This restaurant added safety precaution details

This includes info about cleaning, sanitizing, social distancing, and usage of personal protective equipment. Learn more.

Recess

4.6
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358 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
Recess serves up good times, delicious American fare and zero red tape in Chicago’s West Loop. Executive Chef Amanda Salas's menu taps into the cravings of everyday life, offering casually elevated twists on well-loved dishes with a touch of playful Chicago swagger. From starters such as loaded waffle fry bites with housemade giardiniera to mains like grilled skirt steak and a double-crust pot pie to banana pudding and other retro desserts, there’s something for every appetite (including vegan and gluten-free). Liquid refreshment is as delicious at Recess. Beverage Manager Alec Pignotti takes a bright, ingredient-driven approach to the cocktail menu, which features both classic tipples and original creations, some with tongue-in-cheek references to Chicago culture and politics. Water Coolers, the signature large-format cocktails, are true to their name, wheeled out and served in tabletop water coolers. A well-curated selection of beer and wine rounds out the bar program.

Support Recess during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Social Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
What 358 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
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I come here every time with my friends and family in town. I love this place. The bottomless mimosas are amazing

Recess
Responded 19 hours ago

Thank you so much for always thinking of us as the place to be with friends and family. We love to hear things like this, we hope you're enjoying some of our delicious bites as well as those bottomless mimosas. Hope to see you throughout the fall weeks ahead. Cheers, Louis Gallegos Guest Experience Manager

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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall1food5service1ambience5

Good food, shareable drinks, horrible service

BB
vipBBQRibber
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Stopped by for an after dinner drink with some friends. Couldn't have asked for a better table, next to the heat lamps. Great drinks and ambiance. Didn't have food this time but it is good. Hopefully they can add some shades, awnings and heated lights on their upstairs to continue using as the temperature drops.

Recess
Responded 19 hours ago

Hi There, Thank you for your great feedback; we are doing everything possible to keep the vibe alive outside. Looking at all the options that are available to us, we hope that you will be able to join us throughout the coming weeks to see some of the great innovations we make to our space! Cheers, Louis Gallegos Guest Experience Manager

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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2food3service3ambience1

Wouldn’t recommend sitting in the event space

AE
AugieE
Dallas
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food3service3ambience5

It was a really cool setting, and environment. Great big outdoor space, perfect for the current times. A little Pricy on the cocktails

Recess
Responded 18 hours ago

Hi Augie, Thank you for visiting us as Recess recently, we know how uncertain these times can be and we do everything in our capabilities to ensure that it is done correctly and safely. Our cocktails do pack a punch and we hope that you enjoyed those that you ordered. We hope to see you again soon. Cheers, Louis Gallegos Guest Experience Manager

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EK
vipEricaK
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went here on a Saturday night with friends, staff were very friendly, accommodating, and great server. Met the managers and they were also very friendly and generous to our table. Food and drinks were all phenomenal! Def. recommend!

Recess
Responded 19 hours ago

Hi Erica, Thank you for your awesome review about your recent visit to Recess. We are always happy to hear that our guests are well looked after, it is our mission to ensure that. Did you have any favorite food or drink items? We are in the works to add and change a few things so be sure to visit us again soon. Cheers, Louis Gallegos Guest Experience Manager

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LC
LigiaC
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2food1service3ambience2

It was cold and no heaters or heat lamps and we were placed in a very awkward spot where the wind was hitting us more than normal. Food was ok but it was cold. I’m sure this place is better in the summer but it’s not meant to dine out for fall/winter. I wish we were seated inside.

Recess
Responded 18 hours ago

Hi There, Thank you sharing your experience with us, we are sorry that we did not meet our standards on your particular visit. I would love to be able to turn this around for you and show you a true Recess experience, please let me know how I can facilitate this happening for you. I hope to hear back from you. Best, Louis Gallegos Guest Experience Manager

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A
Anneke
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved Recess! Great atmosphere and their appetizers were amazing.

Recess
Responded 18 hours ago

Hi There! Thank you taking the time to share your thoughts on your recent Recess experience. We hope you will be back again soon! Cheers, Louis Gallegos Guest Experience Manager

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall2food3service1ambience4

The service was horrible. Not only were they not accommodating, they were extremely mean about it. We were kind and reasonable with our party of 12. There were two tables of 6 next to each other and they just refused to make it work. No one was sitting at the table and finally they couldn’t come up with any reason the party wasn’t sitting together, they moved up. It took over an hour and a ton of headache. I called the day before and confirmed everything and they were almost actively trying to make the situation difficult. The hostess was extremely rude to myself and my friends. Everyone normally says good things about recess and I had a good time after all was settled but the staff was awful.

Recess
Responded 18 hours ago

Hello, Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of your visit. While I cannot speak on the specifics of this particular incident, its something worthy of bringing up to our staff. We do our best to accommodate guests requests day of, we try not to get any persons hopes up before hand if we are unable to accommodate requests. We will be sure to cover this with our team & learn from this mistake. Thank you for brining it to our attention. Best, Louis Gallegos Guest Experience Mgr

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H
Heidi
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2020
Overall2food1service1ambience2

Not the same post COVID. Hostess was rude off the bad, slow service and food is crappy bar food. Ask me a year ago, I’d recommend

MK
ManishaK
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dining location for COVID-era safety guidelines. Tables were extremely spaced out, and plenty of seating available outdoors. Food was great, and service staff were friendly.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience4

Food mediocre . Not many options. Great patio.

M
Maria
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great open space with outside seating! I went to watch a game with friends.

E
Erica
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good vibe great service fun good music and drinks were made well

RN
vipRecessisaNOforme
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Would absolutely not go again during COVID restrictions. Yes, much of it is outdoors, yes they clean tables - that's where the precautions seemed to stop. I watched our waitress let a dog lick her hands all over, then she typed the table's order into a screen, brought drinks to another table, and took another table's order before leaving eyesight. Who knows what she did next... that's unacceptable in my opinion, on any day, but especially now. Wash your damn hands. Also, though tables were distanced, we were still on a very heavily trafficked corner with staff members passing by constantly, within a couple feet easily. We did not feel safe and won't be back. Oh, also - if this meal had blown our minds maybe we would have thought "at least it was worth the risk!" That was not the case - at all.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

It was a fun experience

MG
MarcineG
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a great time!! I loved it :)) I would definitely go back again

CB
ChristianB
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

they couldnt find my reservation. i then showed them the open table email and they still didnt believe me

Recess
Responded on October 13, 2020

Hi Christian, I apologize that we had issues finding the correct information for your reservation. Would you mind sharing a little more information about time and date of reservation, as it says that you visited on 10/10, but it is marked as Sunday Lunch on your review. We want to make sure our team is doing the very best they can when it comes to assisting guests, we want to make this right. Best, Louis Gallegos Guest Experience Manager

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SY
SusieY
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

There were several errors with our food order but all-in-all, an ideal place to hang with friends on a perfect fall day.

Recess
Responded on October 13, 2020

Hi Susie, Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience, I apologize that it was not to our standards of service. I know that we can make this up for you and show you a true Recess experience. I hope that we can connect to do so, please if you feel inclined reach back out and we work to make it correct. Best, Louis Gallegos Guest Experience Manager

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KK
KarynK
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall2food4service2ambience3

I’ve had good experiences other times but yesterday they kicked us out of our reservation 30 minutes early and didn’t give us any kind of heads up. When we mentioned that everyone told us 2.5 hours they lied and said no it’s 2 hours. Apparently they had a private event that we were not told about. We were doing bottomless mimosas so would have appreciated some kind of a warning we had to leave.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great! Good atmosphere!

j
jasminem
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From the drinks to the vibe everything was amazing. We definitely enjoyed ourselves and will be back again

AM
vipAMGS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Warm and sunny day in October!

LS
LatoyaS
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great place to go. Like the atmosphere. Everyone was nice. Safe covid protocols.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Overall very good.

My wine glass was dirty and the bar tender was not happy that I said something because he was checking it as if I did something wrong but there was like crusty stuff on it... not sorry for saying something.

AP
AlexP
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

I called the restaurant to specifically reserve a seat in front of a tv which I was told could be accommodated with an indoor reservation. When we arrived, 15 minutes prior to our reservation, we were told that our indoor table could not be provided as they moved outside parties inside and were at capacity indoors. Recess did not call me to inform me that my indoor reservation was given up/could not be accommodated. They said we could wait 20 minutes for a table near TVs, but after waiting they sat us in the back of the restaurant outdoors while it was still rainy and overcast out. We were incredibly disappointed in the service and staff for not calling us about our reservation or the treatment we received when we showed up to no reservation. I understand that other factors were involved, rain, covid protocols, a very busy night, etc. However it is unacceptable for a restaurant to not provide a courtesy phone call that my reservation and requests would not be met. Based on conversations we overheard while waiting outside, we were not the only party who had a reservation but could not be sat. Every other restaurant in Chicago has a policy that if it rains, guests can not move inside. Again, I understand the circumstances but a lack of notice and lack of effort to accommodate us upon arrival was incredibly disappointing.

SE
SEC238
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very cool atmosphere with lots of outdoor seating and good music playing. The drink menu is huge! We went for brunch and had the hash and avocado toast, both were delicious.

SS
StevenS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience3

Service was great, but the drinks and food didn’t live up to the price tag

A
Alexis
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2020
Overall4food4service2ambience5

Our server was awesome but the host staff was very rude when simply asking about switching to a near table. I work in a restaurant so I am well aware of how seating works and was super respectful when asking but was still met with rudeness from staff. Thankfully our server made up for it and the experience ended overall good. Great place, vibe, and atmosphere.

A
Alissa
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience3

We were seated outside, it was cold and they were not turning the heaters on. When we asked if they could they said no. We ordered 1 shot each and left.

A
Anna
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Recess is one of our go-to spots for me and my friends. We love the food and drinks, and the atmosphere. I feel sometimes the service can be hit-or-miss, but the last few times I've been, it was excellent! This is one of the rare places in the city that doesn't feel too bougie or dive-bar-y. Just right in the middle. The prices are kind of expensive for me, but overall, it's worth-it! Also, parking is a breeze and there's always free parking available!

RB
RichB
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The only thing missing was warmer weather so we could enjoy the outside area beneath the pergola or inside the rail car or open balcony. So many dining options that feel totally safe for social distancing. The ambiance is so cool and inviting!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Food , Great Ambiance , Great Service at a one of kind venue

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Drinks were very good table is a little small for plate size but the bar food is pretty good best thing is the pizza!

TO
TaleishaO
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was great! Employees were so nice and respectful.

Recess
Responded on October 2, 2020

Hi Taleisha, Thank you for your kind words on the entire team here at Recess! We are thrilled to have had you join us, and even more elated that you had a wonderful and true Recess experience! We hope to host you again soon. Best, Louis Gallegos Guest Experience Manager

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K
Kattie511
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was outstanding. Very accommodating to a large group.

Recess
Responded on October 2, 2020

Hi Kattie, Thank you for allowing us to host your group recently. We love a party and we do our best to make sure everyone feels comfortable and safe while visiting with us. We hope that you and your group join us again soon! Best, Louis Gallegos Guest Experience Manager

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E
Eddie
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall5food2service2ambience5

Great ambiance, music and drinks, not good enough social distancing and the food was below average.

A
Alex
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

Pros: Great cocktails, awesome space & ambiance.

Cons: food left a lot to be desired; service was slow; bathrooms were dirty; and it was very loud.

We went to Recess recently for a girls night. Despite the music being quite loud, such that we had to speak very loudly to hear each other, the ambiance was great. The restaurant itself is very cool and a fun place to hang out. Also, the cocktails were great, which is a plus.

The food was not so great and the "Merks" cheddar was certainly anything but. It tasted like it came from a nacho cheese bag. The service was also a bit slow, which is not a big deal, but makes it difficult to adhere to their strict two hour time limit.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Recess for drinks, but eat before you go.

Recess
Responded on October 2, 2020

Hi Alex, Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your recent visit with us. Firstly, let me apologize for the volume of the music it is certainly within our control to ensure that our guests feel comfortable, hearing loud blaring music is never comfortable for anyone. Secondly, the restrooms, never acceptable for them to never be cleaned to standards. Above all I apologize for any delayed and slowed service, without question goes against our standards. We will work with our team to improve this

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really fun place good for groups

FAQs

Recess is rated 4.6 stars by 358 OpenTable diners.

Recess does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://swipeit.com/product/2044/in-recess.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.