ALTHEA

4.6
146 reviews
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$30 and under
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Vegetarian / Vegan
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.
What 146 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
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MM
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ambience was amazing with city views of Michigan Ave. and Lake Michigan. Wait staff was friendly and helpful. Food was soooo flavorful. We ordered 2 entrees to share and had the cheesecake for dessert. I highly recommend Althea.

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h
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful and really nice plant based vegan restaurant. We loved all of our appetizers, salads and main courses. We didn’t love the cheesecake, but it was still decent. Everything else was fabulous! Great service, great food, nice decor and restaurant, comfortable seating and nice views by the window! We will be back!

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KS
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They were very accomodating to our dietary needs. The food was excellent-seasoned beautifully, delicious! Ambiance was lovely, great views!!

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j
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really amazing meal. Honestly the first vegan experience I completely enjoyed. The food was fantastic in its taste and presentation. The ambiance complimented the upscale experience. Great value. We will be regulars.

ALTHEA
Responded 5 days ago

Thanks for stopping in! We're so happy you enjoyed completely :) We hope to have you back in soon!

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O
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dumplings were so good! Everything was amazing! Would 100% recommend

ALTHEA
Responded 4 days ago

Olivia, thank you for sharing - we appreciate it so much! Come see us again soon!

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great to have a fine dining vegan restaurant in Chicago again. The food was wonderful. My only complaint was that it was freezing , bring a jacket.

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TH
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I dined at ALTHEA tonight and just wow! So delicious! So filling! So fresh! So friendly! So good!

My friend is vegan. I personally eat every damn thing growing in the ground or not. Don't judge. We had a day of shopping a day of soaking up some culture at the Museum of Contemporary Art. I wanted to be thoughtful of her dietary needs so I looked for a nice vegan restaurant. Couldn't find one in the downtown area that fit what I was looking for. I wanted a dine in restaurant that was beautiful and bright with table service and drinks. Everything I found was too casual or too far from the loop. Found ALTHEA and read all the reviews and decided to give it a try. So glad we did!

What We ordered and our reviews:
Crab Cakes - great crunch and flavor, didn't get a seafood vibe from this at all though. The grilled asparagus on the side was DELICIOUS. Never had asparagus sliced the longer way.
Gnocchi - pretty good kinda salty
Plant Bowl - So delicious, loved every bite, the lentil was flavorful with the quinoa and avocado
Taco - very good mushrooms, salsa, the lime hit so right in this snack dish
Flatbread - huge in portion. The pesto was simply divine

We already booked brunch to check that out next.
I'm not even vegan and was impressed!
Danny our server was so cool! His recommendations were spot on!
Service was great.
Great views...

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was terrific, food was outstanding. All plant-based and a wonderful range of flavors. Mocktails, starters, vegan lasagna, and vegan cheese cake were magnificent. Matthew Kenney restaurant inside Saks on Fifth Avenue, seventh floor. There’s an express elevator to sixth and seventh floor. Not a cheap eat but good price for a special occasion.

ALTHEA
Responded on June 16, 2019

So happy you had a good time with us! We look forward to welcoming you back in next time you're in town :)

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MS
Toronto
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful wholesome food, total reprieve from the city chaos

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DR
Chicago
46 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Althea is a very pleasant spot on the 7th floor of Saks 5th Avenue, with views of Michigan Avenue and (to the north) Water Tower Place, and glimpses of the lake. When you enter the building, you will see an express elevator that takes you very close to the restaurant entrance (by men's clothing). Once inside Althea, you don't feel you are in a department store. The decor is light and somewhat minimalist, but the chairs are actually comfortable.Service was a little inconsistent, but friendly. We were given good descriptions of each vegan dish. We tried the kimchi dumplings (tasty, but not very kimchi-like), a mushroom taco (delicious), and a pesto flatbread with macadamia nut "ricotta" (best of the appetizers). The chickpea frittata (really more of a pancake, like a soccer) was very good, topped with avocado spread and a light salad. The tomato/zucchini lasagna was really a salad--no pasta, just stacked slices of veg and the macadamia ricotta. The zucchini was raw or close to it. For dessert we tried the hibiscus "cheesecake". It was a pretty purple color, and decorated with flowers and candied pistachios. Like most desserts based on tofu, to my mind it was somewhat heavy and dense. Overall, we enjoyed our lunch, and would go back, especially when our vegan friend is in town.

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DM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Elegant and yet still low key. Wide array of all vegan choices. Food was delicious and service was friendly.

ALTHEA
Responded on June 16, 2019

Thank you for the kind words! We hope to see you back in soon.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 5

It was my wife’s birthday. I mentioned it on opentable. They even called to confirm it. I was expecting that they would bring a small cake or candle or Atleast acknowledge. No special attention was given at all to this fact. I dine in lot of restaurants and never seen this happen in a Michelin rated place.

We finished the dinner and on the way out, I was looking at a shirt in saks. I know the store was closed but was looking at it. The hostess shouts from the back “the elevator is that way” and there was another staff member behind her giving us a sarcastic smile. I don’t need to be shown out. I would have been okay if she had said that “store is closed”.

Although the dinner was good (food, ambience, service) we left with a bad taste.

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JJ
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Once again Althea has outdone themselves! The hearts of palm crabcakes were amazing along with the gnocchi and their signature lasagna! So ready to go back again!

ALTHEA
Responded on June 9, 2019

Hi Jay and Jolene! Thank you for the kind words and for taking the time to share them. We're glad you love the crab cakes as much as we do :) We look forward to having you back in soon! -Team ALTHEA

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JB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are plant based, and delighted with the fine and varied menu and the delightful way the waitress explained it to us. I loved the plant power bowl. We are going back next week and our guests last night, who are not plant-based, thought it "very cool".

ALTHEA
Responded on June 11, 2019

Thanks for sharing that, Judy! We're delighted you love the Plant Bowl, too, and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best meal that we ever had. Phenomenal.

ALTHEA
Responded on June 10, 2019

Thank you for stopping in, we're so glad you enjoyed!!

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NM
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Althea is my new favorite plant-based restaurant in Chicago. Food was terrific, view is great, it is just a little weird being at Sacks. I will definitely go back.

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d
Detroit
3 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Food could use more flavor. Frittata was severely burnt on the bottom (black!). Kimchi should have some spice to it but sadly none. All I tasted was the nut hummus basically. Cheesecake needs more tang and flavor. Okay food. Inventive and preserved well but not tasty.

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MH
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 1

As someone that has recently adopted a plant-based diet, I really wanted this to be our go-to place for upscale vegan dining. I wanted a place to take our Chicago friends, the non-Vegans in particular, to get them off of our backs and to also realize that a non-meat diet can be appealing, as well as doable. I was hoping for more. Their online presence is beautiful. The pictures, descriptions, and inspiration do not match the reality of what they have to offer, unfortunately. The restaurant is small, unlike what their online pictures would like you to think.

The front desk woman had an attitude when we entered, after presenting my name for our reservation. She seated us in an area that was a little blah... with a view of racks of clothes in the department store. This is not what I had in mind after having seen the pictures online. It wasn't packed - we could have been placed by a window. Additionally, I was a bit amused that she struggled to open our bottle of wine (brought from home as they are BYOB - we did get a voicemail informing me this the day before, thankfully), and poured it straight away into our glasses before asking - no opportunity to "air," and no taste was offered to any of us - just very heavy pours of a special wine I chose thinking that this restaurant was going to be amazing (worth it). She was not wine-knowledgable and this was evident.

We ordered many appetizers and a few entrees between the three of us. The entrees came before we were finished with our appetizers and thus, we ended up having a table full of food that got cold before we could enjoy it. The veggie burger was cold and soggy before we had a chance to try it. The udon noodles were delicious. The crab cakes were good, but boring. Dessert was "just okay."

Our server was lovely, but her timing was clearly off in regards to communication with the kitchen staff. I don't understand why this restaurant sells itself on being something they clearly are not.

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M
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Arrived early for our reservation, only 1 other table in the place was seated. I asked the waitress if we could move two of the two top tables together to be near the windows and she declined so we sat on the other side of the restaurant right by the kitchen hallway. Shortly after our group had been seated another group of 4 came in and she gave them no problem to push the two tables together I had asked only 20 minutes earlier. After seeing that I definitely would not recommend nor return for a business lunch. The food was just that, food, nothing amazing. Better spots for business lunches out there and with better service!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The host was a little unaccommodating which set a poor tone at the top of the evening for us. As she sat us, we inquired about an empty table next to the window, overlooking the skyline. It was beautiful and hard to resist. She informed us that because it was a table for 4 (and we were only 2), she could not sit us. However, we knew that the kitchen was closing soon and they would no longer be sitting guests so we asked if we could be moved there after 10 minutes if no other 4 tops came in to occupy the table. She reluctantly agreed. It was a bit of an odd transaction. She didn’t seem too happy with this request or willing to accommodate it. But we were optimistic. Then just moments later another couple (table of 2) walks in. They are seated by a different host at a table nearby, and they too make the same request to sit at the beautiful table of 4 overlooking the skyline. Except that particular host was gracious and sits them in the very spot we had requested. That was a smack in the face and a pretty annoying start to the night. My partner and I both work in the hospitality industry and know that our request was not unreasonable. The host just didn’t care enough to accommodate. Fortunately, the rest of the experience was wonderful. The food, as well as our server. 5 stars all across, except for the host.

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LK
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We decided to go here because my sister is vegan and they have an entirely vegan menu. She loved it and I’m not vegan myself and still found the food to be really good. It is a little strange that it’s inside the Saks Fifth store but the restaurant itself is very nice. Would definitely recommend.

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LP
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

The food is not as flavorful as it is at a competing spot, the IKRAM Cafe, and it was really annoying that the restaurant and OpenTable did not mention ALTHEA’s BYOB only status anywhere on their website. It was really irksome to discover that upon arrival and then decide whether to stay or to have someone from our group run out to get a bottle of wine. No one should have had to do this. The service was also a bit scattered and either constantly checking on us or gone for long stretches of time. This place needs to smooth out its wrinkles.

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M
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Great service. Great view. We will definitely go back.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

The male waitor was extremely rude to us without any reasons. All female waitress are all super nice and pleasant. I am not going back to this restaurant anymore if he still works there.

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LK
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such an unexpected pleasure to find a fine dining restaurant serving 100% plant based foods right on the Magnificent Mile. Amazing view, interesting menu and the food was amazing. A real gem.

ALTHEA
Responded on May 22, 2019

Thank you, Linda! We're so glad you enjoyed your time with us :)

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Memorable food!! Great service!!

ALTHEA
Responded on May 22, 2019

Thanks for sharing!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

It was nice , once they start serving Beer and Wine it will be better

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OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, farm to table, healthy, delicious, beautiful presentation. Could not believe it was Vegan. I can’t wait to return

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N
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was delicious and presented well!! Highly recommend !

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service was excellent! Amazing cheese plate in particular. Who knew Vegan could be so tasty! Absolutely will return and recommend to friends

ALTHEA
Responded on May 11, 2019

Thanks for sharing, we look forward to welcoming you back! -Team ALTHEA

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OT
Chicago
36 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been waiting for a downtown gourmet vegan restaurant to open in chicago and Althea definitely fits the bill. I can't lie, its a little weird walking through a department store and finding your restaurant in a secluded corner but once there you forget you are in a department store. View is lovely and space is as well. Food was outstanding. Disappointed they didn't have liquor license yet as I was hoping for an interesting cocktail or organic wine, but they did call ahead to warn me it was BYOB. I took a friend who was skeptical of vegan cuisine being gourmet and not just a veggie burger, and she was totally blown away by the food as well. Highly recommend trying it.

ALTHEA
Responded on May 11, 2019

Thank you for taking the time to share! We're so happy you enjoyed your experience with us and hope it's the first of many! -Team ALTHEA

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a
Houston
28 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Finally! A “NICE” vegan restaurant - special occasions, anniversaries, birthdays. The views are amazing, and the service is top notch. Can’t wait to go back. Right now they’re BYOB - go now :-P and bring your own... once they sell booze, the bill will be much much higher, I’m sure!

ALTHEA
Responded on May 11, 2019

Thank you for joining us! We think you're nice too... :) p.s. We now offer Brunch 11-5 every Sunday and hope to see you there! -Team ALTHEA

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N
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 4

If you are looking for fresh food yes but for good service no. The waiter took time to explain the menu to every table except mine. She checked on me once. I sat there for 10min to get my check after I was done.

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A
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

I have been to Althea 5 times now and the food is just sooooo good. Being a vegetarian who is moving towards being a vegan, I’m so glad that at Althea, I don’t have to think about what is in the dishes.

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CC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful! Delicious vegan dishes, beautifully presented!

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A
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

First of many Birthday weekend meals

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RF
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

This was a very interesting experience overall starting with the location. The restaurant is located inside of Sak’s Fifth Ave on the 7th floor where the men’s department is. To get in when the store is closed, we had to play a game of charades signaling food because the security guard kept shooing us away until he understood we were going to the restaurant. Upon arriving to the host stand upstairs there was no one to greet us for about five minutes. Once someone came, a nice lady found our reservation and took us to a table. I noticed she didn’t look at any of the reservation notes before seating us. I mention this because I work at a fine dining restaurant and we always check for special occasions, dietary restrictions, and seating preferences before seating. I’m very knit picky but I only say this because it was our 1 year anniversary and there was no acknowledgement of that at all in our dining experiences. Not that I want any special treatment but an acknowledgement goes a long way. The server was awesome, he never gave us a name but lots of cool tattoos and piercings. He gave us plenty of recommendations, was knowledgeable on the menu and kept our glasses full of water. My girlfriend and I decided we wanted to try as much as possible so we coursed out the evening with 2 snacks (kimchi dumplings & cheese plate), 2 starters (gem caesar & avocado tikka), 2 entrees (lasagna & udon noodles), and 2 desserts (coconut pie & hibiscus strawberry cheesecake.) The food overall was very satisfying. The favorites of what we had were the cheese plate, avocado tikka, spicy udon, and both desserts were outstanding. And to wrap this all up how am I not going to talk about the view! The view was amazing, and the ambiance was fantastic. Very clean, minimalist, and modern decor. Noise level was low but the tables are push really close together so you can hear the conversations of tables beside you even if they whisper. Last thing, they don’t have a liquor license so it is BYOB.

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JJ
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was ridiculously good!! The Service was amazing and so accommodating! It’s going to be our new place for date night!

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WE
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is amazing. I'm there every time I'm in Chicago. I highly recommend it even if you aren't Vegan. Wendy Muhammad, Mind of an Entrepreneur

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AB
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

really excellent food.
second time there because the food was so great.
it will be good when you get liquor license

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