Ema

4.7
2726 Reviews
$31 to $50
Mediterranean
Mediterranean & California-inspired restaurant featuring small plates & light style cooking in Chicago's River North.

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
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 2726 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
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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IsaD
Miami
6 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Hummus was tasty, Brussels sprouts amazing and chicken with rice super tender and flavorful
Our waiter was extremely nice only bad part was there washroom which is party of hotel was super filthy !!

AD
vipAmyD
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love Ema and ate there twice this week. So good so fresh.

RI
vipRICKZ
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything from the weather to the food to the service was impeccable

LB
LindsayB
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter was exceptionally helpful. One in our party has a food allergy and he knew all ingredients and how to modify without any issues. The staff was very accommodating and the food was phenomenal. Drinks were delicious. We had a party of 9 and ate almost every item on the dinner menu. Highly recommend!

n
nqb7
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I went to lunch today with a friend at Ema. I can't express how lovely lunch was. The food was amazing, the staff were super kind and friendly, and the patio was really nice. The hummus with lamb ragu, stracciatella, falafel, and salmon kebabs were fantastic. I loved my experience and I hope to be back soon!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful!

Report
KW
vipKathyW
St. Louis
10 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Food was good. When we seated they told us it was a ninety minute dinning time at the table ( which was fine with us) but the service was a slow I was afraid we would over it. I know wait staff is in short supply but the waiter just wasn’t around much. The food is fresh and tasty but I don’t think we will be running back (btw it was a thursday and they weren’t all that busy)

MP
MarinaP
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2021
Overall1food1service4ambience3

After reading many reviews, I decided to take my mom, my husband, and twin daughters who just graduated from their Colleges to Ema. The menu looked good, we like Mediterranian cuisine, they had a whole gluten-free menu (one of my daughters can only eat GF food). Everything was good ... until the food arrived. The food presentation was terrible; some dishes looked worse than in cheap chain places. Nothing was as we expected and not in a good way. For example, I took two mezzos instead of the main dish - Ora King Salmon Crudo for $14.95. They brought me 6 tiny, very thin pieces (honestly, one cannot call it a "piece"), which were generously marinated to the point you cannot taste anything but vinegar and salt. And my 2nd dish was Asparagus Risotto, also for $14.95. It reminded me of rice porridge from my childhood. I ate risotto maybe 50 times in different places, different countries, and even tried it at home - to make a story short - it was NOT a risotto. Altogether, we tried 5 cold and hot mezze and both seafood main dishes they had on the menu. Out of everything, only hummus was really good.
I also made a mistake (quite explainable when you visit a place for the 1st time) and sampled everything on the table. I did it before in other places, and my stomach was OK after that. Unfortunately, it was not the case after Ema.
Other people in our party don't feel as disappointed as I, but probably they simply were trying to be polite since I was responsible for the choice of the restaurant. Pity.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Have gone 3 times and absolutely loved it every time! The spicy hummus is a MUST!

KK
KaylaK
San Antonio
3 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing and there where tons of vegetarian options. I loved it!

TF
ThoreauFoodie
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food with great friends who enjoyed thoroughly. Nice night - staff was very accommodating. My 2nd visit - looking forward to my 3rd.

JC
JayC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious! Maybe the best hummus I’ve ever had. Would return.

j
janm
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Selected Éma for the small plates and the outdoor space. What a treat this was! Although it was too hot to dine outdoors, we were seated at a window location and since the windows were open, we had the best of both options! Interesting drinks menu, with great recommendations from our server. Started with a hummus sampler and all 3 selections were outstanding. Followed with Brussels sprouts and a chopped salad. Finished with a salmon skewer that was perfectly prepared.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

‘Twas delightful

DM
DanielM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Me and my wife went here four our anniversary, the hostess and waitress were incredibly nice and helpful!

AA
AliAli
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing Experience. Food quantity was little less.

JB
JasonB
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience3

The service was absolutely horrible. The waitress came by and said, “oh, nobody brought you your fish?” Then when she finally brought it she said, “it’s last call for food & drinks.” It literally took 45 minutes to get our fish because nobody brought it. The food was decent at best.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Amazing food!! Reasonable for the quality

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Server was outstanding and the food was delicious. We had all seafood items and they were cooked perfectly.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Baton Rouge
6 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All of the appetizers were amazing! Loved our dining experience

JS
vipJS97
New England
36 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Food was decent - service was mediocre

MM
MarciaM
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Food was very good. The server could have been much friendlier.

ES
vipElizabethS
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing! Every bite was delicious with an incredible flavors.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just got drinks and an app but would definitely come back again!

DW
DaynaW
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Food was great, but it took a really long time to get it. We only had our table for 90 minutes and we had to use the whole time to eat two dishes.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
40 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place. Outstanding food.

JD
JuliaD
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

I understand the need to limit table time. However, we were told 3 or 4 times that we would need to vacate in c number of minutes. Our waiter seemed to be overwhelmed. We wanted to order more drinks and it took no less than 10 minutes to get someone to get our order
Not sure I would come back while the 90 minute limit is in place

OT
OpenTable Diner
Columbus
6 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Great food! Lots of options and great drinks too!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience2

Asked to wait when we got there on time outside - then was very rudely told by a waitstaff that we needed to move and there "is no need to hover at the door". We had been waiting 20 minutes and were anxious to sit. Main staff was rather unapologetic and service was very slow and overall not a good experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ema never fails to be a delicious meal!

L
vipkathleenL
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

travis was wonderful! my friends raved about the food. ema has been a favorite ever since it opened.

J
vipJoel
Los Angeles
42 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Our food was excellent and the staff was friendly and helpful. We chose to eat outside which was as one would expect in a busy city.

AN
vipANJL
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food was outstanding. So fresh, flavorful and creative. Can’t wait to go back for the food!!

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

Been here multiple times and food, drinks, and service is always fantastic. Recommend the potato dish, falafel and toothpick lamb, but I have not had a bad dish here.

RE
vipRobertoE
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Outdoor seating was fun, food was great and the service was excellent. Our server Maria is beyond professional and went out of her way to make sure our dining experience was most enjoyable. She’s the best. Thanks!

AG
AG96
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food and amazing service! Had a lovely birthday celebration.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience4

Food was great but the service was pretty bad. Waiter spilled water on my colleague, barely even muttered an “I’m sorry”, took forever to come take our appetizer order, and then forgot we had placed one. Didn’t return to take our main order for another 20 (foodless) minutes, and then the food, which was two salads, took over another half hour.

DA
DeniseA
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely wonderful in all categories. The food was indescribable with flavors, freshness and selections! Can't wait to return

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

May 10

Waiter didn’t ask for refills on ice tea

w
vipwink
Chicago
38 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Hadn't been here before. My husband and I both ordered soup. It was served, then before we had taken two spoonsful, the rest of our food was served. It wasn't so bad for me, as I had a salad. But he had eggs, so he either had to shovel his food in or have some of it get cold. Awful service and the food is ordinary. Never again.