Café Ba-Ba-Reeba

4.8
6030 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 Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
7.7

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba is a tapas restaurant that's been around for a long time. It's ideal for a lot of occasions.

Ratings 7.5-8.0:These are restaurants that are reliable, tasty, and particularly good for whatever we have deemed them “Perfect For.” Hit up a 7.7 for Date Night with confidence, as long as you don’t need the restaurant to be the most interesting thing that happens that night.
What 6030 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
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GA
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I'd been here 25 years ago when I lived here, and thought I'd revisit upon a trip over. While the food is delicious as a fusion of Argentinian, Brazilianand other latin staples along with Spanish, I went in with the expectation of having more traditional Spanish. My mistake.

GA
Jacksonville
16 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, absolutely amazing food. We decided to try the paella mixta and it was the best we have ever tried. For tapas we enjoyed the bacon wrap dates, chorizo wrapped dates, garlic potato salad, spicy potatoes with tomato aioli, lamb chops with English peas and mint oil, and beef tenderloin with blue cheese. For dessert was the Natilla flan and the chocolate truffle cake.

S
Chicago
86 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

yummy tapas great service
fun evening
come early or it impossible to talk

JL
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Waiter was wonderful- food was good and it is always a fun atmosphere

BB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was creative but delicious. Everything on the menu was excellent. Highly recommend this place. Loud though.

C
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The hosting crew were not that great they didn’t want to give us a table we liked and they said it was reserved but the patio is first come first serve and no one was waiting before us. They did offer us that table at the end but it took a while and it seemed like they didn’t want us there. After that everything else including service was great.

ST
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Always a great brunch

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

It was just ok. I have been there in the past and it was great. But this time we in one of the dining areas toward the back and it was super loud. The service was very slow. Where our table was you could see into the men’s bathroom. The food was fine but I have other tapas options closer to my house that I will go to next time. It wasn’t worth the drive. I’m glad I had gift cards to use on this dinner

L
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Overall, we had a good experience. One person in our party had some dietary restrictions and our waited made a HUGE deal about making simple modifications to her meal. It was very unprofessional, especially for a well known restaurant in Chicago.

L
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place never disappoints - brunch food was amazing!

EC
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was incredible and the sangria is to die for! It's incredibly packed so definitely make a reservation, especially on Friday or Saturday. I was completely full by the end and we had two appetizers and the paella. Must go!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Incredible food. We shared many plates and we loved everything. A bit on the noisy side, but that seems to fit what they are going for with the restaurant.

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

Always a great time and good food. Never disappointed.

E
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Everything we ordered was delicious. The red sangria was not too sweet. Of the 3 tapas we ordered the shrimp and goat cheese were our favs. The veggie paella was HUGE and so delicious. So much flavor. The desserts are small but honestly the perfect size because they're rich and we were already so stuffed. Even the bread and olive oil on the table was fantastic. Can't wait to come back! So many vegetarian options :)

OT
Austin
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was so delicious. My boyfriend and I got so many things and they were all so yummy. Recommend the buttermilk chicken & anything cheese related. I plan on returning soon & often!

IB
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent Spanish small plates. Great ambience. Lively place with a buzz.

CG
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 4

My last visit a few weeks ago for happy hour on a Saturday was outstanding. The food last night was mediocre at best, service remains excellent.

KM
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We love this restaurant and come here whenever we can. The drinks are always great- mango sangria especially! The Potatoes never disappoint and the scallops were delicious. However, we decided to order the seafood paella this time around assuming it would be amazing since it’s a Spanish restaurant and the serving price is a bit pricey and we were disappointed. Just very average paella, no crunchy rice, seafood was ok. Wouldn’t recommend the paella

AG
Raleigh
8 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Whenever I'm in Chicago, I make it a point to grab a meal @ Café Ba-Ba-Reeba. Consistently excellent food and service, with a great vibe.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place! Wonderful food fun for a group.

OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is of highest quality for the best prices, you cannot beat this tapas place!

CF
Central Coast
19 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Shrimp, mushrooms, chicken empanadas, potatoes, and scallops are alllllll delicious! Love the peach sangria!

j
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A Chicago classic, must eat place. Very sharp servers giving good guidance on tapas selections which were all great. Do the appetizer platter to experience the variety, all good stuff. Lamb chops amazing! You must experience this place!!!

KM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

A girlfriend and I had finally got to meet up after months and sat for 2 hours and talked and drank. Josh, our server, was attentive to us and did not make us feel at any point we had to leave, even when we asked if Josh wanted to turn the table. I have been to Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba and each time I have been there the environment and staff make it a point not to rush you and make sure all your questions are answered and needs are met.

I
Chicago
35 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Really liked the breakfast/brunch tapas concept! Food was both diverse and delicious. Would come back.

R
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

Our server was nice but really didn’t have a good handle on how to serve our table. Kind of disappointing for a LEYE restaurant.

B
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very nice lunch- paella and sangria were perfect for lunch!

OT
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome! Will go again.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere n food.. must try sangria

KB
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated my birthday here and it was the perfect spot!

LW
Chicago
127 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food & terrific service makes Cafe Ba-Ba-Reba a must go to place.

BJ
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A wonderful atmosphere with delicious food and drink. Our party of five got lots of drinks and food and each only spent about 35$ before tip!

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

Great service , food and and ambiance. Can’t wait to go back.

AB
Ottawa
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very interesting brunch menu. I would recommend the Citrus French Toast....absolutely delicious.

JE
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love brunch at Ba-Ba-Reeba! We all had a great time!

T
Chicago
42 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great restaurant. The atmosphere is fun and the service is enjoyable. The food tasted fantastic

A
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Sangria is amazing! Definitely the reason to go there. 6-8 different kinds and great specials of the day—ours was mango sangria. The roast dates with bacon and apple vinaigrette were amazing as well.

OT
St. Louis
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really enjoyed the food and the entire experience.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience. Went for a birthday and we had a phenomenal experience. Food was amazing. Will come again!

HC
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Always great! One of the early Lettuce Entertain You restaurants. In business since 1984. A perfect example of why this dining group is so exceptional. They never loose track of the details that make them great!!! Interesting space, delicious food and well trained staff. My only complaint, the server did not ask if we were members and we had to go back to get the points applied to our account!

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