Papa Cenar

4.6
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28 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Tapas / Small Plates
The genesis of Papa Cenar was inspired by the romantic spirit of the grand cafes of Europe.

The Mediterranean and Spanish influenced menu is comprised of tapas and larger main plates, many prepared in the wood grill. Our food is all meant for sharing in the lively and colorful space.
What 28 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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VF
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The food was very good, and our waiter was cordial and attentive. We had the Heirloom cauliflower, Farmer squash pisto, Scallops, and the Smoked short ribs. We commented to each other about how good it was and that we made a good choice by coming there. The only thing that I didn't like was the Burbon and Bacon Ice cream. It had a strange texture and when the ice cream melted in our mouths it seemed to turn into bacon fat, which was really gross. There were no bacon bis in it, so I guess the supposed bacon ingredients was bacon fat. I would avoid that flavor of ice cream, if I were you. Other than that the meal was very good.

RM
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

My favorite food is Spanish Tapas and this was not your standard pedestrian fare. Excellent flavors and unique dishes; I couldn't have been more pleased. Winner!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The drinks, appetizers, entre and the dessert everything was very well crafted and served. Would definitely go back again.

K
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My 3rd time having dinner at Papa Cenar. I love it so much I find myself craving it within a day. Can't wait to try brunch!

KJ
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a lovely evening. Every dish we had was excellent. I would point out the lamb ribs, short ribs and squash tapas. For cocktails we have the Hemingway daiquiri. It was excellent

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food was good. A little pricey for the product but overall had a great experience! Would definitely go again!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience2

Food was good. Service was a little strange, but no big complaints. Overpriced but that’s kind of expected with what Logan Square has become. Three of us shared four of the veggie dishes (falafel was my personal fave) and two of the scallops (delicious), as well as the complimentary bruschetta thingy they give out. All of that plus four cocktails and a glass of wine came to around $190 after tip. A lot for mostly veggies, but at least everything was tasty.

EA
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great! Got the cauliflower, patatas bravas and falafel.

SH
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

The food was top notch, my only critique is that the restaurant was still finding it's pace when we were there (some folks seemed like it was their first or second day). They did a great job of staggering our meal and pairing dishes together, this will be a great spot once they tighten up their service

m
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dinner was fabulous from beginning to end. Wait staff very attentive. Food delicious and you can have a conversation without speaking loudly. Second time in 2 weeks I have been there. Hope to be returning soon.

LD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved it! Every dish was fantastic and the restaurant was very ambient. Would defiantly recommend it and we will go back again! Was fun to share plates while some people wanted to order on the own. Service was great.

LC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Papa Cenar is my new go to. Food is superb! Each and every dish was amazing. Desserts to die for. Service was extremely good; very attentive and a visit by the Chef and Manager to make sure everything was to our liking! Would definitely recommend this place.

OT
Chicago
52 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We hosted a group for a 30th birthday and had a fantastic experience. We tried roughly 12 menu items, and they ranged from solidly good to excellent. We particularly loved the mussels, lamb ribs, bone marrow, smoked short ribs, cauliflower, tomato salad, and patatas bravas. The service was the standout. We were continuously attended to, the food was well-paced, they were quick with our constant drink orders, and they were great about bringing out the birthday cake that we had brought and lighting the candles. Tip for ordering: if you want sangria, get it by the glass. The pitcher shape makes it impossible to retrieve the delicious alcohol-spiked fruit, and the ice is also trapped inside.

MO
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first visit and we enjoyrdcit so much we are planning another. Food, service and ambiance all top notch! Very welcoming and friendly.

R
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best meals and experiences I’ve had in Chicago. Have already recommended it to several and will continue to do so - Ricky and the rest of the staff were great!

K
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love everything about Papa Cenar.
The food and drink are fantastic.Service is terrific.
Music, design and overall ambience are all wonderful.
A great addition to Logan Square.

CR
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Every dish was excellent and we ordered practically everything on the menu. Will go again for sure.

C
Chicago
32 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food4service1ambience4

Great new place in the neighborhood. Food was great! Especially loved the mezze plate and bone marrow dishes! Service was excellent too!

AJ
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food, great service and atmosphere! Get there before it gets too crazy!

CR
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Papa Cenar had absolutely amazing food, drinks, and service! Some of the best food that I have ever had. We will definitely be going back there again.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing new spot which i would love to visit again! The food was delicious!

OT
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time! Service was warm and attentive. The food was outstanding and the wine list was thoughtfully curated. We are already looking forward to returning!

AA
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I️ were looking for a local restaurant (we live in Avondale) to celebrate our (actual) wedding anniversary.
Papa Cenar came up as a recommended place. I️ was a bit skeptical because there were so few reviews, but I️ attributed this to the fact that they may have recently opened. (I️ was right.)

This restaurant is the real deal. They understand how one’s dining experience begins as soon as they enter the door and ends not a moment before they leave.

The hostess was attentive and immediately acknowledged our special occasion. We were seated and greeted appropriately by the service staff and our waiter came promptly to our table. Our waiter was friendly, warm, and well informed about the menu.

We truly enjoyed the dishes. As they will explain, although the restaurant serves food “tapas style” the portions are a little bigger than the traditional tapas serving. We ordered the halloumi, octopus, lamb ribs, and branzino. All super yummy. The branzio was served with head and tail, which I️ believe is the best way to serve this fish.

The dessert was also delicious. The presentation of the sweets (we were treated to 3 desserts!) Is lovely and kind of looks like a play on their land, sea, and farm theme.

Overall, super glad to have spent an extra evening at Papa Cenar. Looking forward to more meals there.

HD
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful space and ambience, excellent service, and delicious food. I'm definitely going to return!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great experience bringing a couple friends here for dinner. We shared 7 or 8 dishes total and every one was excellent. Favorites included the scallops, lamb ribs, farmer squash, and mussels. Also had a couple tasty cocktails (house made tonic!) and the wine selection by the glass had a lot of variety. Service was very attentive and had great recommendations. Thanks!

MG
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From the food to the decor to the service, this restaurant was outstanding! The food was beautifully plated and everything was delicious. The servers were knowledgeable and attentive. The chef came out to speak with us and we learned that the restaurant had only been open eight days, but this was third restaurant he had opened and it showed. They also will be serving brunch and I plan to go back.

K
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved the entire experience, and the very friendly table next to us seemed to as well; asking us about our orders and saying they’ll definitely go back. We will too!
Small plates are generously portioned.
Everything we tasted was delicious, service was friendly, prompt and knowledgeable.
Music is fun and the interior is as creative as the menu.
Can’t wait to return!!!

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you are going out for Tapas in Chicago this is the place to go. Just a PHENOMENAL well balanced plate share with each dish more exciting than the next. The bone marrow, scallops, squash and mussels were our favorites. But the beef short ribs and lamb ribs were also great. The bread was great! It was all great!

Top notch service and ambience as well with an even cadence to the groups of dishes hitting the table.

For drinks we had a great French Cab Franc that was thoughtfully chosen by the in-house Somm.

We had family in from out of town and everyone was thoroughly impressed! So were we. Hoping that Papa Cenar is around to stay for a long long time.