Chez Joel

4.8
1962 Reviews
$30 and under
French
In the midst of Little Italy, Chez Joel creates the tastes and aromas of France for. 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.
Chez Joel Since 1999

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 1962 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
4.8
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chez Joel never disappoints, one of the best restaurants at Chicago. Highly recommend.

SS
SteveS
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great food in a great room or nice garden setting.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chez Joel has quickly become one of our very favorites and this night we enjoyed yet another lovely dining experience at this authentic French Bistro.
The ambiance is beautiful, especially if you have one of the window tables or a table in the garden, and the service is always the best. My two favorite waiters on this little gem are both named Maggie and Allie, ask for them, either one of them will make you glad you did.
The food is absolutely amazing, everything we ordered melted in our mouths ( Ribeye and Steak au Poivre ).
To conclude, Chez Joel scores 100 every time in all categories and they have always left the best impressions! They have the most hospitable staff, delicious dishes, beautiful food presentation, wide wine list and wonderful dessert options.

Merci beaucoup CHEZ JOEL, à bientôt!

EF
EvanF
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent experience. My only criticism was that the host was not wearing his mask properly, exposing his nose. He should be more careful.

RD
RichardD
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food4service1ambience3

The food is very good and the prices quite reasonable. We’ve always had excellent and timely service there but this time lthey seemed to have forgotten us.

a
vipanthony
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a wonderful find..a nice french bistro right in the heart of little Italy!..only in Chicago, eh.
Th eservice and food was excellent.. I had classic fare..escargot, and hangar steak with fries..My dining companioin had the duck and classic onion soup gratinee. All excellent selections, along with a shared lava cake dessert..It should also be noted they are very dog friendly..my little one ( 6 pound Brussels Griffon) was pleased as well!..I would highly recommend this little gem of a restaurant..in fact we stayed so long, they had to turn up the light for us to leave!..lol.Thank goodness they had a great sense of humor with us..

SD
vipStephenD
Chicago
25 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Been there so many times and never disappoints. Just go.

BB
vipBarringtonBelle
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very welcoming

RW
RayW
San Diego
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Chez Joel is an old standby with reliable food and service in the traditional French style. The wait staff is knowledgeable and efficient. The selection is always what we counted on.

S
vipStuart
Chicago
142 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Consistency good

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Came to Chicago with my family for a week and looked this spot up on Opentable for a impromptu reservation. We lucked out because the food, service and character of this establishment are impeccable. We were seen by a number of polite and attentive staff including the host, busboy and some other servers and they ensured the dining experience was nothing short of perfect. Highly recommend eating here if you would like an upscale dining with a wide variety of wine and beverage list. Adam, Maggie and Amber made sure that my family and I are well taken care of. They are pros at guidance and food recommendations. I tried the Salmon medium well and it was unbelievably good. Way better then I could have imagined.
Above and beyond service deserves an above and beyond review in my opinion. Where is the 6* option ?

A
Angeline
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience2

Food was mediocre, inauthentic, and overpriced. Bread was like what you'd get in a deli. AC dripping over us at our table. Servers and busboys rushed, overworked, and stressed. Not a great experience.

GL
vipGrahamL
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2021
Overall2food1service1ambience3

Service was vey poor - waited an extended time after starters and mains. My main came cold and I sent it back. Our waitress was not to be seen for most of the time. I had to ask the host on several occasions to send the waitress over. Nice restaurant, but our night was spoiled.

FH
FredH
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Great outdoor seating. Food very good…except for the bread. Stale and “grilled” to pass for fresh. Was looking forward to authentic, fresh French bread. Servers a bit overwhelmed…needed one more on the floor. Will go back for sure.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great first experience - the food was delicious and reasonably priced. The host, staff - everyone was so nice.
We will def. be back!

E
vipEbgl90
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely setting

CJ
CJay
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The mussels are amazing! The Coq Au Vin is always perfection but the lamb was incredible. The creme brulee was tasy but the chocolate dessert...I was speechless. So good!

BD
BeerwithDinner
Columbus
3 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food and great service! The outdoor area was fabulous despite a little rain. The team put up umbrellas and made the outdoor area fantastic.

KT
vipKenT
Naples
12 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Simply wonderful! Hope they open in Naples, Florida!!

D
vipDanover
Chicago
252 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Of all the many restaurants in Chicago, Chez Joel is my favorite....food is always outstanding as well as the service and ambiance. The Lamb Chops were particularly good!!! Thanks.

d
diners
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and atmosphere! A wonderful little spot in the city.

FE
FrenchieEm
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We enjoyed the whole experience, celebrating Bastille Day with friends. The escargots and paté were delicious as a first course. The rack of lamb, salmon, and steak were all excellent mains, and the evening was festive and fun!

r
vipresiak1958
Chicago
77 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Comfortable patio setting, attentive service, updated french selections

BP
BrockP
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Came to dine at this gem for my birthday. The staff was Uber accommodating, the food was solid, but what stood out most was the gracious service given by Maggie. I’ll be back for sure!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A truly enjoyable experience from the wine selection to dessert. Never a disappointment when dining here. This is our favorite French Bistro.

FW
vipFoodWineGuy
Chicago
27 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Phenomenal experience! Highly recommend. Chicago needed a new French restaurant.

DG
DeborahG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Chez Joel is a charming restaurant that is both comfortable yet sophisticated. The wine list is solid and I appreciated that our server, when asked a question about the wine, went in search of the house expert to find an answer. The food was delicious and well prepared. I am not sure what herb was used in the escargot (unique and different) but it add a crisp earthy taste. Delicious! I had the coq au vin which was delightful and my son had the scallops. My meal was substantial and I could have easily shared it. For dessert I had the almond cake and my son the apple tart. Lovely way to finish the meal. The only downside is that the space is quite loud - I had a difficult time hearing the server. I would definitely eat there again.

CH
ChriH
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great evening with out-of-town guests. The service was great!

C
Ctkathy1
New York Area
55 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved every morsel! Escargot and pate to start. Duck and scallops for main. Shared the almond gateau for dessert. All perfect. Highly recommend. The patio is lovely but save for a warmer night.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Started not so well with a very long wait before appetizers arrived but thereafter things flowed well. Nice ambience and food was generally very well presented and executed. My main dish of roasted chicken in white wine with rosemary was delicious although the half chicken was slightly over cooked. My wife’s sea bass was excellent.
Overall a very enjoyable experience and we’ll return - probably to enjoy their patio dining next time.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience2

The service was slow and the environment was very noisy. My main entree, the Duck Confit was served lukewarm not hot. I ordered the patte for an appetizer only to receive it 15 minutes later. Usually, this is a great place with wonderful food and service. Just a bad day for Chez Joel.

JD
JDFGems
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing al fresco ambiance! lovely wine and food. Always exceptional.

ML
MLag
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything is exquisitely prepared…. One of our top favorite five Chicago dinning experiences.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner & the manager/owner was extremely helpful & delightful in seating & checking in on us!

f
vipfoodie
Chicago
101 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food was great. The Chilean sea bass yummy and the lMB SHANK A REAK DEKIGHT. SALAD WAS PERFECTLY DRESSED AND HAD LOTS OF INTERESTING TOUCHES, DESSERT OF CREME BRÛLÉE AND PROFITEROLES WAS TOP NOTCH. WINE LIST HAD SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE.

BD
vipBobD
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Always very well prepared food and nice ambiance in the outdoor patio

IV
vipIndustryVet
Chicago
75 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you like Picolo Sogno for its exceptional Italian cuisine mixed with a fabulous outdoor terrace with trees, then you will LOVE Chez Joel, the perfect French version of Picolo Sogno. Service, presentation, quality, wine selection, and great French cuisine. Can't go wrong.

J
vipJohnc
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful outdoor garden ambience. Excellent service. The food never disappoints

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Family weekend and wanted to try a new place. This was the perfect spot for a wonderful outdoor dinner with family. An extra bonus there were fireworks happening around us as we are. There were some delays with food and my burger, although delicious, was luke warm at best, it was still enjoyable and the rest of the family loved the food. We will come back.

B
vipBaldegl
Chicago
103 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

This place was our outdoor staple during the pandemic and we keep coming back. Reliably good food and a reasonable wine list.

FAQs

Chez Joel offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (312) 226-6479.

Chez Joel is rated 4.8 stars by 1962 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.