About Essence of India
While you are here, our wish is that you experience a culinary and cultural passage to India. From the multiple Indian spices used in our dishes to the dining room decor that represents the distinctive regions and artwork of India, our goal is to surround you with the "Essence of India".
Chicago, IL 60625
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Friday - Sunday: 12:00pm - 5:00pm
Dinner: Sunday - Monday, Wednesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
Wilson and Lincoln
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Street parking as well as public parking lot.
One block from CTA Brown Line, Western Station.
Private Party Facilities:
For lunch only, we can host private parties up to 50 people on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Private Party Contact:
Satya Das: (847) 208-9343
Beer, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wine
Essence of India Ratings and Reviews
Essence of India has long been one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants. I've now had every vegetarian dish they make and I have enjoyed every one. This is my go-to weekend restaurant when I don't feel like cooking. I used to drive up to Devon street for Indian, but I found that I enjoyed this just as much, if not more, so I just stay in Lincoln Square and go to Essence of India.
Great location near Lincoln Square.
Good options for drinks including some interesting Indian-infused cocktails.
Excellent choices and quality for appetizers but the lamb options of the main menu were disappointing: chewy and not cooked properly.
Not sure if I will go back.
Essense of India continues to be my favorite Indian restaurant in Chicago. The quality of the food is consistently very good. Their tandoori shrimp is outstanding. The service is always attentive and friendly. Its street parking in Lincoln Square area but still easier than in Devon area.
My wife and I enjoy Indian food and after living down the street from Essence of India for several years decided it was time to try it. We are very glad that we did. The food had such flavor, great spiciness if you ask for it, and it's a charming corner spot for date night!
My husband and I went to celebrate his birthday before taking in a show at The Old Town School of Folk music. We had a great experience. It was an early Sunday evening so not too crowded. The service was friendly and attentive. The restaurant is very comfortable and attractive. Most importantly the food was excellent. We are vegetarians. There were many selections for us. The Samosas came to us hot and delicious. The 2 vegetable dishes were delicious. The Garlic Naan was the best we've ever had. They have a nice wine and beer selection and the prices are very reasonable. We will defiantly be back.
We ordered the non - veg sampler and bhuna chicken. The non - veg sampler tasted a bit sweet, which is unusual. It was probably stale as well. The bhuna chicken was simply amazing and perfectly made and quality of chicken too was good. Bhuna is quite spicy.
Essence of India makes a great spot to get dinner before heading over to the Old Town School of Folk Music. The food was great, full of flavor and spices, while being very reasonable. The four of us ate very well and each had a hard beverage for under $120. Plus, I had enough leftovers for two more meals! The lamb was cooked very nicely, and the fried paneer we had as an appetizer was really solid. The ambiance is nice and simple. The waiter was really patient, as we took a bit of time to order because we hadn't seen each other in a long time. He cracked some fairly funny jokes and put up with my stupidly dry sense of humor. They sell 750ml bottles of Kingfisher, so I guess I'd've been happy no matter what.
I look forward to going back there and trying out some other dishes.
We enjoyed the food very much. While ambiance is nice, the presentation of delicious meals trumps ambiance. And the ambiance was lovely nonetheless. The dishes were prepared with a nice array of Indian spices, which is why we eat Indian fare in the first place Service was efficient, meaning that even more complex dishes did not take long to arrive at our table. And the chef came out to see if we enjoyed our meal. I like that touch personally
overpriced bland, un-fresh food. if it was fresh I should have been able to get all white meat chicken (and willingly pay for it) as requested. they were out of papadums. on a Saturday. what proper Indian restaurant 1. runs out of papadum and 2. charges for it? I am used to Indian food in the UK. this does not compare. never again.
We're veterans of the Devon Avenue Indian Food scene and we think this place out performs them. We first tried Essence because of its proximity to the Old Town School but keep going back for the food. My wife prefers that we go alone so she does not have to share her MutterPaneer with anyone. It's all about freshness and the sauces.
My g/f and I love Indian food and wanted to give this place a try. It was a Saturday and crowded. I recommend reservations. The food was very good. We had murg (chicken) tikka masala, benga bharta (eggplant) and lamb kabobs. All tasty and above average. Full bar with Indian beers. Service just average; had to wait longer than I would like for drink refills.
This is our neighborhood go-to place for Indian food. Even if it wasn't in our 'hood we would travel for this restaurant. Consistently flavorful, fresh, and well prepared. Each dish stands on it's own for a unique taste sensation. We have dined here many times and are impressed each time. Friendly, helpful service that does not rush you and makes great suggestions. A note to the owner/chef....keep up the great quality and consistency. Love your restaurant!
The decorative ambiance of the restaurant is always inviting. The staff are friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about the menu. The shrimp vindaloo was ample and spicy, with a rich texture and taste. Between my sister and me? We had an excellent order of the naan bread and spicy rice. From what I could hear, the Indian music was tasteful, and appropriate for the setting.
The food here was not good. The two spinach dishes we ordered were supposed to be medium spicy and they were mild at best with no detectable flavor. We ended up using the only flavorful item, their chutney's, on everything to give taste to the bland items served. I believe it's difficult to create flavorless shrimp but somehow they succeeded. In addition, the bottle we ordered had a broken cork and the server broke it an additional 3 times trying to open it, still served it even with floating cork in the glass. My partner didn't want to deal with getting another bottle because it was already a catastrophe so we kept it, each of us having a single glass, picking out old cork, and leaving the rest. I wouldn't go back here.
Gracious hosts in a setting that accommodated four of us comfortably. Service was attentive without being pushy. Had a great bottle of Gavi for a very reasonable price. Food was uniformly good and when we asked for spicy, it was just that. Will return again soon.
Food is very flavorful and each dish is spiced very nicely. Service is good and helpful if one is not familiar with Indian cuisine. Sometimes service lacks a little during very busy nights, but really a minor issue. Reasonable prices for great dishes. Will surely return many times.
If you've been disappointed in the spice level at other india restaurants, they will be able to accommodate you. They ask you to rate what you'd like on a scale of 1-4. The 4 was awesome (we got a good sweat going and my eyes were watering!). I think they might even do a 5, but I'd suggest trying a 4 first!
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