Jilly's Cafe

4.4
218 reviews
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$31 to $50
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French

Located just outside the city of Chicago, Jilly's Café has been called a "North Shore Treasure" by Zagat's 2002 restaurant survey. Our French Countryside decor, handpicked flowers, and friendly wait staff make for an intimate and cozy atmosphere suitable for all kinds of occasions. Here authentic French food is served with an American twist making for enough dishes to keep our specials changing daily. We offer a Sunday brunch that carefully combines a traditional American brunch with French flavors, while champagne effortlessly flows throughout the course of the meal. Jilly's is available for private parties, and reservations are strongly recommended.
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Delivery or takeout
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
French, American
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Hours of operation

Lunch: Tuesday - Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm.
Dinner: Tueday - Thursday 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday 5:00pm - 8:00pm.
Brunch: Sunday 10:30am - 2:00pm.


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Phone number
(847) 869-7636
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Payment options
Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Nicolae Marian
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Private party facilities
Our French Countryside decor, handpicked flowers, and friendly wait staff make for an intimate and cozy atmosphere suitable for all kinds of occasions. Please contact us for more information about reserving our private dining room!
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Private party contact
Ethan Carter: (877) 674-4065
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Central St
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Parking details
Street parking on Central Street for lunch or anytime. For dinner during weekdays after 6:00 PM, Saturdays after 12:00 PM and Sunday anytime, parking is available at the Duxler Carshop parking lot located adjacent to the North on Greenbay Road. Please do not park outside those time at the Duxler parking lot. Thank you.
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Public transit
Walking distance to "Evanston Central Street" stop on the Metra line (UP-N to Kenosha). Ten minute walk to the CTA Purple line: "Central" stop.
Additional
Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 218 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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A
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cozy, warm ambiance with delicious food and wonderful service!

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EC
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Unfortunately, Jilly's is tired and is in need of an overall ambiance and menu update.

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RR
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb as always. First time since new management, and same haute cuisine

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g
Chicago
38 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brunch at Jilly's was a very pleasurable experience. The service was attentive , the ambiance charming, and the food was fabulous. My omelette was cooked to perfection and my wife and daughters' smoked salmon plate was fresh and creative. The prices were very reasonable. A little renovation of the physical space would help bring the restaurant's decor into the 21st century but, really, I have no complaints.

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t
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Always a wonderful dining experience! They make each diner feel valued and special.

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OT
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

After looking at the recommendation on OpenTable, I expected better. We had Mussels for an appetizer, which were pretty good. I ordered the "sea bass" on special for an entrée. It was overcooked, and I don't even think it was sea bass. My date ordered a veggie mix for entrée. It came with "corn bread" which, in my opinion, was inedible.

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JS
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Enjoyable evening at Jilly's Cafe. Excellent food, pleasant service, not rushed. Loved the pinot noir sorbet served in between courses. Plan to return.

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N
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

always food is great.... However they are ONLY selling wine here... no mixed drinks or beer which is ok w me since i love wine, but I like having a cocktail or beer before dinner and wine...

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RS
Chicago
61 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

Jilly's presents itself at a French bistro and has all the requisite casual french (comfort) fare (moules, steak pomme-frit, etc) but it was somewhat dated in both presentation and quality of the food. We were just a bit disappointed - we brought a bottle of wine and the corkage fee was reasonable; the service was amiable and correct, but frankly the food was pretty ordinary. The price to value ration is good, but there are several other more elegant options in the Evanston-Winnetka corridor. We hadn't been there in quite awhile and didn't think it was as special as we remembered.

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E
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was flavorful, well prepared, and nicely presented. Service was attentive but not obtrusive.

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JC
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Good food, good service and decent atmosphere. Very limited parking.

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K
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner was exceptional. Wine (white, by the glass) was excellent and a very healthy pour. Bread and pate and butter were complementary and delicious, mussels as an app were incredible, main meals were delicious and well prepared, ambiance was lively but quiet. Restaurant was full, staff was busy, busy, but they were incredibly efficient. The wait for all parts of the meal were perfect...not too long...not to quick. Oh, dessert and coffee? Amazing. Felt like 2 hours in Paris....

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MB
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 2

The best thing Jilly's Cafe has going it is the food. Appetizer, salad and main course were outstanding. Fantastic sauces.

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B
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food, great wine selection. It was like being in Paris in a favorite neighborhood bistro/cafe! A true jewel in today’s trendy dominated faux food joints.

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OT
Phoenix
11 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely small family owned restaurant with great food in convenient location.

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e
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our group of six was quickly accommodated. Service was friendly and efficient.

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N
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Jilly’s provides the best meal I’ve ever had in the northern suburbs (well, maybe excluding Le Francais). An unprepossessing exterior gives way to a charming white tablecloth room. I had the beet and fennel salad and asparagus risotto. Both were exemplary. The wine selection was fortunate. The only modest drawback is parking, which we found around the corner on Central Street, a half-block away.

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I
Chicago
32 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Jilly's was a wonderful dinner and our family enjoyed!
Food and wine were great, service was nice and we could relax and enjoy a tasty meal.
We will be back for sure!

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k
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took my wife to Jilly's for Mothers Day. First the service: we were there in the evening on Mother's Day, and the restaurant was packed. Despite that, the service was timely, friendly and efficient, despite the crowd. We like a more leisurely pace for dinner, and the timing was what we like.

Now the food: I started with the tomato/ soup and it was excellent. My wife had the goat cheese that was terrific. For a main dish, my wife had the salmon, which was also very good. I like a good "moules-frites" so I ordered the appetizer mussels mariniere with a side of fries. The mariniere sauce was a creamy delight and I had to ask for more bread to soak it up. The fries were real french-styles frites, thin and crispy.

For dessert, my wife enjoyed the key like pie, and I had a peach/berry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

Portions were ample, and we took some food home with us. Also, we found an excellent southern (Midi) French chardonnay at a very reasonable price.

We are from Montreal, and I have also lived in France, and the food and ambiance at Jilly's was as good as we have had in those countries. We highly recommend it!

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RS
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was outstanding, loved the vibe, and energy in the room as it filled up for a busy Saturday night. Happy to see Jilly's Cafe still doing so well and carrying on the tradition of offering cuisine that pleases the eye and the palate.

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MU
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a "thank you" dinner for a friend who had done a project for me. He was overwhelmed by the venison, the great Malbec, and the attentive, friendly service. It was a delightful experience!

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FM
Chicago
40 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Jilly's continues to please all the senses time after time. Alphonso is a superb, attentive, personable waiter, the chef is brilliant, the fois gras is incomparable, the new owner is a delight and the place deserves to be packed every night. It is easy to imagine being in a Parisian cafe, only the food is better and the prices are far more reasonable! It is among the only restaurants left in Chicago area where a pate at the beginning and a sorbet in the middle are included in every meal, and a Sauternes is served with the fois gras for a mere $2. Just go there!

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FV
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have been here before and the food is great, will be back.

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S
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Jilly’s is a small French restaurant. The food is fresh and very tasty. The waiter was great and informative. The cream brûlée was outstanding. The decor is rather worn and the 25x70foot space is a tiny space. The cost for the food was certainly worth it. I highly recommend.

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JN
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

This is a wonderful place to take your girl. Good menu & drink, super friendly wait staff, and terrific atmosphere. This time each of our main courses were a little over-cooked (halibut & pork tenderloin), but it did not diminish from the consistent enjoyable experience!

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent menu and delicious food! Service attentive but not overbearing. A great place for lunch or dinner in an intimate atmosphere.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Always excellent fish & exceptional sport ribs

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OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Outstanding meal! Wish there was a little more space between tables, but we will definitely be back.

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t
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Food is wonderful. Don't miss the creme brulee--which is really special.
Service was fine, but not up to usual standards.

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CM
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Love JILLY’S Café! Good food, warm cozy atmosphere, wonderful small neighborhood restaurant. Been going there for years!

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EM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious. Especially loved the pinot noir sherbert between courses - sweet touch. Very welcoming and cozy. Service fabuous.

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NV
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We had a delightful dinner here on Saturday night with dear friends. Everyone enjoyed their dinner. Order the prosecco! This is the second time we have eaten here and each time the Prosecco they have has been exceptional (and far more reasonable than the French champagne).

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JP
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for my wife’s birthday. Loved it. Food was particularly good; loved the salmon! Charming decor, attentive service.

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FM
Chicago
40 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

New ownership has done nothing to change the superb dining experience for lunch or dinner at Jilly's. All that was best has been retained (a brilliant chef, a splendid waiter, great wine choices, amazing menu options offered by few if any other area restaurants) and the new touches are warmly inviting. Prices are not low but are well below area competition for such exceptionally high quality. The foie gras was hands-down the finest I have had in any metro-Chicago restaurant and better than most I have had in travels all over France. The venison is in a class by itself, great enough to win over people who might think they don't actually like venison. The duck was made to order and succulent. The new owner's secret recipe for creme brulee was a knock-out. Service is wonderfully attentive yet never intrusive. Make Jilly's your destination for a magical lunch or dinner!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was excellent and the food was great. The new owner was our hostess and wait person. We ordered the profiteroles and the owner brought us a bonus, her famous Creme brûlée which was her own recipe and very good.

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PH
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great Valentine's Day fixed price meal, good wine, and champagne. Servers were very attentive. Meals were delicious!

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Keep up the great work. Thanks for allowing my date and I to stay and have a great time together.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Always delicious, small, intimate dining room. Very pleased!

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D
Palm Springs
32 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It's always a pleasure to return to Jilly's. I had a happy birthday lunch with my daughter, Sarah. The food, service and ambiance were just right,
and for a moment it seemed we were in a small town in France. Thanks.

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l
San Diego
28 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We love Jilly's and frequently return when we are in Chicago. Food is good. We love that it is small and intimate.

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