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Macarena Tapas - St. Charles

3.9
148 reviews
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$30 and under
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Tapas / Small Plates
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for Groups

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About

Macarena Tapas was opened by Executive Chef John Borras in 2007. Whith an emphasis on traditional yet creative Spanish tapas cuisine, the menu incorporates both classic favorites and original new dishes. Macarena has a contemporary flare, but encompasses a welcoming, traditional Spanish tapas atmosphere.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Tapas / Small Plates, Spanish
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Hours of operation
Lunch Tuesday - Friday 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Dinner Tuesday - Thursday 5:00 PM - 9:00PM
Friday 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Saturday 3:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Sunday 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Phone number
(630) 945-3458
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
John Borras
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Neighborhood
What 148 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9based on all time ratings
4.0
food
4.0
service
3.8
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on November 26, 2016

Very good food served as small plates that are great to share. The owner and staff were very attentive and our group had a great time.

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2.0Dined on October 4, 2016

Very slow and inattentive service.

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4.0Dined on October 1, 2016

Everything was very good with the exception of the chorizo and cheese dish (so salty we couldn't eat it). The scallops and the crab cake dishes are AWESOME! Spicy chicken skewers were very good as well. This is location has a smaller menu than the Naperville location, but has a nicer atmosphere and is larger in room size. Grilled asparagus was good as were drinks. Service was excellent.

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5.0Dined on September 30, 2016

We were surprised at how good the food was here. The place was practically empty on a Friday night at 7 which is crazy because the food and cocktails were really a treat.

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1.0Dined on September 25, 2016

Stay away from here, they appear to be getting ready to close. We sat for 30 minutes waiting for a beer and a Manhattan that was really a Cosmopolitan (huh??). The restaurant only had two other tables seated during our entire visit. The one server for the entire restaurant, who also tends bar and is perhaps the chef/owner, was just lost as to what service means. Did I mention that while he made the 30-minute drinks no other table received any service at all?

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4.0Dined on September 10, 2016

Great flavors, service was so so. I would go back and try it again, and will tell others. I hope they stick around

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5.0Dined on August 19, 2016

The food was great the service was wonderful. We have been to the Naperville location many times before but since we moved closer to the St. Charles location we thought we would give it a try. It's bigger and very comfortable the service is great and the owners daughter wonderful. It was very slow for a Friday night however and we discovered that the owners had been away taking care of family. They are back now. The menu is back on point and delicious. Hopefully people will give it another chance. We loved it.

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5.0Dined on August 6, 2016

We appreciated speaking with owner/chef John and enjoyed everything our great server suggested. They don't hurry you! Blue cheese Mac and cheese, fried goat cheese balls, all of our meat dishes were great! Family recipes and good sangria! We ate outside but inside decorations unique too.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2016

Your chef and waitress were awesome and welcoming!!

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3.0Dined on July 30, 2016

Overall it wasn't the best tapas and while I expect tapas derive to be slow. The service was a bit slow and lasted 2 hrs for a party of 4). Glad I didn't order paella !! The mushrooms, shrimp and tacos were good. Grilled octopus was over Cooked and chewy. The spicy potatoes were ok (not the best plated or formed). I'm going to try out the one in Naperville to see if it is better. Ambiance was quite and it was not a busy Saturday night.

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4.0Dined on July 30, 2016

Delicious food.

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4.0Dined on July 16, 2016

We shared several plates, most of which were delicious. The scallops wrapped in bacon seemed a little overcooked, as they were a bit dry and chewy. The dates wrapped in bacon are always a good choice and we enjoyed the mussels, which were huge, and the Mac and blue cheese. The beef tenderloin skewers were also excellent.

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5.0Dined on July 9, 2016

Best kept secret in St. Charles!! The owner and staff are great! They don't rush you at all - They actually want you to stay and enjoy yourself!! The Tappas is a solid 10 - you will not be disappointed - and the Red Sangria is a must have! It is very nice to go out and have something that you can't make at home! Bottom line - When you go say Hi to John and watch how he and the staff treat you like family:)

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4.0Dined on July 9, 2016

Great friendly staff greeted us at the door and acknowledged our reservation seating us promptly in the outside terrace. We opted for the house margaritas - that were served right on cue -wonderfully balanced and served in classic large heavy glass bowls. We sampled a variety of tappas- my favorite was the cold trout on crusties! 07/09/16

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5.0Dined on May 28, 2016

Perfect experience. Chef was welcoming and very knowledgeable, and after asking if we wanted cream in our coffee personally walked down to oberweis and bought some.

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5.0Dined on May 28, 2016

Every dish we tried was cooked to perfection especially the shrimp. Can't wait to go back to try the octopus.

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5.0Dined on May 8, 2016

We celebrated mother's day with an early dinner. The food was excellent, possibly the best tapas I have ever had. The service was excellent, our server was attentive making sure we had everything we needed. The atmosphere was comfortable and the noise level was moderate. We had a great time and will definitely be back.

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4.0Dined on May 7, 2016

This was our first opportunity to go to Macarena Tapas. We had a reservation but did not really need it at the time we went as the restaurant was not too crowded. We had our 10 year old daughter with us and this restaurant was family friendly. The menu had a great variety of items, including gluten-free options. All of the dishes we ordered had great flavor - the only concern was the octopus was a little tough - but we enjoyed everything overall. We will go back another time.

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5.0Dined on April 16, 2016

This is our second dinner and we had a great time. Great food and drink. We will be coming here weekly from now on. Great place. Love the food and the people.

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2016

Authentic SPANISH food. Reminded us of our trip to Madrid and Barcelona. Very knowledgeable and friendly staff. We will be back.

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3.0Dined on March 19, 2016

The last time I went here the food was great and service was awful. Pleasantly surprised to have great service this time around, though the music was extremely loud; difficult to have a conversation. Most of the dishes we had were very good, a few in out party were underwhelmed. Overall a good experience. I had a passion fruit margarita that was outstanding.

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3.0Dined on February 27, 2016

This easy to find, comfortable eatery has a lot of potential! The very hospitable servers were very gracious & attentive. Our food was fresh & tasty. 2 things we would change would be to either turn off the noisy, annoying music that was abrasive on the ears, or play tunes that would be Latin or something that sounds authentic to this type of establishment. Secondly, if they could invest in a blender - it would probably be a boon to them. No frozen margaritas - so my husband order a regular one - but it tasted like grain alcohol. Some like it strong - but we're more mellow drinkers.

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4.0Dined on February 13, 2016

Macarena's decor is great. It's a good choice for a date night. The majority of the food was excellent. The only problem I had was with the beef skewers. The beef tasted like it had been microwaved or something. The shrimp and salmon were perfect though. There service was great. Our waitress was very attentive. The cost was a bit high considering the amount of food but that is typical of every Tapas restaurant I've been to.

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4.0Dined on February 13, 2016

My wife and I went early on a Friday eve., and were seated immediately. We ordered six plates. The server was friendly and the food arrived quickly. The time for us to dine was well under an hour. Without alcoholic drinks the meal and tip was $94. While the food was very good, I feel the cost was about 25% higher than what I would otherwise expect for a suburban restaurant in a commercial strip.

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5.0Dined on February 12, 2016

Tapas is a no go for me! The portions are small and I always end up at a fast food stop on the way home. This place is the exception. The portions are Tapas but a reasonable size. Lots of flavor and they have to die for Taco menu. I left a tapas place for the first time full.

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2.0Dined on February 12, 2016

Seating was very uncomfortable. The first seat was a picnic table with metal stools. We than asked to move to the bar booths. The bar booth seat backs very were unstable and shared with the party behind you. Every time the person behind you moved, you were jarred back and forth. It is very annoying. The waitress was young and nice. The food was fair but expensive for the quality. I won't go back because I don't get to go out much with 4 kids at home and there are many better places to choose from.

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3.0Dined on February 12, 2016

We ate at the restaurant last week for the first time. We did not realize that the restaurant specialized in tacos as well as tapas. Our server immediately steered us toward the Mexican offerings, with chips and guacamole to start. Because my son was very hungry, we opted for that, rather than our first choice of baked goat cheese - which had a disappointing 15 minute wait warning on the menu. We stayed with the Spanish selections for the rest of the meal. Overall the food was okay, but certainly not remarkable. Portions seemed light compared to the price, and this was especially true with the guacamole, which ran out long before the chips did.

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1.0Dined on January 30, 2016

The service was overwhelmed and they did not bring a ordered dish and never checked back for more drinks or more food.
High hopes but fell short.
Was a loud and hectic experience. Tried hard to give them a chance and tried to go with the flow could not make it happen.

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4.0Dined on January 22, 2016

Loved the crab cakes, the goat cheese balls & the spicy potatoes. Steak skewers were over cooked ( waiter never asked how we wanted the steak meat cooked) next time I would say medium rare or I'd try something else.
Had the chocolate molten cake that was good but I would say Morton's steakhouse has the best molten cake ever. I would try their Flan next time

A little worried the restaurant might be closing their doors was pretty slow for a Friday night at 6:30 I really hope not

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4.0Dined on December 31, 2015

The food at Macarena was excellent as it has been every time we have been there. The only reason we don't go more often is that it is a very expensive meal, especially if you add a bottle of wine or a pitcher of Sangria. By the way, the Sangria is excellent and highly recommended. We went as a couple but it might be better to go as a group of 4. That gives you the ability to order and sample a number of tapas options.

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1.0Dined on November 14, 2015

Horrible food. The carne asad was like shoe leather. The octopus was more potato than octopus, and what little there was was like rubber. Bacon wrapped dates were the size of peanuts, as were the shrimp.
We left hungry and very disappointed.

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5.0Dined on November 7, 2015

We love this place. It is a great locations for a fun time with friends. The Tapas style allows you to sample a number of dishes and share with friends. They have a number of vegetarian options. We always get the patatas bravas, and highly recommend them. The service is friendly and not over bearing. They allow you to enjoy your meal and don't rush you out the door. Highly recommended.

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4.0Dined on November 7, 2015

The small plates were well done but no bread to start with. Very few vegetable options. They need to add rice to some of the meat tapas. Mexican options were varied & looked appetizing.

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5.0Dined on November 6, 2015

Wonderful atmosphere. Incredible food. Some of the best tapas. Rene was a great host. It is a great place to have dinner with friends. Try the sangria, you won't be disappointed

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4.0Dined on September 26, 2015

Another tapas in St Charles area. I enjoy the dining experience, the food was well presented and very tasty. The selection was interesting a mix of standard tapas fare with a few new choices. I would have enjoyed more diversity. The salad with mangos, goat cheese and walnuts was the best item we had.

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3.0Dined on September 11, 2015

The food is very good but the prices are a bit ridiculous for the portions. Somewhere to try but you may leave hungry after paying a nice size bill...

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3.0Dined on September 5, 2015

I was quite impressed wit the St. Charles location. I've been a fan of Macarena Tapas since they opened in Naperville. This new location has a great patio and excellent service. Look forward to returning for dinner.

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3.0Dined on August 22, 2015

Very disappointed with the noise level - we could barely have a conversation at our table. When we asked for a quieter table, we were told that all the tables were the same. The food started out pretty tasty, but each subsequent dish was less tasty and ended up with a filet of beef on a stick which was uneatable. Service was slow and poor overall. Don't think we will go back.

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2.0Dined on July 18, 2015

There are fewer tapas offerings on Macarena's menu than there used to be, which have been replaced by tacos and other Mexican dishes. While we enjoy both Spanish and Mexican cuisine, it seems odd to offer Mexican food at a Spanish restaurant. Chips and salsa and bacon-wrapped dates??? Weird. Sangria was okay, but we were sometimes given glasses with the customary fruit and another time not. The food we ordered was both mediocre and overpriced. We won't be back.

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3.0Dined on June 27, 2015

We were excited about having tapas in town and couldn't wait to visit. Good service, Nice ambiance albeit the piped in music was loud to the point of being distracting. The genre failed to match the ambiance of Spanish tapas. Food was very tasty. The portions are small as expected, but the bill was huge, more than double what the meal was worth. That was the disappointment that will not have us back again.

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