Café Ba-Ba-Reeba

4.8
5363 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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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Tapas / Small Plates, Spanish, Mediterranean
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Hours of operation
Mon - Thurs: 4:00pm-10:00pm
Fri: 11:30am-12:00am
Sat: 9:00am-12:00am
Sun: 9:00am-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.
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Phone number
(773) 935-5000
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Eric Jorgensen
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Catering
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.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Armitage
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Parking details
Valet parking for $13.00 (cash only) is offered. Street parking is also available.
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Public transit
Brown Line - Armitage
Halsted bus (route #8) - Armitage stop
Armitage bus (route #73) - Halsted stop
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Entertainment
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."
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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.
Additional
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

Private Dining

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.

View Private Dining Details

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 5363 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
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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E
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Typically eat at Meson Sabika in Naperville (which we like), I think this is significantly better. Octopus, short rib, tenderloin, all very good. Garlic potato salad could have more garlic. Not a spicy as I would like it to be, so I can't give it an authentic, more Americanized tapas. Olives were okay. Sorbet didn't work. Clearly they used fresh apples, but they weren't crisp and the softness caused the texture of the sorbet to be mealy. White sangria was excellent. Tables are a little too tight.

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e
Baltimore
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious tapas and good prices for this kind of food and the quality. Order the paella - it’s fantastic and huge but very shareable (2 person can do tapas sized portions for 4). We also loved the lamb skewers. Save room for dessert - the flan and torte were both exceptional. Good cocktails and good sangria, if prices perhaps a little high on the drinks. Service was excellent. We had someone in our party with a severe allergy to one ingredient listed in the paella we wanted to order and someone from the kitchen came out to discuss the allergy and be sure they understood it and could make the modified dish safe. It was greatly appreciated.

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

Nice meal in a comfortable atmosphere. My only complaint is that the vegetarian options are limited.

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MG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful tapas place, great food &service. The only thing I was disappointed this night about is that we got there early enough when there was quite a choice of seating, and they never mentioned that there would be live music later. So we were still there for the dancer but couldn't see her. But otherwise the place is great !

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EM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of the best places to go in Chicago for a delicious meal. Although it’s mainly tapa styled it’s great to be able to order different small plates and share them in a group or on a date.

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SD
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed a nice night with friends. Relaxed dining. Good variety. Total cost of "little plates" adds up quickly, but of course you can always choose to stop sooner...

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T
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always enjoy eating here. I like sharing of the tapas, different flavors and spices but they blend well. Strive was attentive but not overbearing. Will be back!

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CR
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Besr tapas in Chicago, hands down. Sangria is great, tapas were awesome and paella was to die for. I wish I had leftovers for lunch today.

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TM
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Made my reservation a month ahead for 7:00 pm Oct. 13. Got to restaurant and were not even seated until 7:40. Seated at a horrible table for (4), that should probably have been for (2) and the table was sticking out in the aisle. Very, very, busy and the food came out sporadically and was just okay. The manager did comp us a drink and dessert, which was very nice.

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FL
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food and Sangria are consistently awesome! We loved everything we had and indulged in two pitchers of classic red sangria.

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JC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our experience was amazing! I went there with my best friend and his fiancé to celebrate our birthdays and we had the best time ever! The food was amazing and the service was impeccable!!! We sat in the bar area so we had the bartender as our server and he did not disappoint!
He made our dining experience perfect!

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RN
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place never misses great food every time along with the drinks.... definitely a place we would come back to and recommend.

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DW
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had such a nice time at this restaurant the food was delicious in the service was excellent!
The restaurant was hopping and completely full yet they were able to get our food to us and the most reasonable time just a very enjoyable experience all the way around!
you won't go away hungry!

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They were awesome. Service was spectacular from start to finish. Will always come back for any occasion.

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OT
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The total experience here is always fabulous! The food is excellent, with the menu encouraging you to be adventurous and try new things - all of which end up being delicious. The full range from vegetables to meat to seafood tapas are all outstanding, and it's great fun to go with a group of people so that you can share and try new things. The white wine sangria here has always been a favorite of mine for years. No one makes it the way they do! Even with how busy the restaurant always is, the service is excellent with friendly, attentive wait staff.

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v
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

We have been to this restaurant numerous times over last 10 years. However, we came back last Friday after 2 year break and were disappointed a bit. Super noisy, all hot dishes were warm like not hot. The food overall was was edible but no more than that..

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EM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simply wonderful! A friend living in Chicago had a list of recommended restaurants while visiting the city and said this place could not be missed! Excellent tapas, great drinks, fun atmosphere. We had an amazing meal before heading over to Second City for a show. DO NOT SKIP CAFE BA-BA-REEBA!!

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OT
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The speed of service and food were both awesome!

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Good food, bad service

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JA
New England
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was absolutely delicious and we loved the ambiance!

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B
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Cafe BaBaReeba always provides a great meal. Tapas means you can try a lot of different things. I wish they would bring back the Moroccan Chicken. Otherwise, their food always makes me happy.

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LR
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I can’t say that one tapa was better than another. All of them were extremely good in their own right. Top quality food. Very crowded and somewhat noisy during rush hours. But it is a Spaniard environment, noise is part of it.

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L
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing! It all came in a timely fashion and each dish was made fresh. Will definitely be returning to this place!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

First time dining here and the food was good. The spicy potatoes and sangria were fabulous. However the service lacked towards the end. But overall it was a good dinner.

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RS
Kansas City
6 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The tapas were exceptional. The seafood paella was ok but I really didn't like the spice that was used on it. I hardly ever eat paella so maybe it was exactly the way it should taste, I just didn't like it.

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AZ
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

The ambiance was very poor- the music sounded like we were in a club... at 1:30 lunch on a Sunday. The vibe was more like a dive bar than an expensive restaurant. And the waiters tossed all the (still hot and wet from the dishwasher) plates on the table without a care. The food was decent. The plates are small tapas style so we were able to try a lot, which was nice. Of the 8 dishes we got, 3 were a total hit. The other 5 fell flat. The 2 meat dishes were bland and overcooked. The eggs Benedict was very mediocre (and expensive). And the rest I can’t even remember because they were not memorable at all. The 3 hit plates were NOT worth the poor service and ambiance. Save your money.

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CR
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The bacon wrapped dates, patatas bravas, almond-caramel bar, and truffle cake were amazing.

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C
Chicago
159 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Saturday evening. They were very busy. 6:30 reservation. We were seated in just a few minutes. Tables are close together and it's noisy. BUT, the server was wonderful and the food outstanding.

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M
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Tried 11 different dishes. Favorite was either the stuffed mushrooms or the squid. Least favorite was the garbanzo bean stew. It was essentially garbanzo beans drenched in a heavy red sauce, whereas we expected something more resembling a hummus consistency. Overall the food was very tasty and the 11 dishes worked for four people.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

We had the worst service we have ever had at a restaurant. Ivory, our server, never checked on us and did not even put it half our food orders, which is a big deal with three small children in our group. After two hours, we had to take some of our food to go. She was also rude to us. We used to like the restaurant, but we will not be back.

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PR
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best tapas restaurant in chicago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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JE
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 3ambience 2

Engañosamente Barato para los precios de Chicago, pero sólo porque Las reciones son muy muy pequeñas ...
ambiente muy oscuro

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MW
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Absolutely yummy food. The sangria was a total hit. Friendly and helpful staff. Love this place!

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I
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

We checked in with one hostess then checked in again with a different hostess at a different desk. Weird.
Hostess assumed it was my birthday. It was not, nor did anything in the reservation notes suggest it was.
Host did not pull out any chairs while seating us and seemed annoyed.
Table was dirty-we had to clean it with one of the extra roll-ups.
Busser brought way too much bread for 2 people-so wasteful!
Burrata was too runny in the center-almost watery.
The line cooks kept dropping things and slamming a door (oven?) throughout our dinner.
Beer list is small with some peculiar selections.
No one acknowledged or thanked us on our way out.

Plenty of vegetarian options
Server brought out a little dessert with a candle for my girlfriend's birthday.
Busser was helpful and friendly, server was like a robot-cold and emotionless. Still left over 20% tip.

I get this is a casual restaurant, but there is much room for improvement.
All in all, it was just ok.

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G
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food, great drinks! Love this place and it’s one of my go-to Chicago restaurants

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GO
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never disappoints

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MA
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

The food was great, but our server was horrible. She forgot one guests meal and dessert. When asked to bring something with our meal, and not ahead of time, that wasn’t done as requested. She would disappear and not return for most of the dinner. We were never offered a second drink. And she took forever getting the check to us. What normally is a wonderful meal was ruined by this waitress.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always great at this location.

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A
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

It was too loud for conversation but the food was excellant

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b
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Went here to celebrate my daughter’s new job and move to Chicago. Great assortment of tapas, favorites were the short rib, #1 Pintxos Chorizo wrapped dates, grilled salmon and more. Killer reasonably priced wine was from Malaga Bodega...? Little loud acoustically but we had a great time. Highly recommend this spot!

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