Ema

4.7
2781 Reviews
$31 to $50
Mediterranean
Mediterranean & California-inspired restaurant featuring small plates & light style cooking in Chicago's River North.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Extra space between tables
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 2781 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
4.8
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall1food1service1ambience2

The lamb kabob was so dry. Service was okay. Didn’t even serve iced water when it was 85 degrees

JJ
vipJenniferJ
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It’s a favorite place of mine and it’s consistently fantastic!

t
viptakemeout
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Don’t miss the date cake for dessert

MS
vipMimiS
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience4

We ate outside on the patio on a beautiful summer night . The food was delicious . My guess is that they were understaffed. Probably the worst service I’ve ever had a lettuce entertaining restaurant. Looks like the weather was trying really hard but everybody was overwhelmed. It’s a take away a little bit from the entire experience.

HE
HildaE
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We met friends for drinks/appetizers on a Thursday early evening 4:30pm. Our table was towards the open window panels. Great spot for outdoor seating experience. Our waiter did a great job explaining the food menu and kept us on track with the number of dishes ordered. Food came out promptly and well paced. Winners: hummus, olives & feta, Greek salad, short ribs & lamb kebabs. Fresh ingredients, colorful displays and excelente flavor profiles.
We highly recommend and will be back.

t
viptini
Chicago
35 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Great place for a business dinner, fun, not too loud! Food excellent Service was mostly good but server got a rush and then slowed down a little - it was acknowledged - will definitely go back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Was very disappointing, I’m sure it improve as more people come back to workforce

H
vipHothow1
Chicago
35 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always love the salmon kebab. all 4 of us got that. delicious. the brussel spouts, falafel, hummus- all great!

K
Katie
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So delicious, lots of variety, reasonably priced. Highly recommend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food. Price is right. Loved the kabobs. Salmon crudo was outstanding. Service was superb. Loved it.

DP
vipDeniseP
Des Moines
18 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Every meal at Ema is always spot on! Our server was very attentive and efficient.
The salmon on the kabobs was cooked to perfection!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Server was excellent and dishes we chose were great. Covid has been tough on businesses so can understand wait time and lack of bartender. Noise was at times overwhelming, but our server and staff were lovely. The roasted eggplant was outstanding!!

NR
NaomiR
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience5

I used too love Ema, and was excited to come here while back in town. However, the food wasn't up to the quality I remembered. It was good, but not great. The dips in particular were under seasoned and lacked body.

Our waiter was lovely, but they are clearly understaffed. He tried his best to be attentive, but clearly had too much to do.

Overall, I'd say it wasn't worth the price.

SS
vipSS113
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall5food5service1ambience5

Waitress was rude and impersonal. Hostess was so sweet. But overall I expect the best from ema which wasn’t the case today.

A
Arch
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

The spreads, the chicken kefta, the toothpick lamb were all wonderful when combined with great service! (Thank you Maria)

MS
vipMichaelS
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly host stand, great food, great ambience, what more could you want? A wonderful and laid back place to meet with friends or family and have a good time.

T
vipTrue
Chicago
53 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Our service was spectacular. The chicken kefta and octopus dishes were the stars. The falafel was under seasoned. And the spicy mezcal cocktail makes me want the recipe.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
6 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Unfortunately I don’t remember our servers name but she was AWESOME! Food was great and short rib was to die for

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My friend has celiac and they were so accommodating. The food was 10/10 amazing!

NS
NaguiS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Excellent food, good wine list, very nice location. Service is good.
Definitely recommend it

CT
vipChiTown
Chicago
36 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Waitress was so great, food extra special and a great experience.

JM
vipJonnyMuss
Los Angeles
90 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such good food and great service. You can’t go wrong here. Ema which means mother in Hebrew, really gets good Israeli/Jewish soul food just perfect. Please open one of these in LA!

E
Eookbxh99
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience5

Incredibly slow and almost non existent service. Once we paid our check we had to chase our server down to get the check and credit card back

JG
vipJuneG
Chicago
64 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the food! Everything was so tasteful. Hummus with the nuts was great on their delicious pitas! The salmon kebab was cooked perfect tender and soft. My husband loved the chicken bowl. Brussels were one of the best we’ve had. We had a taste explosion! The food was so good we wished we tried the deserts!

E
Emily
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and drinks. Nice outdoor seating.

LK
LizaK
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food! Great drinks

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and friendly service! Would highly recommend and can't wait to go back. The stracciatella is a must!

TD
TrishaD
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience4

I love Ema, nice ambience, and a great menu. The service was pretty lacking this time around. And on a REALLY hot day, they leave the main restaurant wide open, so it's nearly as hot as outside. Not good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service!

R
Rafa
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I came for my birthday and the waitress provided excellent service. The food was spectacular per usual as well.

E
E2018
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The frozen yogurt disappeared! Otherwise, great.

c
camillep
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best food me and my partner have ever had. It really made me feel like I was at home.

p
vippatg
Chicago
55 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Best Greek salad in town. Great service and comfortable atmosphere.

HR
HaleighR
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Ema continues to be one of my go-to restaurants, especially when entertaining friends who are visiting! The food is always wonderful, drinks are great, and your dollar goes a long way here!

TY
TomerY
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Food was absolutely great. Service was less great, a bit impatient and not so welcoming.

A
Allegra
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my favorite spots in the city. Food is always full of flavor and amazing

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The appetizers are amazing! The almond and garlic spread, the brussel sprouts, and the hummus are to die for.

We ordered the mushroom kebab and the chicken kefta kebab as our entrees. They were decent, but not as spectacular as our appetizers.

The cactus cocktail was popular (every table in our section ordered one)

Our server was very accommodating of our dietary restrictions. We love that Ema has a gluten free menu!

FE
vipFoodEnjoyer
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very accommodating, we have a latex allergy and they were very careful about that very very excellent customer service!

R
vipRichard
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Wonderful lunch meal with a colleague. Shared the hummas and pita plate which was delicious. I had the chopped salad for lunch with falafel balls. Excellent salad and nice light lunch. Our service was outstanding, she checked in with us often and was friendly and professional. I'll be back!

H
vipHappy
Chicago
62 reviews