list is reasonable and very good. Everyone was so accommodating and friendly. I can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Art & Diane
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/27/2011
    Great surprise to go to a new French Bistro where some of the staff are actually French! It was great. Pretty place. Friendly staff. Excellent food. Experienced bartender who is very customer oriented and goes out of his way to please.....
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Charming neighborhood bistro
    IggyVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2011
    Charming neighborhood bistro with a wonderful selections of sweets with which to end a mini-trip to France. A few pottted plants would add charm to the sidewalk cafe.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My meager portion of chicken
    sibylVIP
    Dined on 8/26/2011
    My meager portion of chicken arrived totally overcooked and dry. This is supposed to be a specialty. The duck was very fatty and bland and the accompanying risotto arrived cold. I would definitely never go back as there are too many good bistros in the area doing a much finer job.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The service was excellent.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/24/2011
    The service was excellent. Unfortunately, our meals were not very good. Two of our group ordered the sole, which smelled and tasted fishy. For those prices, we expected a much better quality of food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The best parts about Voltaire
    avipVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2011
    The best parts about Voltaire are the pleasent service and the ablity to have aconversation, as well as wine at half price on Tuesday.. It is the food that needs to improve. While eatable it is disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Really very nice and the food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 8/23/2011
    Really very nice and the food was good! BUT ... the service not so good. We had to ask for napkins; sugar; water. The waitress, although very nice, didn't know some of the basics. I hope they make it. It's nice to have another option in the neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A very good find!
    Lettygirl
    Dined on 8/20/2011
    Service was excellent, ambience was great, and the food was very good. I had the Puff pastry pear and cheese appetizer (outstanding) and the duck, it was truly delicious. I will definitely recommend it and go again as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • the food was excellent- especially
    Elsie
    Dined on 8/20/2011
    the food was excellent- especially the salmon while the hostess added a whimsical touch, we would have preferred that she not "hover" so much.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • very positive experience.
    Steven
    Dined on 8/20/2011
    very positive experience. charming interior, definite European feel, make it a much needed addition to Chicago restaurant scene. excellent appetizers (scallops, terrine of oxtail); duck outstanding, coq au vin flavorful although a bit dry. absolutely wonderful staff. great wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A real find!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/19/2011
    Bistro Voltaire was one of those true finds. I went in knowing little about the place other than the menu looked interesting. Inside it was wonderful! The food was superb and the prices are reasonable. The staff was great and the ambiance was relaxed. I felt I could ask about the menu without feeling as if I just fell off of a turnip truck. A fun experience! Highly recommended!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I was only missing the eaifel tower
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/13/2011
    Was a great experience from the moment we walked in and were received by the hostess/owner, she was not only very nice but always was making sure that we were well taking care of. The food... There are not enough words to describe it. I could tell you this, if you are looking for a restaurant that will take you away from Chicago for the evening, this is it. You will feel like you are in Paris for the evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We had a wonderful experience
    JennVIP
    Dined on 8/13/2011
    We had a wonderful experience and I would recommend Bistro Voltaire. When you walk inside the interior draws you in and you feel like you are in Paris. The service was impeccable. Although it was our first time there, when we arrived the hostess knew who we were, greeted me by name and took us straight to our table. This was a refreshing change to my usual dining experience and made you instantly feel welcome and wanted. Our waitress was as charming and helpful. The food is very good and I recommend the mussels, pear tart, the fresh spring pea soup, coq au vin and lamb chops. It should be noted that this is a very new restaurant so there are few minor and almost unnoticed kinks they are working out but the service and food is well worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cute place but still too new
    Redshoes
    Dined on 8/10/2011
    Cute place but still too new to rate. Menu was limited but food was good. Our waitress should look for another job in another field.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • true french ambiance food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 8/9/2011
    true french ambiance food was mediocre, waitress attentive but intrusive, service extremely slow even though there were very few diners
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We went on Monday when they
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/8/2011
    We went on Monday when they had a 27 prix fix special, which was an excellent deal for the quality of the food. I had the scallop salad to start (delicious, cooked well) followed by the filet de sol (also cooked to perfection). For a dessert special they offered among many things, black truffle ice cream- with large shaving of black truffle. Amazing. The staff was very friendly, the chef came out to thank us, and the owner introduced himself and gave us a glass of wine on the house.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet