Carnivale

4.5
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7257 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Latin American
Since opening in 2005, Carnivale has established itself as one of the premier dining destinations in Chicago’s West Loop. Immerse yourself in the festive, eclectic, and global atmosphere of Carnivale. Each dish offers an exotic fusion of flavors from Central and South American countries. Enjoy Latin fusion cuisine, exotic cocktails and one of a kind desserts. With a lush interior and original artwork, the Carnivale experience makes every meal a celebration. Carnivale’s unparalleled festive atmosphere is perfect for hosting corporate events, social events, and weddings. Our event specialists will customize and create a memorable experience for you and your guests from start to finish in one of our seven unique event spaces. Serving dinner and Sunday brunch, Carnivale is the destination for Chicagoans who wish to enjoy global cuisine with Latin-American flair.
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What 7257 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LJ
Chicago
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was my sisters sweet 16th birthday! We had fun-their Mardi Gras celebration was fun!! We had almost all their appetizers-you can’t go wrong with any of them but I specifically recommend the ropa vieja and the coconut shrimp. The empanadas were good too. We had the peruvian chicken which was seasoned exquisitely and so moist. We also had their Bife de chorizo with onion rings. I did think their main dishes were a little overpriced. The bife de chorizo was $50 and it only came with onion rings. I had their lobster Mac and cheese which was good and creamy and their plantains as side orders. The plantains are a must! If you go there to eat for dinner be prepared to spend $100-$150 dollars unless you sit at the lounge for happy hour where a lot of the appetizers are 1/2 off and they have drinks for $5. We also had 4 alcoholic drinks-which were good in flavor but a bit too small and 2 non-alcoholic drinks which were a mocktail mojito and a raspberry lemonade which were good in value. They had a live DJ playing music and they had samba dancers and a dragon processions. It was really cool and a lively environment. Last but not least, our server was awesome and definitely deserved his 20% tip. Overall, it’s a must go to restaurant if you’re from out of town and if you live in Chicago , it’s a nice date night out for every once in a while unless you got the money for it. Overall though I gave it 5 stars.

J
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great birthday family dinner for four at Carnivale. All of the drinks, appetizers, steaks and also vegetarian dishes were top notch. The server was charming and professional. We’ll definitely be back!

OT
New England
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful staff, amazing place!

LH
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Really great food. Lots of people refilling water and attending to removing plates but we didn't see many waiters walking around and had to wait awhile to order and receive our bill. Food was outstanding though!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We arrived early for our reservation. To our surprise we were seated right away. The waiter, Ricardo, was excellent. He was very attentive and got our order the first time. The atmosphere was great. I will conclude by saying, thanks for a great date night!

MS
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Food was great service was great! Roja Vieja great appetizer!

IM
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated my daughters birthday and the service was great. Our server Christian was very attentive and the food was excellent. Highly recommend it

OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect ambiance for a date or any special occasion. I love the “selfie cam” booth.

CB
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food1service2ambience3

Service was slow and poor, my dinner was forgotten and when they bought it out it was cold, flavorless and looked like left over seafood paella scraps with a couple tiny pieces of seafood. As another diner I was with had the same dish and hers was overflowing with large pieces of seafood.

BB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Coconut shrimp were delicious!! As was the coconut cake!

CS
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Would recommend this restaurant to anyone living in or visiting Chicago. Excellent food and service. Fabulous atmosphere.

EM
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

I like this place and visited several times before. Service and food is always great. Today was a disappointment though. While our server was wonderful food was mediocre. Ceviche looked like a strange shrimp cocktail. Main course with scallops was ok, as well as desert. Edible but very average.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Birthday celebrations

OT
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We enjoyed our dinner at Carnivale. The service was really good.

OT
Indiana
4 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Colorful atmosphere with a flavorful food and drink menu.

JW
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic Valentine’s brunch!

j
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

The price of the buffet was way too expensive for the amount of food I had. Plus we were seated at the first table right inside the room which was not comfortable. The car was returned from the valet with rust water all over the roof. I had to go through the car wash which was another expense to the day.

J
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Two family birthdays were enjoyed by all. Staff and waiters could not have been nicer. Food was fantastic and the sparklers for the birthday people was a great surprise. We have been telling everyone how great our briefs at Carnivale.

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The start of our experience was not the best. The hostess was very dry with us. No excitement, no smile at all. We maintained our friendly demeanor and tried showing her our excitement to be there, but received nothing in return other than being asked to stand by the chaise to be seated. On to the food. The food looked good, but it wasn’t amazing tasting. The best part was the seafood table and prime rib. Our server was great, and so were the guys helping him, even though one of them forgot to bring out an extra melted butter that we requested (twice). Our server quickly resolved it once we brought it to his attention. The ambience was also very dry for two main reasons: it wasn’t a huge turn out on guests and they missed the mark on the music. So it was a valentines theme, but all that old, sappy music made it very depressing for our party. It was hard not to notice it considering the small crowd in the restaurant. I don’t know what else to say other than we were expecting a mind blowing experience considering the buffet is advertised as something special and only available six times a year. We much better enjoy Carnivale at night and over the weekend when it’s lively. The entrees are also much better than the buffet. We will be back, but not anytime soon. Please work on the welcoming team, Carnivale. Your hostesses are the face of your customers and your first opportunity to make a good impression.

CB
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

ONE OF MY FAVE PLACES TO GO. MY FAMILY AND I LOVE IT. ALTHOUGH, MY DAUGHTER WISH THERE'S ALWAYS CHOCOLATE DONUTS & APPLE JUICE.

DI
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience4

We were sat at 8pm and did not get served our dinner until 9:40pm. Drinks took 25 minutes to get to your table from when they were ordered. The hostess was nothing short of rude. When I checked in I made it very clear that I wanted to sit in the main dining area. I also made it very clear in my notes upon making the reservation weeks prior. I did not want to be stuck in one of their nooks that takes away from the ambiance. They proceeded to talk us to the back of the restaurant to seat us and started to walk up a few stairs to a nook in the way back and i told the guy ABSOLUTELY NOT! I did not travel 45 minutes downtown and get all dressed up to be stuck in a nook that looks like a gastropub. I had the guy walk us back to the front where I told the hostess, if I wanted to feel like I'm at a neighborhood bar Id be at one. I want to be seated on the main floor as requested now for the 3rd time. The food was fabulous though as usual.

K
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience1

Rude hosts, terrible service, food took over an hour

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food1service5ambience3

The food was really bad. I ordered the gaucho steak. I couldn't cut any part of it, it was so fatty. Then I tried a pasta dish which just tasted bad. My husband ordered the barbacoa potpie and neither of us liked it. Even dessert tasted bad. We pretty much always like at least something wherever we go. I can only think of 1 other time in my life I had to send food back because it was inedible.

CC
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food3service1ambience1

The ladies at the host stand were very rude upon arrival and checking in. To make matters worse we were sat right by the bathrooms even with a reservation. It was really hard to enjoy our food while having foot traffic to and from the bathroom. Definitely ruined my first time experience.

OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience5

Simply expected more! The guacamole was good, the ceviche was tasty with lots of shrimp in it but we have had much better ceviche. Then came the disappearing paella it was dry, the seafood flavorless and the rice blah!
They did comp our sangria which was good because we didn’t care for our paella which was nice.
Won’t go again. Really nothing special.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience5

Food was phenomenal but slightly overpriced. Our dinner experience lasted 3 hours as it took awhile to take our orders/bring the food. But the food was great as was the ambiance.

H
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

We hadn’t been to Carnivale in a few years and thought we’d try it again to celebrate our kids’ birthdays. We regret the choice. Upon entering with a reservation, we waited in line to access the dining room and were shown upstairs to an interior room with tables quite close together. Service was very slow to the point that a manager came up to apologize (but not comp us anything). Our appetizers were served to the wrong table initially; those folks were smart enough to send them back to us. The shrimp ceviche and guacamole were both meh, and the special oysters appetizer was really bad. When dinner was finally served, my son’s medium rare filet mignon was cooked to medium-well, which they did correct quickly. My seafood paella clearly languished under the heat warmers in the kitchen because it was crunchy to eat. Cotton candy dessert was the highlight. Sorry to say that Carnivale is no longer the restaurant it once was.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

This was the first time there for my girlfriend and I. Everything was great, food, drinks, staff. Only thing I would suggest is for the staff to be a bit more attentive. We waited about 15 minutes after finishing our first round of drinks before anyone asked if we would like refills. I understand it was a very busy night but I expect that type of restaurant to he orepared for that

OT
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It was our 2nd time & the experience was much better than our 1st! Our server was very helpful & kinds .. definitely going back!

TA
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

MommieDaughter date! It was our first time at Carnivale & we had a FANTABULOUS TIME! The wait & management staff were great! The food was sooo delicious! We’ll be going back soon ❤️

GC
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

This is one of my favorite restaurants ,, service is great , food is delicious I love the service and all those amazing colors

OT
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

I like Carnival for the Colorful ambiance. It is always a nice place for a date. There are few prime table locations but some of the visually attractive artwork hanging on the walls help you forget about where you are sitting. The appetizers dont read all that appetizing, we pass on those. we did emerse ourselves in the Seafood Tackle Box (which was a bit gaudy for a table of two, But satisfying none the less) the shrimp-sweet, oysters-Delicious, a halved poached lobster and a tasty 2 choice Ceviche tasting which oddly did not come with any saltines or chips - We had to ask for those. We followed up the tackle box with the Seafood Paella, Bone In New York Strip, a side of sauteed mushrooms and my fav sweetened bananas. our server was on top of his game, checked on our food and our table multiple times, tipped him 25%. the mojitos where a bit weak and sweet but they do have an Interesting variety of flavored mojitos. All and all we left full and happy. I do plan on returning.

MF
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Was our first time dining here. Was a enjoyable night. The server wasn’t the best. And while the food was very good, felt it was slightly overpriced.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience1

I chose to take my husband and daughter to Carnival for Valentines Day dinner because I specifically wanted someplace that would provide entertainment... I called the restaurant and asked about the entertainment that would be there on Valentines Night.. I made the reservation on Open Table but actually called the restaurant to alter the reservation and to speak to an actual person about the type of entertainment. I explained on the phone it would be our first time at Carnival and that we were excited to go there because we wanted entertainment...

So when we arrived, the Maitre D escorted us through the big curtains into the main grand dining room- it looked amazing and at that moment I was elated I had picked Carnival for this evening.it was vibrant,colorful and clearly had the entertainment going on in there..I couldn’t wait to get to our table to look at all the dancers costumes and listen to the music... but then we were escorted up the grand staircase to the second level and stuffed into a back room that completely prohibited us from access to the main exotic vibe in the main dining room... it was quiet and DULL. SUPER DISAPPOINTING!! I asked our waiter if the dancers came upstairs to perform as well and he said they did— but what he didn’t tell me is that they only walk from room to room to pose for photos.. there was no singing, dancing or performing.. it was DISAPPOINTEDLY BORING!!

Honestly, we were there for the Live entertainment and not for the quality of the food… Considering we were first time guests at this restaurant, and really considering the fact that I called and told them that this was our first time… I was extremely irritated by that location where they put us… In fact I thought it was rude! As the maître d’ was taking us to our table… I asked him if we could be relocated to a table in the main dining room and he said only if you wanted to wait a few hours… Which of course we did not because it was already 8:30 PM...He was very rude!!

RA
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food4service3ambience1

I had a reservation for 8. Unfortunately, there was nowhere on the website or in Open Table that indicated that the restaurant did not have any 8 Top Tables in the main entertainment area. Being that we were celebrating 2 birthdays that evening, 1 being a 50th, we wanted the night to be special. Instead we were placed in a dark boring corner table in the bar. They did have some entertainers come to our table for a brief minute, but just to say Happy Birthday, not to dance or entertain in any way. I did complain to the manager, and she did apologize with a $25 gift card. That was nice, but it was just a bit disappointing. I will say the food and service was good, so that was a plus. I probably would give them another chance but with less people where we could sit in the main room.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience3

Tourist trap. That's all I have.

AB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious! Server was great, good was awesome. No complaints on my end. Great place for a nicer date night or a special celebration.

CD
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience2

This could be because we came on a holiday and ordered off the prefix menu, but the dinner was neither the food nor the experience I had hoped for.
Despite numerous open tables in each section we were sat at the farthest two top facing the emergency exit door right next to the bar in the far section.
The drinks were fine and came fast, but the dinner was really dry and overcooked. Dessert was bland...we just think at the price we paid there should have been a bit more put into the experience.

JC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Carnivale’s overall ambiance is great and our server was amazing. The food wasn’t as great, although the desserts and the drinks made up for that.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this restaurant, everything is done super well and they have great service. One of my favorites