About Café Ba-Ba-Reeba
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.
Chicago, IL 60614
Tapas / Small Plates, Spanish, Mediterranean
Hours of Operation:
Mon - Thurs: 4:00pm-10:00pm
Tapas Brunch Menu and Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar are available on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am until 3:00pm.
Select $3 tapas, $1 pintxos and $16 pitchers of Red Sangria are offered in the bar area from 4:00pm-6:00pm everyday.
Please note: Our all-seasons patio is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you would like to sit on our patio, please see the Host Staff when you arrive.
$30 and under
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
Reservations for our Flamenco Dinner Shows, Paella Cooking Demos, Wine Tastings, and other special events can be made by contacting the restaurant directly at (773) 935-5000. For a full list of events, please visit cafebabareeba.com and click on "events."
At Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! we can accommodate groups of 10 to 300 in our private and semi-private rooms. Lettuce create something extraordinary with you using our variety of tapas, paella and sangria! Cater a private party at the restaurant, in the comfort of your home or office, or even aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises. We are happy to help you create a menu for your guests. To view all of the different options available to you visit cafebabareeba.com or to book your party, call our Special Events Department at (773) 935-5000.
Valet parking for $13.00 (cash only) is offered. Street parking is also available.
Brown Line - Armitage
Halsted bus (route #8) - Armitage stop
Armitage bus (route #73) - Halsted stop
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
TAPAS BRUNCH * Saturdays & Sundays * 9am to 3pm
Menu features Spanish brunch favorites along with selections from our dinner menu. Sip on Cava cocktails or try our build-your-own Bloody Mary bar! Please note that seating on our all-season patio is first come first serve. For all special event reservations and private parties, please call (773) 935-5000.
At Café Ba-Ba-Reeba! we can accommodate groups of 10 to 300 in our private and semi-private rooms. We also offer carryout and off-premise catering including aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises.
Café Ba-Ba-Reeba Ratings and Reviews
My boyfriend and I made a last minute reservation at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba because we saw there was a 10pm reservation slot available on Open Table. The restaurant should NOT offer a reservation for that time, because the waitress and staff seemed very irritated that we were being sat so late. Our waitress greeted us with a horrible attitude and was extremely unwelcoming. The entire meal was rushed and we were told "the kitchen closed at 10:20", when we hadn't even had a chance to look at the menu yet. We quickly placed our order and the food came out before our drinks even came. The staff cleared our plates very quickly and as couples around us started finishing up, the "red room" we were seated in was apparently the first room to be cleaned. Bus boys were surrounding us sweeping the floors and washing the tables. It really ruined the atmosphere, and once again made us feel unwelcome and that we needed to leave. I have been to this restaurant many, many times and generally have a great experience. This last Wednesday was NOT one of those times and has turned me off of future reservations.
Ba-Ba is my favorite restaurant in the city, and I’ve made my way through my fair share of Chicago’s “must trys”. Their food is consistently amazing and so affordable for the quality. The classic red sangria is the best if you’re not crazy about sweet wine.
My second time at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba and I enjoyed it just as much as the first. A quick note, my first visit was during a second date after many other ventures (including beverages), and I returned this week with that same person for an early Valentine's Day. We both had Lettuce Entertain You gift cards and even after all of the delicious food we consumed, we had money to spare! The value in the product here is so incredible. Every dish is served with perfect timing, as tapas should be, and in a beautiful order that creates a want for more. Gabriel was our server this time around and he gave us a wonderful experience. He was just attentive enough but never bothersome and treated us to a little something extra at the end of our dining. I would 100% recommend Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba to anyone looking for awesome food and a great ambiance. Don't get turned off by the lack of reservation times, there's always room for more :)
My boyfriend and I dined here for the fist time last night to celebrate our anniversary. We were seated immediately in a cozy room with a view of the kitchen. As the restaurant started to get busy during the dinner rush, it was fun watching the chefs churning out dishes, as well as the waitstaff and food runners weaving between tables to ensure their guests were happy. Our server, Gabriel, was very personable and made some excellent food recommendations. All of the food we tried was delicious, and the small plates came out sequentially, so we were not overburdened or left for wanting during our two hour meal. We tried the classic red sangria (nice & not too sweet) as well as the chicken paella, scallops, grilled shishito peppers, burrata and grilled hangar steak and everything was fresh, well seasoned and satisfying. Though this restaurant seems to be a very popular dinner spot, it isn't too noisy or overwhelming to dine here. I highly recommend Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba for any occasion, family friendly too! We'll definitely be back!
My mom and I went here for my birthday and had a wonderful time. This was my second time here and both times, the food and service have been excellent. We went a bit early on my birthday and it was nice as it was not as crowded as it can get very loud later on. The waiter brought two mini desserts with a candle after my meal which was perfect. Would definitely recommend!
I love coming to Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! The food is always delicious, but it's the service that keeps me coming back. The staff is attentive, knowledgeable, and extremely helpful. The restaurant is also beautiful, and not overly large. I always feel like I'm getting a great deal when I'm there as well, very reasonably priced.
Food was great, until we got #43 I don’t remember the name of the dish but my girlfriend and I were savoring the food until I got a piece of hair on my steak. I informed the waiter and he asked if I wanted something different or same thing I told him to just bring us the same thing and he did. He was kind enough to remove both steaks from the bill, was greatly appreciated by our waiter. Would come again, with hopes of no hairs on our dishes!
We purposely went for Restaurant week's menu for brunch on Sunday 2/4 however, when we asked the waitress for the restaurant week menu she informed us they weren't doing it for that day. I dont think they should advertise themselves with restaurant week if they arent going to have the menu available all of the days. Some of the options arent on the normal menu and that's what I had anticipated having. If we werent a group of 6 we would have went elsewhere.
Otherwise besides false advertisement, the food is good and the portions are good to share, four plates really are enough for two people!
We love Cafe Ba Ba Re Ba, but this Big Game Day Brunch was particularly fun: everyone dressed in pajamas or favorite-team-garb, and by doing so, we all got gift cards for future visits! The servers seemed to be having a blast and the whole scene was a hoot!! Definitely a new Super Bowl Sunday tradition for us! Must tries: brunch paella (with a poached egg on top), the Cubano sandwich, the Blood Mary Bar (I got three pieces of bacon and five shrimp on my one visit!), the bacon-wrapped dates, and the waffles with Nutella and bananas. EVERYTHING was delicious. Thank you, Ba Ba Re Ba!!!!
We came here during Chicago restaurant week. But it's not that necessary since this place features small tapas. The food is really great, but the service is so-so. My friend's chair is not in the middle of the road but got kicked by different waiters multiple times which is kinda annoying.
I understand the restaurant was busy for the restaurant week, but the service was terrible. My table was left unattended for almost 45 minutes between two courses and surprisingly the server knew our food hasn't come out yet for 30 mins when we asked her about the food. I can't believe she didn't do anything even though she knew that we didn't have food for that long. She should've checked in with us and let us know that food is delayed. Also, one dish never made to our table. We were tired of waiting so we didn't bother asking for that dish and moved on to dessert course of the Restaurant week 4 courses. I would've left a better review if the food was great, but the food wasn't that great either. I am not sure how the food tastes during normal operating days, but the food was not good for the restaurant week.
Service was very slow, even for a tapas style meal. We only saw our waitress about five times in the two and a half hours we were there and twice was because we had somebody flag her down. It felt a little hectic in there and it didn’t seem like they were prepared for restaurant week rushes. We had some issues with ensuring things were following my friend’s allergy needs, getting refills on drinks and servers would walk up, drop plates on the table and walk away without saying anything. Once they even tried to give my friend something that wasn’t prepared to her allergy needs. They would often bring the wrong food or duplicate items to our table and at one point, we waited 45 minutes between dishes. In the end, our waitress was apologetic and very sweet; they gave us a nice discount for the trouble and I would go back because the food was great, but never again during Restaurant Week.
This is by far one of my favorite places. If you've never had tapas this is the best place to start. Tapas are small plates, so you get to taste as much as you want. Everytime I come here I am consistently impressed with how knowledgeable and helpful the waitstaff is. This is the perfect t place for a celebration, fun date night or just a dinner out. They have everything divided by meat, seafood, or cheese so it makes it easy to narrow down your choices. I wouldn't recommend for picky eaters though! The food is put together perfectly and changing anything would be a shame. No other tapas place can compete with this one. Going there will be your the beginning of a new addiction!!!
The presentation of the food was messy and unappealing. The plates are tapas style so they are all gonna be small portions. The dishes we ordered were kind of disappointing, not bad but not great. The atmosphere here is extremely loud and crowded. Expect to wait about 20 mins after your reservation for a table.
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