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Symphony's Cafe
Symphony's Cafe

Symphony's Cafe Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.symphonyscafe.com
  • Email: emily@symphonyscafe.com
  • Phone: (847) 475-1200
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast: Daily: 8:00am - 11:00am; Brunch: Daily: 8:00am - 11:00am; Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, BYO Liquor, Cafe, Delivery, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Prairie (2 blocks west of Green Bay Road)
  • Public Transit: 2 blocks west of Central Street Metra stop. One mile west of Central Street El station. 201 Central Street bus stop in front of Cafe, runs every 15 minutes until 8 pm.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Plenty of Central street parking with meters (free after 6 pm) and metered parking lot half block west of the restaurant (also free after 6 pm).
A word from Symphony's Cafe
Symphony's Café is Evanston's finest tradition and a true neighborhood favorite. Utilizing only the freshest ingredients and sophisticated service, we make your breakfast, lunch, or dinner a special experience. The versatile Symphony's dining environment is perfect for family gatherings, work lunches, Sunday brunch, group parties, or a romantic dinner for two. We are proud to serve organic eggs, creative salads, the freshest seafood, free-range poultry, prime-aged steaks, and amazingly flavorful pasta dishes. Our extensive menus truly have something for everyone, with vegetarian offerings, gluten-free options, children's menus, and consideration for special diet requirements. We look forward to serving you soon!Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Wanted to try a different spot for breakfast. Symphony's was the spot today. Had egg white omelette and they were made exactly to order. Would have been nice if the toast would have come out and the same time and not 5 minutes later. In any case, good service and decent food. Worth another visit."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Having seen Symphony's advertised for quite some time, we finally decided to try it out. The food was great, the wait staff was very pleasant and the restaurant itself was quite comfortable. We will be back!"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "Our experience started off well - cozy booth, decent wine and delicious soup. However, service fell apart between the soup and the serving of the entres. Our waiter came by informing us that our food would be served momentarily but a full 50 minutes elapsed with our needing to get up to find out what was going on. We were just about to leave when our entres were served. The skirt steak was served raw! Upon exiting the restaurant hungry we expressed our disappointing experience to the manager who seemed unsympathetic. There are many good restaurants worth visiting in Evanston - unfortunately this is not one of them."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Symphony has a very casual atmosphere, but offers high end cuisine! This was likely the best filet mignon I had ever had! My wife loved her fish as well. The service was great and the people very real and friendly. If you are looking for a high end meal at reasonable prices either for a special occasion or just a casual romantic rendezvous over great good, this is the place."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "We really found the food exceptional. However, the service was fair. We recd our salads then waited at least 45 minutes for our main course. The server did not stop by. we had to get up to find out where our dinner was."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Symphony regularly rotates their menu with a variety of great dishes, and maintain a brief buff well-curated wine list making selection easier. Great food, and a wonderful staff makes for a great evening when your looking for a quick night out."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Symphony's can always be counted on for great food and service at a reasonable price. I love their different fish plates- salmon, whitefish, and tilapia, which are always cooked perfectly - never overcooked. The menu has a great variety of choices."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "This was a great dinner choice before a show at Space. Wait staff are very polite. Good sized portions"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Went there for a late breakfast/early lunch on Sunday morning. The food was fine; typical breakfast fare. My son's sandwich came with a side and he chose soup. The waiter brought the soup with the meal. When I said something to the waiter about the soup usually coming BEFORE the meal he put it back on us and said we didn't request that. Really?! The toast that came with the egg dishes came out a little after the meal and it was cold so it must have been sitting there a bit. We could see him standing behind the counter chatting so it wasn't like he was swamped with waiting on the other tables. Just minor annoyances but they could improve the customer service."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "A friend, a very picky eater indeed, was skeptical at first at my suggestion of dining at Symphony's, but thoroughly enjoyed the meal of dill salmon. I have been here on a number of occasions and really enjoyed the chicken marsala this time. For dessert we ordered the carrot cake to split, and to our amazement it was so big it seemed like a double piece! I took most of it home to savor the next day. Our waitstaff was very attentive, pleasant and courteous. And the price is nice with the 15% coupon you can print off their website. Try Symphony's restaurant for the delicious food and really nice people who work here, and I bet you'll agree."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "My wife and I enjoyed a midwinter dinner here before going to an Evanston theater to see a play. Both the meal and the play were excellent. Our waiter was attentive, polite, and solicitous. We both ordered salmon (me salmon Wellington; my wife pumpkin seed encrusted salmon). Both the salmon and the accompanying vegetables and potatoes were excellent. The portions were generous; we were able to take half of our main course home to eat the next day. Bravo!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Everyone in our group of 8 loved their dinners. Each of us ordered something different and it was so quiet while we were enjoying the food. I ate the Salmon Wellington and I wished I could eat that once each week. The service was outstanding."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "Ordered their special, salmon. Sounded good. Flavor or seasoning off, tasted like anise, which I don't like, asked if it was in there or a vegetable that tasted Like anise, said no. Left both meals, hardly ate, did nothing about it. Not sure how they work reservations, took as they came in. Told them several timed we had a reservation, never asked our name until we were sitter, asked to be away from the cold, sat us directly in a cold area, every time the door opened, cold came right to us."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I've been bringing friends and family here for years and everyone has really enjoyed it. Great sauces and always good specials; reasonably priced."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The restaurant was pretty and charming. The staff was very welcoming. Our waitress was absolutely wonderful! She was friendly and knowledgable - definitely made the experience worth returning, not including the food. Food was promptly delivered and delicious - they respect taste preferences for special requests. Looking forward to trying dinner next time."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "We were in the Evanston on a Saturday evening and found Symphony Cafe on Open Table. We enjoyed a very good meal and ordered two of their specials. I had the Scottish salmon couscous which was divine. The vegetables in the couscous made for an excellent side dish and the salmon was melt-in-your-mouth good. I could eat that five times a week. My wife had another special, the pumpkin seed coated salmon, and I thought her fish was a little overcooked which is why i gave a four rating on the food. The garlic bread is dangerous as it is so good you will eat too much. I liked the list of beers and their wine prices are reasonable. We had great service and the restaurant was quiet so we could enjoy our conversation. We will return."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "We were there once before, on New Years Eve. The food was still very good. Service was great. The waiter was very friendly and was familiar with the menu. He made suggestions and accommodated our special requests without any problem. Parking is an issue especially because it is on the street only and there was a lot of snow piled up along the curbs. We will go back again when the snow melts (if ever this year)."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Symphony's Cafe is certainly out of the 50s in its homey atmosphere, warmth, and diner-like set up. But the food is now, and the selections are varied and so interesting. There are enough wines for almost everyone at good prices. Service is tops.the soups (included) were cream of chicken barley and lentil, and my wife and I each claimed to have the better!! Her 6 lamb chops were enormous and fed her and later the dogs. She hadn't had better! I loved the scampi risotto, six large shrimp in a tomato based risotto with vegetables. Also so much it was next day's lunch! It took a while to realize what a terrific place this is, and now we are hooked!"
    Dined on 2/3/2014
  • "Wonderful menu selections including vegetarian makes it easy for everyone to find something great. Large portion s and flavorful dishes makes this place a real find!"
    Dined on 2/2/2014
  • "Our group of 4 was able to make a reservation at Symphony's for Sunday breakfast. The service was excellent and the menu selections extensive with organic eggs, and a wide selection of omelets and pancakes. This is a convenient and comfortable neighborhood restaurant."
    Dined on 2/2/2014
  • "Went here before the show at Pick Staiger. Yummy food, great service, and a lovely time. Unfortunately, one diner's food at the table was not very hot, but everything else was perfect! The scampi risotto was outstanding. The garlic bread should not be missed."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "I got a table at Symphony's, one of my fave brunch spots, for my bday. I'd had many great meals a there. But from the moment I was served, I knew something was wrong. I couldn't place the smell, but it was bad. I sampled the hash browns, which were fine, but when I took a bite of the bacon, I discovered the trouble. The taste was so bad I couldn't eat anything else. I didn't want to make a big deal about it in front of everyone, but I quietly asked my boyfriend to try the bacon. He immediately figured out that it tasted like fish. I told our server, who apologized, but I wish my meal, which I barely ate, had been removed from the bill. Better yet, I wish the bacon had been cooked properly, as it ruined my appetite for the rest of the day."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "I met two girlfriends at this neighborhood spot with high hopes for a lovely evening. The evening started hopefully, as the pesto-stuffed mushrooms were tasty. But the evening went downhill from there. The soup entree was lukewarm - a shame because the tomato-based Pasta Fagiole (sp?) might have been nice if it had been hot enough. Then we waited close to 40 minutes for the entrees which arrived also lukewarm. Again, had this food not sat waiting for pickup by the recalcitrant waitress, we may have enjoyed our meal. What a shame."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Symphony's Cafe is much more than one expects. The Italian-leaning menu is huge, with choices for everyone in every food category. Prices are very reasonable, and soup or salad are included in the entree price. The wines are limited but sufficient and also prcies friendly. Serivce was prompt and casual. Our lentil and chicken noodle soups were really good, and our entrees of salmon with dill and veggie rotolo were generous and tasty. Very easy to come back!"
    Dined on 1/13/2014
  • "Interesting excellent Gourmet food and reasonable prices. Good service, pleasant atmosphere."
    Dined on 12/30/2013
  • "Service was absolutely horrendous. I took more than an hour to get 4 sandwiches. Nothing good to say about the whole place. Will never eat there again."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "been here many times food is always very good and served hot service is excellant very attentive even though it was new year's eve and busy our reservation was honored exactly on time"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Nice quiet small restaurant. I used to go there years ago when it was a simple coffee shop. It sure is not that now. The menu is more gourmet. Lots of interesting choices. Friendly adequate service. Parking is an issue since there is only on street parking. No frills but interesting. The salad was mostly lettuce with a good dressing. The portions are about right, not too much or too little. Couscous was wonderful. Seems to cater to a neighborhood crowd since it is located in a residential area."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "This was our first visit to the restaurant and we are always looking for a new place. The menu offers a variety of option and at first glance looked inviting. The prices range from low teens all the way up to high 20's. For such a price point I'd have expected a bit more to the place. We were seated in the back, which offered no ambiance at all. Each course came with soup or salad. I had the pasta fagioli; which was watery. My son had the chicken soup, which was good, and my wife's salad was also good. Spaghetti/meatballs was just okay. Chicken Marsala was good, but adding carrots to an already sweat dish was not good. The tilapia was sent back as my wife felt the fish wasn't good. Service was good. May give it one more try."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "Our 3td time here did not disappoint! We brought a good friend in from Boston & he was impressed also. This time, I finally ordered something else besides the Salmon Wellington which I'm addicted to! The Dill Salmon did not disappoint! All 3 entrees were delicious, service was good & we enjoyed it again."
    Dined on 12/16/2013
  • "Conveniently located on fun Central Street in Evanston. Consistently great food with a wide variety of menu items. Love the soups. It has become one of my repeat restaurants. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 12/9/2013
  • "Our server was not attentive and slow. Judging on the price I would expect better quality food. It was ok. I will only go in I am in the area not a destination."
    Dined on 12/8/2013
  • "Great Neighborhood resteraunt; have there MANY TIMES and will continue to come!"
    Dined on 12/6/2013
  • "One of my favorite Evanston eateries, not matter what time of day--breakfast, lunch or dinner. Great menu and good prices. I will go again and again."
    Dined on 7/26/2013
  • "We went to this restaurant because it's close to Ryan Field and the train depot. It wouldn't be a place we'd go out of our way to eat at, but the people are friendly and the service is good. The food is also very good for an establishment such as this. We will be back the next time we are at a NW game. BTW, people were lined up waiting for a table, so the locals must know something that us out of towners don't. Must be something good!"
    Dined on 11/23/2013
  • "Definitely a neighborhood favorite. A near constant arrival and departure for Take Out. The meal was very nice. Definitely a Cafe' atmosphere . No table clothes, but cloth napkins, the small things count. Although not tried, the vegetarian menu looked interesting. By 6:30 on a Saturday evening every seat was filled. Quick precise service. $80 for two was refreshing. We would recommend to friends."
    Dined on 11/23/2013
  • "Great food with generous portions. The bruschetta with feta was terrific, as was the seared tuna. Almost everyone at our table had leftovers to take home."
    Dined on 11/15/2013
  • "It was a good experience, but we picked the wrong room to sit in. The smaller room would have been a better choice. The bigger room had a MAJOR noise level problem. My husband had to wait for me outside while I paid the check. It really bothered him. That is what I would tell anyone who asked me about the restaurant. The food was fine, but so are many restaurant's food. If I couldn't sit in the smaller room, I wouldn't go there in the future."
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "We've been regulars at Symphony's Café, and we generally love the food, but this was our first Saturday night there and the place was packed. With our reservations, we didn't have to wait, but after ordering, our entrees took about 40 minutes to arrive. Our salads came right away, which was appreciated, but to have to wait that long for your entrees was a bit much. On top of that, my "seared" tuna was more like medium rare. Taste was good, but it should have been dark red inside, not a light pink. On positive notes, the table garlic bread is very good, as is the food, and it has a good, healthy feel to it (love the sweet potato cubes and the broccoli/carrots side dishes). On slower nights, we've never had to wait so long."
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "Our second time here was as god as the first. The Salmon Wellington was as tasty as when I had it last February. Yum! Also, the prime rib was done differently than expected but worthy of ordering. The lady who waited our table was terrific. So was the de Loache wine which was our first tasting of this at her suggestion. We will return."
    Dined on 11/1/2013