Aba

4.8
790 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mediterranean
Aba is a Mediterranean restaurant with a rooftop patio located in Chicago's historic Fulton Market District. This is Chef CJ Jacobson’s second restaurant with Lettuce Entertain You, and is an extension of Ema (mother in Hebrew) in River North. Aba, meaning father in Hebrew, incorporates a light style of cooking with a large emphasis on raw and cooked protein. The bar program is crafted by Lead Mixologist Liz Pearce and showcases rare Mediterranean-inspired wines and spirits. Please note that outdoor seating is first come first serve, is not available for reservations and is weather permitting.
What 790 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.8
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 2service 5ambience 5

So lovely. Always a treat to spend time with your close friends at Aba. And as always, the creme brûlée pie was amazing.

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M
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently awesome! It’s got the perfect balance of great vibe and ambience combined with outstanding food !
Professional staff and service makes this an ideal spot to come with old friends or impress new ones!

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M
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice ambiance, good food, staff were ultimately accommodating towards our large group (with a little bit of coaxing - I had to turn off my “Midwest Nice” and turn on a bit of my “East Coast A**hole”). All-in-all a nice evening.

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MQ
Chicago
125 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had to book two months in advance for a prime time reservation on a Wednesday. From the time we began dining until we left at 9:00, every single table was taken and it's no wonder as the food is just incredible. The view is awesome if you are lucky enough to get a table outside. FYI, when you make your reservation, you can include in the notes if you prefer to sit indoors/outdoors. There were people that showed up without reservations and I do not know how long they had to wait, but if you really want to visit, show up and try your luck.
Another tip: they will not seat you until your entire party has arrived. We requested a table outside and was told their was a slight wait. No worries, as they have two bar areas to accommodate you while you wait. Even though the hostess was on it, I still found myself double checking to make sure she did not give our table to someone else while we were at the bar.
The fire pits are a nice touch to the patio and while we dined on a perfect clear day, I am sure the pits are much needed on a slightly cooler day.
Aba offers so many choices and I cannot wait to go back to try the other dishes. This time, we went with the following...
Whipped feta
Spicy hummus
Jerusalem bagel
Salmon kebab
Lamb & beef kefta
Octopus
Shrimp Scampi
Creme brûlée pie

All of the dishes were amazing, but the whipped feta, shrimp scampi, salmon kebab, Jerusalem bagel and creme brûlée pie stood out as the top favs. Even my gf's that do not normally eat dessert could not stop dipping their spoon into this pie.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Great ambiance and service, but very disappointed with my meal.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Made a reservation months ago for my fiancé’s birthday. When we showed up the table wasn’t ready and after 45 minutes we noticed the host seating walk-ins before us. When I went to check they acted confused and sat us in the bar area (which is already first come first serve). Then we had a bartender waiting on us instead of a server and the order got messed up. Terrible experience

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M
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful space, inside and out! Two of us ordered five items and it was the perfect amount. The short rib hummus was delicious, as was the green salad, the juicy chicken kefta, the crispy potatoes, and the grilled octopus! All the items we ordered were properly spaced out (instead of arriving on top of each other). I will definitely eat there again. There were a lot of other things I wanted to order.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fantastic!! Beautiful decor, awesome outdoor seating

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PD
Northern MI
16 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our second visit to Aba. It is an absolutely beautiful experience! Your senses will be delighted from the lovely decor and beautiful roof deck with the city rising around you! The staff are Warm and helpful. The elegance yet comfortable ambiance crea perfect into to the dining experience! We enjoyed a won7wine and several items on the small plates. A treason the Fulton Market District you won’t want to miss!

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RC
Berlin
5 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an excellent meal and experience for a early afternoon brunch at Aba. The outdoor and indoor spaces are relaxing and appealing. Our meal was delicious with many shareable options and great cocktails. We brought out of town friends and we all had an excellent time!

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Anniversary

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food and service! Love the breezy rooftop

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday party!

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MB
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Rooftop deck best in city. Short rib hummus a don’t miss..!!

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KS
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Amazing food and ambiance! Great experience. Would highly recommend!!

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l
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent restaurant! The main room and the outdoor patio are beautiful and the food is outstanding. It is well worth the trip to The Fulton Market district to eat here.

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MA
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great vibe, delicious food and friendly service. Really enjoyed my 4th of July lunch there.

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f
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and food choices! My server was outstanding! She noticed nuances of my choices and thoughtfully made adjustments to suit our needs!

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E
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

The third time should be the charm, but alas, it wasn't. I ordered wine and for the 2nd time in a row it was presented to my husband, as was the check. We had reservations and were seated at the worst table, right next to the water station. They did move us to a better table, but only because we asked. When our $130 bottle of wine arrived, it was decanted by the sommelier, who wasn't a real sommelier because he literally dumped the entire bottle into the decanter.

Bottom.line, this is a hugely popular restaurant because everyone thinks it's popular...the service is mediocre and the food is okay, but nothing to rave about. 3 strikes and it's out...this place is crossed off the list...really not worth going to.

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DY
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful evening. Food. Service. Atmosphere all above expected. Very special. Will come back

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P
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Great location in a hip, trendy, and fun part of town. This year Chicago has had a rainy summer and the the sky broke loose just as we arrived. The open roof top patio looked great; however, fortunately we sat inside. The atmosphere was sort of industrial loft-ish with the feeling of being in an older rehabbed building. They had very unique lighting that took advantage of the sky light and live trees with lights passing through them. This was a birthday celebration and Aba came through with a creme burlee cake. This was a unique take on the traditional burlee. Leading up to the desert we had the following share dishes:

Whipped Feta
Short Rib Hummus
Flawful with a sauce
Pork Belly w/ Orzo

Feedback from our group was that everyone really loved the short rib hummus. Ton of veggies that were seasoned and prepared to perfection. Certainly don't hesitate to book a reservation at this fun spot!

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BM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous! Great vibe indoors and out. All dishes were delicious!

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F
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Second time eating here and it's just a great spot all the way around. The food is excellent. Tastes fresh. I also have celiac disease and put a note in ahead of time that I follow a very strict gluten free diet and they were very accommodating. The slow cooked lamb wrapped in eggplant in the tomato sauce is tremendous, highly recommend it.

Great date spot and also a good spot to come with a friend for dinner or drinks.

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KM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

We really wanted to love it, but there were several issues. First, we arrived early (6:15) for our dinner reservations (6:30). It was my husband's birthday. We hoped to sit outside & were told that it might be as long as a 30 minute wait. No problem, we were happy to have a cocktail while waiting. Because we kept being told that we should be seated very shortly, we did not order appetizers. 90 minutes later we were finally seated. By that point we were tired of waiting & quite hungry. The festiveness we felt upon arrival had gone away, & now we were just hungry. It took another 15 minutes for our waitress to come over, who took our drink orders. She did not tell us about the menu or how many dishes to order per person, etc. The drinks were delivered by a server. It's 8p now. We've been there since 6:15 & still have have not ordered. We asked the server to send our waitress over. We asked about the menu & placed our order. The food was really quite good & inventive. The outdoor setting was beautiful. The service was mediocre at best. The staff could take lessons from the staff at Girl & the Goat, who has outstanding service, every time we go. While it was a Monday night, it was quite busy, so that likely plays a roll in the slowness of the seating & the slowness of the waitress. That said, whatever the reason, the restaurant should be prepared for busy evenings, as none of this was acceptable.

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E
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Aftet multiple attempts to make a reservation at Aba we finally had success..
It did not disappoint. The menu of mezes is quite varied. The gluten free menu is amazing! We has lamb hummus and gf flat bread crackers...delish and quite plentiful
The hummus seemed almost whipped. The crispy potatoes were a potato lovers dream. For dessert, we had the halve plate which was home made and melt in your mouth. The accompanying nut squares were butter heaven

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TB
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great: great food, great service, great atmosphere.

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RH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

AMAZING MEAL! Great spice. Have the red pepper spread.

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KN
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Go for the drinks and ambience. The food was meh and overpriced for the quality. They did take the muscles off our bill because the quality was so poor. Maybe unpopular opinion... but we have also been very underwhelmed at Girl & Goat and Little Goat.

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IK
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great service great food, great ambiance. great for date nights

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OT
Los Angeles
148 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great culinary experience

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SG
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and very good service. We really enjoyed it!

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AL
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Absolutely incredible food and drinks. Get the braised short rib hummus! Service was slower - it was a Tuesday night and was packed - but was a good way to get to truly enjoy each dish we tried. Waiter was super helpful.

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JM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and service with an incredible atmosphere. Beautiful restaurant and presentations.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was for our anniversary

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T
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Lovely dining experience at Abaya's. The serving size is tapas/small plate dining concept so not ideal if your seeking a hearty meal. Great ambiance and setting. Highly recommend to check it out for a lite bite and cocktails.

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l
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service!

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DK
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We chose Aba because of the many vegetarian Mediterranean food options. There is outdoor seating, but the weather was not cooporating, so we chose to sit inside. Very nice decor and plenty of space between tables. We started with Whipped Feta. It was so good my husband could have licked the plate. Our second choice was the House-Made Straciatella, wow such flavor from a simple cheese. Our third choice was the Grilled Cauliflower served with local basmati rice. Also very good and flavorful. For our fourth choice we went with the Green Falafel. I can't say enough about the food and service. We were so full, however we couldn't resist the Double Chocolate Tart. I was also impressed with the wine. I ordered the Rose from Lebanon. Who knew they made wine in Lebanon. It was crisp, dry, mineral flavor, with a fruit forward ending. My husband and friend ordered the special cocktails they have on the menu - with Bourbon - delicious and refreshing. We were a little late for our reservation, but they were happy to accommodate us. My husband and I will return to try some of the meat dishes!

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E
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The restaurant was very good. The food was excellent and for smaller plates they were generous. I wish the noise level was lower. Lastly, for having made a reservation over a month ago on Open Table we still had to wait 15 minutes.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Brussels sprouts are delicious

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LH
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We loved the food and the waiter was excellent.
The Ambiance is fantastic.

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