Club Lago Restaurant

4.5
281 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Opening its doors in 1952, Club Lago has anchored the corner of Superior and Orleans since before the neighborhood River North grew up around it. Serving classic Northern Italian specialties from the Garfagnana Valley in Tuscany to steaks, chops and signature sandwiches too, the Lago's staff will recommend the perfect entree for whatever mood you're in.

Third generation owners GianCarlo and Guido are pouring the wine or serving the veal--it's a family affair. Time warp back to the fifties with a glass of chianti in a plush booth in the bar or hold court at one of the tables in the back; Club Lago's ideal for the first date, a meal before the theater or a game, or whenever you're looking to relax to great food and be a regular in a family joint.

Some call it "retro," we call it home. Benvenuti, come on in!
What 281 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
4.4
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SC
Pittsburgh
6 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Recommended by relative and did not disappoint . Quirky decor, long time neighborhood bar, family owned for generations . Delicious food , friendly service. Will be back next time we visit Chicago.

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

The food was excellent the service was superb. One of Chicago’s little gems.

OT
Toledo
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The service was OUTSTANDING!! We were a party of 8 and the owner brought complementary dessert to our table at the end of our meal. It was a very laid back and friendly atmosphere. It wasn’t the best Italian I’ve had, but was good.

TM
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love trying to find the Mom and Pop type restaurants when we travel. Club Lago is laid back and we felt welcome as soon as we walked through the door. The guy (whom I think may have been the owner) was sure to greet us and let us know he’d be with us as soon as he could step away from the bar. The service was amazing. The food was definitely not something that came out of the freezer and went straight to the microwave. Home cooked with love. We will definitely be back.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 4

Our waitress was horrible so our experience was as well

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We recently “discovered” this long time neighborhood restaurant and have enjoyed many dinners there in the last few months. The atmosphere is lively and friendly. We are always greeted warmly and seated right away. I love the food selections, especially the chicken parmesan. The portions are generous and the drinks well made. Club Lago is definitely worth checking out.

IV
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The family always takes care of me. The best.

OT
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It was my wife’s birthday. A friend recommended it for a good value Italian dinner. It didn’t disappoint. Good value and food.

JT
Dallas
18 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great, old school Italian red sauce joint. Atmospheric, reasonable prices, terrific food!

S
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Very small, and tables are very close together. Waiters kept running into our tables and chairs, and the person sitting behind me kept hitting my chair with theirs. Not much room. The food was good, not great.

GG
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hadn’t been there in awhile and no surprise, it was as good as I remember. The service is a little on the slow side but the ambience is so wonderful and the staff is so friendly it was fun just hanging out. Food was terrific, no skimping on the drinks, great value overall. This will become a regular for me and my wife. Real throwback to mid 20th century Chicago. Make reservations because it can be busy although it’s not a well known tourist place.

MG
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We came for a pre-show dinner. The food was delicious (especially the daily special) and loved our waiter. We’ve been coming here for a long time (our 14 year old son finished the Quido 😲). A favorite go to before any Chicago Theater show.

SM
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Had a large group of 10. Service was excellent and food was outstanding!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

They will not honor the reservation time. We were ignored from our reserved seats time for over 45 minutes shined on then sat directly in front of the women's restroom entrance. The food took forever was mediocre and the staff was rude to our children. Horrible treatment am shocked.

DB
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great place for simple, good Italian food.

j
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is old school Chicago. The setting may not appeal to everyone, but there is a charm to it. The food is superb. The veal dishes are the best in Chicago. I have tried for years to duplicate the pasta sauce. I guess I will just have to keep coming back. If you are visiting Chicago - Don't miss Club Lago!

BP
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

You have to be a regular here to get waited on

OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great neighborhood restaurant, exactly what we were looking for. When we travel we try very hard to do the untourist thing, especially when dining, and CL was perfect.

SV
Denver
9 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been going here for 25+ years and the food is simply outstanding. Do not miss the chicken parm. Most of the staff is the same staff that has been there for years and years. That tells you a lot about this place and how its run. Top notch all the way!

OT
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was the perfect location for friends across the city to meet and catch up. The service wS great. Food choices for all the picky eaters. We were a party of ten and the restaurant was able to seat us. Love the place

DB
1 review
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

When you walk into the restaurant, it is very dated and small. The service was fabulous. A lot of regulars seem to frequent the restaurant. That says a lot about a place. There were five of us and we ALL enjoyed our food. All five ordered something different and all thought it was delicious. Would definitely go there again!

EU
Memphis
2 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Club Lago is the best Italian food in Chicago , the best part is that it is not a tourist destination and more of a neighborhood establishment

MP
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It's been a few years since I was a semi-regular here with my office only blocks away for 20 years. I took it for granted back then and have since wished I went even more. How nice it was to return earlier this week with a good friend for a 'nice Italian meal'. This is a neighborhood restaurant. Don't take this wrong — service is friendly, prompt and very attentive — but CL is not trying to impress anyone. They're not looking to win you over. They are not responding to market trends. For me, the best word for this restaurant is 'Authentic'. Truly authentic not 'marketing authentic'. They are exactly who they're supposed to be. Hence, my 5 Stars across the board. It's a very cool, if not fancy, interior with a neighborhood bar that says, "Come, sit down". My pally had a beautiful plate of Linguine and White Clam Sauce, a classic there. I had the Chicken Piccante special – surprisingly delicate and extremely flavorful. Toss in two (we were enjoying ourselves and had an Uber) bottles of an astutely selected, wonderful bottle of Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico and we had a great time. All priced generously affordable, btw. Saluti, Club Lago... cent'anni!!

LB
Chicago
69 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Best veal anywhere. Friendly neighborhood jem. Love Guido.

NL
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Birthday

I should say one thing though, it was sooooo busy the Saturday we went. I wanted to speak with Rene and the owner to catch up since I've been going there forever. But I understand the place is outstanding and the food is phenomenal. I will go on a weekday instead. Love u all!!!

TT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Anniversary

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

Old time Italian. Simple menu, great food and service. Great value for Chicago restaurants.

c
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We always have a good time at Lago. It's old school, but solid food. GianCarlo and Guido are a lot of fun and very friendly. They always make us feel welcome when we arrive. Pasta portions are huge...definitely will be taking some home unless you came very hungry.

NH
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere and Italian-American comfort food.

c
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service, down home surroundings.

JK
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Club Lago always delivers! Great people, food and service

GH
Adelaide / SA
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Felicia is outstanding and Club Lago has one of the better booths

MC
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We had our holiday staff lunch there today. It was delicious.affordable and fun

L
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 4

Food was okay, pasta was good, but onion rings and eggplant parmigiana was not great and greasy.

AE
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So great visit after visit! The gluten free pasta is such a treat!

HS
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was great with very large portions. Our server did an excellent job in explaining the menu and helping us get to the concert on time.

FM
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always an excellent visit to Club Lago. Great atmosphere and energy and good food.

T
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

I can't even believe this place has been open for as long as it has. The food was tasteless and just not good at all. The service was okay and the restaurant has an old school vibe to it and that is about it. I know good Italian food and this is far from it. If you like completely tasteless or fried foods, this is the place for you.

Club Lago Restaurant
Responded on November 13, 2018

Wow. Sorry that you had a bad experience. We have so many different items on our menu that aren't fried. We're going to be here for a long, long time. I hope that you try us again.

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FS
Tampa
11 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service. Not rushed. Got to visit with friend. Thanks!

Club Lago Restaurant
Responded on November 13, 2018

Thanks!

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CH
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I have driven by club Lago many times and always said I'd like to try this place. The look from Orleans Street is pure '40s and inside it is not much different.

The menu is basic Italian fare. The wine list is limited but very reasonably priced. The service is attentive. It is a comfortable, homey place. Almost out of place in River North, especially these days.

The food is good, and plentiful, but not gourmet or noteworthy. For an appetizer we ordered fried calamari, and it came with a very good, fresh, tomato sauce. The calamari was lightly fried, and could actually have been fried but little more. It was very good. And there was lots of it.

For a main course, the chicken Parmesan which was recommended by our waiter was, plentiful and tasty. It came with a side of pasta (ziti).

The plate of spaghetti Alfredo was very good and too large to finish for one person.

We split a cannoli for dessert and it was very good.

Overall, Club Lago offers classic Italian food, and plenty of it, at very reasonable prices. It is a great place for an every day, let's get out of the kitchen, dinner.

I would certainly return given the right circumstances.

Club Lago Restaurant
Responded on November 13, 2018

Thanks, hockey fan! If the playoffs ever happen again, we hope that you come in for a game!

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