Ema

4.8
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2555 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mediterranean

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Good Vegetarian Options
Mediterranean & California-inspired restaurant featuring small plates & light style cooking in Chicago's River North.
What 2555 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AP
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Mediterranean options and a beautiful space at that.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food, great atmosphere!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really enjoyed our meal here and can't wait to come back! The crispy potatoes, chicken and beef tenderloin were delicious!

W
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Mediterranean food and wine.
Good for business meetings and celebrations

OT
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Love the food and atmosphere at Ema, I’ll definitely be back!

KM
Indiana
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant was AMAZING!!! The food was so incredibly good and we had an amazing time sharing our plates. The atmosphere was great as well! Would return to Chicago JUST to eat at Eta's again!

JC
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My friend and I went for dinner and got four of the spreads: Spicy hummus, the eggplant, House-made labneh, and toasted almond & garlic. We paired that with the Assyrtiko, Mylonas, from Santorini. Our favorites were the labneh & spicy hummus. We also got the pan-roasted Romanesque cauliflower which was awesome. We were so full we went straight to desert and had the double chocolate cake which was rich but delicious. Can’t wait to go back!

MF
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great. Made a reservation for a high top but sat at the bar in the back. Bartender had good recommendations. We took them all.

OT
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Very enjoyable experience. I love lighting in the restaurant. It is bright and you can see your food. The food is in the same tone.

S
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place! Super accommodating for allergies and diets, our server was knowledgeable and walked us through the menu with great tips. The ambiance is very inviting and the restaurant seems very open, which makes it easier to have conversation with your table. Would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for delicious Mediterranean and shared experiences!

RE
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We had a great dinner at Ema. The food was really good. We didn't get the hummus as everyone else said we should because I thought I'd get too full and wouldn't enjoy the other things we ordered. Probably should have gotten it. Portions are quite small -- it's more of a small plates kind of place. We had the falfel and the chicken kebab. Both were outstanding. Also got the olives and feta appetizer and I'd skip that the next time and get the hummus.
The atmosphere is really open and bright and lively. I loved it. Our waiter was really nice but he was so busy that it took about 25 minutes to get our check after we were done eating. That's the only negative I can report.

A
Detroit
13 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a wonderful experience dining with my sister! We didn’t feel rushed by the waitstaff at all and felt welcomed by everyone there. The food was amazing - try the hummus with lamb ragu, as well as the octopus. Will definitely return here.

NH
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was fun and flavorful. Cool space! I def recommend.

TC
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They were so great and the food was fantastic, as usual! It was a birthday celebration and they brought out ice cream with a candle!

m
Caribbean
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service

SB
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been to Ema on many occasions and it never disappoints. The food is always amazing and the service is spot on.

AB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday brunch was fantastic! Loved every dish and drink! You will enjoy your experience for sure

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and delicious food

M
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

There are not enough words to describe how delicious the food is.

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience4

Was expecting much more from this place given the reviews. But the food was just okay. Much better options in Chicago, in my opinion.

T
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

This was a very good spot located on the ground floor of a hotel. The ambiance is cool, casual and elegant. The food is very fresh and well prepared. Nice cocktail selection and the service was very good. Middle Eastern tapas style (mezze) food with very tasty vegetarian and meat selections meant for sharing.

L
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

The second-most impressive aspect of our dining experience [after the amazing, complex flavors of the food] was the knowledge of our waiter and his willingness to share it with us. When I commented on his knowledge of the menu, he told us he had been there since Ema opened. I didn't recognize the by-the-glass white wine choices, and, after asking about the wines I like, our waiter recommended one from Ema's list that was terrific--I had 2 glasses. we will return and recommend Ema to others. the reason for the "good" rating on ambience is that, for a Mediterranean-type restaurant, Ema is not old-world cozy enough. Guess it's 21st-century Mediterranean.

AM
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Really interesting menu, great sharing food.

KA
Chicago
41 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bloody Mary had a weird after taste, the food was fabulous

C
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great service, great food, mainly the small shareable dishes. We had hummus, charred eggplants, and the Shakshuka, all outstanding. Washroom attached to the hotel reception, breaks the ambiance.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Definitely a more relaxed environment for brunch than sister restaurant Aba, both are exquisite in food. Depending on your mood, both are a good call! Ema is definitely more relaxed for brunch with more delicious coffee options ☕️

OT
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Very good flavorful food and a nice spot for brunch! Will totally go back!

C
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

really the best wait staff around. so nice and friendly and fast and helpful. and excellent food. they had me at just the bacon.

DC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great brunch. Humus wa outstanding you have to order it.

TC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Ambiance is a little too much like being in a hotel, which it is.

D
London
4 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was exceptionally delicious. My only issue with EMA is that it is too bright in there. If they turned down the lights just a little bit the atmosphere would be so much better.

AM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had dinner for restaurant week and had a great experience. Food was delicious. Server was super friendly. Restaurant week menu came with a glass of wine - nice!

E
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went here for restaurant week - great menu items and excellent service. Would definitely recommend to friends and will be coming back in the future!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved it! We were a group of 5 women enjoying Restaurant Week. The food was excellent and the value for the cost was very good. Many restaurants had very limited menus for this event but Ema delivered! I’m coming back again soon and bringing my husband.

A
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always terrific!

T
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We went for restaurant week and had the 4 course menu (plus wine included) for our anniversary. Between the two of us we got to try 8 dishes which was a great deal. Everything was good, but a few were stand out. The lentil salad, grilled octopus, short rib, and chocolate cake were delicious and had surprising flavor twists that shows the chefs are thoughtful with their dishes. Love it when restaurants keep food exciting! I also appreciate when restaurants out their best foot forward during restaurant week instead of just winging it. It has a trendy hotel vibe but I wouldn't feel uncomfortable coming here dressed casually either. Restaurant is also very well lit (no hunching over dim candles here). I will come back, especially with my parents who dislike dark and loud restaurants.

S
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food4servic