Ema

4.7
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2574 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.

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What 2574 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
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best restaurant in Chicago. Hands down.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall1food3service1ambience2

Horrible service

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They were fully booked, but tge

D
Dana
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The falafel was a little dry, but overall the food was great. Service and ambience was really nice. Will be back.

BA
BeerAndSausage
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience4

The pitas were stale, the eggplant appetizer was bland. the salmon kabobs were great and saved this from being 1 star. Third time eating here. First time was awesome in Oct. 2nd time was ok in Dec 2019. Not sure I'm going back soon or again. High price point on very small appetizers as well.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2020
Overall3food5service2ambience4

Waiter hardly came to our table and we had ordered a lot of dishes and drinks. We even had planned on dessert but he left for so long we decided to leave. Disappointing on a Monday night for sure and I’ve always recommended this restaurant! BUT the food is amazing as always so 5 stars for that!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious, thought we ordered too much, but it was perfect. Very accommodating of the vegan diet!

KQ
vipKatrinaQ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

I’m a regular at Ema and visit often. However, we went yesterday and I’m not sure if there was a change in management or what but it was different. Staff was super slow even though the restaurant wasn’t crowded. Portion sizes were literally 1/3 the usual size for the same price and when I asked, the response was “yeah we had a chef come in and re-evaluate.” You should probably consider changing the price if that’s the case.

MP
MaxeeP
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Great location, cool atmosphere, dessert was amazing, food was mediocre. None of the food was hot, did not seem fresh. The date cake dessert with caramel sauce was out of this world but other than that unfortunately I didn’t find it a good value.

N
vipNoodles
Chicago
60 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience3

The food was good but the portion size for the price was ridiculous. You are encouraged to order 2-3 plate for each person (the smallest of dishes a feta dip is $15.) The larger plates which really aren’t much bigger were twice that. 5 small pieces of beef fillet on a skewer was $30. Drink $17 and up. I understand rents are high but this restaurant is in the lobby area of the Hyatt place. It shared a bathroom with Hyatt’s lobby that was crowded, dirty with not tp or paper towels. At least clean the bathrooms if you are charging those prices. Staff was friendly but disappeared for long stretches.

MC
vipMelissaC
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience2

Food was delicious and the server was attentive, friendly and helpful. The rest was really NOT what I expect from a Lettuce Restaurant.

Bathrooms were dirty and my stall in the women’s bath had no toilet paper. Yuck.

The Host was probably the worst host I’ve ever come across. We were driving into the city from the suburbs and traffic was even worse than we expected. We were running a few minutes late. The valet was unmarked, so we missed it, call the restaurant, went around the block and finally found it. The valet was completely backed up so we had a wait for a while.

When we finally arrived at the restaurant we were about 17-18 minutes late. Host said we could not find my reservation. After spelling my name and having him check a few times I mentioned that we were running late. His demeanor totally changed and he told us that our reservation had been automatically cancelled after 15 minutes. I did not receive any notification of this. I told him that I had specifically confirmed our reservation the night before. He said it didn’t matter. He then proceeded to tell us that the restaurant was full and we might not be seated at all. He was very rude. After about 10 minutes he found a table for us. When we left he did not acknowledge us. I’ve never felt less welcome on a restaurant!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ema is a high-class dining experience that is right for any occasion. If you want to have brunch with the boys or have a date night with your significant other it is the perfect place to try new culinary creations inspired by your favorite Mediterranean flavors. 10 out of 10 would recommend this place. I personally am a fan of their garlic almond spread with their gluten free crackers as well as their savory potatoes which have been remastered to be even more crispy on the outside and a fluffy on the inside. Their butternut squash risotto is to die for and I personally am a fan of any kebab!

MC
MichaelC
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it.
Be back soon ........ great concept, great flavors.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best! Really good food and drinks, great service and the best atmosphere! Great vibe and instagramable!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing service & food! Lots of vegetarian & vegan options, which was a big plus. Our Server, Aine was wonderful too! Would highly recommend Ema!

SC
vipSharonC
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Had to wait a half hour for a table even with a reservation but the service and food were great once we were seated.

TK
TimK
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Mediterranean food. Super flavorful food and I almost feel they could charge more for the food that they give. The interior/ambiance is also really great. Our server along with the team were so helpful, friendly and accommodating. I made a res for 4 to celebrate my wife's birthday and they did not disappoint. It's more of a family style dinner. We were recommended 6-8 dishes, we did 7 and were completely full and satisfied by end of dinner. All four of us expressed that we def would come back again.
What we got: Charred Eggplant, Feta and Olives, Beets and Berries, Brussel Sprouts, Winter Squash Risotto, Coconut Curry Mussels and Grilled Chicken Kebab.
The chicken was on the dry side so I probably wouldn't order this again but everything else was really flavorful and good. If I go back, I would just stick to more side dishes and not do any kebab dishes.

N
vipNemo
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall1food2service3ambience3

Overpriced. Very small portions and mediocre. The Shakshuka was terrible, overcooked egg, tiny, bland. The Kafka did not have any flavor and the rice was like Uncle Ben’s. A falafel street kiosk in Jerusalem would be more satisfying and authentic.

AP
AshleyP
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Mediterranean options and a beautiful space at that.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food, great atmosphere!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

W
vipWilbur
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

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

KM
vipKimM
Indiana
5 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
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
JennaC
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
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!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
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.

MF
vipMaryFaithC
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
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.

S
Shane
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2020
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
RichE
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
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
Alyson
Detroit
13 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
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
NicoleH
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

TC
vipTracyC
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
vipmelissad
Caribbean
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service

SB
vipSaraB
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
ABeats
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
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and delicious food

M
vipMari
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5