R J Grunt's

4.3
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1560 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American

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About

The first Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, Grunts still exudes the funky, devil-may-care lifestyle of the 70s in its style, décor, music, and menu. Happily for all of us, the best eating of that day continues to be some of the best today. While there"s a huge menu that's as much fun to eat your way through as it is to read, many of Grunts' old favorites spark return visits. The burgers are arguably the best in town. The salad bar boasts more than 50 ingredients daily. Giant malts and milkshakes are hand scooped and come in a rainbow of favors. Oh! Don't forget the barbecued baby back ribs and pulled pork sandwiches!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American
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Hours of operation
Monday - Thursday: 11:30am to 10:00pm Friday: 11:30am to 10:30pm Saturday: 10:00am to 10:30pm Sunday: 10:00am to 9:00pm Brunch Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 2:00pm
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Phone number
(773) 929-5363
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Dickens
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 1560 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3based on all time ratings
4.2
food
4.2
service
4.0
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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KP
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

RJ Grunts...the home of the original salad bar, it's always a great time. Their service is outstanding, the staff is friendly, and tastiness of the food is awesome. We recently went there on our anniversary dinner (with our 2 teenage kids) and they were great. We were seated within a few minutes of arrival, and they surprised us with a free dessert for all of us to share at the end. The final bill was more than reasonable, especially when you consider it fed 4 very hungry people with multiple trips to the salad/soup bar plus drink. This is a place that everyone should go to at least once--and like us, a dozen+ times annually for the past few decades.

MD
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our Family loves this place....Great Meal every time. The Dude who handles the salad bar, is a rock star.

EH
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience4

Our waitress Brittany was knowledgeable knew her stuff, very attentive she did a great job!

c
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Brunch buffet and salad bar were fresh and outstanding, as well as California wrap and peppercorn burger. Fabulous service.

S
Chicago
125 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

been there many times over the years, but the meal the other night is not at all enjoyable.

Price /quality not balanced. The meals were well plated with gobs of french fries etc but the taste wasnt the same as in past years.The salad bar was alright and not much change over the past several years.

Not the same place it used to be Im sorry to say.

The lady waitstaff was unattentive and not very good. Too bad. 1 star out of 4....

AL
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

The ONLY reason why I didn't give it 5 stars is because they got rid of their Chicken Pate and Tuna Salad at the salad bar. They were the biggest reason why I got the salad bar there. I'm not saying the salad bar isn't good, or that the selection isn't great. I was just disappointed to see them change the things I liked best of the bar. The food and service is always great, and if something isn't right, they do their best to make it right. This trip was great. Everything came out piping hot, and very tasty. Our service was on point. They recently changed their seating. It can be a little tight if you're a little (a lot) overweight as I am, but it does make it so the walk ways are much easier to move in. They put in more booths in leu of the dining tables and chairs that they used to have. I highly recommend this place. It's a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant that I still love going to.

C
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Service was not so good which is unusual for a Lettuce restaurant. A waitress came over to introduce herself and then never came back.My husband ordered a beer but that didn't show up. We stopped another waitress and asked for our waitress but she said she would bring a beer. Then, she came back and said she would take our order. My husband got his appetizer but his entire never came. Finally, we asked how long it would be and she said she didn't know we ordered something else!!!!!! Wow! What was going on there. We were going to the theater and no-one brought the check.OK, maybe it was a bad night but really?

CO
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of our favorite places for lunch! It's always great , we've been customers since it opened, and are thrilled that it has survived!

a
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Wonderful throwback joint with good burgers and great salad bar!

p
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience4

This is one of the few restaurants left that has a salad bar. I have several friends that have teenagers and they like to go there so that they fill up on salad. The burgers are great and the ribs are also very good. The bottomless pit of teenage stomachs get filled and the grown ups get craft beers and a good bar selection. Everyone goes away happy. What's not to like?

OT
Chicago
70 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Went for the hamburgers and chicken.

MB
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

I was looking for a place that had a large salad bar so my vegan family member could enjoy our outing. We were all very happy with the choices on the menu...and the salad bar was exceptional! It had every possible vegetable you would imaginable to put on a salad and more. The place is much smaller than expected. It was pretty cramped. A large person might have difficulty getting around.

RL
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

RJ Grunts is the original restaurant of the Lettuce Entertain You organization. We have been going there for 30 years, since our kids were tots. Now that we are all adults, I still insist that we go to RJG for my birthday -- it's a tradition.

The hamburgers are great (particularly the Gruntburger) the beer is cold and the staff is friendly. A great Chicago tradition.

LR
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best patty melt and French onion soup in the city! I also ordered a side of merkts cheddar cheese to dip my fries in and it made my meal extra perfect!

OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Everything was fine. Nothing outstanding.

RL
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Love the salad bar, portions big on menu items

HS
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Always consistent and delicious!

OT
Detroit
4 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love everything about RJ’s! Good food, excellent service!

SD
Chicago
25 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience4

Honestly, I have been going to RJ Grunts for decades. We were there to celebrate my birthday. The service was slow (off time on a Friday) and there were other tables having issues, as I saw the manager talking to a table near ours. We were there with my grandkids to celebrate and the server either forgot, wasn't made aware or was too busy with other tables that nothing was mentioned. Rather disappointing, since we have had better food and service on many other occasions. It appears plates are downsized with portions. I understand the burger was good, but the grilled cheese looked atrocious. We may not be back for a long time, especially never on an occasion.

LI
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Very good food! Portions were quite large too. Tables are way to small and close together... no privacy or comfort at all
The booths are too tight as people walking in the isles bump people at their table. Too dark too ... mid afternoon and it was hot and dark

JF
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Really great food. Seating is tight, it's loud and always a very long wait even with reservations. But if you go in with the right expectations it is a good experience and the food is worth it.

SG
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food was great! Service could have been better. Hostess did not check us in properly so I received an email from Open Table stating that we had not honored our reservation.

RK
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great as always I have been going there for over 40 years.

MM
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience3

I have been going to Grunts since they first opened. Always known for their burgers. The service has always been great and was at our recent visit. The burgers were dry. It appeared and tasted if they were precooked and then heated up. They were also flattened and not like the big juicy burgers of the past . The cottage fries were also not fresh. They were over cooked and tasted as if they were precooked and broken into pieces like chip. Very disappointed

SM
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and good price!

OT
Detroit
5 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday celebration!

NT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Although the restaurant was packed, service and food excellent.

g
Chicago
57 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall5food4service5ambience4

honored dietary requests. waitstaff was attentive, disappointed that anniversary was not acknowledged. it was noted in the reservation.

Food excellent and hot when delivered. a place to return to for reasonable price in Lincoln park.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love R J Grunts! It’s our yearly tradition. We eat our awesome onion rings and amazing dinner and then head to Lincoln Park Zoo Lights! Perfect location. Great service. Fun atmosphere!

OT
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall4food3service3ambience4

A Family get together before visiting Zoo Lights. Had reservations for 6 at 4pm. It had been awhile since we were last here. Used to be a great hamburger joint, great ambiance and good food. The ambiance was still the same; the service ok, but the food quality had gone down dramatically. We order hamburgers, fish and chips and a couple of kids dishes. The burgers were smaller, had less garnishments, and had little tastes. The fish and chips was smaller proportioned; not as tasty and the chips (fries) thinner and smaller. Overall, the food was nowhere the quality we remembered and a disappointment. Did not try the salad bar but it looked a bit spartan compared to when were last there.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall1food1service2ambience3

Food was ice cold, tables were super small and they served food in gigantic platters leaving us barely any space to eat. Felt uncomfortable and squished next to table next to us. Couldn’t give me a high chair for my one year old so she had to sit in a booster seat and I had to hold her the entire time. Not worth the money at all. Surprised this is a Lettuce Entertain you place. Will not return or suggest this to anyone. It seems like people just go here bc of the proximity to the zoo. Best part was the valet parking and only paying $5 more to stay parked there for zoo. Major thumbs down. Go somewhere else.

OT
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Brought my 86 year old Ma! She loved it from the service to the burger to the 70’s music!

OT
Grand Rapids
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome service, excellent food, and we loved the atmosphere!!!

DG
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have been coming to RJ Grunts for the last ten years as our annual holiday dinner and Zoolights outing. We have yet to be disappointed -great service, great food and an energetic and lively atmosphere all add up to a great evening.

L
New York Area
92 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been going here since it first opened. Still love it!! The homemade chips are the best!!

L
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Always a great late dinner after Zoo Lights. Our family loves going year after year. Always great service and smiling staff!

PM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience5

I hadn't been to RJ Grunts in about 40 years and it felt just the same today as it did in the early 70's. I was happy to see that it hadn't changed much!

SG
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Overall an average experience. Place is small and seating is tight. Staff needs to come up with a better system of seating people. Walk ins should never be allowed to be seated when there are reservations not filled yet. Onion rings are not worth the price. We were expecting a larger order than what was brought to the table.
Menu needs more variety. Mostly burgers and sandwiches. Though the burgers were delicious, there needs to be more healthier options on the menu.

DD
Miami
6 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Packed because of Zoo Lights!! Pretty cool that they hv a stroller lock out front for all u parents out there!
I just moved down the street & I definitely will be here a lot more! Salad Bar was awesome. Burgers are the best I’ve had around here. Mac & Cheese is the cheesiest! Chili is perfect w the cheese & onion on top! Cottage fries are a must!

O
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall5food4service4ambience5

RJ Grunts is one of my favorite places since the early '70's