Chez Joel

4.7
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1570 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 1570 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
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Quiet
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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w
Indiana
20 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wife and daughter and boyfriend loved it. Neighborhood gem

S
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Our waitress was very good & our experience was excellent! We were celebrating our 37th anniversary! I love traditional French food & this did not disappoint. The escargot are delicious as is the pate’ , Coq Au Vin & Lamb shank. The only disappointment was that they were out of our 2 favorite desserts at 7:30! Seems a little early...oh well! Thanks for a great night!

AD
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful, quiet , neighborhood European / French restaurant that has an old world feel with impeccable service and even better food. Friendly in an understated way and not at all pretentious. Have been four times over four years and it is consistently delicious.

L
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is very good, I felt like at home (I'm French).
The crew is really nice, smiling and helpful. It was my birthday and they took care of my cake with pleasure.
I would definitely come back.
I would recommend to turn the sound of the music down so that we could talk more easily.

AR
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Strongly evocative of a quiet Parisian bistro. Friendly, comfortable, and consistent. In good weather, the outdoor patio is outstanding. When the weather's not so good, the interior is warm and cozy.
Great food, excellent beverage variety, and music to complement the French experience.

TA
Miami
16 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food

PP
Chicago
25 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always my favorite spot for a special meal!

KM
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 4

Onion soup and potato soup were great.
Steak mediocre
Cordina (fish) and vegetables poorly prepared
Potatoes (fries) awful
Wait person very nice

JB
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We have dined at Chez Joel several times. The ambiance is continental, the waiters speak French, the patio is an oasis in nice weather. Their food has always been exceptional, whether it’s been meat or seafood. Accompaniments have been cooked to perfection. Fries are so thin and crisp; mashed potatoes are just the right consistency topped with a potato crisp; vegetables are cooked to perfection. There are many reasonably priced wines by the bottle. Unfortunately, this time my fish—which was the evening’s special corvino—was not cooked. It was a thick piece and I literally could not cut it because it was raw. When I eventually told the waiter, he recognized the problem immediately and I was given a new plating with apologies. We ordered dessert, which they comped. Everyone else’s entrees were wonderful—beef tenderloin, steak, salmon—and I have to chalk this up to some unknown cause. We will certainly go back again.

S
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Received a glass of champagne for our anniversary.

G
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Duck & Red Snapper were excellent, steak frites not great! Waiter and bus boy were not attentive.

CD
Chicago
45 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our favorite place to celebrate our anniversary (54 this year)! Starting with the warmed brie topped with honey and with fresh fruit and veggie accompaniments, the meal was delicious. The server was attentive and helpful without hovering. Our entre choices were bouillabaisse and duck, and both were done perfectly. It was difficult to decide which of the desserts to share because all were tempting. We chose to go with traditional cream bru lait and were not disappointed. It is very important to note the romantic garden setting. It is easy to pretend you are in Europe while dining well.

EM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The outdoor area is the best in the City!

D
Chicago
232 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chez Joel is a great neighborhood find. The food is terrific, the atmosphere is elegant and the service is top-notch. Thanks for the experience.

KB
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is always well prepared and flavorful. The patio makes for a romantic and relaxing evening. Service is great, too.

A
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It is always extraordinary, fresh and the kind of dining that is found very infrequently. I think it is one of the gems of French dining in the city and every time I take people there they are always amazed that they had never been before.

LS
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Dined outside- beautiful ambience, despite being right on Taylor, it wasn't too loud. Food was tasty, but took quite awhile for the entrees to come out and the pomme frites and mashed potatoes were lukewarm on arrival.

A
New Orleans
217 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great truly French restaurant. We liked pretty much everything we had there.

SG
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Chez Joel is a gem on Taylor Street. Great food, wonderful service and their outdoor patio is beautiful!

AP
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere with amazing, honest food. By honest, I meant authentic French cuisine without the "modern" or "small plate" flash. Definitely will come back to try everything else in the menu!

a
Palm Springs
4 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very romantic atmosphere. Food was excellent. The service is second-to-none.

LM
Chicago
83 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We came to Chez Joel for a business dinner. We ordered escargot and grilled octopus for appetizers. Both were very good,.The bread they serve at dinner was too good. I think I ate 3 pieces. Our salad was nice and I had a cocktail that was a Pear-is ( tastey). For dinner I ordered the Coq au Vin. It was very good but the ratatouille was exceptional ( as a side). For dinner we had the almond cake ( very good also) and we had a couple bottles of a french red blend of wine also. The ambiance was so cute. I loved the chandeliers that hung from the trees. The prices were reasonable. I liked this place very much.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Spot on service and we each enjoyed perfect dinners. Thanks for the memories.

BP
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this restaurant. Walled in courtyard is wonderful of a fair weather night. Food is always excellent...certainly not inexpensive but the place is fantastic. Our waiter Omar was attentive and very nice.

B
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

I like this restaurant very much. The food is well prepared, presented, and represents excellent value for money.

I tried the garden for the first time and liked the relief from the loud noise inside when the main dining room is full.
The only thing that marred the outdoor experience is having a seat quite close to the air-cons at the back. You can’t see them, but you certainly hear them when they crank up, but still a lot quieter than the dining room at 8:30 on a Saturday night, and so loud to prevent conversation.

WY
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

My wife and I came here for our birthdays. The food had generous portion size, bold flavor, and elegant presentation. Our server was very friendly and attentive.

J
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

After theatre- We Love it there

A
Chicago
51 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent as always. Nothing better than sitting on the patio under a huge tree eating great food. Tried a salad never had before and now on my list.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Came here for a long overdue dinner with my roommate who had returned from Egypt. The dinner went seamlessly, in a way that I haven’t experienced in years—and we will certainly be back.

J
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding restaurant from the food to the decor and the service! So good, I ate there twice in one weekend! Don't miss it if you travel to Chicago!

DF
Chicago
44 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous, as always!

CS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, a real treat. We love this place. Food and service always top notch.

CD
Chicago
52 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 1ambience 4

Service was terrible.. Probably wont go back.. Very disappointing

c
Nashville
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I always feel like I’ve left the US when Im there. Love the ambiance- delicious entrees. The lake perch was fabulous. The house salad is awesome and the wine list great. They also know how to do justice to a French 75. Highly recommend.

s
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal, nice ambiance, fantastic wine

YB
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great location. Food and service were top notch. Would definitely return.

AM
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrating kids’ last day of summer classes!!!

AB
Detroit
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent traditional French bistro.

G
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We went on a Wednesday evening, we ordered from the pre fixe excellent I had the soup others gad the salad very nice size. Desserts were excellent! It wasn’t crowded we visited for over 2 hours. Stormy night otherwise we would have sat in the garden.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food is delicious, but the server could be more polite

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