Ema

4.7
2995 Reviews
$31 to $50
Mediterranean
Mediterranean & California-inspired restaurant featuring small plates & light style cooking in Chicago's River North.

Support Ema during COVID-19

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
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 2995 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
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
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vipMeesheyB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

So good but sat by the window and was c-c-cold with a strong draft!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great! It was just very expensive. Almost $70 for lunch (without drinks).

H
vipHammer
Chicago
51 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very pleasant and enjoyable experience. And the food was delicious. We happened to be at Ema during Chanukah, and they had potato-Brussels sprout latkes on the menu, and they were delicious. As were the grilled Romanesque cauliflower, the honey pie, and everything else we had.

VA
VivekA
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Awesome Food with great service. Worth visiting again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food2service4ambience5

The atmosphere was really cool. However, the food was way overpriced for the quality. We got 7 things off the menu and they were all just average maybe slightly below. I wouldn’t go back and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wow! The pumpkin frozen yogurt was like fireworks in my mouth. Indescribably delicious.

HS
HollyS
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food1service5ambience4

Four adults, lots of fish and vegetable small plates. The charred eggplant spread was good on pita. That is the one dish I can recommend. The Snow Crab Taramasalata and the Ora King Salmon Crudo contained crab and salmon that were far past fresh. The Parmesan, Potato & Brussels Sprout Latkes (a Hanukkah special) and the Green Falafel were not to anyone's taste. The Brussels Sprouts in a sherry glaze tasted very strongly of vinegar, which I didn't mind, but others did. The Crispy Potatoes were so-so. The scallion crema that they came with turned out to be sour cream with some minced scallions. The least favorite dish was the Winter Squash Risotto. Maybe we ordered the wrong things?? There are restaurants that we try once and only once. Ema has been added to that list. Our tab was $219 with 2 alcoholic beverages, tax, and 20% tip. The meal wasn't worth it.

CA
ChiAmateurFoodie
Phoenix
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service3ambience5

I’ll be back and mistakes happen, but the waiter charged our cards to the wrong table. It still hasn’t fallen off of my AmEx.

SN
vip10SNE1
Chicago
91 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We were pleasantly surprised when we learned that this is a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant. The prices during Happy Hour were good, and the small plates were quite large. Our waiter was excellent.

NA
NitinA
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent food and service. Tried the chicken Kefta and the grilled chicken sandwich and they were amazing.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Caribbean
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Food was great. Server took a little long initially but they apologized and made it better!

a
amyji
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything about it was top-notch and chill, so much so, we didn't notice until we got home that they missed one dish on our order – but we'll be back regardless.

JE
vipJohnE
New England
9 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything we had on the menu was very well executed and tasty. Short rib was outstanding, and all of their vegetarian entrees were delicious. Don’t miss the sticky date cake for dessert.

PJ
vipPatrickJ
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Delicious food, friendly service, in a bright and attractive setting. Highly recommend!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Apps and drinks were great!

u
ujeilb
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ema has amazing food with exceptional presentation. The waiter was so kind and helped us choose the food that we would enjoy the most. I went for my birthday and I do not like when waiters sing Happy Birthday out loud. Our waiter probably sensed it and she did not sing to me but said happy birthday. Overall an amazing time and food at Ema

s
stevenc
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

The fried potato was not good. Very dry and tastless.

CT
vipCarolynT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2021
Overall3food5service1ambience1

Food was great. Server was not the most inviting or considerate. It’s frustrating to make the effort to make a reservation and go to a restaurant that doesn’t seem to appreciate your business.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best hummus I’ve ever had! The seasonal pumpkin hummus was incredible. Each of us got something different and we all very much enjoyed it! Will recommend to friends and will definitely return!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience2

Great food, not so friendly service.

D
vipDisneyfoodlover
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent. I enjoyed the seasonal offerings: pumpkin hummus and squash risotto. Service was great.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Toronto
6 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience4

The portions were surprisingly small & the food wasn’t warm. I had higher expectations given the location/menu but unfortunately didn’t love it- & Chicago food is delicious!! Maybe it was just one of those days but wouldn’t go back :(

f
vipfun2eat
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food, excellent service....including good attention to preferences like gluten/dairy free. Will be back again soon for brunch or dinner.

s
splurgingmomma
Chicago
44 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Everything we had was very good. And the server was attentive to the kids. I’m ready for paper menus to return.

MJ
MichaelJS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

I had a reservation and my friend arrived earlier and she was seated at a table in the bar area. I would have preferred a table in the dining room. Food was delicious. Service was good. Choices were great! I’m a big eater so a actual piece of chicken would have been better. But, I was reminded by my guest it’s a chef’s creation and favor that matters.
Thank you!

AK
AjayK
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and ambience inside the restaurant was amazing. Bit noisy but I understand everyone was there to have fun and people were laughing and talking very loud but I will let it pass as food was too good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a great experience and amazing food!

JB
JadeB
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is lovely. The ambiance and decor are beautiful. The food is fresh, delicious and warm. You’re not rushed to finish your meal and leave, it’s a very relaxed experience. Staff from entry to exit were very pleasant and inviting. Would come again/recommend to a friend.

R
vipRhoda
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food is always wonderful. The music was very loud and when I asked to have it turned down I was told that the rules were it had to stay at a level of 60. That’s poor customer service and has the focus on the wrong priority in my opinion.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Friends birthday. Pumpkin hummus is 😋 Also slow cheetah cocktail. Best Greek salad with Chicken👌🏾

m
vipmemarie3
Portland
21 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So grateful to try this restaurant. I heard great things and it exceeded expectations. Went for a friend get-together with dietary restrictions and felt MORE than accommodating to those. Great food, great ambiance, great service!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went here to meet a gal pal for a light dinner and drinks. The food and wine was delicious. They suggest two plates per person but we both had a late lunch so we opted for one with a heavier meaty option which was perfect. Very casual chic decor so it’s great for a girls night or a date. Great service and ambiance, I will come here again!

S
susanS
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Very nice people. Prompt service when we needed more bread etc. good food. Cauliflower was somewhat tough
But… they brought out all the dishes at once!!! Appetizer first snd 2 mins later entrees snd sides. Not good We felt rushed

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service

M
Meliroe
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The food was delicious! I really enjoyed the Salmon kebabs!

m
vipmonia
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good food and nice atmosphere.
Didn’t like much the crostini served with the stracciatella.

E
vipEllbee
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ema was excellent in every way! The food was delicious: abundant, well-seasoned and well-prepared, and very flavorful. We tried a variety of small plates: the almond dip and straciatella were standouts. Also, we ate outside on a cold afternoon, and the staff was very nice to set up the tables, turn on the heaters and check back periodically. I also thought it was a very good value for the quality and caliber of the meal. I look forward to going back and exploring more of the menu.

JH
JennyH
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was unbelievable and very friendly service!

R
Rachel
Chicago
2 reviews