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Balena Italian - Temporarily Closed

4.4
2248 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies (3905)
  • Special Occasion (2255)
  • Neighborhood Gem (2250)

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About

Balena has been executing honest, Italian cooking in Lincoln Park since 2012. Led by Executive Chef/Partner Chris Pandel, the restaurant is the first collaboration between Boka Restaurant Group and B Hospitality. Balena's many accolades include Best New Restaurants in America by Gayot and Bon Appetit, 3 stars by the Chicago Tribune, and a James Beard semi-finalist nomination for Best New Restaurant at the James Beard Awards. In addition to its 150 seats, Balena contains a chef's table right across form the hearth of its brick oven. as well as a gorgeous 18 seat leather topped bar, and a section dedicated to walk-ins.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Pizzeria, Wine Bar
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Hours of operation
Monday: 5:00pm-9:00pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 5:00pm-10:00pm
Friday: 5:00pm-11:00pm
Saturday: 4:30pm-11:00pm
Sunday: 4:30pm-9:00pm
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Phone number
(312) 867-3888
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Neighborhood
What 2248 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4
  based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
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OpenTable Diner 
4.0
Dined on August 8, 2017

Great food, but a bit pricey. 2 pasta entrees, 2 beers, 1 wine, 2 desserts $120

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Janine (Detroit)
5.0
Dined on August 6, 2017

Excellent! Would highly recommend

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OpenTable Diner 
4.0
Dined on August 6, 2017

Wasn't impressed with the food. Expected more. Great ambience and decor.

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OpenTable Diner (Chicago)
5.0
Dined on August 6, 2017

My girlfriend and I had a wonderful meal at Balena. Compared to other restaurants serving similarly high quality food, the value is good. The pasta is clearly made in house and is delicious, as were the vegetables and the spicy lamb meatballs. Great place to visit for great Italian food!

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vipNikki (Orlando)
3.0
Dined on August 6, 2017

This place is beautiful. Food could use some improvement. Pizza was just ok, pasta was alright. Food does not match the grander of the decor!

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vipOpenTable Diner (Chicago)
5.0
Dined on August 4, 2017

I think Balena is my favorite Italian restaurant in Chicago. Everything we ordered was great. I loved the pasta especially the tagiolini nero and orecchiette. The spumoni inspired dessert was also excellent. Can't wait for it to reopen!

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OpenTable Diner (Chicago)
5.0
Dined on August 2, 2017

We had a delicious meal with great service.
Highly recommended Italian fare.

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vipOpenTable Diner (New York Area)
5.0
Dined on August 2, 2017

Great decor. Attentive server. Great food recommendations. Courteous staff and updates. Superb.

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vipKTEChicago (Chicago)
3.0
Dined on July 30, 2017

It's no where close to what it used to be. but it was decent.

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Foodie (Toronto)
4.0
Dined on July 29, 2017

The menu was very interesting. Food fresh but way overly salted. Wine selected by waiter was very good. A little noisy due to high ceilings.

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Hours, Transportation, and Details

Dining Style
Casual Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Italian, Pizzeria, Wine Bar
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Hours of operation
Monday: 5:00pm-9:00pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 5:00pm-10:00pm
Friday: 5:00pm-11:00pm
Saturday: 4:30pm-11:00pm
Sunday: 4:30pm-9:00pm
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Cross street
North Ave
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Price range
$30 and under
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Phone number
(312) 867-3888
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Parking details
$14 cash
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Public transit
The North/Clybourn Red Line stop is one block SW
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Executive chef
Chris Pandel
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Private party facilities
Please reach out to us to inquire about our private wine cellar for your next special event!
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Private party contact
Skyler Harrah: (312) 867-3888
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine