Ema

4.7
1748 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mediterranean
Mediterranean & California-inspired restaurant featuring small plates & light style cooking in Chicago's River North.

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
7.7

_ma is a small plates Mediterranean restaurant in River North, and it's good for a lot of occasions.

Ratings 7.5-8.0:These are restaurants that are reliable, tasty, and particularly good for whatever we have deemed them “Perfect For.” Hit up a 7.7 for Date Night with confidence, as long as you don’t need the restaurant to be the most interesting thing that happens that night.
What 1748 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
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 8 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Reunion of friends

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d
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The waitress was friendly and knowledgeable. The wine she recommended was a great find!

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m
Chicago
40 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Loved the Brussels sprouts, butternut squash risotto.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My server was very professional and responsive. I don’t remember his name, but he rocked

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DJ
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

The food was delicious, but wait staff hovers to take plates away even when there is food remaining on plates and still multiple requests to clear the table. Still hungry after leaving the restaurant. Will never return for the value.

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OT
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just wonderful vegan food. Large portion tapas. Each dish we shared was so unique in flavor & presentation.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Maddie was amazing - super knowledgeable and personable.

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V
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had the Hummus and Lamb & Beef Kefta plate. Delicious and filling. Great portion size. Setting for a business lunch or casual meet up with friends is great as noise level isn't too crazy. Service was attentive and friendly.

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JC
St. Louis
13 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a very enjoyable experience dining at Ema. The menu is well done and the food was very good. The server was very knowledgeable of the menu and individual items on it.

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m
Chicago
48 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our last visit to Ema was marred by excessive noise, too cold AC, uncomfortable plastic chairs, but outstanding food. Because the food was so spectacular, we wanted to give it a second chance. So, I am happy to report that this visit, it was not at all noisy despite a full restaurant, the temperature was perfect, we sat in comfortable cloth covered chairs, and again, the food was outstanding. So congratulations, Ema, on providing a wonderful experience for our guest and us.

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JB
Miami
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food
Good service

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a
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Service very slow. We had a 12:30 reservation; we were seated on time. We didn’t receive our drink order until 1:05. Food was amazing very good and comfortable space good for brunch!

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A
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The ambience at Ema was beautiful. It was bright and very inviting. Great place to brunch. I recommend the hummus sampler platter and brussel sprouts to begin your meal- both were so delicious!

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d
Milwaukee
54 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very nice selection of foods with excellent taste profiles. Great offering of different hummus styles to start. Highly recommend the pumpkin - could be a great start or slightly sweet for dessert. Service was really good. Highly attentive and knowledgeable about the menu wine list.

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a
Indiana
129 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Good is fantastic. Ema is our new favorite!

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G
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was my second visit and there will be a third. I love Mediterranean food and this is worth going out of the way for. I highly recommend it.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing!

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KG
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything about our meal was fantastic! The food was absolutely delicious and our server attentive and prompt. We could not have had a better experience.

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C
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I was expecting simple Mediterranean, which would have been just fine, but I also found a solid brunch menu with traditional proteins like eggs and bacon. Tried the kefoulis, traditional and mushroom hummus, Brussels sprouts, and bacon which were all excellent. Only disappointed by the risotto which was TOO al dente and too oily. But great open feel, not jam packed, with conversational sound levels. Service was excellent with a table visit from the manager.

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OT
San Antonio
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Servers were great, excellent knowledge of menu! Great experience!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere and staff. Food came out super quick! The hummus I ordered as an appetizer had more flavor that both meals my associate and I ordered. The food was good, but could have been more flavorful. Portions were okay, but I left still hungry even after dessert.

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OS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Acoustic is great you can enjoy conversation.
Food fantastic
One thing if it 's a small plate plates clean plates has to be served with each dish you cant mix tastes.
It our 9t time there will come more!
Keep going!

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SC
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was exceptional. The only problem is that we wanted to order every item on the menu. Next time we will try all of the things that we didn't try the first time around. Can't wait to go back and trythe dessert and kabobs.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great overall dining experience!

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DF
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great waiter, and overall great experience. I would go back.

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KH
4 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful space with great food and service.

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ES
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of my favorite restaurants ever! We went this week to celebrate my husband’s birthday
We had a few cocktails, 3 different Spreads, the eggplant, the labane and the pumpkin, we had a salad (which was the only thing we did not like - it was a cold rice salad which was kind of tasteless), we shared the fish of the day as a main course which was amazing and we had the homemade yogurt as a dessert - my favorite part of the meal!!
The service was amazing like always, the music was nice and the overall ambiance was great!!

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ST
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food, great drinks, great company. 10/10 from me.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

It was incredibly warm in the restaurant and quite uncomfortable. The food was amazing and the service was great.

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MR
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional! Anxious to return and try other wine and food items on the menu.

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CS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

It was a great atmosphere, but I recommend this place as a light lunch or dinner. I went for brunch and the menu wasn't as appealing or had the greatest options.

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OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Spices and seasonings added a nice touch to all dishes. Freshly prepared and delicious food. Service was excellent.

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B
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

the food was outstanding and the wait staff could not have been more accomadating -
this was our first time at Ema - but is definately a place we will visit again.

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SG
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We dined at Ema on our second night stay in Chicago and wished we would have gone here both nights as every dish we had, six plus two desserts, were delicious. The server was fantastic in his recommendations for wine and food and never made us feel rushed. Overall we really enjoyed our dining experience and will gladly return on our next visit to Chicago.

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KH
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my third visit to Ema and it lived up to my expectations. One of my favorite spots in Chicago.

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IK
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, excellent food and a pleasant setting. We will definitely go back.

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k
Naples
4 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Ema has wonderful food in a lovely atmosphere. We had great service and enjoyed our meal!

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GC
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The brussel sprouts and charred eggplant were phenomenal. I wasn't as keen on the butternut squash risotto, a bit too salty for my taste. I made no complaint about it because the front manager and the waiter were great. There had been a mixup about restaurant week end date and the manager offered to comp one side dish to urge me to stay. I highly recommend this restaurant.

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M
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

We went for restaurant week and the food and drinks were very delicious. The restaurant is very vibrant! The service wasn't the best. It was very slow and food took long to get to us. I don't know if was because of restaurant week, but I'm willing to go back and give it another try because of the food!

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WB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Great service. Enjoyed the meal very much. The Pumpkin hummus is amazing!

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