Cafe Marbella Tapas

4.6
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408 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Spanish
Cafe Marbella specializes in Basque and Catalonia"s Cuisine.Relocated from its former Peterson Avenue location, Cafe Marbella Settles in Gladstone Park (5527 N. Milwaukee Avenue) . The restaurant's Chef Virgilio Trujillo has cooked In some of the city's favorite spanish -style kitchens, including La Paella and Arco De Cuchilleros. Chef Trujillo has a wide selection of classic dishes like Gazpacho Andaluz, Gambas al Ajillo, Piquillos con Queso de Cabra and Tortilla Espanola. Now serving full bar!
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What 408 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
4.8
food
4.6
service
4.0
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Quiet
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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C
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I love this restaurant because the food is different every time I visit. True, I always order the avocado salad special (thankfully, all my friends love avocado), but the courses that follow are always different. For example, while I'm not a fan of ordering soup in a tapas restaurant, Virgilio's clam bisque is to die for. And--I always choose several items from the specials. This week the fish in sauce was amazing. Finally, save room for the goat cheese cake. This week it's blueberry!

L
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant is consistently excellent. A wide variety of high quality food. Our friends were very impressed with the selections. We'll be back!

F
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Always great specials. The tapas on the menu are excellent as well.
It was a seafood night. We had shrimp in garlic, brandies mayonnaise shrimp, grilled squid and a red snapper with clams. Super fresh and delicious. The Spanish omelette and patatas bravos excellent.
We had a chocolate espresso sponge cake for dessert. Spot on!
The only negative is the meh interior but who needs sleek when the food is so good.

C
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Cafe Marbella is probably my favorite restaurant. I love to begin with the avocado salad special and end with the goat cheese cake. In between, you can have countless hot or cold appetizers--in quantities to share--as well as a main course from Chef Virgilio's specials. We tried the scallops; wonderful!

If you're a fan of tapas, you need to visit this place!

T
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful dinner of delicious tapas! Staff was flexible in accommodating one extra person in our party reservation. Hot and cold tapas, plus tapas specials, as well as fresh desserts and various coffees were all delicious! We had a wonderful group dinner!

C
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

If you like tapas, this will become your favorite restaurant. We ordered some old favorites--the avocado salad special, the salmon with blueberry sauce, and the wonderful goat cheese cake--but we also tried new things--the shrimp salad and pork tenderloin. We even tried a new fish as well as a mango tart. Everything was delicious. Virgilio is an amazingly creative chef! I strongly recommend this restaurant.

PD
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, friendly staff and fun atmosphere. So many more menu choices I would love to try. The sangria was delightful. I'll be back!

H
Chicago
33 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

We love this restaurant. Excellent tapas and a nice, reasonable wine list. Service is always good. We have always had a great meal here.

J
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been going here for 7 years, and never been disappointed. Charming and competent staff and owners. Specials are a very good choice!

CB
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was delicious!

KD
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful service and excellent food! Went here for a birthday celebration and had such a terrific time.

Y
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This place is a hidden gem. Food is consistently outstanding. Have taken many foodie friends here and everyone loves it! Can BYOB on Tuesdays with no corkage!

OT
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Last night with family before leaving the city

f
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great Food. Will definitely be returning

OT
Chicago
106 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cafe Marbella is possibly my favorite restaurant in Chicago. I'm sure I've reviewed them before. We were there a few nights ago and had yet again a fantastic meal. Only thing I'll say for now is that the nightly specials continue to change and continue to amaze. Go there!

j
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place the food and service are all excelletn

KH
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

I have been to this restaurant with friends on several occasions. The food wasn’t quite as good as before, but the place was really jumping!!
The owners of the place are so charming and attentive, it would be very hard not to keep coming back!!

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

Great place to eat. Usually not very crowded.

JS
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Great food. Our favorites were the artichoke salad, grilled squid, and potatoes bravas. Relaxing environment conducive to conversation. We will be back.

GB
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We love coming to your restaurant. The food is consistently good and fresh and the service is very on top of its game. The owner is very welcoming and greets us when we come in. The menu is amazing and the specials are different and creative. The only comment I would have is that sometimes it feels strange sitting in the main area with the lights off in the other room that is visible. We are happy that we found you. When we found Marbellas, we found our favorite tapas place!

C
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Cafe Marbella is one of my favorite restaurants. This time I was having dinner with 3 of my high school friends. Everyone loved the food. We started with the avocado special salad and the stuffed avocado that's on the regular menu. Next, we chose 4 entrees from the specials: cod, salmon, chicken, and scallops. Everything was delicious. For dessert we split 2 slices of goat cheese cake. We also enjoyed Spanish coffee.

If you like tapas, you really need to check out this restaurant. As I told Maria, who owns this place along with her genius husband Chef Virgilio, he NEVER rests on his laurels. Instead, he tries new ideas. Who would have thought that blueberry sauce would work with salmon and that introducing carrot to a goat cheese cake recipe was a great idea?

Check out this restaurant if you like interesting food!

R
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was excellent and there were many choices to please the palettes of a very diverse group of eaters. Please looks a little run down. It doesn't detract from the food or service, but it is hard to sit on a bench for a long time.

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

I've been to Cafe Marbella several times and it has always been great! We brought a group of 7 this time and I had made reservations ahead of time. They seated us right away, kept the food and sangria coming and best of all, did not try to hurry us out the door when we were done eating. We all tried each other's orders and everything was delicious. Some highlights were the Shrimp with garlic, avocado salad, grilled calamari and manchego cheese plate. We had a great time!

n
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was absolutely delicious. Service was slightly slow but they were very nice. Did not try to rush our group of 7 at all.

v
Chicago
32 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was especially good this time. Had several of the specials, the pork mousse stuffed mushrooms, brisket, mushroom soup. All delicious!

W
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of those places you have to go to the food is awesome and the service is excellent

BM
Nashville
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My first time here and it was really enjoyable from beginning to end. Service was genuinely friendly without ever intruding and the food was delicious! I can’t wait to go back and try more of the menu. And it was quiet enough so that you could have an easy conversation with someone at your table. This place is a real find!

b
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed our meal. The tapas were imaginative and delicious and unique. They know how to cook fish. The service was very good. The price was reasonable considering how much work went into the dishes. I will be going back.

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This is my 10th time here and the food selection (specials) are always fantastic with changing variety. The owners are kind and the food & service is great.

TM
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The food here was so scrumptious! My only recommendation is this: if you want to eat your tapas over a period of time, let the waitstaff know to stagger the delivery. We were served too many all at once.

C
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We almost always have good food here and tonight was no exception. We like to bring our own wine and pay the corkage fee, but they have a full bar now. Had a variety of tapas, including clams and pasta, scallops, albondigas, and ribs in coffee bbq sauce. Enjoyed it very much.

MM
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Food was salty

BD
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

I've been here before on weekend where the food was better in both taste and presentation. It was good but I wanted wow! I still will return.

OT
Des Moines
2 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Initial service a little slow, but they started to get busy. Tapas came out pretty quick. Food was good

C
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Expect an amazing meal. The chef-owner is very creative. This week's sea scallops will be different from last week's--but equally delicious. There's always a new preparation.

If you like avocados, begin with the special salad that includes bacon and goat cheese. Try the warm portabello mushrooms, too. Then, check out the seafood specials. They're always wonderful. And--if you still have room--there's Spanish pizza on the back of the menu. Save room for the goat cheese cake: it's to die for!

Be aware that there's construction going on at Milwaukee and Bryn Maur, but don't let that deter you. If you're southbound on Milwaukee, you can make a u-turn and park in front of the restaurant.

LK
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

They put their efforts into the food, not the decor. Worth a try to be your next favorite tapas place.

OT
Chicago
56 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a great tapas restaurant. Gourmet small plates, great service and all reasonably priced. Highly recommend for a quiet and superbly prepared and presented dinner - whether a party of 2 or 12.

C
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

If you're looking for creatively prepared food, this is the place! Cafe Marbella never disappoints. We ordered 3 of our favorite appetizers, the special avocado salad, stuffed avocados, and warm portabello mushrooms. Then, we ordered 3 fish specials. Everything was delicious. The chef enjoys changing his sauces, so even if you order something you've had in the past, it will be different. Finally, the goat cheese cake is to die for: save room for it!

WC
Chicago
175 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

always a joy to introduce a friend to Cafe Marbella - food and service did not disappoint. alas, since it IS "family friendly", we had to contend with an already-seated table with two running around and squealing happy children ... alas, if the parents could have reined them in, that would have been more thoughtful. but, oh, well. ... eventually, as the space filled with diners (6:30 and afterwards), their running became a safety issue for patrons and staff carrying hot food ... so, the circular path got a BIT smaller. alas, it didn't RUIN our experience, but, sheesh, parents - get a grip. i applaud the staff for their patience!

SS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

High prices for mediocre, oversalted food. I will not go back

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