Ema

4.7
3044 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 3044 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
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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food3service1ambience1

As someone who never ever writes reviews, I felt compelled to share my experience at Ema tonight. We showed up a few minutes early for our 7:15 reservation and were told to wait in the corner until our table was ready. 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes passed. We repeatedly asked the hostess for a time estimate and were met with rude glares, unhelpful responses (“we don’t know when the tables will be ready”), and no apologies whatsoever. It was clear they had mismanaged reservation times, since everyone around us was equally frustrated, but refused to own up to their mistake. We understand that these things happen, but the lack of hospitality and disrespect was unlike anything we have ever experienced.

After 55 minutes, we were finally seated. Our waiter’s service was better and the food was predictably good but not great. Although we frequent Ema, Aba, and the LEYE restaurants, I will not be returning here.

s
vipshar
Chicago
39 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food beautifully seasoned and interesting. Love it!!

JS
vipJennS
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always love a visit to Ema. The staff are outstanding, we adore chatting with the excellent bartenders, and the food just makes our bellies happy. Chefs are always attentive to my needs as a celiac diner, which I appreciate so much. And I really appreciate the precautions that Lettuce Entertain You is taking during covid to keep staff and guests as safe and healthy as possible. We'll be back!

DK
DeniseK
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went for Sunday Brunch to this fabulous restaurant and I highly recommend. The sharing portions are perfect and the menu is very creative. Food and service get an A+ from me!

d
vipdebbie
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience4

I like this restaurant but think portions are small for the price

N
vipNikki
Chicago
40 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience3

The risotto was especially tasty, but most everything was pretty good. The portion sizes are fairly small for the price for many dishes. The pita was really good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience4

It was great! Our server was very nice, and the food slapped

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience with my meal had to wait 15 minutes after my reservation

AG
vipAbrahamG
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good/drinks/service always great. The hummus, chicken kefta, and toothpick lamb are my favorites!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was incredible. The staff were friendly. All aroubd great location!

K
Krista
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I absolutely love Ema. The food is spectacular, great quality, and so tasty. Plates are a bit tapas style so it’s great to share with friends. I personally love the grilled octopus and Brussels sprouts. There is such a great balance of flavors and I can’t talk enough about how good the food is here. Drinks are also delicious, I’m a big fan of the do not disturb. Shoutout to the wonderful bartender Cody and our waitress Emma for the incredible kind and personable service they provided

M
Maven
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2022
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Delicious food and well curated ambiance. We tried the toothpick lamb and were very impressed with the depth of flavor. The charred eggplant spread is an absolute must- it was incredible. The sticky date cake is also a must-have.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2022
Overall4food4service3ambience3

It was supposed to be a birthday celebration but didn’t get any special recognition for that. The lighting could be a little dimmer to create the right ambiance but the food was very good!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service was amazing!

ML
MikeL
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and excellent service.

KR
KeithR
Little Rock
7 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2022
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Sunday brunch was fantastic. We enjoyed the fresh food and the staff did an outstanding job taking care of our table.

C
vipCdrocco
New York Area
30 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2022
Overall3food5service4ambience2

They would have gotten a much higher rating but the treatment by the host and the general demeanor of this restaurant is shocking.
Let me explain. We arrived late (we had called twice to let them know we were running late as there was a snow advisory in Chicago) only to be greeted by the host who said as an opening remark, we will prepare your food to go….what???!!!
We made this extraordinary effort to call and get here only to be told the food will be to go…. Should you not have told us this when we called??? When we insisted on eating there, she agreed but said we would not get utensils…. What????!!!!
Finally, we were seated and before we were seated, we quickly ordered as the kitchen was going to close in 10 minutes. Again, we could have been told. Even though we ordered very, very quickly, they were mopping all around us (with other guests still there).
Their attitude toward customers is shocking. The food is good but there are many Mediterranean restaurants who would not treat you like this!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2022
Overall5food5service4ambience4

First time dining here and brunch was fantastic!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and great ambiance

LV
vipLizzieV
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service! Loved the hummus and braised short rib

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sat outside in tent - was quieter than inside so perfect for us

CM
vipCMB0
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best experience ever. Great circus, great food!!!

H
Harsh
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent place. Great food and great service. It's a bit noisy, but a nice place to meet friends and family.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Friends were in town. They loved the food. We’ve been there many times. Always love it. Our waitress was exceptional!

SS
vipSherylS
Phoenix
24 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Fabulous food and service

DP
DanaP
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So pretty inside.very attentive server. Food was tasty ans came out quickly.

SJ
SamJS
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was fresh, wonderfully prepared, and bursting with flavor. Service was excellent, with mezze plates brought out (and used plates removed from the table) at the perfect intervals. We never felt rushed, which made for a pleasant experience and gave us ample time to catch up. Will absolutely return in the future for another delicious meal!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

This is our second time dining at Ema and it does not disappoint! The establishment is gorgeous and the food is delicious. Hummus + house bread is a must! Tomato bisque soup was very, very good.

F
vipFoodie762
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Food was amazing and menu is vegetarian friendly. They recommend about 3 entrees per person as they are meant for sharing - the portions are small but I would say 1-2 is more appropriate unless your group is very hungry. I recommend the crispy potatoes, mushroom kebab, green falafel, and the date cake for dessert. The spicy hummus & bread was good but nothing special since we didn’t really taste the spice.

Service was lacking - it felt like we were being rushed out even though the restaurant was not crowded. We were not asked if we wanted dessert and were even asked if we needed plates for dessert and not given new napkins….

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Family outing…was spectacular!

b
vipbwilson
Chicago
69 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food here is exceptional. We took recommendations from our terrific waiter who steered us toward an almond and garlic spread which was incredible, another dish made of the creamiest burrata and tomatoes, and for an entree--tasty, perfectly spiced slices of lamb. Everything was fresh and delicious. Please note the portion sizes on the appetizers and spreads are massive--so order accordingly!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Incredible small plates shared family style. Everything tastes gourmet, best restaurant I’ve been to in months.

DT
DzeTheBoss
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Best hummus I ever tasted! Excellent service. Highly recommend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved all the dishes we ordered. Delicious appetizers - spicy hummus, toothpick lamb. Entrees - chicken kefta and lamb and beef kefta were awesome. Our kids also enjoyed the food. Excellent wine choice. Strongly recommend

TM
TMMM
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had the Greek salad, eggplant app with warm pita, and chicken kebabs and rice. All were delicious and quickly came out of the kitchen.

RO
RalphO
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Back at Ema's for a 4th time. Menu with pandemic has been limited to many less items but there were still good choices. The ambience of young people is very vibrant.

SS
SherS
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the atmosphere. Kind and reasonably attentive server. Food was phenomenal. Very much looking forward to returning.

E
Elaina
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service and a beautiful restaurant with a great atmosphere. I was very impressed and would definitely come here again.

MB
MirandaB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place was amazing! The vibes, food, drinks, everything! Our waiter, Jose, was amazing too. Will definitely be going back again!

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