El Maya

4.3
212 reviews
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$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Mexican

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About

Modern Mexican Cuisine. We have fresh Margarita mix every day.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Mexican, Latin American
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Hours of operation
Monday 5:00PM- 10:00PM
Tuesday 5:00PM- 10:00PM
Wednesday 5:00PM- 10:00PM
Thursday 5:00PM- 10:00PM
Friday 5:00PM- 11:00PM
Saturday- 5:00PM- 11:00PM
Brunch Saturday - Sunday -10:30AM to 2:30PM
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Phone number
(773) 878-1882
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Javier Cruz
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Ashland Ave
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Public transit
Brown Line at Montrose
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 212 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.2
service
3.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2017
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

First off, the place says it is BYOB in Yelp and website. It is not. Drinks were good but skimpy. Food OK. My wife had Salmon, which was good. My entre, nothing special. Overpriced. Half way through the meal, staff seated a couple with a screaming and ill-behaved child next to us even though the place was virtually empty. Would not return

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GR
Dallas
11 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious and authentic. Would recommend to anyone in the city. Affordable and very good service.

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TT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 1

No longer BYO, they need to update social media. Salsa tastes like tomato-basil spaghetti sauce. Disappointed overall.

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A
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It was our first time here and we enjoyed it very much. The service was exceptionally friendly and pleasant and the food was quite good. It had an interesting preparation and was beautifully plated. You should know that they now have a liquor license, and a full assortment of cocktails and other beverages. Also I want to recommend the cheesecake. it is really more of a cake than an American style cheesecake, but it is quite heavenly and large enough for splitting. Not overly sweet, either.

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HG
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Friendly, fast service, suitable for before or after theater. Place was practically empty from 7:30 until closing on a Saturday evening, makes me wonder why they bothered with a liquor license. I understand it was more popular as a BYOB. Pitcher of margaritas very weak. Food-wise, well prepared but unusual ingredients for Mexican fare, on the pricey side, and the dishes seemed over-worked. The Venezuelan restaurant a block away was hopping, with a menu of standard fare. El Maya might be better off sticking with a more traditional Mexican menu rather than the "fine-dining" approach that isn't at all what most people would expect.

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C
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

We were there on a Tuesday night and one of the two dining rooms all to our group of four. The menu is more promising than the food delivered, but the food was generous, solid and nicely cooked.

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T
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

great food and nice staff. food always tastes great

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The food was fresh and ok but trying to be trendy. I prefer authentic Mexican food. The margaritas were very sweet and dense with lemon flavor.

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r
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

El Maya is a gem! We always take out of town guests and are never disappointed. The food is creative Latin fusion with something for everyone. We usually order beer to drink but last time decided to try the house crafted cocktails. Delightful! They have an especially delicious chocolate dessert served in a corn husk. Yum!

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J
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Delicious ceviche, fresh and authentic dishes, fun decor

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2017
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

service was incredibly slow. waited at table for over 25mins and still the waitress did not take our food order. walked out.

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TO
Chicago
152 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2017
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

This place has really good and creative takes on some standard dishes - but this year they changed their BYO/ with corkage to a no outside bottles policy- probably because Mixteco closed a half a block away and they didn't feel the need to compete on that level anymore. It's too bad because we really liked the food- but as collectors we won't be returning as we like to drink our own wines which can't be found on any lists - we never mind even a fairly stiff corkage fee but since we can bring wine to Oriole with two Michelin stars and many many more upscale places - there are too many choices to return here DESPITE having very very good food...

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C
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

First time visitor and we loved this pace. Food was excellent and the service was friendly and accommodating. Prices are a little upscale (no $2 tacos here), but we found the food and experience worth the price. Please note that a full bar is now available.

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e
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food, good service, easy parking. We sat outside on a beautiful early evening

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

First time for us there and it was great. We had our kids and sat on the at side. Service was incredible, the mango margarita was superb, and the waitstaff was great. The bartender served us and was super attentive and joked around with us. Definitely will go back.

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BN
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service, awesome food but noise-deafening room as there were 2 groups of about 10 people each in the room.

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OT
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on May 6, 2017
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

Decent food, bit over priced, ok service, nice people ,very noisy, could not have a pleasant conversation

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2017
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 4

It was cinco de mayo so I understand that it was busy but they were not following any of the reservations. After 1.5 hrs later we never got our food so we left. Not a very well thought out night on their part.

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OT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great authentic food but place was packed. Staff was extremely pleasant which made customers relax and enjoy the wait. We opted to eat at the bar and still it took a long time to get a drink and our food. Since no one was just standing around - the staff works amazingly hard - I would go back and try again. The next time I would be prepared for the wait, even with a reservation.

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VT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

The food was excellent… once it got to us. OpenTable screwed up and overbooked it on Cinco de Mayo. We had a 7:15 reservation, but still had to wait 30 min. It was a mess! When we were seated, it took 15 minutes before anyone came to our table with chips and salsa. They attended the tables next to us, but somehow we got missed. We finally ordered our food. It took forever to get our food. It seemed like their kitchen was too small or understaffed to handle a full restaurant. TWO HOURS after our reservation, our food was in front of us. I must say, it was worth the wait. They offer pitchers of margaritas for a great price. They allow you to BYOB even though they have a full bar. I DO recommend this place, but just be prepared to wait for your food. Hopefully they get their act together.

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KR
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2017
Overall 2food 4service 3ambience 3

Food was very good. Service was strained, only two servers on Cinco​ de Mayo. We had 6:30 reservations. We were seated at at 7:45. That was the same time 6:15 reservations we're also seated. The noise level was almost deafening. The kitchen was a disaster. The table next to us received only two of the three entrees ordered and later received their small plate orders. Although the food was very good, the service tried to hustle, the restaurant was ill prepared for that night. Opentable really overbooked the restaurant.

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T
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is great and the staff is very attentive and friendly.

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E
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love El Maya! Their dinner and brunch menus feature some of my favorite dishes. Honestly everything is delicious! I love their new bar!

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

El Maya is our go-to neighborhood spot. We have been going here since they opened and the food nevery disappoints and the service is incredible. This is a great spot for large groups and gathering or mid-week dining out. Jimmy (the owner) makes everyone feel special and like they are family. A true gem and must try. They also just opened up bar service and the drinks are unique and great tasting. Incredible food and service at a great value.

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j
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Delicious food, friendly service and great BYOB spot - although they just received their liquor license and will start serving alcohol soon. The queso dip, chicken in mole, and enchiladas were excellent. We had a great girls night here - will be back again soon!

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H
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We always have wonderful, creative food at El Maya. Service is very personable and attentive. They readily accommodate whatever wine or beer you bring and make very good margaritas with your own tequila. This is a family favorite.

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k
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Small neighborhood place has some of the best Mexican food you will have in Chicago. Presentation is impressive and food is incredible! Place is also a family friendly BYOB. Guacamole comes in mild, medium and spicy. We had the medium and it had just the right spice level. Empanadas were crispy on the outside and juice and flavorful in the middle. Had the Envueltas - (skirt steak) over spinach and potatoes in a delicious sauce. Plated food looks great too. Good service as well at reasonable prices

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s
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

When I came inside, no one was there at the reception. I ordered apple and grapes salad. When the order arrived, there were no apples nor grapes. I asked the server why so, he didn't know what to say and went back to the kitchen. It was only then that they told me that there were no apples and grapes yet. Ideally, they should have informed me immediately about this. The queso fundido is not visually appealing and close to disgusting looking. The food is OK but totally not memorable. I wasted my money on this place

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T
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was great! All three of us chose a different dish and all were really tasty. The service was great. Everyone was very personable and friendly. Would definitely go back!

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OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

We loved the food and it was reasonably priced. I didn't know it was BYOB but having a liquor store next door was convenient enough. Ordered a virgin margarita pitcher and they added the tequila I bought. Friendly staff. Will come back.

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OT
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

El Maya is always great. The service is so friendly, inviting, and always consistent. The trout meal was fantastic, but the carne asada was a little standard, nothing stood out. The ceviche was delicious. 5 stars if the carne asada was better

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BB
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2017
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

We were looking for a Mexican restaurant to replace one that we loved that closed a few weeks ago in that neighborhood. It was not disappointing. It is BYOB and the service was very friendly and the food is not your typical Mexican tacos and enchiladas the menu has some interesting selections like rack of lamb, steaks, shrimp oh and enchiladas with mole.

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t
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Food was great, from ceviche to cochinita pibil to the molcahete. Service is quite friendly, but a bit slow at times. Nice simple space, but all the hard surfaces cause it to be very loud. Overall a great neighborhood Mexican place trying to do something different.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Super great find! Very low-key cozy and the staff were fantastic. Everything we tried was well-priced, well-prepared, and fresh. (Highly recommend the ceviche.) BYOB with a convenient liquor store on the corner. I was there with a few friends but much larger groups were enjoying themselves, as were a number of couples, so you could really go for any occasion!

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R
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife and I really enjoyed the modern take on classic Mexican dishes. We will come back.

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F
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I have been to El maya several times and besides being byob, the food is spectacular, it is a great neighborhood gem
It is a great place for elevated Mexican food with traditional ingredients

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BC
Chicago
36 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was wonderful! I'm looking forward to my next visit!

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K
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2016
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I often use Open Table for holiday reservations and it was, up until recently, free of hassles. El Maya changed that by allowing me to make a reservation for what turned out to be a closed restaurant. That kinda sucked, since it was Christmas Day and most everything else in the area was closed. I suppose I should have called to confirm but, like I said, Open Table has been very reliable in the past...it's not their fault--it's on El Maya for not updating their schedule. If you're gonna rely on technology for your business you gotta keep-up with the technology and update these sites if you don't want to inconvenience your customers.

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KE
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my faves and BYO!!! Excellent food, great service, cozy.

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a
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Remember it's BYOB

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