El Che Bar

4.7
537 reviews
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$30 and under
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Steakhouse
Top Tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
El Che Bar, Chicago's Argentine-influenced resto-bar, is Executive Chef/Partner John Manion’s homage to the steak-heavy traditions of Argentina's Asador. Located just beyond the West Loop’s famed “restaurant row”, El Che Bar opened in 2016 and has quickly built a reputation as Chicago's go-to destination for beef, wine, and live-fire cooking. A 12 ft. custom-built grill ignites a range of South American-tinged meats, seasonal vegetables, seafood and novel barrio-inflected bites to perfection. Chef Manion’s passion for Latin flavors imbues the spirited dishes and dramatic setting of the swanky 100-seat restaurant. Guests can feel the intensity of the open flame when dining at the chef’s counter for a 10-course meal. El Che Bar has earned a coveted three-star rating from the Chicago Tribune and was named in the “Top 50 Chicago Restaurants” by Chicago Tribune’s dining critic, Phil Vettel in February 2017.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Steakhouse, Argentinean, American
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Hours of operation
Monday - Wednesday 5pm - 10pm
Thursday - Saturday 5pm - 11pm
Sunday - Closed
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Phone number
(312) 265-1130
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
John Manion
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Private party facilities
Housed in the former Checker Taxi building, El Che Bar is Chef John Manion’s spirited Argentine-American restaurant, a love letter to his time traveling throughout the country.
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Private party contact
Allison Diedrich: (708) 205-2458
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Green
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Parking details
Street parking available surrounding. Valet available 7 days a week $12
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Public transit
Greenline - Morgan
Blueline - Grand
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wine

Specials

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Mon - Thu 5:00PM - 5:45PM 8:45PM - 10:00PM
Fri - Sat 5:00PM - 5:45PM 9:30PM - 10:30PM

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.6

El Che Bar is a cool and trendy Argentinian restaurant in the West Loop.

Ratings 8.5-9.0:Now we’re in the range of absolutely excellent restaurants that you might go to more than once a year/lifetime. These restaurants tend to define a city, and make up the places that you absolutely cannot miss if you want to have any credibility as a restaurant-informed person in a major metropolis.
What 537 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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2.0Dined 2 days ago

Had a client dinner there, and found the experience to be underwhelming. The food took a very long time to arrive, and it arrive cold, with the morcilla undercooked and the entrana cold. We were entertaining Argentine clients, so we expected more.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Great selection of Argentinian food prepared in authentic styles. Ribeye steak is out of this world good, with or without the chimichurri sauces (red and green). Lots of great options for sides and appetizers to make you feel like you’re at a cafe in BA. Wine list is excellent with great selection of Malbecs and other great pairings.

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3.0Dined on August 6, 2018

First off the menu selections were excellent; both food and drink. Second the staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. We enjoyed everything we ordered and would perhaps come back again. The biggest issue for me was how the steaks were prepared. My date and I ordered our steaks cooked differently; med rare and well (cringe I know). They were both served med rare. We had to send one back, it was a thick filet and took an additional 10+ mins. By that time I had to eat or let the food get cold. If you are an Argentinian Steak House you should always be able to cook a steak to order. When you’re on a date and have to eat separate from your date, and you’re spending +$200, an apology at the least should have happened....it didn’t.

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4.0Dined on August 5, 2018

The food was great, steak is a must. I believe the wine list can be increased to match the meat offering.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

A very nice surprise. An outstanding menu. Great preparation. Friendly and skilled staff.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

Led by high powered start from co-owner, maitre de, etc., Mrs Manion, service was outstanding! We felt great; very welcomed and appreciated, as we were immediately treated to some bubbly, on the house, in recognition of our wedding anniversary, #32! From there, great service was maintained! Food was good also! Thank You!

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

Loved the food, service and atmosphere!

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5.0Dined on August 3, 2018

Grace is an awesome bartender. Knowledgeable about the menu and wine list, fun, and coursed out our meal perfectly.

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3.0Dined on July 26, 2018

Found this restaurant on a top 20 Chicago list. Thought it was good, but not a top 20 in the city.

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5.0Dined on July 22, 2018

I've worked in the restaurant industry my entire life, some of this feedback may be more than some diners are interested in considering. To me, though, for so many reasons... El Che Bar is one of the most impressive restaurants in Chicago.

John Manion's food is incredible, and though he was not in the kitchen for this very late reservation, his presence is felt and his talented team does him proud even in his atypical absence. The food is thoughtful, to be sure, though I think the undeniable beauty of this food is that it is done so technically well, from first bite to last. There is no accounting for taste, but if this style of cuisine appeals to you, you will not be let down by this restaurant's execution. I know nothing, first hand, of specifically Argentinean cuisine, but it is a thing of beauty to find a kitchen that puts out such great food so consistently. Kudos to Chef Manion and to his talented kitchen staff and what is clearly a tireless effort to uphold high standards. That is to say nothing of the remaining building blocks that make up a great restaurant...

The service, beverage program, ambiance, etc. are all on point here. Our server, Grace, was knowledgeable, present, aware of our celebration, timely, and true to her name... graceful. She paced and coursed our meal perfectly. The coordination and teamwork of servers, support staff, and management, even the technical skill with which tables were cleared by all of the aforementioned positions was impressive to watch. Jacyara's cocktails are excellent, well-balanced, gorgeous, fitting for the space and the cuisine. The space is nicely designed with elegant lighting fixtures and tons of sleek black that adds a tremendous amount of swank to an impressive, open, hearth-centric kitchen. Energy was great, music was fun, and I was proud to have brought my father here for his 75th birthday.

The amount of choices in this city is overwhelming, El Che Bar is an easy choice.

Thank you to the whole team.

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5.0Dined on July 21, 2018

Amazing service and fantastic food. Great place to get together with old friends, or take someone out on a date.

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4.0Dined on July 20, 2018

All of the food was really good but with a few tweaks could have been perfect.

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4.0Dined on July 19, 2018

The steak was excellent. Service was good. Ambience so-so.

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2.0Dined on July 18, 2018

The service for main meal was off. There were 6 people at the table and all but one meal was brought out. That person waited about 5 minutes before the server came over to let her know it would be another 5 minutes. The dish was a simple pasta dish that shouldn’t have taken a full 10 to 15 minutes longer. It was uncomfortable for rest of table to keep waiting. 2 of the 6 meals were prepared horribly and in hindsight should have been sent back to the kitchen. Wines glasses were removed before anyone came over to check if a second glass was wanted. I don’t think we will be returning. Meal wasn’t worth the expensive cost.

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5.0Dined on July 17, 2018

The best Roasted Chicken I’ve had in a very long time. Beets, Carrots, and Pimento with Fried Bread delicious! Thanks for the great dining experience.

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5.0Dined on July 15, 2018

Julio our waiter was helpful and attentive, without being overbearing. I ordered the pork chops on his recommendation, something I don’t usually do because they can be dry, and he was spot on. They were delicious. Our glasses of water were never empty. The service was top notch, and the food matched the service.

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5.0Dined on July 6, 2018

Amazing! Love this place!! This was my third time dining at El Che Bar and each time has been amazing. Great food, ambiance and service.

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5.0Dined on July 3, 2018

Always great to have the opportunity to eat John Manon's food - this menu is interesting and "new" without being wildly unusual. LOVED everything - service was a bit off (forgotten parts of the things we ordered, server distracted by a very large table near us) but everything else was great!

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5.0Dined on July 1, 2018

We had a fantastic time celebrating two birthdays at El Che Bar!

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4.0Dined on June 28, 2018

Food was good but too expensive for the quality

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5.0Dined on June 26, 2018

The oysters were amazing.

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5.0Dined on June 23, 2018

The chef and the food were excellent. The chef’s table is a wonderful option to really try all the dishes along with the wine pairing.

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5.0Dined on June 22, 2018

I love El Che Bar. The food is always fabulous and you feel special.

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5.0Dined on June 21, 2018

Lovely spur of the moment date night find! We decided to do 1 appetizer 1 meat 1 side 1 dessert to share for the 2 of us, it was plenty of food, we didn't leave over stuffed and we didn't leave hungry. Our server was helpful and friendly and paced our food out perfectly!! The sangria is delicious and the alcohol free "mocktails" refreshing. We will go back and explore the menu again.

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5.0Dined on June 21, 2018

Superb cocktails, excellent service, delectably interesting menu - a gem just off the Randolph corner.

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5.0Dined on June 20, 2018

Great service and food!

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

Amazing in every way. Staff is incredibly helpful.

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3.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Very disappointed and not worth the $200 spent for 2 people. The waiter was not knowledgeable of the wines and was rather not chalant with service. For only 3 dinner plates, the two we ordered were subpar especially for about $35 each e.g. fish was basic and pork chops were burnt.

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

Food was excellent, Malbec perfect, entrees fairly priced and the service (Scott) couldn’t be better. Very nice experience.

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3.0Dined on June 13, 2018

Medium rare steak was over cooked.

Fish had a lot of bones, even though it said it didn’t

Shrimp salad & empanada are great, bring back the swordfish.

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5.0Dined on June 5, 2018

Nice decor, attentive staff, flavorful empanadas and a superb asado (so plentiful that two of us couldn’t finish it!). My dessert was so good (chamomile panna cotta) that I asked for seconds! It quickly became our new favorite spot for Argentinian fare. Will certainly be back and highly recommend it!

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5.0Dined on June 5, 2018

Found El Che on a list of best restaurants in Chicago, went for first time and will come back. Great cocktails, food, vibe, and service. Can’t miss.

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2.0Dined on June 4, 2018

mediocre in everyway

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

My sister and I loved El Che Bar. We were visiting from out of town and only had 1 meal together. I'm so glad we chose this place! I haven't stopped talking about the steak since we left. We shared the 16 oz. New York Strip and it was the perfect size for us. The seasoning and flavor was out of this world. Having it cooked on the fire added a perfect char to the outside. I could have cut the steak with a spoon it was so tender. We got the asparagus/polenta and the Japanese sweet potatoes, both were exceptional. That was plenty of food for the two of us.
Our server was wonderful, she was very attentive without being overbearing, her timing was perfect. I was dissatisfied with the Empress of Mars drink (because I forgot that Mezcal has a smokey flavor) and she quickly replaced it with a Pinot Nior for me with no hassle. The food and drink is definitely worth the price tag. I was nervous about going since it was our one meal in Chicago and it ended up being the highlight!

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4.0Dined on June 1, 2018

Solid food, good service, relaxing atmosphere. Very enjoyable time and I would return.

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4.0Dined on June 1, 2018

We were a large party and the reservations team was very accommodating to our needs. We had a great time. Love the gnocchi

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5.0Dined on May 29, 2018

One of the best meals I have had out in a long time. Everything from poultry to vegetables exploded with flavor! I cannot wait to go back!

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2018

Had dinner with a friend at El Che for the first time. Our server was awesome, super attentive and made recommendations, accommodated changes at the last minute, etc. We shared olives, an empanada, the cheese bread, manchego/strawberry/arugula salad, sweet potatoes and a filet. Everything was great - definitely recommend the cheese bread and filet and empanada. The restaurant wasn’t super booked at 5pm on a Monday, so ambiance was quiet and calm. Filled up a bit as we were leaving, but noise still wasn’t an issue. Would recommend!

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5.0Dined on May 20, 2018

Our waiter Graham was absolutely amazing, he knew we were celebrating our anniversary and brought out a glass of champagne as well as a dessert wine on the house! Thank you for making tonight so special!

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4.0Dined on May 20, 2018

My husband I I had dinner here to celebrate my birthday. The food at El Che is always good, and the service is professional. Last night’s progress through the meal was a little slow, which was fine with us, if not quite so agreeable to the couple at an adjacent table. This couple complained about the time it took to be served their entree. It appears they had a time constraint. Lucky us. We weren’t so encumbered and our evening was more than enjoyable.

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