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La Taberna Tapas on Halsted

4.2
271 reviews
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$30 and under
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Spanish
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for Groups
  • Fit for Foodies

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About

The chef team of Enrique Cortez (Olé Lounge) and Gustavo Castañeda (Zocalo) bring their modern interpretation of classic Spanish tapas to University Village. Savor the puff pastry empanadas filled with ground beef, raisins, queso fresco, chile ancho and topped with avocado mousse. For the heartier appetite, try the cedar plank grilled New York strip served with spicy patatas bravas and chimichurri sauce. La Taberna Tapas also offers specialty sangrias, creative cocktails and a fun and approachable wine list. Come enjoy the modern taste and atmosphere of La Taberna Tapas on Halsted.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 3:00pm - 12:00am, Sunday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(312) 243-9980
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Enrique Cortez / Gustavo Castañeda
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Private party facilities
We offer packages to accommodate cocktail parties to formal dinner parties. For more information call us at 312.243.9980 or send an inquiry to jc@latabernatapas.com.
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Private party contact
Juan Carlos Castañeda: (312) 243-9980
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Catering
We offer competitively priced catering options for every occasion. For more information call us at 312.243.9980 or send an inquiry to jc@latabernatapas.com.
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Cross street
Maxwell
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Parking details
There is a university lot at Maxwell and Union that charges $2 for the first 2 hours
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Entertainment
We offer live music on the weekends.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Entertainment, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 271 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2based on all time ratings
4.2
food
4.0
service
4.1
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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1.0Dined on April 7, 2018

My fiancee and I were planning on having our wedding reception here, being that it was to be a small wedding and planned very quickly. The chef who we dealt with was very accommodating, and we had a verbal agreement with everything we wanted.

Before we had a chance to draft up a formal contract, we found out that the chef had quit and we were to deal with another one of the managers there. After we got worried we were going to have to rework out our deal, he told us we had nothing to worry about, the original terms would be honored, and he would get the contract together.

One WEEK before our wedding, the owner of the restaurant calls my fiancee' and would not agree to anything near what was agreed upon, wanting to charge us nearly double of what we were originally promised. He knew we were in a very difficult position and tried to take advantage of us. This is a horrible way to conduct business and no matter how much it ruined our wedding, I was not going to let this man hold us hostage. We found another restaurant literally 4 DAYS before the wedding and made the most of a bad situation.

Since we put a $1000 deposit down on a credit card, we received a check from the restaurant reimbursing the money. The maid of honor, however, was not as lucky. She wrote them a check for $300 to help with the liquor cost, and we were returned the check, as the restaurant claimed they did not cash it. Only it turns out they did. When we confronted the owner about this, he claims we were given "cash" back and not the check. How he knew this, we have no idea; we never even met him in person. We dealt with the manager, who it turns out doesn't even work there anymore either! He refused to give her the money back and literally told us "do what you want about it" and hung up on us, knowing full well it is our word against his, and it would not be worth taking him to court over $300. After months of attempting to meet in person with him and not having any luck, we have given up.

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5.0Dined on August 12, 2017

Great Patio, Great Food and Great Service. This is a comfortable, relaxed setting for lunch and dinner.

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2017

Fantastic,amazing, gastronomically wonderful dining experience My friends and I enjoy a different ethnic dining experience each month and none has come close to this one! The food was prepared and presented beautifully. Everything was fresh and tasty. Enrique,the chef was friendly and very helpful in his suggestions to assure we ordered the proper amount and enjoy a variety of dishes that compliment d each other We cannot wait to return to this fabulous restaurant

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4.0Dined on July 23, 2017

Went there during lunch time. I ordered mussels with bacon, toast with goat cheese and grilled chicken with saffron rice. Food was very good however alittle pricy. Background music was loud during lunchtime. Decor is beautiful

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4.0Dined on July 21, 2017

My husband and I went for dinner because it was too hot to cook. We really enjoyed our meal, especially the pork belly. It was tender and the sauce was yum!

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3.0Dined on July 15, 2017

Typically we always have a good experience when we go with no complaints about the experience, this time we did have a few issues with the service , value and ambiance - first and most importantly, the service - waitress was not attentive and did not check up on us for awhile after our second tapas - we would've liked to put our main course in while the second order of tapas came in - other smaller issues , such as no candle was lit on our table , and the lack of cutlery when I received my main course (8oz prime rib with no fork) - secondly: value - this place started to charge for Coke refills - ridiculous! Every similar restaurant that We've been to does not charge for refills on soda - even fancier more expensive places , sugar tax is not even into effect - third , Ambiance: it was so hot in this place that we started to perspire - the A/C would kick on every so often , and the ceiling fans helped , but it was definitely warm. Lastly they have live music every Saturday, and it's typical a gypsy flamenco style of music - this time they had something that sounded like sped up elevator music - to each his own but it wasn't pleasing . I hope they make the adjustments necessary, because the food really it's excellent and it's one of our favorite restaurants.

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3.0Dined on July 14, 2017

Food was amazing but service not so much. Once our food was out, our server barely checked on us. We had already finished dessert and we told her we were going to leave after dessert and it took over 20 minutes to even see her. When we tried to talk to her, she walked away. We had to ask a busser to find her so we can get our check. It was even more disappointing since it was a slow night.

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2.0Dined on July 8, 2017

We waited five minutes for someone to acknowledge us at the hostess table. Restaurant only had three other couples dining. The music was so loud you couldn't hear the person in front of you. It took 10 minutes for the waiter to acknowledge us and take drink order and another 10 mins to get our drinks. The seafood paella was good but not good enough to return.

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5.0Dined on July 8, 2017

Great place for tapas. The food is delicious and the service and ambience are just right on.

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5.0Dined on June 11, 2017

The waiter was very helpful in describing the dishes. The food was excellent. The red sangria was wonderful.

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4.0Dined on May 24, 2017

Very good food.

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4.0Dined on May 14, 2017

Good food but just a little bit on the pricey side . Other tapas places have good food and Better value...meaning a bit more food for the money .
.Otherwise good ambience. I would still recommend it.

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4.0Dined on May 14, 2017

The food was as usual very tasty but the service was poor

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2017

La Taberna Tspas is one of the best restaurants in Chicago. Food is fabulous (Enrique, the master chef is back!!). The food was great but now even better and more imaginative. Great, unique drinks: try "The Lime in the Coconut ."

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5.0Dined on May 3, 2017

Love this place!!!! The tapas and paella are always soooo good!!!!😍

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2017

Always amazing!!!

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3.0Dined on March 24, 2017

Fair selection of tapas. Nothing exciting. Overpriced for decent tapas.

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5.0Dined on March 20, 2017

I had not been to La Taberna since early in its inception seven years ago, and I remembered it being good. But this time, I found it truly outstanding. The chef/owner, Enrique, came to our table to tell us some of the history of the place and his approach to food preparation, and he was totally enjoyable. The food was terrific, and the place is downright lovely. I will be going back.

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4.0Dined on March 18, 2017

Four of us met here for dinner. First of all, they have a very good wine list, and the chef was in the dining room and helped us make excellent selections. We had a shrimp tapas--can't remember which one--but it was very good; and we had the datiles tapas, which everyone loved. We ordered the LaTaberna paella for everyone and it was excellent. When it first arrived, I was concerned that it wouldn't be enough for all of us, but actually we had some left over. Since it was the weekend, they had a Flamenco singer and dancer. We were seated at the opposite end of the room from the entertainment, which was fine with us since we were more interested in talking.

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5.0Dined on February 12, 2017

Quality food and excellent service!

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1.0Dined on February 1, 2017

I was able to make a reservation but got there to find a locked door and dark empty restaurant. The individual I had with me for a business lunch was not impressed.

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5.0Dined on January 4, 2017

Love the Paella, we keep coming back for it...

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2016

This is one of our favorite restaurants. We love going for special occasions or just because. Great food. Great service. Can be romantic or fun, whatever occasion you are celebrating.

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5.0Dined on December 18, 2016

As always, the many tapas that we ordered and shared were delicious and nicely presented.
The variety is impressive with exceptional preparations of meats, seafood, cheeses, and vegetarian selections. We try to select something new to us each time we visit La Taberna.
Our choice on this occasion was Pulpo alla Plancha, grilled octopus with roast potatoes. It was outstanding, beautifully seasoned and melt-in-your mouth tender - not an easy task with octopus! We always share paella. It all goes down well with one of their sangrias! We leave beyond sated and happily looking forward to our next visit.

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5.0Dined on November 6, 2016

Great food, good service, nice music. Very deceiving from the outside for he quality on the inside. Welcome surprise.

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4.0Dined on November 5, 2016

Service was slow as far as asking for drink orders and getting our check. It was a beautiful day and I didn't realize they had a patio, I wish the host would have asked if I wanted to sit outside - I would have jumped on it.

The food is fantastic. I would recommend it.

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5.0Dined on October 22, 2016

This place was amazing! It was the first time my wife and I went and tried tapas and we were not disappointed! Food was great, our waitress was very nice and helped us make selections because it was our first time. Food came out quickly. We loved the whole evening! We will definitely be there again some time soon.

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2.0Dined on April 7, 2016

The food and sangria were very good; however, the service ruined our dining experience. It was hard to focus on the food when we had to remind our waiter multiple times that we had actually ordered something. He acted as though he did not remember us placing our order. The manager did his best to reconcile the situation (dessert on the house), but by that time we were ready to leave. To top it all off, we were over charged on our bill. Again the manager apologized and removed the items as appropriate.

There are many other tapas restaurants in the city that have the same level of food paired with far superior service. I'd return to those before ever returning here.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2016

Heading to the city for dinner however heard that there major traffic issues. Decided to go to Little Italy area yet wanted to try something new. We were so happy with our choice! Great food, great service and great entertainment! We had 5 items plus a paella. All were great! We will be back again soon.

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3.0Dined on February 27, 2016

The server was not very good. There were a max of 6 or 7 occupied tables. We waited 15 minutes to have our order taken. The food was delivered in a timely manner. However the server never came back to check on us. We asked a busboy to please ask her to come to our table. We asked for the bill. Got the bill. Server did not come back for the payment. After more than 10 minutes we ended up having to go find the server to pay for our meal.

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3.0Dined on February 23, 2016

There was only one other party in the restaurant and yet we had to find the server to order, get refills, obtain bill and after waiting 15 minutes walk over to where they were congregating to ask them to please charge us already. Food was so so, we were disappointed perhaps if service was on point our o real experience would have been better. We truly did not expect to listen to Motown all night at a Spaniard themed restaurant.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2016

Great atmosphere, great food. Love this place!

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5.0Dined on January 21, 2016

Lovely time. Food and service ... outstanding!

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4.0Dined on December 11, 2015

First time at restaurant, overall experience was good. I had expected to Latin dance but instead there was a band playing with no room for dancing. Food and drinks were very good. Service was a little slow.

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3.0Dined on November 20, 2015

I see that there was a review about the service posted several months ago. I must of had the same waiter. The service was not acceptable and the food was just ok. The prices were reasonable and the band playing in the background was very nice. I would not go back only because there are so many good restaurants in Chicago so why waste my time on poor service.

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4.0Dined on October 23, 2015

Good neighborhood spot for tapas with friendly service.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2015

food was superb. great variety. service was excellent. not too expensive

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5.0Dined on May 10, 2015

We went to Taberna Tapas for Mother's Day this past Sunday. My mom loved it! Neither of my parents had tried tapas before, and both really enjoyed it. The staff was friendly and available when needed, with the exception of when it got a little busy. We arrived for a 12:30 pm reservation, and the restaurant was pretty empty, but once it started getting full and busier, we didn't see our waitress for about 30 minutes, after we'd ordered dessert. It took so long we didn't want to eat our dessert there so we took it to go. I had to walk up to the receptionist to ask for the dessert to go and provide her my credit card for us to pay. Besides, this long wait, everything else was perfect. We understood it got pretty busy, however, didn't agree it had to take so long to bring our dessert, or at least provide an update.

Thank you,
Lucy

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2.0Dined on April 27, 2015

I wish it wasn't as bad as it is. Mediocre is a grasp.

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5.0Dined on April 27, 2015

Had dinner here with a good friend that was visiting from Europe. We enjoyed the ambiance. It was quiet and we could converse easily on a Monday night. There were ~ 4-5 other tables with customers.
- the patatas bravas are some of the best I've ever had
- the grilled octopus with potatoes was excellent
- the red sangria was a bit "thin" but had good flavor. (Cafe Iberico has the best red sangria in town)

My friend summed it up as such, "Taberna Tapas has better and more innovative tapas than many tapas bars in Spain."

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