Café Ba-Ba-Reeba

4.8
5809 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 5809 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
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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f
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

One of our favorites. We love to share the small plates and try many each time we go. Quality is very consistent and very good.

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OT
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We only get to travel to Chicago once or twice a year, but we always try to eat at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba- and we are never disappointed. We love the tapas- so many choices and all delicious. The staff is friendly and the place is beautiful.

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TB
Charleston
26 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Haven’t eaten here in 25 years. It was even better than I remembered. Every dish we ordered was delicious and because of the small plates we were able to share a bit of everything with our party of four.
I’m not going to wait so long to get back there.

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J
Chicago
43 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Have not been here in years, but the service and food are still great. Will be back again soon.

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

I’ve been here a few times now and every time I try several new dishes they all have been great! Never disappoints. Highly recommend.

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VB
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba on a Saturday night to celebrate a birthday. I was a bit worried by how noisy and busy it was, but we were shown to a corner table in the back away from the hustle and bustle, which was amazing. The staff was super attentive as our dishes came out, and came around constantly to refill water and check on us, as well as remove plates as we ate. The portion sizes were awesome for tapas, and all the food we tried was incredible!

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

The food, service, menu, wine menu and ambiance were all excellent

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OT
Dallas
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place more and more every time I go! Food and Sangria are always delicious, and you can try so many things with groups!

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OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Took a very, very long time to seat our party even after having the reservation for weeks

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba
Responded 3 days ago

Dear Anonymous, I'm so sorry to hear of your recent less than acceptable experience with us, especially in regards to the time it took to be seated. 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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L
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Still my favorite restaurant in Chicago!

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cafe Ba Ba is always our favorite date spot. The service is always spot on and the staff is always willing to walk us through the whole menu/what they recommend. The food is also DELICIOUS. You really can’t go wrong with anything you order, wine included.

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KD
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was awesome! She checked in just enough. Food was delicious as always. Patatas bravas, grilled squid, stuffed mushroom and meatballs were on point. It's a must

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 5

Food did not live up

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AD
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We grabbed a very late lunch (4pm) when Ba-Ba-Reeba opened. Service was quick and the food and sangria were delicious, as usual. They were very accommodating for my niece (2) who was running around shedding extra energy. It was a good time of day to take a toddler, I wouldn’t recommend taking children much later, only because I wouldn’t want to ruin the atmosphere for the other diners. We ate on the patio which was nice and sunny.

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DE
Naples
20 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I hadn’t been here in a long time and was reminded of what a terrific place this is. We will be back—terrific food.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, amazing food. Would recommend.

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C
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 5

Poor service. The waiter was rude. Slow service. He wasn't able to give any recommendation. Had to ask three times for the desserts menu.

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba
Responded on May 15, 2019

Dear Lizeth C, I'm so sorry to hear of your recent less than acceptable experience with us, especially in regards to the service 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 may have one of our managers get in touch? Thank you for your time, and we hope to hear from you soon.

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JL
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Outstanding food and drink with friendly service. Nice ambiance, perhaps a little noisy. Only downside is that we were there at a busy time and service was extremely slow. We ate all of our bread and asked for more because we were waiting so long for the food. When the food did arrive, however, it didn't disappoint.

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N
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I only wish I lived closer so that I could enjoy this beautiful food more frequently!
Excellent food, fantastic server. The place was poppin but we never felt unattended nor rushed.
Please. Keep doin what you do!

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Mother’s Day. Thought they’d at least have a drink special or something sweet for us moms on Mother’s Day. Was disappointed they didn’t.

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SU
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

The service was very transactional and not welcoming. They re-seated us to a smaller table in a dingy corner for no good reason.

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba
Responded 3 days ago

Dear Susan, I'm so sorry to hear of your recent less than acceptable experience with us, especially in regards to the seating and service. 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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FF
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went with our family to celebrate Mother's Day, the food, atmosphere, and our waitress Lindsay were all terrific. Thank you to the manager for making a stop by our table after the meal to invite us to return!

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y
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Tapas on tapas on tapas. Great place to order a ton of dishes and share with your table. First time being there for brunch and the sausage/egg paella was fantastic.

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JH
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was great, really great variety to choose from

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NC
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, lots of choices and all are awesome. Tapas are small plates, I recommend getting 2-3 plates and a pitcher of sangria. The lamb chop is to die for. We had a great time!

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E
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always the food and service were excellent. Nice assortment of tapas including on the gluten free menu. The bloody Mary bar is the best!

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j
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was Fantastic! Drinks were amazing! You have to try the sangria!!

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic service, great tapa and lovely ambience. Our party of 8 had a wonderful time!

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DH
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Been coming here forever and the food never disappoints! I did try some new tapas this time; stuffed mushrooms were fantastic and the bacon wrapped appetizers were to die for.

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T
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Fun and pretty good food. Not amazing, but it's a good spot.

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LE
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

It was way more run down than I had remembered, which is surprising for a Lettuce Entertain you. The floors looked dirty and the food was over cooked. It was a busy weekend so maybe that was part of it.

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba
Responded on May 15, 2019

Hello there, 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 may have one of our managers get in touch? Thank you for your time, and we hope to hear from you soon.

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CH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Cute restaurant, loved the small bites! They were delicious!

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NZ
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always good food. I had the waffles and eggs Benedict and a mango sangria. Super delicious! Great service. Thanks

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n
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was awesome as was the service!

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EC
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The food was really good, and the service was really good. Props to my server. However really, the host shoved us against a six top, which had squeezed an extra chair, so literally we were brushing sleeves, and bumping chairs. I was on a date, so didn't really want to make a big deal.

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SS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Overall it’s a nice restaurant with quality food, excellent service, and reasonable prices (especially for downtown Chicago). This is one of the older restaurants in the Lettuce group but it has held up well and maintains the high standards one comes to expect from this group. I’d definitely recommend this place for a date or casual meal. The tapas style allows one to go as extensive or minimal as your time and budget allows.

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k
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Really busy on a Thursday night, but service was great and food came out fast.

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

Very good food, respectful staff

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AP
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

Visit Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba for the value of the food. Four of us had dinner and drinks for until $50/person. However, the service was absolutely lacking. It took 45 minutes to get drinks, some of our food never came and our server was non-existent.

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba
Responded on May 11, 2019

Dear Ashley, I'm so sorry to hear of your recent less than acceptable experience with us, especially in regards to the service 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 may have one of our managers get in touch? Thank you for your time, and we hope to hear from you soon.

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S
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

Great food with lots of options. But the service was terrible!!

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