bacaro

4.4
1041 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Tasting Menu
Chef/Owner Drew Starkey and culinary team work with local, sustainably driven farms as well as the finest purveyors and importers with reach around the world, to produce the best possible product for their customers. The always friendly and knowledgeable wait staff can guide any guest through our ever changing menu and extensive wine list all the while creating an relaxing and comfortable atmosphere for your dining experience.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Contemporary American
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Dinner:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Sunday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(217) 398-6982
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Business Casual
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Drew Starkey
icon/ic_private_diningCreated with Sketch.
Private party facilities
There is a semi private room located off the main dining room. This room can accommodate up to 25 people.
icon/ic_contactCreated with Sketch.
Private party contact
Drew Starkey: (217) 398-6982
icon/ic_cateringCreated with Sketch.
Catering
Light Catering
Email info@bacarochampaign.com with any Catering Inquiries.
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
University Avenue
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
Street Parking Runs til 9pm Monday through Friday.
Street parking is free on Saturday and Sunday
icon/ic_special_eventsCreated with Sketch.
Special events & promotions
- Wine Producer Dinners
- Cooking with Friends
- Friday Lunch
- Pop Up Events
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Specials

Instantly increase your points with dining rewards

See availability for bonus point tables

Sun - Mon 5:00PM - 6:30PM 9:00PM - 11:00PM

Reviews from verified diners
1,041 reviews
4.4 out of 5 Stars
Outstanding
66%
Very Good
20%
Good
8%
Fair
7%
Poor
0%
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
Sort by
Newest
Filters
3.0Dined on July 7, 2018

The service, seating/layout and menu have really degraded in the past couple of years. Used to be cozy romantic seating in the dining area--now filled with wine coolers. Background music was random and too loud. Menu is less than half the size it used to be. Two wines offered on their list we're not available. Also hostess needs training--she got in the way hurryingly trying to put menus down on table while I was trying to pull the chair out for my wife to sit. Waitress was confused saying one of the only four or five entrees would not be available for 2 hours only to be later corrected by what seemed like the bartender.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on July 7, 2018

Great food, nice atmosphere...probably best restaurant in Champaign-Urbana, IL

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on July 1, 2018

Wonderful experience as always. Have to say Clay was probably one of the best servers ever!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on June 23, 2018

Sophisticated food, wine and décor in a traditional small town downtown. Perfectly prepared food served with style and grace.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on June 21, 2018

We are in Urbana-Champaign once a year for a conference, and we are always sure to set aside one dinner for Bacaro. We enjoy the farm-to-table emphasis and the incorporation of seasonal, local produce into the menu. On previous visits, we have done the tasting menu, which is a wonderful way to explore the chef's offerings and wine pairings, but this time we decided to order off the main menu, which includes most of the tasting menu choices anyway. The halibut was sublime, clearly the highlight of the evening. The soft shell crab special was nice, letting the flavor of the crab come through on its own. This was a case of chef knowing to get out of the way of the ingredients. The two starters, gnocchi and white asparagus panzanella were a bit less successful, both suffering from excess caramelizing that the rich sofrito on the gnocchi helped offset but really kept the panzanella from reaching it full flavor. Our New Zealand chardonnay paired well, and the special fermented rhubarb crumb cake dessert was a nice way to complete the experience. The service was excellent.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

Novel cuisine artfully prepared. Menu is not extensive, but provides an excellent means of tasty new flavors. Incorporates locally produced foods. Definitely a location for a special occasion.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

I hadn't been to Bacaro's for awhile and was pleasantly surprised by the truly excellent food. It's always been superior but, if anything, it's gotten even better. Great menu and great service!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on June 13, 2018

We always have fantastic experiences here - great service, incredible food and drinks, wonderful atmosphere. Will continue to come back as often as possible!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on June 1, 2018

Great experience. Did the wonderful tasting menu with the wine pairing. Was extraordinary all the way around! Highly recommended.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 29, 2018

The Chef’s spring tasting menu was fantastic!
Gnocchi - BestBite

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Server was very nice, friendly. However, it seemed slow-paced. To get drinks seemed to take very long. The food was excellent, but limited in variety / choice. Price and that limitation would be our reason for it being less likely to visit again soon. Can live with the slower service but my experience with many service establishments over many years is that can really harm a restaraunt's future. A very nice place, though.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Our favorite dining spot in Champaign
The chef never fails to create some wonderful dishes
Try the fried lamb shoulder—truly an outstanding entree

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Tasting menu was excellent--except the dessert (chocolate beet cake) and the small brownies were extremely dry. (The frosting was great though.)

However, one of us ordered the pasta carbonara---absolutely horrible. I am not exaggerating when I describe it as tasting like a 50 cent package of ramen noodles. I would have immediately returned it, but didn't want to draw attention to it with my guest there.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on May 14, 2018

Bacaro was OK. But way over priced. The food was just so-so. We were disappointed. The servers were great, however.

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on May 13, 2018

unable to handle the busy graduation weekend. waited 35 minutes when we had a reservation then waited about 1 hr and 15 minutes for our food. Half the food was cold and my fish was the tiniest piece of halibut I have ever seen for $38 (I think it was actually 1/4 of a filet). My son's graduation dinner was EXTREMELY disappointing.

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on April 28, 2018

The room is elegant and feels private. The staff was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the menu. There was a tasting menu available. I found the food to be lightly and perfectly seasoned. An A+ for special occasions.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Yes, Americans eat too much. But Bacaro is going out of their way to solve the problem with diminutive serving sizes. Perhaps about 25% smaller than typically seen in other restaurants. I also find it somewhat problematic to eat many of the main courses they serve in bowls. Not every dish lends itself to bowl serving. And it would be nice to see more California reds on the wine list. With that said, the food is consistently good and interesting and we'll be back.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 18, 2018

Great restaurant. We had a wonderful time, excellent food, wine and service.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Been going here for years as an alum and, now, parent of a student. Such a special experience each time.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Dinner was delicious, but a little pricey. Service was great.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on April 14, 2018

We had a delicious meal, but the portions are VERY small. Don't expect leftovers. Pricy for the quantity of food they served. The pasta came in a small ice cream sized bowl. I will say, they served the best Gnocci I've ever had and I'm Italian and have had a lot of gnocci dishes. It may be worth going just to order that dish!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Looked for a place on open table for a last minute dinner for moms weekend. Stumbled onto a place where we had one of the best steaks ever, even though it was a New York strip. The risotto was awesome as well. Upscale modern feel to this restaurant. Unique flavors. Great wine list. Did I mention the steak was great? Right up ther with steaks we have had from mastros wildfire Morton’s Sullivan’s. Hidden gem in central Illinois!

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on April 13, 2018

I have dined at Bacaro almost every parents weekend. This is the first time we were disappointed. The service was slow. The food did not taste great. We did the tasting menu with the wine pairing. I don’t know if they have a new chef but it was not nearly as good as in the past. It was definitely not worth the money we paid for the meal. Sadly, I will not go back.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 8, 2018

The last time that my husband and I went there, I thought that the standards had fallen since Thad left. This Saturday, we were both pleasantly surprised to find that the new staff had found their footing. Both of our appetizers and entrees were excellent.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Had the tasting menu. Some food was lukewarm. Halibut was great but tepid temperature. Plates should have been warmed since they were ice cold. That night have helped. Value for 85 is questionable. Service took 15 minutes to make it to our table.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

We had the tasting menu with 7 courses that were extremely well balanced, beautiful and full of flavor contributing to a wonderful experience.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

Bacaro is a great place for fine dining and great cocktails. The food is cooked perfectly and the wine pairings are great too. Our server was very knowledgeable about the wines and which would work best with our food choices.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

It was a great experience with great food. I think they could use a more reasonable wine list. To expensive for Champaign IL.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Was a great night out. Chef gave us a seven course vegetarian food tasting with no warning on our part. Overall this was excellent, but we weren't too fond of beets. Desert could have been more chocolate focused.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 6, 2018

Interesting menu, good food and good service.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 26, 2018

First time taking my wife and we both loved it. Great food and quiet dining. Drinks were little overpriced for Champaign.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 20, 2018

Fantastic! The food was gorgeous and the service was perfect!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 16, 2018

I came here for my anniversary and was very pleased with the service! One of us is vegetarian and were happy with the options available. The complementary champagne (because it was our anniversary) was very nice and unexpected! Overall a great experience.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 11, 2018

Food was great, highly recommend the steak and risotto!! Service was also excellent, Paige helped us find a wine that worked well with both of our meals.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on December 29, 2017

It was wonderful as always!

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on December 28, 2017

Although we anticipated a more elegant plating the portion size of the entre' was petite and without the bread and bean spread at the table it would not have been adequate for even a light meal. This venue is one where alcohol consumption with meals is expected and one feels a bit out of place if that is not your choice. A $75.00 check for a few oz. of fish as well as some table bread is what you should anticipate. The personal were very pleasant, seating comfortable and flavors very good.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on December 17, 2017

Excellent meal, the food was well prepared, lovely presentation, attentive service. Portions were not too small. The risotto was particularly tasty.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on December 2, 2017

We are never disappointed. Thanks for continuing to supply our city with such an amazing food experience!

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on November 22, 2017

This used to a five-star place. This time, they already ran out of one entree (and when you only have five, that diminishes your options significantly). The brusselsprouts were burned, the tagliatelle was cold and the meatballs hard as rock. The whole time there was loud music coming from the kitchen that competed with the moody jazz in the dining area. Sorry to see this place following most Champaign-Urbana restaurants trend to start out high and then becoming mediocre...

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on November 12, 2017

The overall experience was very good and we really enjoyed our entrees. The three entrees we had were the Butternut Squash Risotto, the Duck, and the Scallops. Each were very tasty and the presentations were excellent. Although they should think about their small presentations in very large bowls and plates. What was a little disappointing were the appetizers and desserts. The brussel sprouts were good but the overall taste on your pallet went from crunchy sweet to vinegary and sharp. The Porcini Pizzette while it looked great was a little bland. Our desserts were similar. The Peach Ice Cream was sent back due to tasting more like shaved ice and cream with no peach and the S'mores was a lot of graham crackers and no marshmallow. I would definitely go back as the entrees were excellent. Wines were pricey but a number of excellent choices.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
27