Carnivale

4.5
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7159 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 7159 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
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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W
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Engagement celebration

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M
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food3service1ambience5

Out of all the visits to this establishment this was by far the most unpleasant visit. The server suggested, at the time of presenting the check, that he could add 20% gratuity, while it was highlighted on the slip. When I advised that I will figure out by myself, I was met with a disappointing look but no comment. I proceeded with placing a cash tip of my own choosing. The server then collected the check as soon as I placed it down, where I find it tacky to begin with and have not come across such behavior. Upon checking of the content of the check, the waiter collected the cash in hi pocket and returned to the table. He then explained that he wanted to get the 20% tip as he has to pay it out to others and he's not making any money. I politely explained that I was taught the tip is earned and I thanked him for his service. I had to repeat myself 3 times before the server walked away. This exchange brought a sour note to our evening as we entertained guests from another country and they were surprised as I was.

GP
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

The place has an atmosphere like very few spots in Chicago. The live shows really make it fun. Drinks are also pretty great. Food is good but nothing special.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Server was great. Ambience is nice, great for dates. Wish they would have sat us in the main room rather than a secluded little room on the side. Either way we still enjoyed our dinner.

DA
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall2food1service5ambience5

Service and dining experience were nice. Food was below sub-par but very pricey. Wouldn’t recommend or return. The server can be amazing and the setting be just as great, but if the food doesn’t match it negates both.

M
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Fun, lively, colorful atmosphere. Waiter was wonderful, very attentive and helpful (especially explaining all the ingredients for the entrees I was unfamiliar with.) We split a couple dinners and appetizers so we could try a variety which was a great way to go. Guac and chips, shrimp ceviche, octopus, empenadas, and lamb chops were all delicious.

MC
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful experience as always!

BG
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

The food was good but nothing special. We ordered the yellowtail appetizer which was good but very salty. The portion sizes were really good for the price. I ordered an espresso martini and when asked how it was I told the waiter it was too strong for my liking and his response was “oh, okay” and then he walked away. I would have appreciated it if he asked me if I’d like something different instead of ignoring the issue.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, excellent food, fantastic atmosphere!

OF
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent! I dined with a friend from out of town and she loved it!

9
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a creative restaurant. The menu was wonderful. It was exciting to try so many dishes. We really enjoyed the cotton candy martinis. The margarita was incredible too. Our waiter was kind and courteous and so very attentive the entire dining experience was just perfect.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love it ! Very polite and always asking what we needed and we even got free dessert

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The restaurant is so beautiful, so much to look at! Inviting, would definitely go again.

RN
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I was at a NYE wedding reception last night and as a performer, I usually don't eat or ask to eat my clients food. The food smelled so good that I couldn't wait to come back. I was able to get a reservation on New Year's Day at 5:30pm and couldn't stop counting the minutes till our reservation. My family and I arrived and it was quite a visual experience the moment we walked with the cool decor and oversized mirrors and ceilings fixtures. Who ever decorated this place needs to win an award! Anyway, back to the story. We were greeted by Luis, our server, and he was super nice and knowledgeable about the food and guided us to our vegetarian options. My wife and I ordered the Empanadas for starters and they were amazing. For entrees, we ordered the paella de vegetales and the yapingacho and our 7 year old had the cheese quesadillas with fries. Amazing!!! To end the night, we ordered the 16 layer chocolate cake and it literally ruined our New Years resolution so we'll start our diet tomorrow. :) Overall, amazing experience and we can't wait to come back. We were told Friday nights are epic with live performers. Side note: they don't have a kids menu but the server told us they can make cheese quesadillas with fries, mac and cheese or chicken nuggets with fries.

RG
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food4service3ambience5

Carnivale offers a wonderful NYE experience. We’ve attended for the last 2 years. Music, entertainment, food, holiday hats and horns and champagne all included. Carnivale does it right.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding New Year dinner !
Fabulous food, excellent service, perfect atmosphere

OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Had a great time, went with my sisters and our significant others for NYE dinner from 8pm-10pm. I would return for NYE next year.

a
Chicago
49 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Carnivale was the perfect place to go for New Years Eve. Costumed figures, performers and impersonators, festive decorations and great music made it a true New Years celebration! The food is always fabulous and the special menu did include our favorites; Ropas Viejo and Steak Arrecherra. Everything was delicious and my husband and I had so much fun! We will go back next year and stay for the balloon drop.

N
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was all wonderful, food, drinks, entertainment, service, all on point

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience5

We’ve been to carnivale for past 4 years for New Years and always enjoy it! And we had a great time this year. But found the food quality poor -especially for $90!!

OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience4

I took my family—wife and children—to an early seating at Carnivale on New Year’s Eve. On each of my earlier visits to the restaurant, I’ve had terrific service, very good food and have recommended Carnivale to others based on those experiences. I must have caught them on a tough night, as this experience was less enjoyable. First, my “dry” martini came to the table with at least an ounce of vermouth and I sent it back, something I never do, and in itself a very forgivable issue. We ordered steaks all around and all but one were undercooked. We sent my wife’s back as her filet mignon came to the table rare and was ordered medium-well. My son and I ordered the most expensive steaks ($65 each) and, while also rare, I could look past as we both like mid-rare temps. The seasoning was great, but unfortunately the meat quality was quite poor and while the steak was advertised as aged 45-days, I couldn’t taste it, and chewed through the gristle as much as I could stand. My wife and I had a couple drinks each, and the bill was close to $500 with tip. I don’t mind paying that on special occasions, but I do expect the meal that comes with that price tag to be memorable. Unfortunately, it was, for the wrong reasons. On the bright side, the restaurant is beautiful, and was gorgeously decorated for New Year’s. Had we dined during rush, maybe I’d be more understanding, but the dining room was not even 1/4 at capacity when we sat down, so the kitchen, server, and bartenders couldn’t have been too challenged at the time of our seating. After sending two items back during the course of our meal, I would have expected at least to have a manager drop by to check on us. Didn’t happen. I can’t say I won’t ever go back, and having worked in food service in my younger years, I know there’s such a thing as simply a bad night. But I can’t say I’ll be apt to enthusiastically recommend Carnivale in the future.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Was a great New Year’s Eve experience, my parents and I totally enjoyed the food and the Atmosphere

OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

We have been before, and have had good experiences. However, we went here on new year's eve and it was mediocre at best. When they called to confirm our reservation, and give us a long list of rules (be here on time, don't stay more than 2 hours) they conveniently forgot to mention that they had a small, prefix menu, instead of their usual menu. Had we known, we would have gone elsewhere, which is 100% why I'm sure they didn't tell us.

They took us to our table that was way in the back corner of the restaurant, near a ery annoying strobe light, even though we arrived at 5.30 and the place was mostly empty.

When we did order, the appetizers were good, but the main courses were only ok. My steak was tough and my husband's sea bass was mushy and lacked flavor. Again, they were hardly busy, the food should have been perfect.

We probably won't be back. A restaurant that doesn't have respect for its customers on the busiest days don't get my business the rest of the year.

OT
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The server Noel give us amazing services

MC
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Very fun place for special occasions. Took our kids there for a Christmas gift. Had a great time?

f
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

4th time at the restaurant. Love the food and atmosphere. Unfortunately ended up sitting in one of the side rooms which is not as enjoyable as the main area. We should have waited for a different table.

KS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Place is just great. Every time I go everything is perfect.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great selection of seafood, clean, friendly and super well educated servers

LK
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Food was good, not superior. The atompershire was fun. Noise level high. A great place for something unique for a friday night.

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Christmas family celebration

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Extremely attentive waitstaff. The food was delicious and we had an amazing night!

CC
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Carnivale provides a unique and cultural dining experience which I absolutely love! Food and service was excellent.

H
Baltimore
31 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Slow but personable service.
Nice selection of unusual drinks
Garlic mashed potatoes was fabulous
Broccoli Smidge under cooked
Grilled octopus delicious

Even more than above. Deserts!!
Un freakin believable coconut cake

Really cool ambience. Notice the picture behind the hostess checking

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience5

The food was amazing but service was really slow. It was the small things like not getting water until more than 30 minutes after we were seated. Even though we received our alcoholic beverages before water. Or the waiter took over 25 minutes after receiving the check to pick up the credit card. Not getting steak knifes until a few minutes after we received our food. We ordered two apps, two entrees and a dessert. Everything was really good. Though one of the steaks were way under cooked. It was came out more raw or blue rare than rare. The rest of the food was outstanding.

MA
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An excellent way to spend Christmas with friends.

J
Chicago
40 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Decorated to the hilt for the holidays, service and food did not suffer with the full house on Christmas.

f
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Always a great experience at Carnivale. Great service and very good food. Ropa Viejo is amazing.the cevice, instead, is not what I would expect. Based on my experience, this is more a cocktail de camaron than a cevice. Not bad though.

P
Chicago
108 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Carnivale was the perfect place for our pre-Christmas family dinner. Our server, Pete, couldn’t have been better. He took the time to teach two of the teenagers how to crack and eat a lobster. The food was devious, the atmosphere festive! Great evening!

AD
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience5

First off this these reservations were for my girlfriends birthday. first off they were late at sitting my party plus when we were seated they placed us by the kitchen door. When I asked to have another table we were seated in the back of the restaurant the service was poor. Our waiter missed the birthday girl whole meal order.. Carnival would be the last place I would visit if I had to choose to eat somewhere in Chicago

LC
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

This was the 1st time I went with my family. I have always came with friends.