Chez Joel

4.7
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1632 Reviews
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$30 and under
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French
In the midst of Little Italy, Chez Joel creates the tastes and aromas of France. Featuring traditional favorites, Chef Joel Kazouini offers his straightforward, expertly prepared Southern French cuisine. Chez Joel’s atmosphere is reminiscent of a true French bistro; its walls adorned with French posters and tables covered with butcher paper. The cozy environment makes Chez Joel the perfect spot for any romantic meal, and when weather permits, garden tables offer an open-air experience where you’ll find one of the most divine al fresco dining settings in the city.
What 1632 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MP
Chicago
86 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always excellent.

V
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We came her for my wife’s birthday and it was perfect. The food, service, and ambiance was terrific.

SR
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great experience overall. A real European Bistro feeling in Pilsen. Great food. Very attentive service. Even Valet service was excellent.

JM
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The entire staff is phenomenal.
The food is always perfection.
One of, IF NOT the BEST French restaurant in Chicago!
A absolute dining must for myself once each season.
GO!

A
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cozy and delicious

C
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4food5service2ambience3

Understaffed!!!!
Would have had another bottle of wine and dessert but preoccupied with other duties.

c
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A favorite contemporary French restaurant in Chicago.

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PJ
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Good food at a reasonable price. French onion soup was brown and crusty on top but barely warm below. Disappointed in it.
Service was good but not great. Room pretty noisy.

MP
Chicago
86 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a pleasure!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chez Jöel is my go to spot for an excellent meal / service, great ambiance and noise level is good for a business meeting. My guests always compliment the caliber of food and service.

OT
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

The scallops were not as good as I was expecting them to be. But fantastic service

CP
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always impressed with our meals and service here.

HO
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food and service, very fairly priced especially when you take into account that this is such a highly rated restaurant. We're so glad we found it!

EJ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

I would give a rave review on this restaurant except for one thing. We each ordered a glass of pinot noir and the wine was decidedly below average. I should have sent it back. For the price of a glass they could buy an OK whole bottle of pinot. Since everything else here was so good, I couldn't figure out the subpar wine. Again, I fault myself for not sending it back. That said, this is a really fine place to dine.

TS
Chicago
61 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pleasant atmosphere. Excellent server. Good food. Nice variety menu. Even the valet was nice. Good quality mussels, excellent beef tenderloin, good lamb. All nicely prepared and presented.

s
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the food, the location, and the service.

RB
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our fourth time. For our friends it was the first, and they thanked us for introducing them to Chez Joël. Two of us had the rack of lamb and the other two had the duck breast and confit, all excellent. The restaurant, like the food, is casual but elegant - unpretentious but skillfully and attractively presented.

DB
Chicago
27 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The setting is lovely but the greeting by the host was sterile, and some of the tables are too close together to sit comfortably. That said, the food was delicious and the service was relatively timely.

H
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Family holiday celebration!

OT
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is the second time we have been to Chez Joel and I don't know why it took us so long to get back. Our party of 5 had a nice round table at the window to watch the liveliness of Taylor St. The lamb chops were perhaps the best ever. The grilled salmon was also delicious. We had a birthday to celebrate and they brought us a nice complimentary dessert with a candle but we also enjoyed a chocolate dessert.
Service was attentive. We brought a fine bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape and paid the $25 corkage fee. We also bought an excellent bottle of Grenache from Gigondas that was fairly priced at $57. They have a number of value priced wines. Chez Joel is a wonderful restaurant and I look forward to returning soon.

E
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The restaurant had a delicious mushroom soup that i absolutely loved. The steak i had was grilled perfectly and the fries were delicious. Would definitely go again.

U
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A hidden French gem in the Italian food hood. Wonderful food and service. If you want to be able to talk to the people you are dining with, this is the place. Not flashy or trendy, just spot on, superb execution. Highly recommended.

UG
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Was very warm and inviting. Menu was French, as expected, with good choices-well prepared and right size and fantastic taste. Well worth coming back. Very reasonable prices

EI
Houston
5 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall4food3service2ambience4

scallops were amazing, but for the price was kind of surprised there were only 3. i ordered bouillabaisse and while there was tons of seafood it was quite overcooked. they did comp us some creme brûlée. Also wait staff not very attentive. had to ask for water refills.

w
Indiana
23 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

nice-quaint-off beaten path and reasonable for chicago--excellent food

WL
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff was very friendly and accommodating. The food was outstanding and the recommendations were excellent. I will definitely visit the restaurant again.

T
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I've been a fan of this restaurant since it opened. I always enjoy bringing newbies with and making them Chez Joel regulars. The wait staff is very attentive and seems to know what you need before you do. The food is delicious and the presentation is beautiful.

A
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our son wanted to propose to his girlfriend here a few nights ago, because it was where they had their first date, and Omar and Chez Joel were amazing at helping us make it perfect!! Gem of a restaurant!!

B
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent. Love this restaurant

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This has been an annual birthday celebration that is always our favorite! The food was the best Fenech cuisine and the atmosphere is quaint and charming.

CP
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great. We came for out 19th. From being seated promptly with our reservation. To our waiter Omar "Mr. Black Label" who was outstanding. I cannot stress how good the food was. Thank you for the great memory of our celebration. We will be coming back. My wife did say the ladies room was in poor condition, I thought the men's room was fine.

J
Western NC
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was so, so good. The presentation was excellent, and the service was exceptional. Also, although the restaurant was busy, the noise level was low so we could actually carry on a conversation at our table without screaming at one another. What a rare gift!

RW
Las Vegas
8 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent — as always!

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always go to Chez Joel when my sister visits from Georgia (and plenty of times between her visits). The food is so consistently good! Always a pleasure to dine here. We also love the service! Thank you. Thank you!

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service. Our server was fast and amazing ! Very attentive !

JL
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Nice place, good food, especially the bread, it's warm and crunchy crust, so good. We ordered the duck breast and scallop, very good

JW
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always wonderful - love this restaurant!

JH
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have dined many times at Chez Joel, and the food and service are always consistently excellent. The appetizer mussels are phenomenal, as are the escargot. All of the classic French main dishes are wonderful, as are the steak and fish dishes. This restaurant has the best creme brulee that I have had anywhere, including France!

Chez Joel is a Chicago gem, and is a must-dine for any aficionado of fine French food.

SC
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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R
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience4

For the first time in the many years I have been coming to Chez Joel, my friend and I were disappointed. We waited a very long time for our entrees (people around us who had arrived later than we had were receiving their dinners while we still sat waiting) and when the food arrived it was lukewarm - had obviously been sitting in the kitchen awhile) In addition, my canard was not tasty and my friend who had ordered the steak au poivre said it wasn't very peppery.

I will return as this must have been an "off" night and my previous experiences were all excellent and up to this point Chez Joel has always been consistent in good service and good food.