The Dawson

4.8
2135 Reviews
$31 to $50
American
The Fulton River District is home to The Dawson, an expansive indoor/outdoor, multi-level space providing a multitude of dining experiences. The Dawson includes one of Chicago’s best patios conveniently found in the middle of the city.
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Private Dining

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Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Contact tracing information collected

Featured specials

Select a special by choosing a date, time and party size

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Dine in
Starting Dec 31, 2021

The Dawson is celebrating New Year's Eve with a prix fixe menu. You can find the menu at www.the-dawson.com or call 312-243-8955 with any questions. There is a cancellation fee of $90 per guest. To avoid this fee, please make sure to cancel 48 hours in advance of your reservation time.

What 2135 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall4food2service4ambience5

We were not a fan of the brunch.

The chicken from the chicken and waffles was dry and unseasoned. Tasted like fake or at least the cheapest maple syrup Sysco lists served with it too. Enchiladas were mediocre at best. Mac and cheese was straight up velveeta. The only highlight food wise was the empanadas- whoever came up with that dish should redo the whole menu cause there’s no way they created anything else we tasted.

JA
JoseA
Chicago
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food4service5ambience1

Last year, same time the patio was incredible with fireplace working and fall decoration. This year we returned hoping to have the same experiencia and we didn’t because now is close by platic.

JC
JohnC
London
8 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, service and cocktails. All the dishes were well-prepared and delicious.

J
Jenny
New England
6 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect dining experience and even better food! Cant recommend this enough! Great for vegetarians too!

c
vipcally
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

good food and service, great outdoor patio on a nice evening

R
Rapture
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great restaurant, service and food. Noise level was a bit high from the street but the ambiance more than made up for it. Thanks for taking the time to make sure your guests have a unique and delightful experience.

SD
vipSpaDiva
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The patio ambiance is beautiful. Our server, Ginny, was excellent and very knowledgeable about the the menu and wine list. Everything we had was delicious and well prepared. The salmon was great. The only thing I would pass on is the pretzel appetizer...not worth the money and nothing special. Overall excellent meal, service, and outdoor ambiance.

AS
AnnmarieS
Detroit
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful outdoor patio, delicious entrees and cocktails! Fun evening with friends.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful patio, delicious food and cocktails. Excellent, attentive service.

c
carolyn
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved the atmosphere, our server's recommendations, and the food. Perfect for a group.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience2

The host was less than stellar. This was a special occasion and we were seated by two large parties that over crowded our special occasion. The waiter was fantastic and the only thing that saved our evening. Thanks to him, we had an amazing time. I am unsure that asking if this is a special occasion in advance matters when the restaurant doesn’t care.

DD
DreDay
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

amazing. staff is friendly. food is excellent. I still daydream about the mussels and the lobster.
5 stars all around.

DB
DaniellaB
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Phenomenal! I cant say enough about The Dawson except how happy I am that my husband and I gave it a chance! We were in town visiting and have never been there before but heard great things so decided to try it and I am sooo happy we did! Service was great, food was outstanding (we got the chorizo empanadas and Dawson burger) and drinks were delicious! 100% recommend this restaurant for brunch or lunch!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Boise
4 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friends visiting for bday

GH
GinaH
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Dawson was wonderful! The service was quick, friendly, and courteous. The food was phenomenal and it came out very quickly considering it was a busy Saturday evening. We are overall happy with our experience and will definitely come back!

H
vipHarriet
Chicago
53 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We definitely brought the guest age up by at least 20 years. I loved that. There was a happy, fun vibe throughout. The outdoor space was both attractive and large. The food, like Billy Lawless’s The Gage was delicious. The best was our server. Jinni (not sure of the spelling) was like all the informed, professional servers at this restaurant but her loveliness while still remaining the consummate professional made our evening delightful. Bravos to all at The Dawson.

BV
vipBVsailski
Detroit
7 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

The waiter was too absent

BO
vipBarbaraO
Chicago
64 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

HAD A GREAT DINNER FOOD AND LIBATIONS ALL SO GOOD. SAT AT THE BAR, THE STAFF WAS SO HELPFUL IN ORDERING AND TOP NOTCH SERVICE!

LOOKING FORWARD TO OUR NEXT TRIP.

TP
TriciaP
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious !! Very very good. We will be returning. Gorgeous patio.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfection. Just wish they had valet parking!

AP
AmeliaP
Orlando
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

best employees ever, thank you so so much! they completely helped make my dream of meeting conan gray come true last night

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service! Dessert melted in your mouth. Recommended!!!

c
vipcawelch1
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the patio at The Dawson. Even on a cool night it was perfect. The staff is very friendly and provide excellent service. The food and cocktail menu have delicious options. Love the empanadas for starters and the burger is hard to beat!

b
vipbeth
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall1food2service4ambience1

we were seated outside on the patio, which we requested but near a door to the interior where a large group was making A LOT of noise. drinks were slow to arrive.
some of the dishes were tasty but fish was tough and empanadas tasted funny. BUT the primary reason for the score was we saw 2 large rats running around the patio area. we did inform the host as we left

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our anniversary lunch, everyone was very inviting. They congratulated us with two glasses of champagne. Lovely place and atmosphere!

CC
CherylC
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Really wonderful experience on the outdoor terrace. Service and food were excellent. I was entertaining a friend from NYC who was really delighted. Only one issue, which is why the 4 stars instead of five...We were seated near the fireplace on the north wall of the garden, and unfortunately there was an unwelcome visitor of the four-legged variety rustling around in the foliage next to the fireplace. I guess this goes with the outdoor urban setting. It will not deter me from coming back to the Dawson.

PL
PLopez
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing atmosphere, drinks, food, music and service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The restaurant was really nice, mello and it was a beautiful day outside. We sat on the patio portion of the restaurant. ❤❤

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our service and waiter was outstanding

S
Sheba
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A very nice atmosphere for Saturday/Sunday brunch. The staff is awesome. Very attentive.

EL
ErnstL
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was an outstanding atmosphere. We would go back. Our server Justin was amazing.

DF
DFly76
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a good time at The Dawson. Just met a friend for a few drinks and apps. The empanadas are almost as good as the duck tacos. Great outdoor area. Perfect place for a date or bigger group.

C
vipCactus
Chicago
49 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall2food4service3ambience2

We had a reservation for 4. I was greeted by the host who told me that seating outside would be a “brief” 45 min wait. I asked him to check again and he said nothing available - “we are SO sorry”. I then asked to show us a table inside and he brought us to a table that was for 8 people and said it was the only one available. I refused the table and asked him to find us a table for 4. I asked him to check again for outside. Miraculously a table popped up outside. There was NO reason to have gone through that when the table was there the entire time. Because of our experience, I will only return when I am guaranteed a table outside and will be seated without the drama.

The ambiance is good outside and very cool. The inside dining has no ambiance and is too bright.

Food and drinks were very good with lots of unusual options.

BO
vipBO13
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

I wanted to go to Dawson for a while. The food was ok/good but not as good as you would expect for the price (I would have expected better when I am paying 35 $ for 4 scallops). The burger we had ordered for my 12 y old was supposed to be medium well but it came out as medium rare. Half of the patio is well lit but the remaining half is really dark, without a single candle and several people in the tables around us were using their phone lights to see the menu. Although all the waiters/waitresses were great, I have to admit we left a little disappointed.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I made reservations at The Dawson for my fiancé’s birthday. The food was absolutely amazing and the service was great. I ordered the scallops and my fiancé ordered the pork chops. Both dishes were delicious! The indoor seating area was a little louder than I would have liked, but overall my fiancé and I enjoyed our time at The Dawson and would gladly return.

PP
vipPPatel
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Fantastic food! Great variety, all delicious! Beautiful outdoor space

AV
AntonioV
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed our time their food was good
As soon as we enter they greet us with a with a good attitude
our waiter was really nice the place is clean we will definitely visit again

LW
LW04
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

There was a wedding taking up the whole outdoor area
I don’t mind not being able to reserve outdoor but would be better if you disclosed there was ZERO chance of getting an outdoor table.

Still nice afternoon and visit w friends

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great brunch spot with killer patio with brick fireplace. Nice location with locals, no tourists. The burrata with peaches/tomatoes was yummy. The champagne was just opened and cold and bubbly. Highly recommend!

CB
CarynB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food and service here is consistently excellent. This visit we had the cheeseburger (and french fries!), fish tacos (which is actually an entire "Sea bass" that you use to "make your own" taco), the halibut were all delicious. They "custom made" my cocktail, by taking a mocktail and adding vodka and fresh jalapeño - was so good my dinner companions ordered it as well- (again note the service level above excellent) . The entire service team is so great. I left my cell phone behind (laying out of view) a busy boy found it turned it into one of the managers - who actually had the good sense to answer it when I was calling it. Dawsons was already "closed" for the night by the time I called (and wouldn't re-open until 4pm the next day) and I need my phone to "authenticate" for all of my work apps. He worked with me to get it back that night still (while they were cleaning up). Truly above and beyond service.
The noise level varies based on season and day of the week - its a "happy - feel good ambiance/environment so expect appropriate noise levels.

There is an uptick on prices (probably due to covid) and some items seemed really expensive - i.e. fish tacos were $48 - but when a "whole" sea bass came out - it helps explain the price tag. All-in-all it was worth the price due to the quality of the food and the amazing service.

FAQs

The Dawson does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates and Uber Eats. The Dawson also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (312) 243-8955.

The Dawson is rated 4.8 stars by 2135 OpenTable diners.

The Dawson does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://gagehospitality.cardfoundry.com/giftcards.php.

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.

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