ALTHEA

4.6
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272 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Vegetarian / Vegan

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Good Vegetarian Options
ALTHEA is bringing the future of food to Saks Fifth Ave Chicago under the direction of renowned celebrity chef and plant-based pioneer, Matthew Kenney. The restaurant offers a diverse variety of organic, globally-inspired and thoughtfully-sourced ingredients, with the menu including fresh intrepretations of traditional dishes alongside some of Kenney's namesake classics. Located on the 7th floor of Saks Fifth Ave across from the Mens Lounge, we serve innovative, beautiful plant cuisine, as well as an extensive biodynamic cocktail, beer and wine program.

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

We are open on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day! Celebrate with us.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

What 272 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
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined 18 hours ago
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food is wonderful whether a vegetarian or not but if you are you are in for a real treat! They had a kitchen problem tonight so food was very slow coming out but we were assured this is not typical. They were busy and server not very attentive but he was trying to bar tend too I think. Others’ servers seemed much more engaged with them. We will go again because again it is such a set of menu delights for a vegetarian often trapped in boring limited options at other restaurants.

OT
Chicago
36 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love having a gourmet vegan restaurant to take out of towners to. I am not vegan, but I enjoy a plant based meal and I love what the chef is able to create. I feel so much better when I leave this restaurant than many of the other gourmet restaurants in downtown Chicago.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific food and service!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server Danny was helpful and genuine, he was really knowledgeable about the menu and extremely attentive without ever being invasive. The food was incredible and we had a fantastic time!

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always amazing food and great service and atmosphere! Thank you for doing that for us and for caring for our health!

ALTHEA
Responded 7 days ago

Thank you for visiting us! We hope to see you again soon :)

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CJ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderfully executed. Perfect service. Surprisingly reasonable prices for the quality.

N
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything from service to food was terrific!

E
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience3

My lunch — My carb cakes were cold, my Vegi burger was cold the burger bun was as cold as a fridge kept bun. I can’t go back to this resturant

ALTHEA
Responded 7 days ago

Hi Esther, I'm very sorry your lunch was so disappointing; that is never the experience we want any guest to have and I'd like to invite you back in to rectify this. Please reach out to me at altheachicago@matthewkenneycuisine[dotcom]. If you're open to it, we'd like you to have the outstanding plant-based meal with us you should have received Wednesday. Thank you and happy holidays, Liz

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place.

A
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Excellent food & service. Unique dishes, was especially impressed with the cheese & dessert.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

WOW!! We were blown away by our dining experience at Althea. The food was perfection on a plate. Such a treat to have fine dining vegan style. Highly recommend!! We can’t wait to return.

r
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A vegetarian restaurant was certainly a first for us so I was a bit apprehensive, but we were entertaining our granddaughter so we thought what the heck! What an amazing surprise! The food was wonderful - who knew you could make "ice cream" out of vegetables!! And a fabulous burger!! Not to mention noodles without pasta - truly it was a wonderful meal!! Our waiter Danny was the best - he was so patient with two people who knew NOTHING about this kind of food, and his suggestions were perfect!!! He and Liz made this a very memorable and fun experience!! I would recommend it to anyone!!

AR
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding in every way.

KM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely wonderful. The food was amazing and we look forward to returning.

D
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food5service2ambience3

First, I have to say that above all, the food is outstanding. The service was disappointing. Had a 5.45 reservation which should be sufficiently early to leave for an 8.00 show at the Chicago Theater. Was not served our dinner until almost 7.15. And then one of the staff said, "in retrospect, you should have told us you had a show to go to". But like I said, above all, outstanding food.

C
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I definitely recommend Althea for upscale plant based cuisine.

BR
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A hidden gem! Went there for a birthday brunch and couldn’t believe how delicious everything was, if you go there you have to get the kimchi dumplings!

ALTHEA
Responded on November 30, 2019

Thanks for celebrating with us, Bill! We look forward to your next visit :)

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JY
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this restaurant.
View is amazing. Food delicious. Service great.
We were a party of four. One guest vegan, gluten free, not an easy combination but she could eat just about everything on the menu.
We loved the tacos, just the right amount of spicy, the crab cakes, so good, little gem salad, dressing is so creamy. We also ordered the sweet pancake, big enough to share, hard to believe it was gluten free and vegan, so delicious. Can’t wait to go back.

ALTHEA
Responded on November 27, 2019

Thanks, Joan! We love the upside-down pancake too :) :) Happy to hear you enjoyed your time here and we hope to see you again soon!

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C
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

I enjoyed my first experience with Althea. I came in with a larger party and we were well-taken care of from the second we showed up. Being the only vegetarian from the group, I was glad to hear that several were pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed their plant-based meal. Our server, Danny, was very knowledgeable with the menu, displaying diligence and patience when answering any of our questions. I have read a bunch of reviews raving about the spicy udon and I'd have to agree with them all--the different textures and layers of flavor were something I did not expect.

I thought that the lighting was a bit on the harsher side, which starts to be an "issue" come dinner-time. Other than that, I liked the place, especially the near-panoramic view of Michigan Ave. I did find it odd that any time someone got up to use the bathroom, employees were quick--almost adamant--to come over to the now-empty chair to re-fold the person's napkin. It's just a little detail that I, for some reason, found very nitpicky with a condescending undertone. But overall, I was happy with the choice to dine at Althea, to which I will definitely be coming back to.

ALTHEA
Responded on November 26, 2019

Thank you for sharing this, Cedric, and for stopping in! We really appreciate the feedback and hope to welcome you back in soon!

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OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall3food5service5ambience5

Our reservation was initially at 12:30 PM and we spent over an hour finding alternate parking space because their valet parking was full even when the occupancy was barely 30% and the valet staff didn’t care even after being told that we had a confirmed reservation.

The fact that they do not have a dedicated “valet” parking space for customers is appalling

5 stars for the food both in terms of taste and the variety offered

Overall we are not satisfied with the “service” part of the dining experience

ALTHEA
Responded on November 26, 2019

Hello! We are so sorry you found the parking situation to be a hassle; we will relay this information to Saks Fifth Avenue, as they manage the parking garage. That said, we are very glad you enjoyed the food and hope to serve you again!

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent!!!

L
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic experience at this plant-based restaurant. Our waitress was very attentive and informative about the entire menu and about getting our bill and food to us in a timely manner before our show. I highly recommend this restaurant.
We enjoyed the (raw) Kimchi Dumplings, "Crab" Cake and seasonal flatbread (brussels sprouts) together. My main was the Spicy Udon and his was the (raw) Heirloom Tomato and Zucchini Lasagna.
The raw kimchi dumplings were visually appealing an satisfying flavor-wise. The filling is creamy and vibrant purple sauce is smooth and perfectly paired.
The crab cakes (made of hearts of palm, quinoa and artichoke) were very tender. They fell apart beautifully and were served with a spicy aioli
The seasonal flatbread had a smokiness to it (grilled and grill marks on the bottom) was a little messy but delicious. I liked the slight char flavor from this dish, and the slight crunch of the flatbread
My Spicy Udon noodles were tasty. My one issue with the dish was that the noodles seemed to be fettuccine noodles. So not really so much a Spicy Udon as a Spicy Fettuccine...?
I can't comment much about the lasagna, but it was loaded with Macadamia Ricotta. My date liked it!
To finish we had a seasonal dessert of the fall-flavored cheesecake. The flavors and textures were interesting and kept both of us coming back for more until it was gone.

The staff was good about replacing used silverware, but it would be nice if the staff also cleaned the table after particularly messy foods (looking at you flatbread!)

N
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Besides a little delay in some of the service, the service was very attentive and friendly. The food absolutely incredible. We will definitely be back!

t
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food!

k
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

nice food
nice and unexpected location
did not miss anything like meat at all!

EK
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Althea was a pleasant surprise. Every dish was extremely flavorful and generous portions.
Our servers were very friendly and felt they truly cared about our experience.

CL
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food. Even a nice atmosphere for being in a dept store. The food is delicious. I had two friends from NYC who aren't vegan and they loved it. I highly recommend this place for friends, dates or a family night.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I absolutely love the atmosphere, view and above all the food!

PS
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exceptional service. Delicious, nourishing food. Apon arrival, I was seated against a window with a goregous view of the lake. My guest was 15 minutes late, but our server didn't seem annoyed one bit. She went over the menu with me, which allowed me to put in an app for the table. She also complimented my choice in wine. Once my roommate arrived, the chikapea toast came out. It was perfect timing. They also offered us a free scone that made my heart melt. Delicious! At the end of the day our server went out her way to complement a birthday sorbet for my roommate, complete with a small candle! Her personality was delightful when present but never upstaged our conversation. Excellent server, excellent food, excellent time! Congratulations Althea, you're doing something right!

ALTHEA
Responded on November 6, 2019

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience! We are delighted you enjoyed your time with us and we hope to welcome you in again soon!

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CN
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful presentation and excellent service to go along with gourmet vegan food!

ALTHEA
Responded on November 6, 2019

Thank you for stopping in, Casey! We appreciate the lovely review and hope to see you back in soon!

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w
New England
30 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had great expectations of Althea and I was not disappointed - the food was amazing, plated beautifully, great service. The entire experience was a vegan food heaven (all below dishes are vegan). Wine selection was decent.

MC
London
7 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Brilliant food and great service

TN
New England
234 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

After a 20 minute wait for a 7:30 reservation with very little information from the management, we were seated in this comfortable dining room on the 7th floor of Saks with great views down Michigan Ave. Full service bar is available with excellent wines. We began with hummus accompanied be dipping veggies. Also, dumplings were amazing starters. For mains, the udon noodles were just OK but the curry coconut risotto was sublime. Service was professional and helpful. The heavy metal background music did not add to the pleasure of what was an overall very worthwhile experience.

t
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

food was on the edge of greatness. for the price, quality should be consistent throughout. however, it was obvious where shortcuts were taken. the waitress was not very attentive regardless of it not being busy. she very obviously could not “read” our table. there seemed to be a disconnect and it was reflected in how we were tended. packaging for take home was also ridiculous... a cup of hummus reduced to ramekins?! come on! this place is way too expensive to miss on the finer details. the lack of attention to detail, for the expense it was, turned it into a one time treat for me. I can’t say I will return. for the price, the experience wasn’t all that. close, but no.

HG
Surrey
20 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

AMAZING thank you

ED
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Update: The Althea manager reached out and offered for us to come back to give the restaurant another try. The service was excellent and the food was delicious. It appears that the lackluster service for the last visit was more the result of a specific server, rather than systemic poor service. I was very happy with my second visit to Althea.

___________________________

Chicago needs more plant-based restaurants but I would not recommend this one. The service was extremely slow and disengaged even though there were only four full tables in the entire restaurant. The waiter seemed irritated and when I asked if they had bourbon, he flatly said "no" and didn't try to offer any alternatives or suggestions. The ambiance is odd - it's pretentious and the decorating is lackluster. If you want good plant-based food in a way better environment, go to Bad Hunter, Clever Rabbit, Marisol...Skip the hype of the chef for something more authentic.

ALTHEA
Responded on November 1, 2019

Hi Erica, Thank you for your feedback. I'm very sorry your experience with us was so poor. We do not tolerate let alone condone this type of service under any circumstance. Our staff is passionate about plant-based cuisine and grateful to each of our guests giving us a try, and I'm disappointed that you received anything less than our best hospitality. Please reach out to me at altheachicago@matthewkenneycuisine.c om so we can provide you the 5-star experience you should have had. Kindly, Liz

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w
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

My wife is a vegan, and we've been searching high and low for a replacement since Shawn McClain's Green Zebra closed its doors last year. Upscale contemporary vegan with flashy presentation isn't always easy to find, but I'm happy to say Althea is a gem to which we will return.

The service was attentive without being intrusive, and the management was actively seeking to make everyone's customer experience a positive one. The waitstaff was knowledgeable and prompt without rushing our dining experience, and you could tell it was important THEM that we had a good time.

My wife and I split an app of the flatbread with Brussels sprouts, and each had a cocktail. I'm particular for Hendrick's gin, which they don't carry, but the waitstaff was quick to point out that this is a result of their dedication to natural/organic products, which I totally understand and admiringly respect. Kudos.

Main course was the chickpea frittata, which was both delicious and filling. My wife had the risotto, which I believe carried the day - simply fantastic.

Espresso with pistachio ice cream was an exceptional finish to the meal.

The ambiance was cool, although it took a second to get used to dining an arm's length from Sak's 5th avenue.

Overall, this place is excellent, and I'd highly recommend it.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food and amazing service !
Loved it
The cheese plate was so delicious and the raw lasagna was scrumptious !

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful food. Nice atmosphere.