Acanto

4.6
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2022 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian

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Pre/post Theatre
Across from Millennium Park and along Chicago’s Cultural Mile, Acanto Restaurant + Wine Bar is a favorite destination for those who appreciate approachable and authentic Italian food, an award-winning wine list featuring selections from each of Italy's twenty regions, and an inviting, conversation-friendly dining experience.

In 2017, Acanto received a Jury Prize and 3-Star rating in the World of Fine Wine "World's Best Wine List," and a 2-Glass "Best of Award of Excellence" rating in Wine Spectator.

The word Acanto is the Italian translation of Acanthus, the flowery leaf featured prominently in Roman architecture. Famed architect Louis Sullivan used Acanthus in his distinctive terra cotta ornamentation found on the facade of the historically-landmarked building that houses Acanto.
What 2022 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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D
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and great service in a beautiful space. One of our favorites!

AH
Omaha
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were headed to the theatre so arrived quite early. The ambiance was lovely and our waiter was fun and helpful. We had happy hour prices for our first round which was nice. While it was not inexpensive , the experience was lovely.

MA
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Our waiter was very nice, helpful and efficient. The Happy Hour drinks were great, the food was excellent and the waits were short. A very pleasant experience on a Tuesday afternoon, following the Warhol exhibit. A very Chicago experience.

OT
Detroit
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great experience overall. I wish the portions were larger

OT
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went for brunch for the first time and it was outstanding! Baked egg and polenta was my favorite. Just delicious. Wine half price too. Service was outstanding. Fun with our group of 7.

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Love this place and the staff is top notch. We will return!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our first time there. The place was pretty quiet and the food was absolutely amazing. I definitely would recommend the rigatoni. Will be back! 😊🔥

L
Chicago
106 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We LOVE Acanto! It is one of our TOP go to places when we are in the city! Our server was excellent! I don't know his name, but would like to commend him for his superb service. We look forward to our next trip to Acanto!

DM
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Cute little place right on Michigan Ave. Great wine list and excellent food.

CD
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first time at Acanto. We found the service, food, and ambiance to be fantastic. We will definitely come back.

RO
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Cozy and perfect on a cold night...

CH
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cozy atmosphere, great service! The waiter made recommendations and my dinner and dessert, both were fantastic.

SP
Grand Rapids
34 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Acanto is lovely but- a pleasant room with an appealing level of peace and attentive service.

D
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

I'll start with the positive: very good, efficient service delivered in a beautifully designed, well situated space on Michigan Avenue. The food was hit or miss. Our cod croquette fritters were outstanding, the ribollita soup was good (but is was not the Tuscan version I was expecting... should be called Tuscan white bean soup), but the mains (an over-dressed salad and a soggy panini) were woefully disappointing. And the worst-- two Negronis of the same kind which when served barely amounted to a single drink but cost the same as the least expensive bottle on wine on the list. I should also mention that after arriving at noon on a holiday for a leisurely lunch we felt some pressure to place our order, eat and then make room for another set of guests. I wanted to love this place, but walked away with mixed feelings.

G
Savannah
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had lunch here prior to the play at the CIBC theatre. We had a nice glass of wine and shared some cheese and prosciutto, the mista salad and the sausage pizza. Everything was yummy. Pizza is spicy hot so I’d recommend a different one if you don’t like it hot. The waiter did warn us. The location was perfect to a walk from parking garage and to theatre.

MN
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A highlight of our Chicago trip. Wonderful hospitality, wonderful food. Truffle pasta to die for, delectable lobster spaghetti, everything perfectly prepared and delivered with grace and good cheer (served to us by Tony!) in an ambience that is warm, cozy, dimly lit (nice!), and tastefully lovely. We’re big fans of Monteverde... but Acanto is now sharing the #1 spot at the top of our Chicago list.

RB
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Our table was in a hallway. Clearly put there do to overbooking. Service was good but food was a mixed bag. Apps were poor (crab cake was more cake than bran) but steaks were good.

GD
Philadelphia
21 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our party of four had an excellent dining experience on Sat Nov 23 as we all had excellent meals & glasses of wine, as suggested by our server. Lastly, we shared amazing desserts as it was truly a wonderful experience at our favorite restaurant in Chicago!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service! Loved the ambiance and view at the table.

SH
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The pasta was delicious! You can tell it’s freshly made. The desserts were wonderful as well.

DT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was incredible here. Very attentive, constantly checked in, and didn’t rush us when we were finished with our meal. Food was also amazing! Pasta was perfectly cooked and the portions were the right size. Will definitely be back!

FS
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Service was great. Received us with two glasses of Prosecco for our anniversary.
Octopus and oysters were great starters.
The veal meatballs spaghetti were very tasty and well presented.
Pistachio ice cream over a polenta cake was delicious.
Wine of the was a 2015 Palazzo Della Torre which was very smooth and full bodied.

Definitely enjoyed it and recommend it

OT
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My friend and I loved the dinner we had at Acanto. The food was excellent. The selection of wine by the glass was ample. Our waiter was very attentive and charming. I would definitely dine there again

G
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience1

I haven’t been to Acanto I quite a while and was looking forward to dining there again. I was so disappointed as our waiter was inattentive and the quality of food was poor. I always loved their pasta, but it was thick and chewy this time. Time to find another restaurant before the concert.

AB
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I like Acanto very much. Of all the meals I have eaten there, this was one of the best ever! Also, the service was excellent and very helpful in getting us out in plenty of time to get to the theater. Thanks!

TK
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The food and service was great, I was just underwhelmed with the truffle sidecar. I did not really taste truffle at all, neither did my friend despite the truffle being shaved onto the cocktail table side. The only time I knew there was truffle was when I had pieces of it in my mouth but even those pieces were lights in flavor $38 is a very steep price for basically just a side car.

The octopus & potato dish was good, but wayyy too much arugula & teeny pieces of octopus.

C
Chicago
66 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This very tiny but superb restaurant is located close to the Michigan Avenue cultural hot spots including: The Art Institute; Symphony Center; The Auditorium theater and near to the major theaters in the Loop. Service is friendly, food is excellent and beautifully presented. Wine list is thoughtful and includes many unusual and delicious Italian selections. This place is quite small so reservations are a must. Open for lunch and happy hour. Highly recommended

d
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We were pleasantly surprised! We loved everything we ordered. The octopus appetizer, risotto and scallops were to die for. Perfect place for any future concerts at the Chicago Symphony Center.

AF
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have had a number of meals at Acanto and the dishes have been consistently delicious and interesting. We had excellent service and were delighted with a birthday dessert for my husband.

d
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love Aconto
We found it last year and have been back a few times before the Symphony
Small and intimate
Very different from the Gage next door

F
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Arancini was to die for! Don't know how the managed to keep it light and crisp yet creamy on the inside. Loved the bit of lemon in the tomato sauce. Also loved the chicken picata, lobster spaghetti and our waiter's wine recommendations. Perfect pre-symphony restaurant and more intimate than its sister restaurant, The Gage.

F
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delightful, good food, good service. Highly recommended!

G
Washington DC
50 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Food was good, pace was a bit slower than I expected but not intolerable. Oysters were tasty and the bucatini was very nice

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Really good

OT
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I regularly come to Acanto for business lunches, and it never disappoints! Vibrant atmosphere, but quiet enough to talk, and the food is always excellent.

BB
New England
12 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was such a fantastic evening. Our waitress was exceptional. She let us go at our own pace (which was slowly - I think we were there for nearly three hours).

The food was comforting, flavorful, and generous. Our cheese board to start was thoughtfully prepared with accoutrements to compliment our selection. Our cocktails were well crafted - I had a classic cocktail (a martini) which was served ice cold and with perfect proportions, and my boyfriend had one of the specialty house cocktails which was fruity and fizzy, but not overly sweet - both were excellent. For dinner, we had the bucatini and insalata di mare. The veal meatballs were savory and moist, the pasta was fresh and textured perfectly - not too heavy. I didn't try the other dish, but I can assure you there was nothing left! Our waitress also recommended a Chianti which was so good I took a picture of the bottle so I can buy it myself.

Finally, we had a dessert that was offered as a special that night - I can't remember exactly what it was called; it was a fresh take on key lime pie - but so much better! Ice cream instead of custard, with a buttery crumble as the base and topped with fresh mint and whipped cream. It was sweet, savory, light, and delicious.

We had such a nice night, I would go back to Chicago just to visit this restaurant again! Acanto delivers the classic Italian dishes you crave, with originality and inspiration sprinkled in here and there - enough to be comforting but also exciting. And the atmosphere was sophisticated, but not intimidating. I felt welcomed, well fed, well cared for, and so relaxed. Thank you for delivering an unparalleled experience.

H
Chicago
101 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

After several visits to Acanto I have decided to raise my rating to the top. This wonderful restaurant achieves great success with all facets of its menu. The cheese plate is a great choice as is the bruschetta. Cocktails are interesting and the wines are reasonably priced, especially for Michigan Avenue. Make sure you try the specials, both appetizer and entree. The desserts are delicious and creative. Acanto is my go to restaurant on Michigan Avenue.

l
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is very good. Wonderful service

JK
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Our party of four loved the food and ambiance of Acanto. The only dings would be a too-long wait for the entrees, and a too scanty portion on two of those. Noise level was surprisingly pleasant for a Saturday night.

d
Chicago
48 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful as always! A great place to eat dinner before a show at Harris or Auditorium Theater or the Symphony!

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