The Dawson

4.7
1348 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
The gathering place in Fulton River District, The Dawson features globally-inspired American cuisine and libations, that highlight the season's best offerings and diverse, yet approachable, ingredients and flavors. Known for its passion for creating inventive and award-winning cocktails and house made liquor infusions and syrups, the team at The Dawson specializes in libations with whimsical touches.

Acclaimed items and guest favorites include: Chicken-fried Lobster Tail, Bone-in Ribeye, Dawson Burger, Mac & Cheese, Bloody Mary, and featured Fish Tacos.

A nod to the contiguous Dawson Brothers Fireplace Plant of late 19th century Chicago, The Dawson's interior design draws inspiration from the history of the neighborhood and the industrial innovation of that era and offers an artfully stripped-down aesthetic, highlighting natural and reclaimed materials in unexpected ways throughout the establishment.
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Private Dining

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Specials

Father's Day Special Menus & Reservations

Celebrate Dad with seasonal specials crafted by Executive Chef Francisco Narez alongside our regular menus.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

What 1348 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
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GM
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Our server wasn’t very attentive at all. He only came to take drink order, take food order, and bring check.

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L
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 4

Unfortunately, the food and service was quite weak!

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GH
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great outdoor patio and excellent food and cocktails to go along with it

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g
Chicago
132 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

The Dawson was OK - it was our first time and tried to make a reservation at 615pm..
they only had 545 or 645 ...very strange considering the restaurant was a 1/3 full at most
from 545 to 730.
With the exception of the meatballs...everything was pretty good, fairly pricey!
the tacos were excellent and simple - $48???
cauliflower, salad, octopus very,very good.
The drinks, cocktails were overpriced for how tiny they were...this was a big reason we would never frequent the Dawson. Unacceptable, but becoming the norm for these restaurants that don't care to take care of the locals.
overall, might go back and might recommend - better bets in the neighborhood.

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KS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unique space, innovative food - great experience! Our server was very helpful and friendly.

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CP
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We had to wait quite a long time for our check, and were seated on the 2nd level (as the only table) so it was super quiet and a little awkward. The food was excellent, as usual, though.

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JB
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Prefer sitting on patio - one of my favorites in the city. Bar area is very loud/ conversation challenged. Food and service is very good.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I don’t write many reviews but this was an great dinner. We tried the chicken fried lobster, wood grilled oysters, bet salad, fried chicken (super moist) and the Dawson burger with a n egg which came out perfectly cooke, and the Mac and cheese, everything was delicious and would try everything again. We had the sundae for dessert,
The Dawson is absolutely worth going and is going to become one of our favorites

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PB
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My husband and I went here for his birthday. Our server, bartender and the manager were all wonderful! The atmosphere is incredibly loud, this is not a good place for an intimate dinner. That said, The Dawson is a lively happening establishment! Our food was delish - we had the beet salad and the octopus appetizers to start, then we shared the red fish tacos (a whole fish!) and some Mac & Cheese for dinner. Our server brought us out a lovely cheesecake for dessert. The Dawson is easy to get to off of the blue line Grand stop - it's across the street from the exit. They have a great outdoor patio & lovely clean restrooms downstairs. They have a great bar & are mixing up unusual/special cocktails. Their bartenders are quite knowledgeable! This is our third time eating here & we'll be back!

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e
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

The burger is juicy and delicious, the drinks are made well. The service, esp on the patio, is slow and distracted.

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ES
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Celebrated my birthday, party of 6. Everything was fantastic. Definitely will be back.

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k
Houston
11 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The menu choices are incredibly unique and the service is prompt and friendly. The food is great!

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Our waiter was great! The food was good. It was REALLY loud though...like hard to have a conversation across the table hard.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an amazing experience! The manager on site was very hospitable and I look forward to coming back! The hostess Amelia was also very accommodating. Great restaurant and drinks were so good!

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E
Chicago
25 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service were excellent. Too loud to converse.

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OT
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a Friend’s Birthday party there! Everything was great! The only downhill was that we couldn’t order from their regular menu - it was only Easter specials, may be they could’ve warn us. Everything else was amazing.

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MA
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 2

Restaurant was very nice. Patio area lovely.
Food selection was limited. Our dishes were Very Salty. Could not recommend based on the dishes we ordered.
Drink options were enormous. Wait staff was super nice and helpful.
Would hesitate to return.

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CK
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great brunch ! A bit pricy but very good and unique options

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JA
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was recommended To go to The Dawson by Arthur, bartender at About Last Knife - was looking for a nice Brunch spot to bring my daughter and her friends from U of Chicago. We all enjoyed our meals and the restaurant very much. Would highly recommend.

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JQ
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The hangar steak, cheesy cauliflower, and chicken-fried lobster are amazing!

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RU
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated a birthday at The Dawson and it was fantastic. The only negative was not knowing how large the fish taco portion was, easily for three!

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AV
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Love the cocktail menu here, something for everyone! The octopus was one of the best I’ve had (and I get octopus any time it’s on the menu). Would come back in a heartbeat to sit at the large bar with a craft cocktail and a plate of the Dawson Salad again!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome. From staff, to food, to overall ambiance, this place is a winner. Big shouts to management who always makes everyone feel like Norm walking into Cheers!

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VF
Cleveland
29 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sunday brunch with coworkers. Great service, food and vibe!

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h
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

Good food, very noisy, best to go in the summer time and sit outside. Also poor service for a large party!

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SS
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating a new job and they came to the table with Proseco. It made our friend feel very special. Thank you for a fantastic evening! (and not to mention dinner was delicious).

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Will be back again. Stephanie the host was AMAZING!

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MM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great brunch location. Creative brunch menu. Excellent comfort food with great service.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

The food was fantastic! They didn’t miss a beat in any dish. THe service left a bit to be desired, wrt attentiveness and care. But overall we had a great meal.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went here for brunch on a chilly Sunday day afternoon and was pleasantly surprised it was not crazy busy and had two seats at the bar. Cocktails definitely took the spotlight and the bar tenders were nice. The food was very good as well and came out pretty quick. I would love to come here in the summer and sit upstairs

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OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for Sunday brunch, and ordered the burger and Machaca& Eggs (beef brisket) and while both menu items were delicious, the Machaca and eggs were out of this world. It’s my new fav brunch item. Note it’s big enough for 2 people to share. For starters we had the bacon flight, another hit at the table.

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DB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is outstanding and the atmosphere is lovely. The outdoor space is very nice looking as well, would most definitely recommend.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing but slightly rambunctious.

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KJ
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Service was Outstanding, Food was Delicious, and Ambience Beautiful!!

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A
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

Food and service were pretty good, but it was insanely loud and impossible to have a conversation. Plus, while the food was good, it was really overpriced- for instance, I got the scallops priced at $30, and got 3 scallops. $10/scallop is a pretty hefty price tag.

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SL
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Tasty unique menu items. 3 duck wings for $13.00. Loved the beet salad and the brussel sprouts were good. There was one burger on the menu which was about the cheapest item. No main dish salads. Menu was pretty small.

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EO
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best food and service in the city! The managers pay attention to the details and makes sure that the whole room has the best possible dinning experience. I go once a week for the Red Fish Tacos and a Marz Beer. AMAZING!

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AR
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing place for brunch! Their toast is wild!!!!!!!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The Gage group has provided Chicago with another great restaurant. Everything comes together here with service, food and ambiance. I’ll be back

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OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Bacon plate was AWESOME. Portions were perfect. Beautiful space. Bloody Mary could be spicier.

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