730 West Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654Neighborhood:
AmericanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.the-dawson.com/
- Phone: (312) 243-8955
- Hours of Operation:
Kitchen; 4:30pm until 11pm Monday - Thursday,
4:40pm until 12am Friday
10:30am until 12am Saturday
10:30am until 11pm Sunday
Bar; 4:30 until 12am Monday - Thursday,
4:30 until 2am Friday
10:30am until 2am Saturday
10:30am until 12am Sunday
- Payment Options:
- Cuisine: American
- Executive Chef: Rene De Leon
- Dress Code: Business Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
A word from The Dawson
Opened on October 25th 2013, The Dawson is a new partnership between local restaurateurs Billy Lawless (The Gage, Henri) and Branko Palikuca (Topaz, Amber) featuring American cuisine. Celebrating the spirit of late 19th century Chicago, this casual neighborhood hangout features an energetic series of bi-level indoor and outdoor spaces. The Dawson is quintessentially American, from the familiar comfort food and classic cocktails with a twist to the nostalgic, versatile design and atmosphere.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
The Dawson - Best Restaurants in River West ›
The Dawson reviews from OpenTable diners
214 reviews since July 26, 2014
- Ambiance4.4Noise LevelEnergetic
great for outdoor dining (141)hot spot (117)fit for foodies (107)good for groups (104)vibrant bar scene (90)neighborhood gem (81)great for brunch (47)romantic (47)special occasion (46)notable wine list (20)late-night find (19)great for lunch (18)scenic view (8)kid-friendly (5)Show More
- Not ImpressedRickBruceDined on 11/16/2014The food was OK but pretty bland. Deviled eggs (whites) were hard. Dishes made to look like more by too many potatoes and one egg!!!!
- Great!OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined on 11/16/2014Love the outdoor patio and cozy inside decor. The brunch and dinner are both great...very fresh and sustainable choices. I will 100% go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- More of a loud bar than restaurantChiTownDinerVIPDined on 11/14/2014Read all the reviews about it being loud - but we went early and thought it'd be ok. We were wrong. The place is really a bar -- that happens to serve high end food. The service started out fine but as the evening wore on and it got busier, it was harder and harder to find our waiter. Overall, we enjoyed our food (chicken-fried lobster appetizer, then the red fish tacos for two, and banana toffee cake)...but won't be going back based on the atmosphere (WAY too loud) and lack of service. It's too expensive to have to shout across the table and flag your server down to get your check!Special Features:
- Great dinner with friendsgtfitzDined on 11/8/2014Had a great dinner here (group of 4) this past weekend. The food was excellent and we all walked away full and happy. We would definitely return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great foodGingerDined on 11/8/2014spectacular service, awesome food, and really creative drinks!Special Features:
- Great, just a little too loud.FoodinhillsDined on 11/8/2014Great food and great service, just a little too loud. Had to shout to have a conversationSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ok food, too noisybtdubsDined on 11/8/2014Of course it might have just been what we selected, but thought the food was just OK especially considering the price ... the noise level was way too loud though.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 11/8/2014Stopped there before a Bulls game - great food and attentive service. I would like to see them add a couple of simpler dinner options (similar to the Reuben burger - which is terrific) for those of us who would like to take advantage of the place before heading off to the United Center.
- LovelyLovelyDawsonDined on 11/8/2014Went to dinner with a friend on a Friday night and sampled four-five items. All were terrific! We started with the McDucketts... and wow! Mind, Blown. We shared about five mcducketts and they are worth every bite. Not to miss if you are looking for something new to try. Next we had the cheese plate, not bad, and then we chowed down on brussel sprouts and mussels. We were getting full at this point, so of course we had the banana toffee cake. Dude. Dude. Between two people it was a very nice portion and this thing is loaded with banana slices, and a savory caramel drizzle and light whipped cream interior. We were very happy campers at the end of the night. Only down-side, it was a bit noisy a times, but the music selection was great!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I'll be backOpenTable Diner Since 2002VIPDined on 11/7/2014Service was impeccable. We told the waitress that we only had an hour and she took great care to make sure we were well taken care of in that time frame. We had a number of appetizers and split the Reuben burger. The southern fried lobster was notable. Great bar menu and the bar was packed with Friday happy hour goers, which made for a vibrant scene. Highly recommended.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great brunch and not too heavyPippittDined on 11/2/2014Brunch can get rich quickly at a lot of restaurants but The Dawson's food was delicious and not over the top. I had the Simple Good entree and it was the perfect portion. Would Recommend for groups, couples and even young families.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/2/2014Yikes to the French toast- Everything we ate (we got the turkey baguette and the French toast) was sour. They put the same slaw on everything that made the food taste spoiled. Not my finest brunch. The drinks were great though
- GNC54VIPDined on 10/29/2014Wide selection of bourbon. Roasted chicken was excellent! Service was outstanding.Special Features:
- FoodieVIPDined on 10/27/2014Our waitress was fantastic -- appetizers and burger outstanding. Duck croquettes and cauliflower nuggets were great. Loved the cheese plate. One of the coolest outdoor venues in the city. Fireplace is awesome. I live in river north and this is my very favorite neighborhood spot.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great atmosphere and patioHonestDinerVIPDined on 10/23/2014The decor is wonderful. It's a great mix of style and comfort. The outdoor patio area is really nice. Definitely one of the best outdoor seating areas in the city. The food was hit or miss, but only slight misses. The cauliflower beignets were excellent. The baked apple salad was over dressed. My friend loved the half chicken. The potato gratin would have been great if the top layer wasn't over salted. The brussel spouts needed to be cooked a little but longer. The banana toffee cake was good, but a bit dry/needed more sauce. The server meant well, but needs a bit more experience. She did not answer food questions well (Crémeux is not whipped cream). She did not read body language well.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- UnfortunateMrHonestVIPDined on 10/19/2014Was really hoping this would be good after a disappointment the first time. Unfortunately the pork was so salty it was almost unedible. Not going back. Go to the gage instead. Better food.
- Lovely, but LOUD!!!JenniferVIPDined on 10/18/2014OMG.... the acoustics!!! It's nothing but an echo chamber for noise. You have to SHOUT across the table....SHOUT at the waitstaff.... That said, the owner personally came to our table and spoke of the upcoming improvements to dampen the noise, and HALLELUJAH! It is a true gem of a restaurant. The food is delicious and creative, the cocktail list is diverse and the wine list is American, yet expansive. If you want to go before they update the acoustics, I'd recommend the patio - or an odd hour when the restaurant won't be as crowded. Or, just bring someone you have no desire to talk to!Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/18/2014Husband and I came here for my birthday and pre-Hawks game for the first time. The foyer and decor is absolutely stunning and really set the tone for the whole evening. Our server, Gregory, was just delightful! We ordered cocktails to start as well as a half dozen oysters and the whitefish spread. The oysters were out of this world. Whitefish was delicious as well. My husband ordered the reuben burger and I ordered the halibut. Hubby's dish was perfection. I loved my included side of squash succotash, but sadly the fish was a bit over-cooked. The top was a bit crispy, which was fine but the inside was also a bit chewy. I'm guessing this was a mistake and not the norm. Dessert was a banana ice cream cake concoction- blew us away!Special Features:
- Mixed feelingsgmblnmnVIPDined on 10/10/2014I ate here on a Friday night. I enjoyed the food, which was fresh, well-prepared and tasted great. The menu is limited but that allows the kitchen to focus on doing things very well. The drink menu is extensive and very creative, while the wine list is strictly West Coast and a bit ordinary. There is one caveat: if you go, be prepared to shout at your friends. The noise level is beyond deafening.Special Features:
- Awesome DawsonVictoriYesDined on 10/10/2014Fascinating historic, factory building converted into a dramatic "loft like" restaurant. We had to explore the whole place before leaving. The staff were friendly and attentive, including the valet. The food was interesting and so tasty- the duck pate appetizer served in a glass jar with baguette rounds had a shear, flavorful texture that was a meal in itself. Sharing the Redfish with roasted vegetables was perfection. Try the Ruben burger with brisket! YUM! Everything was cooked superbly and the presentation was extravagant. The outside dining area and upper level for private parties were beautiful extensions of the main restaurant. We can't wait to go back to sample Dawson cocktails and savory appetizers at the "happening bar"!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Enjoyed very muchJDG1976Dined on 9/27/2014The food and atmosphere at the Dawson were excellent, only beaten by the excellent service we reecived. An A+ experience all the way around!Special Features:
- Fantastic atmosphere & great brunchRainiersMomDined on 9/27/2014The ambience overall was wonderful. The outdoor patio was adorable - even had a nice fireplace for those visiting at night. The service was perfect (not too frequent or infrequent) and the bacon flight is definitely a must!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AskEv3AskEv3Dined on 9/26/2014Fun, Busy, great ambience, cool place, a little loud. The staff is very accommodating!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Quality Delivered2whomitconcernsDined on 9/23/2014Just stopped in for drinks this time. Fantastic service form start to finish. Bartenders all seem focused on crafting quality cocktails. The fire added life to the patio. Well done.Special Features:
- the restaurant was impossibly loudwolfyDined on 9/21/2014the food choices were limited; the brunch eggs were cold; the libations were overpriced; very loud by the bar;Special Features:
- The DawsonLalaDined on 9/21/2014Excellent! The service, the food, the cocktails all outstanding.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good new spot for brunchhut52Dined on 9/21/2014I recently had lunch on the patio and really enjoyed my experience. The patio has a great set up and they had heat lamps to keep it warm (although I believe they could have had a few more). The brunch menu had a good variety of choices including the bacon flight, which was great other than the jowel bacon that no one touched. All in all, if you are looking for a nice place to brunch I would recommend Dawson. Although, be prepared as it is at the higher end of what a place will charge for brunch including $10/11 bloody mary's and mimomas.Special Features:
- Patio Lovers Delight +2whomitconcernsDined on 9/19/2014Terrific patio atmosphere featuring great decor and outdoor wood fireplace! Having visited several times, The Dawson is truly a place I enjoy bringing both dates and groups of friends. Whether you're up for casual drinks or a great dinner experience, the staff is happy to accommodate. Great ambiance inside and out; crowded or not. Well crafted cocktails too.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lively spot, good for groupsDinnerVIPDined on 9/19/2014I recently had a Friday night dinner at the Dawson with a few friends. The restaurant is very lively with a diverse crowd (mix of business, young/trendy, and family). If the weather is nice, the outdoor patio is great and can fit larger parties. The indoor scene is more subdued and also has a spacious bar area. The food is very creative and the menu has plenty of options for sharing, especially between the appetizers/small plates and salads. I definitely recommend the hush puppies and the mussels!Special Features:
- Great placebeanDined on 9/18/2014All around great place! Fries Lobster is a must! Service was top notch. Martini's were amazing. The burger is to die for! And this place is beautiful and fun!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great TimeDawsonDined on 9/17/2014The Dawson was a great place for dinner with friends and have a great outdoor space! The food and drinks were delicious. Owner Billy Lawless stopped by to say hello! He was beyond friendly and made us feel at home.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very Cool AtmosphereiEatfoodVIPDined on 9/13/2014Great atmosphere and cool spot for drinks. Lively bar at night.Special Features:
- what a great time we hadOpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined on 9/13/2014Went to The Dawson for an event and had to go for dinner. They have a fantastic outdoor patio but it was a little too cold to sit outside. the menu was great and the service was excellent. One dish was brought out under cooked and the staff (Nikki, Clint and Zach) could not have been nicer and more accommodating. Will absolutely go back again and again.Special Features:
- Great space, average foodJpinter1Dined on 9/11/2014I love this place but feel like I overpay every time I eat there. I understand that drinks get expensive. However, for the quality and quantity of food the prices are pretty outrageous.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not what I expectedeatyourheartout1VIPDined on 9/9/2014Decor doesn't match the food. Food was mediocre at best. I could have made a better salad at home. Dressing had too much vinegar that overpowered the salad. Pork chop was overpriced for what you get and served with same tasteless salad, and overcooked. Desert was the best part of the meal. Nice place; so-so food, excellent desert. Not worth the money.Special Features:
- Great patio diningDiningwithdrewDined on 9/7/2014Good place for brunch and a casual atmosphere with an attentive and friendly staff. A bit pricey for the fare.Special Features:
- Good Beer List and Good FoodfattiegonewildDined on 9/6/2014The food was very good, with the exception of the sausage. There are definitely some inconsistencies between what is offered and what the restaurant is trying to be. I would say the majority of the menu seems to be focused on fish or surf/turf but I was shocked by the presence of house made sausage. Being curious I wanted to try it, it is certainly not their forte. The wood plank it was served on was a nice catch for the eyes, but functionally it slid everywhere when you were trying to cut the sausage. The desert menu looked amazing, but the sausage didn't sit well with me so we weren't able to try it on this trip.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent. And loud.ThoughtProcessVIPDined on 9/5/2014My girlfriend and I got dinner here last Friday night, and we absolutely loved our meal--we started out with chicken-fried lobster as an appetizer, and for entrees we had the honey-brined pork chop the grilled rack of lamb. The food was amazing all around, with Instagram-worthy presentation, complex flavors, and pleasantly-filling portion sizes. One comment I will make is that even during normal dinner hours, the restaurant is quite loud--in order to make yourself heard to others at your table, you'll find yourself talking in that awkward vocal register that lies between "conference call at work" and "trying to use a cell phone in a bar." But it's a small inconvenience for an otherwise excellent dining experience.Special Features:
- Going back!OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 9/2/2014Absolutely loved it! I look forward to going back. Great cocktails, food was delicious, ambiance is fantastic and the patio is awesome!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great patioOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 8/30/2014Nice patio and good food. Good drink menu. Patio bar is nice- good low key spot but good scene. I had the cheeseburger and it was delicious.Special Features: