Café Ba-Ba-Reeba

4.8
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6091 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Tapas / Small Plates
Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! is Chicago's original tapas restaurant, serving authentic Spanish cuisine in Lincoln Park since 1985. Founding Chef Gabino Sotelino’s menu is designed to share, featuring tapas, pintxos (bite-sized tapas) and the classic Valencian rice dish, paella. Guests will experience a variety of tastes and flavors with signature dishes including Spicy Potatoes (patatas bravas), Baked Goat Cheese in tomato sauce and roasted Bacon-Wrapped Dates. The beverage menu boasts an extensive Spanish wine list, along with six types of sangria ranging from classic red and white to seasonal flavors like white peach and passion fruit. The restaurant is known for a lively atmosphere and warm ambiance, decorated with artwork celebrating Spanish language, cuisine and culture. Guests are invited to dine on the all-season patio,which features a sliding glass roof that opens during warmer months.

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! is owned by Chef Gabino Sotelino and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.
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What 6091 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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ER
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for our anniversary and loved every minute. From a complimentary glass of champagne to the superb service, we couldn’t have picked a better restaurant to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding overall experience. Bacon wrapped dates, brussel sprout salad, and super tender short rib stood out as our favorites. Service was attentive yet unobtrusive. We can't wait to return.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great time! Great food, wonderful ambience, service was exceptional.

LB
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

A server did not come to our table for 15 minutes after being seated. Not a huge deal but still annoying. Fast forward to the end of the meal - we did not order dessert - actually when asked we said, 'probably not, but we'll look at a menu.' Then, as a gesture of good faith for the earlier mistake (or so we thought), they brought us two desserts unprompted. I was taking a friend out to dinner that night, so didn't want her to pay. I gave the server my card to run so there would be no argument. When I received the check back, paid, they had charged us for the desserts... that we didn't order...

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba
Responded 2 days ago

Dear Leigh, I'm so sorry to hear of your recent less than acceptable experience with us, especially in regards to the slow service and the charge for desserts that you did not order. We always try to exceed our guests' expectations but unfortunately, sometimes fall short. Would you be willing to provide your contact information so we can have one of our managers get in touch? Thank you.

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D
Chicago
55 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was excellent. We went for happy hour. The bartender wasn't very friendly at first but lightened up as the night went on. (The food runners & bussers we're super nice though.) I really appreciated the remembered birthday as he brought out a flan with a candle even though we opted out of dessert. The drinks were fabulous. The Monday deal is insane. I just wish more LEY staff were trained in their discounts, promotions & app. We wanted to redeem my birthday dollars & of course add our points but it wasn't even noticed. I literally folded it to be overly visible. So we were charged full price, flagged down the bartender & mentioned it to him, he replied that he didn't see it & went on working. Hey, we still want our discount! So we flag him down again to fix it & he begrudgingly complies. It was kind of strange but all in all it was a pretty good experience. Would be 5 stars if it wasn't for those minor inconveniences.

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba
Responded 2 days ago

Dear Devo, I'm sorry to hear of your recent less than acceptable experience with us, especially in regards to the discount you had coming to you and the points debacle. We appreciate your feedback and do constantly coach our staff on points procedures, but unfortunately, sometimes fall short. Would you be willing to provide your contact information so we can have one of our managers get in touch? Thank you.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious!

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A
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

My favorite restaurant in Chicago. The food is incredible.

OT
Cleveland
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really good breakfast tapas! Also had the cava sangria which was great

EO
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great like always

KM
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We’ve been here before and it does not disappoint! It can be loud but we had a table in a corner and really enjoyed being able to talk. The shared food is wonderful and fun...that is totally why we come here!! Very fun and enjoyable and great value!

RB
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

My Wife and I met at this restaurant 28 years ago and went there this weekend to celebrate our anniversary. Our waiter was horrendous, did not pay attention, walked away from our table in mid order several times, and made snarly remarks.. Will never ever return there and was highly dissapointed!

MO
Chicago
106 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

This restaurant knows what it’s doing, as most LEYE restaurants do. The tapas selection is broad and varied. We ordered 7 or 8 for three of us. There’s a reasonably priced and appropriate wine by the glass selection. Service is very good. The noise level makes conversation difficult.

SW
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

This restaurant is overrated!
It should be rated 3.8 not 4.8

LM
Phoenix
5 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Good food. Great atmosphere. Pretty good service. Small plates add up fast!

J
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

After living in Barcelona for a year, I was real pleased with the dishes!

c
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anniversary

JB
Chicago
83 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This has been a favorite restaurant of mine for more than 40 years and I can say it is always consistently fabulous! The food is outstanding, ambiance is always inviting and service is typically top-notch. Cheers!

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

It was nice

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful birthday dinner. Tapas, sangria, and service was all excellent

JB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite go to places. Always a great meal and ambiance is among the best in Chicago. This is actually the first time we’ve been there for brunch - highly recommend!!

OT
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The tapas were delicious! I didn’t know what to expect for breakfast tapas, but I was impressed with the Spanish influence on breakfast food.

N
Hawaii
15 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always good food, but if you go for brunch you MUST get the breakfast Paella. Amazing! Worth the 30-45 minute wait while it's made fresh. Plenty of leftovers to take home for the two us, too.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was excellent! Price was great!! Drinks were awesome! Definitely will be one of my favorite tapas restaurants!

An area of improvement would be the host, she was not very knowledgeable about the check-in process. We made reservations through open table and she asked us to wait at the bar. If it had not been for my phone alerting to check-in (again) we would have kept waiting.

SR
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Spicy potatoes 5 ever. Bacon wrapped Dates are also delicious.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Garlic Shrimp was really great. After the first plate, everything else we ordered were okay but no surprise anymore.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Waitperson was excellent. Maggie guided us through the menu and suggested unique and delicious options.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Loud AF. Had to yell to hear my date

OD
Kansas City
11 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently great tapas. Enormous menu.
Good prices. What’s not to love?

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Family get together

JL
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Took my boyfriend who stated he does not like this type of food and he has been raving about it to family and friends ever since. Great date night spot!

NR
St. Louis
11 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brunch was fantastic!

SS
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Sticky floors make me feel gross and unfortunately the floors were sticky. Otherwise we had a nice brunch.

V
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. We always recommend to our friends and family.

EH
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding menu and the best tapas restaurant in Chicago!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Loved the restaurant ambiance and tapas. Staff were extremely welcoming and friendly. Portions were decently sized, especially the paella. My only negative would be that our waiter was balancing way too many tables, so there was a lot of waiting in between. Otherwise, had a very enjoyable evening.

FN
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious as always. It also comes out fairly fast. This is one of my favorite spots in Chicago.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

Portions were way too small for the price

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba
Responded on September 4, 2019

I'm so sorry to hear of your recent less than acceptable experience with us, especially in regards to the food you received. We always try to exceed our guests' expectations but unfortunately, sometimes fall short. Would you be willing to provide your contact information so we can have one of our managers get in touch? Thank you.

Report
FG
New England
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service here is incredible. The food is to die for.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Love the food

JS
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an incredible evening!! The food was amazing as was the staff!! We were seated immediately on time!! The passion fruit sangria was lovely and the ambiance was great!!

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