Essence of India never disappoints. My wife and I have been enjoying coming here for years. The food is always very tasty and staff is friendly. We would highly recommend.
I love Indian Food and I though the food was alright (about 2.5 out of 5 stars). The Coconut Curry Shrimp had a gray color and the shrimp was over cooked (not good, had a very vinegar taste). Found the prices to be high for the amount of food received also. The one positive was that the Chicken Tikka Masala was tasteful but sweet. I would not revisit this location.
Good food and service. Portions were not massive.
My favorite place. The best bryani in all of Chicago.
Good food , and good evening over shadowed by the fact that you have to pay extra for rice ...common , really ?
Appetizers were mediocre but main dishes were very good.
Essence of India is a lovely place for delicious food and good conversation.
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.
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.
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.
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!:)
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.
Delicious food, beautiful space.
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.
I've been coming here for years. Essence is the best Indian food in Chicago.
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.
Great Indian food with great staff. The service was prompt and efficient and the waitstaff was very knowledgeable.
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.
Good was great. Friendly staff.
Food is always good as is the service. Tandoori shrimp and chicken are great as are the curries. The naan is great!
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.
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.
Delicious food. Good value. Nice atmosphere. Highly recommended
Excellent food. Chicken Karachi was superb. Onion kulcha great. Tandoori chicken excellent. Too much food.
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!!
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.
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!
Large staff, not that interested in attending to our table. They were not busy at the time
Incredibly overpriced for mediocre food.
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.
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.