Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.31mi
  2. Distance: 0.54mi
  3. Distance: 0.77mi
  4. Distance: 0.96mi
  1. Distance: 0.31mi
  2. Distance: 0.54mi
  3. Distance: 0.77mi
  4. Distance: 0.96mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.31mi
  2. Distance: 0.54mi
  3. Distance: 0.77mi
  4. Distance: 0.96mi
  1. Distance: 0.31mi
  2. Distance: 0.54mi
  3. Distance: 0.77mi
  4. Distance: 0.96mi

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".

4601 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Indian

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
Closed Tuesday

Cross Street:
Wilson and Lincoln

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(773) 506-0002

Website:
http://essenceofindiachicago.com/

Parking Details:
Street parking as well as public parking lot.

Public Transit:
One block from CTA Brown Line, Western Station.

Executive Chef:
Satya Das

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

Additional:
Beer, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wine

Essence of India Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.8

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.4

Noise

Quiet

100% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (1)
Authentic (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
See All
Cozy (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Casual (1)
Healthy (1)
Neighborhood Gem (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Vegan (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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55 reviews
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 (Chicago)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Appetizers were mediocre but main dishes were very good.

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food4
ambience3
service3

 
·Dined on October 1, 2017

Essence of India is a lovely place for delicious food and good conversation.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Kid-friendly, Good Vegetarian Options, Authentic, Vegan, Healthy, Gluten Free Options, Cozy, Casual, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 20, 2017

Consistently delish.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 16, 2017

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.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 3, 2017

OK so we loved the place, loved the food. But the sodium content had both of us in pain the next day. My feet which never have swollen before were 3 times normal size for 24 hours.

So, we will not be going back. Sadly.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on May 14, 2017

Great location near Lincoln Square.
Nice decoration.
Friendly staff.
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.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual
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food3
ambience3
service3
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on May 12, 2017

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.

Tags: Authentic, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on April 24, 2017

This is our favorite restaurant now. We usually bring our own wine at $10 corkage and we always order 2 jasmine rice with our 3 dishes and we take home enough for lunch the next day. We love this spot!:)

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on April 10, 2017

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!

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Handcrafted Cocktails, Healthy, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Disabled Access, Spicy, Special Occasion, Sunday Lunch, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 2, 2017

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.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 26, 2017

Delicious food, beautiful space.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 29, 2017

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.

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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 31, 2016

I've been coming here for years. Essence is the best Indian food in Chicago.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 3, 2016

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.

Tags: Spicy, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on October 30, 2016

Great Indian food with great staff. The service was prompt and efficient and the waitstaff was very knowledgeable.

Tags: Healthy, Casual, Sunday Lunch, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 24, 2016

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

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on July 23, 2016

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.

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food1
ambience1
service1

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on May 23, 2016

Good was great. Friendly staff.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on April 29, 2016

Food is always good as is the service. Tandoori shrimp and chicken are great as are the curries. The naan is great!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on April 23, 2016

I think Essence is the best Indian food in Chicago. I've tried many other Indian restaurants, but I come back to Essence over and over. The chicken tikka masala is my favorite dish.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on April 1, 2016

Great food!

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food5
ambience4
service4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 19, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 30, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (Naples)·Dined on January 24, 2016

Delicious food. Good value. Nice atmosphere. Highly recommended

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on December 5, 2015

Excellent food. Chicken Karachi was superb. Onion kulcha great. Tandoori chicken excellent. Too much food.

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 17, 2015

Very authentic indian food. The Briyani was well blended with the flavors, the curries were spicy exactly how we asked it to be made and the desserts - Gulab Jamoon and Kulfi were to die for. DE-LI-CIOUS!!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly
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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 22, 2015

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!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on May 15, 2015

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 9, 2015

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.

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food1
ambience2
service3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on May 2, 2015

The food was wonderful and the staff very attentive. The sauces were flavorful without being overpowering. The mango chutney was the best I ever had.

We will be returning!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on April 18, 2015

Large staff, not that interested in attending to our table. They were not busy at the time

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Kid-friendly
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food5
ambience4
service2

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on March 28, 2015

Incredibly overpriced for mediocre food.

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food2
ambience3
service2

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on March 15, 2015

After 7yrs since moving back to Chicago, this place is always my go-to spot for good Indian food. It has since become my husband's and my spot for celebrating occasions - birthdays, baby news, anniversaries, and promotions, etc.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 22, 2014

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.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 12, 2014

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 4, 2014

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!

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 3, 2014

A small pretty place with good service and much better food than most Indian restaurants. Could be quieter, but otherwise a much nicer choice than the big impersonal places on Devon.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience5
service4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 1, 2014

I always come here when I have a craving for Indian cuisine. The food is fantastic (I always order the Achari Murgh) and the outdoor seating is a nice touch.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 20, 2014

Good food. Attentive service but not hovering. We were not rushed. Fun decor. Moderate prices.

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 13, 2014

Food is consistently very good, and the service is always very friendly. We go here a couple times a month.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service4

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