Carnivale

4.5
6601 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Latin / Spanish
Since opening in 2005, Carnivale has established itself as one of the premier dining experiences in Chicago’s West Loop. Exotic, energetic, and global, the festive atmosphere of Carnivale is a singular experience. We invite you to dine on unique Latin-inspired dishes created by Chef Ozzy Amelotti while sipping drinks that run the gamut from muddled cocktails to aged tequila to complex wine — and a variety of other libations!

In addition to delicious food and unique drinks, Carnivale also features seven private party rooms to accommodate wedding receptions, business meetings, and a variety of other occasions. Each room offers a unique environment, but they all reflect the energy and passion of Carnivale.

Serving lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, Carnivale is the destination for Chicagoans who wish to enjoy global cuisine with Latin-American flair in an environment that reflects the passion of the chef!

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What 6601 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
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CS
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had the ribeye and it was excellent.
The music was enjoyable.

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K
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service and great food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere and the food and drinks are outstanding

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S
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

I ordered the arrachera steak medium well with no pink. It was more uncooked than what I wanted as it was very pink. The rice was either uncooked or microwaved and Luke warm. I’ve had it previously 3 times and it seems the rice is never cooked enough or like warm.

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MG
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Enjoyed the ambiance, and thought the drinks were delicious and inventive. However, the service was super slow!!! At least for our table. Our neighboring tables were seated after us, and received their entrees way before we did.

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VK
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always awesome!

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KV
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

We get there and there wasn't anybody around directing us. Luckily we walked into the dining area and saw the desk with hostesses.
We tell them our names and the lady at the computer waved her hand in a general direction and mumbled that someone would seat us. Nobody said anything to us and we started following the wrong girl. Once we figured it out, we looked at the giant group of hostesses just standing around, and someone finally took us to the table.
Up until this point I was still excited. The service was a little rude, but I was here for the ambiance and I was still pumped. But. The hostess just kept walking. We went through the main dining area, which is beautiful, and just KEPT WALKING. She finally seated us in a room literally in the back of the restaurant. We couldn't see any of the main dining area. We were nowhere near the action. What? Why? We couldn't understand why we wouldn't be first choice in the main dining area considering how far in advance we made our reservations.
It just got worse from there. The waitress was a little rude when we told her we needed a minute to figure out what we were going to do. We were upset and trying to decide if we wanted to stay if we weren't going to experience the main dining area.
So we got up to use the bathroom. It was a long drive for us. We told the waitress we'd be right back and asked where the bathroom was. She pointed in a general direction. We go where she pointed and there are several unmarked doors, and a set of stairs. So we were trying to figure out where to go and a man, rudely, says "down the stairs guys" So we go downstairs and there are 3 doors. The men's is marked, but the other 2 aren't. Someone finally came down the stairs and, very rudely (again) rolls his eyes and tells me what door to go in. The bathrooms were a bit uncomfortable. But after the last rude man rolling his eyes because he had to tell me which door was the bathroom, we decided to just leave.
I wasn't going to spend my money here.

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DY
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I wished that we were able to sit in the big room but the food and drinks made it worth it.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The atmosphere was great, the music was great for dinner. Great place. Food was delicious

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M
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really lively, fun environment. It feels like a celebration! The service was impeccable and the food delicious, however the price point was quite high. My drink was $15.00 and my dinner bill for JUST MYSELF was over 110.00. I absolutely despise having a tip added to my bill. I understand trying not to get stiffed but the assumption that i would will keep me from patronizing this otherwise great place. As it turned out, I would have left a much bigger tip were it not for this obnoxious practice.

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OT
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The music was a bit to loud. I felt like at times I had to yell in order to be heard but overall everything was very good. Food was delicious.

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DB
Chicago
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

At 9 PM on a Friday night the music was so loud in the main dining room that my boyfriend and I were having to shout at each other to talk. We had to ask to be moved to a smaller dining area next to the bar which was not much quieter. It was easily as loud as or louder than a dance club/rave. It really spoiled our evening. It was not like this when I went here 3 years ago which was also on a Friday night. It looked to me like they had jacked up the volume to satisfy the younger, hip, fashionable, club-going set that was there rather than taking into consideration the comfort and pleasure of the rest of their clientele. They turned the music down later when the 20/30-somethings had left to go out to the clubs.

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A
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated our 3 year anniversary here and our server was nothing but outstanding. Angel shook our hands to introduce himself and instantly, I felt a good vibe. He made sure all of our questions were answered and gave us great suggestions. The food was DELICIOUS and the intermittent shows added a great touch to the experience. We will definitely be back!!

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OT
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Asked to sit in main dining room and were told we needed reservations. Thought that's what we had. Food was very rushed. Dinner came before appetizers were finished. Drinks took quite some time and no steak knives for a steak and lamb dinner. Rice was cold and dry. Table giggled like we were in a fast food place. Food was better than used to be though as I haven't been here in at least 9 years. Still way overpriced. Came back for the ambiance and didn't get to enjoy it.

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OT
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

I understand that in a huge busy restaurant food needs to be prepped ahead of time, but our meals arrived in 3 minutes flat. The food tasted alright but wasn’t warm. The meal wasn’t satisfactory for myself or my fiancé. They had a dance event due to Valentine’s Day which was excellent but the music was so loud you could not hear a word someone was saying across the table. I’ve been in the past and this was not my previous experience. I’d like to say I’d go back, but with the food quality compared to pricing Friday evening I’m not sure I will be.

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MO
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food , service , staff , Jason was Very impeccable waiter !! Reservation was just what was asked for ,

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M
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Everything was absolutely amazing! The dancers and saxophonist was a real treat for everyone.

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JS
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Omar was an excellent server and we truly enjoyed our dinner (and the dancing!).

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DB
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Carnivale was truly awesome - this was our first time there and we will definitely be back. The food was SO good, and there are options for everyone’s tastes. The service was also very good, and we were taken care of the entire time we were there. Also, the decor and atmosphere are a lot of fun - it’s just a place that gives great vibes. We highly recommend it !

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P
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great dinner , great value . We enjoyed all our menu choices

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JM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everyone loves their food and restaurant!! Can’t wait to go back for another Cuban Cigar (cake)!!

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T
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 5

Service and ambient was great.
Food was not good, my gnocchi was dry and with no flavor at all, and the ribeye come in slices with a lot of fat, no steak should come in slices.

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LM
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic from the start! Loved the atmosphere and food and drinks were amazing!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

The notes on my reservation were completely disregarded. I had asked to sit in a more private/quiet area and I was sat in the middle of the main dining room, side to side with other tables. It was a Tuesday night and not busy, half the restaurant was empty and we waited over 15 minutes to get service after we were sat down. If I had not gotten up to ask for help who knows how much longer we would have been ignored. After we finally got our food we were out of drinks and we were not given steak knives for our food. We waited another 5 minutes for knifes. On our way out we spoke to a hostess and expressed how disappointed and underwhelmed we were but she didn’t seem to care too much. I’ve been to Carnivale many times and it’s definitely not what it once was. Now it’s just overrated and overpriced. There are many other details that I could mention but I don’t want to focus too much on that. I do however have higher expectations for the price I paid for my food and drinks. I’ve overlooked some of my experiences before, justifying them with “busy nights” but this last time was just too much.

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BR
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved everything! Ricardo was phenomenal! My only (tiny) complaint is that we had a lot of fun with your photo booth in the entrance of the restaurant and never received our emails with the boomerangs. We would love to share them on social media to promote your wonderful establishment!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, wonderful atmosphere and great experience overall. Food portion is not comparable to the cost but it is delicious.

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TM
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The food is nasty. That’s it. Gross. Horrible. I wen thee for a bday brunch and paid $45. When I could’ve paid that at Fogo de Chao, Texas De Brazil, or even signature room for brunch 👎🏾👎🏾👎🏾👎🏾

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great, ambience was great. LOVE the coconut shrimp

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PB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My girlfriend and I enjoyed it very much it was our Anniversary the hostess was very nice and our waiter was kind we had a blast the food was delicious and the music was great we had a blast and couldn’t stop smiling overall fantastic

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WJ
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Ropa vieja & empanadas were absolutely delicious. Skirt steak was seasoned & prepared to perfection & the salmon was outstanding. All the desserts were scrumptious.

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M
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The service was excellent. I felt very well cared for and my daughter loved celebrating her birthday there. The restaurant is very unique. It's a fun atmosphere. The food is great, but truly a simple menu, with very different flavors.

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KW
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful place, great food and we loved our server 😊

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VI
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great! Food was great. Service was great. Love Carnivale

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OT
Indiana
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

For the prices they are charging, the food should “wow” you and it just didn’t. Even though it was prepared perfectly, there was nothing out of the ordinary with any of the dishes. The service was very good, intuitive, polite, and timely. Unless they can figure out parking, the location is very inconvient.

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AC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great service! We tried the “toolbox”, a seafood platter for two, the lamb, and the Peruvian chicken. The best dish was the Peruvian chicken and the banana chocolate walnut cake. Would definitely be coming back soon!

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TL
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The atmosphere was great, but it get kind of crowded and no space in the back room area to move between tables. The music selection was was diverse. I will definitely visit again.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Food wasn’t as good as last year, way smaller portions. Didn’t feel I got my money’s worth like before. I won’t be attending again sadly.

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MD
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

Had dinner las Friday evening with my wife. Always saw Carnivale from the expressway and had to try it. Really beautiful two story main dining room. Giant multicolored lamp shades hanging from the ceilings with beautiful large pieces of art makes the room both beautiful and entertaining. Aerial silk performer did acrobatic maneuvers above the dining tables. Really fun. Brazilian/Latin music blares and makes conversation a little difficult but great tunes. Cocktails are superb. Started with the Tackle-box of seafood which was good and cleverly arranged. Both our entrees (Rack of Lamb and Sea Scallops were fin, nothing too exciting from a food standpoint. Service started very attentive however trailed off as the evening went on. Overall the restaurant is visually and audibly exciting, circus like in a god way. My wife and I will most likely return however go for cocktails and appetizers.

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JD
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

This is my 3rd time back at Carnivale, I always love the atmosphere & environment of this restaurant, Food is good and arrives in a timely manner, however this time around our service was a bit lacking, our waiter just didn't seem to care too much. It's ok, still would go back

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Indiana
5 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was excellent, great ambiance. Server and dining support staff were also friendly and fantastic. Loved the empanadas and the scallops, enjoyed the fresh cornbread, and our drinks were delicious. Will be back for sure.

However, the public coat check in the lobby was a bit frustrating; they would only take small bills, sent us to Carnivale’s bar to break a $20, and the bartenders clearly weren’t thrilled to provide that service. (Caveat: unclear whether the coat check is operated by Carnivale or is independent; regardless, it’s clearly closely affiliated and part of the experience.) I know, #firstworldproblems. But it was not a great start to the dining experience. Lesson learned; skip the coat check racket.

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