Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Bistro Voltaire
Bistro Voltaire is a favorite of the well traveled patron wanting to indulge in the sensibilities of France without leaving Chicago.
Chicago, IL 60654
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Saturday, 5-10pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Plenty of street parking per signs
Across from the CTA Brown-Line, Chicago stop
Private Party Facilities:
Bistro Voltaire has become a favored destination for Chicagoans seeking the romantic, spirited vibe of a French bistro without leaving the Windy City.
Private Party Contact:
Bistro Voltaire: (855) 402-4460
Bar Dining, Full Bar
Special Events & Promotions:
Bistro Voltaire lends an intimate and festive dining room filled with Parisian charm and can accommodate up to (45) seated guests. Please contact us for further information.
Bistro Voltaire Ratings and Reviews
This place is always a winner. You feel like you're in a romantic, side-street cafe in Paris. No pretension. Come dressed up or dressed down. The food is authentic and the place is filled with just the right aromas. Check out the book that is a key to all of the pictures in the restaurant. It's behind the bar so you'll have to ask for it. Fun little activity while you have a cocktail.
My husband and I have dined here many times, both New Years Eve and everyday dining. This year we brought friends for NYE and were very disappointed. We had an 8:30 reservation but weren’t seated until almost 10:00. It was clear that they were missing staff but we were given no explanation or apology. It was a prix fixe menu and they were out of several entrees. Service was slow to nonexistent. The food was good but by the time we were served, we were past hungry and just wanted to get out so we could catch the fireworks. Even though we told our server that we needed to be out by 11:30, it was 11:50 before we left. Missed the fireworks and our friends were very unimpressed. We did get a bottle of champagne from the restaurant but it didn’t make up for this disaster of a night. If we were told they were understaffed, we could have made other arrangements. It will be a very long time, if ever, before we go back. This is a place I always would recommend to friends looking for a great French dining experience. Not anymore, sadly.
The service at Voltaire in incredibly slow. For a Prix Fixe meal for New Years, it was almost 2 hours for just three courses and the place wasn’t terribly busy. The staff needs to be more attentive to customers and move a bit quicker.
As far as the ambiance and food, it was great! Just like a little Parisian bistro with tasty food. Could wine selection as well.
We chose Bistro Voltaire because of its rating as one of the most romantic restaurants in Chicago. We had our anniversary dinner there and both Adam and Scott were great as hosts and the food was excellent. I would recommend this restaurant as a little gem in Chicago. And, I would definitely return for the ambience, the food and the service.
To start I ordered the pea soup with truffle oil and Parmesan crisps. The soup was under seasoned, there was no hint of truffle oil, which is typically very strong, and the Parmesan crisps were not crispy. No depth of flavor and the presentation lacked. It was very homemade and sad looking.
Second course was the lamb shank. The meat was cooked nicely; very tender and fell off the bone but unfortunately here again the dish lacked seasoning and flavor. The ratatouille looked and tasted like I made it; the eggplant was undercooked for my taste, and the polenta was too grainy.
The decor is charming but I think there are much better bistros in this city for the same price if not less expensive.
The service was inexcusable. I got the sense that there was not a manager on duty. No host on duty. There also was not a bar tender. The servers had to do everything, which made for clunky service. After I was seated it took seemingly ten minutes just to get a menu; I almost asked for one because it was reaching that point. This really felt like amateur hour.
Wine list was good.
I shan’t be back. Terribly unimpressed.
This was our second time here for dinner. The first time, our waiter was top notch. Prompt, interactive, knowledgeable. This time, our waiter was forgetful, indifferent and had a lot of excuses why things were late or wrong. Very irritating. The food was exceptional just like the first time, perfectly prepared and presented. The salmon and Parisian gnocchi were to die for! We will be back, we’re hoping that waiter issue was just an anomaly.
We were in town for Thanksgiving and chose the bistro, since they offered traditional dinner plus other items from the menu. We had a reservation, but since it was a holiday, people lingered longer than normal and we were seated quite late. However, the owner was very apologetic and generous and we were eventually seated at a prime table. Food was wonderful! We will definitely visit again.
Nice restaurant but obviously struggling with a busy Thanksgiving. Long, long wait for food &, judging by our own experience and the tables around us, may errors with the orders. That said our waiter was really nice and made his best efforts to correct or compensate the orders. Would go back ....but maybe on a quieter night.
Disappointing service and food. Staff seemed short for Thanksgiving Day, which meant drinks took a long time and service was indifferent. My meal was cold, and the server never checked back with us after our meals were served.
charming and cozy with great service. Perfect for a date, holiday or special occasion. Food was quite good-but could have been warmer. Our waiter made us feel welcome and was excellent at describing menu choices and helping us decide on menu options. The French onion soup was excellent! I would highly recommend to friends!
Bistro Voltaire never fails to impress. Wonderful service that never rushes (if you're in a hurry, nota bad idea to let them know, since rushed dining isn't their typical style). The mussels, duck and creme brûlée are my favorite. My husband loves the scallops and escargot. Personable server with just the right amount of interaction. This was our go to spot when we lived in the city, and now our spot for date nights when we're back in town
Restaurant was a good value for the neighborhood, especially the wine list. The food was very good. Started with mussels and French onion soup. I had coq au vin and my husband the lamb chops. Also kept room for crème Brule and molten chocolate cake. We were looking for something different than the typical Chicago steak house and wanted a smaller place with a cozy feel. This definitely fit the bill.
Excellent all around!
The food is fantastic, and -- having traveled throughout France several times per year for several years -- very authentic IMHO. The service is bright and helpful, and the ambience perfect for a romantic date or a get together with friends.
We were there on Monday night and there was only one waiter serving the entire restaurant with probably 6-7 tables. We had the Prix Fixe dinner which was a good value and you still get to choose selections of appetizers, main course, and dessert. The food was very good, cocktails were fine, the service seemed very slow and our waiter did not remember each of us (3 people) own selection of each course put on wrong orders...We felt we were back in Paris..a dinner can take more than 2.5-3 hours. I noticed some other guests were there earlier than us but their main course were came out much later than us. We enjoyed our dinner just hoping the service need a big improvement.
Another reviewer commented about the slow service and that there were others who'd been there earlier but hadn't gotten their food. That was certainly the case with our table. We've dined here several times (I'd written a positive review!), and our friends had been to Bistro Voltaire with their friends, so we were expecting a wonderful evening. Something was definitely amiss in the kitchen, not the waiter having to work alone that night. There was also an owner/manager (??) present. Our main course took more than 2hrs. to arrive at the table. Our food was tough, bland, and all brownish (even the ratatouille). Meat on a lamb shank should fall off the bone. I struggled to cut it. The polenta (not much there) was a disappointment. The Coq au Vin had no flavor. The steak frites was tough though the frites were plentiful and quite good. Hopefully, whatever problems there were behind the scenes on Monday have been solved. This restaurant is definitely a hidden gem when everything goes right.
Outstanding per usual. On a Monday night we literally had the restaurant to ourselves, which was a treat as was service. Living on the other side of the city, we still made the hour trip to this place several times a year for the fantastic French experience. Now that we live closer, I imagine we will go all the time. It is the perfect cozy romantic spot for two.
The owner, Nate, and our server, Matthew were extremely welcoming and courteous. They explained the menu and specials. The food is authentic French Bistro fare which is prepared perfectly and is reminiscent of days in Provence. The desserts are diabolical and made daily. The atmosphere is very cozy and warm. Excellent wine list and full bar. If you seek a liqueur or after dinner drink that Nate does not have, he will have it for you the next time you call. Wonderfully retro French Bistro which is great for special occasions, dates or pre theater.
Bistro Voltaire has long been one of my favorite French bistros. Classical French food well prepared, the onion soup, snails, salads, a party of three begin with the salad, frogs legs and onion soup which we all enjoyed. Four main courses we had the snapper, scallops and lamb shank which again we all enjoyed although the portion of scallops, 3 could have been a bit more generous. We ended with the chocolate lava cake and a cheese plate and we all left quite happy. There is no pretense of the Cutting Edge of Haute cuisine, but for an enjoyable evening of well-prepared classical French Bistro food they do a great job
Service was great. Very long wait for the food. The side of fries was served long after the steack. The profiteroles stayed 5mn on the counter waiting for three scoops of ice cream which eventually took 10 seconds to be served. Disappointed compared to last time I visited in January.
Celebrated my dad's birthday, we ordered off of the French Week Prix-Fixe menu and all the food was delicious!! The service was a tiny bit slow but that was because there was only one waiter for all the tables and I felt kind of bad for him. Overall great experience though!
Our party of 4 had the prefixe menu for Bastille Day. The escargots were buttery and garlicky and the beet salad was tasty and beautifully presented. Two diners who had the scallops said they were good. Two of us had the salmon with gnocchi. The salmon was OK but the gnocchi were crunchy which was a bit strange. The chocolate dessert was great. I think the bread could be improved.
Loved the "French Week" prix fixe menu for Bastille Day! A wonderful value that included a choice of several appetizers (the escargot were great) and several entrees (lamb shank was delicious). One of my favorite restaurants in this growing neighborhood. I need to come here more often.
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.