Upstairs at The Gwen

4.3
120 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Highlighting the rich diversity of American cuisine, Upstairs at The Gwen serves three meals a day in an elegant space that gives a wink to Chicago’s storied past. Located on the 5th floor, Upstairs offers a variety of seating options — from cozy banquettes to communal tables — allowing guests to tailor their dining experience. For groups, Upstairs at The Gwen also offers private dining rooms, which can be reserved for intimate affairs, special occasions, and events.

Perched on the fifth floor of the landmark McGraw-Hill building, Upstairs at The Gwen focuses on the art of craft cocktails paired with shareable small plate fare, and boasts cityscape views from among the Art Deco-infused architecture of The Gwen.
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What 120 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
73% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed our food ! Delicious combination of flavors in the salmon dish ! The place is cozy and the costumer service is amazing !

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H
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

The Gwen is great for cocktails and sharing appetizer plates.

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MO
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Totally charming in the most unexpected way. Sleek and modern and still manages to be welcoming and wonderfully comfortable. Ingratiating service that was unhurried and casual. Restaurant Week lunch full of thoughtful creativity rendered with a subtle knowing hand. Wasn't able to sample wares from the bar, but did note it was one of the best stocked around. Looking forward to an opportunity to return.

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AM
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chef Matt's cuisine is delicious and diverse, healthy, flavorful options for an individual or a group to share. The terrace outside the bar also provides exciting views of downtown Chicago.

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SS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

Expensive and two of the four entrees were cold. Steak was tough. Beautiful lobby bar, good for drinks, but restaurant not worth the money.

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GG
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 4

The food was ok. There should have been either a salad served before the meal or vegetables with the meal. There was neither. A little disappointed.

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GD
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Christmas Eve was lovely...great ambiance, relaxed pace to the evening, attentive service...AND great fun curling. The server gave us a very comprehensive tour of the cabin and the entire outside area. I would highly recommend this place!

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PT
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

I was in for the impression that this was an actual restaurant, but it wasn't. I am not sure why a hotel buffet is on Open table, we would have just eaten at the hotel we stayed at it we wanted hotel food.

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MW
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Being the only black couple there the waitress greeted us gave us appetizers but, it seemed the she forgot we were there. She didn't ask us was we ready to order our meal and didn't check on us often. Not the greatest experience but, the food was excellent and the drinks was amazing. Hopefully next time we'll have a better waiter/ waitress.

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BP
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

This is my second time here and both times the service was extremely slow. We were sitting down with a 4 year old for brunch and probably sat for 20 minutes before we were even acknowledged. It was busy, not not all tables were full. Perhaps they were short staffed. Either way, the waitress seemed to be on 20-minute rounds to tables. If you needed something, or, in our case, they forgot to give us a set-up after delivering our food, you had to sit there for a good 20 minutes to get anyone's attention. Not ideal, again, esp with a kid.

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KW
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The server was very good, but the overall service was poor. The food came out at different times for each person in the party. Some of the food was cold and under cooked.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 2

It was ok, a little overpriced for the ambience. Outside was closed for construction, inside is like a hotel lobby.

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OT
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved this special place... thank you... a lovely Thanksgiving!

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MP
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

The service was poor. They seemed to forget about us. The food was ok, nothing amazing.

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OT
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Great food. Was disappointed we were not able to eat outside. We had a reservation but there were no tables with heat lamps available.

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E
Edinburgh
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

A treat after a gruelling week. Shame it was too cold and wet to enjoy the balcony. It looked stunning.

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L
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 5

The ambiance was amazing but the food was terrible. The photos online are extremely misleading. We ordered the crap dip for an appetizer and it looked like they took some crab out of a packet/can and served it on a plate. It wasn’t even a legit dip, so i sent it back. A lot of the items listed on yelp, they didn’t even have available. I ordered the “bucatini” pasta and it was sooooo salty. I would come here for drinks but that’s about it.

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JF
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The guitar player was too loud - he was good but too loud

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S
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server “Diamond” provides us with 5 star service!! Burger was Great.. Gwen salad was “okay”... A little heavy on the dressing.
I would go back!

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f
Washington DC
44 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for breakfast and were so impressed! I ordered the pancakes which were somehow slightly crispy on the outside yet soft and spongy on the inside. They came with a delicious berry compote. The applewood smoked bacon was nice and thick. My fiancé got the eggs Benedict and raved about the hollandaise sauce. Will definitely be going back again the next time we’re in Chicago. Very swanky hotel and great decor.

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OT
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s a perfect Place to hang with your girlfriends or a quick romantic get away. Just enough chill in the air to realize you’re outside but with sitting between the fire and the heat warmer it’s quite cozy. We sat by the fire but next time I want to sit on one of the couches. Dymond our waiter was super cool. I loved him. He was very friendly and I hope to get him the next time I go there. He and the manager Nolan were very accommodating and catered to our every need. I particularly liked the way Dymond referred to me as “young lady” when I’m obviously over twice his age. This is an amazing ingenuous concept very well executed and I would highly recommend giving it a try!

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OD
Orlando
14 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brunch was delish and the outdoor dining was perfect!

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TM
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Shared a lovely evening with out of town guests. I would highly recommend.

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c
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This outdoor venue is awesome. Our food and wine was good. Service by Diamond and Sergio was excellent.

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PF
New England
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Food mediocre at best and waitress did not get order correct. Overpriced but pleasant environment.

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CW
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time at Upstairs at the Gwen. Had hoped to sit on the terrace for lunch but the sun was hot and all the umbrella tables were taken. We opted to sit at the bar. We ordered the Gwen Salad and the burger to share, not expecting anything too special. First of all, they split both orders onto 2 plates, which was very accommodating. The salad has a fried goat cheese ball, curly lettuce, radishes, green beans and avocado. Each bite made me inch closer to heaven! The burger was perfectly cooked on a brioche bun and came with thin crispy french fries. I recommend without hesitation.

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LR
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Went there for cocktails and small plates for girls weekend in the city. Loved the outdoor terrace, great service and yummy small plates 😊. Would definitely go again!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Birthday drinks!

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M
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 5

What a shame the service was horrendous .
Food was descent but the outside was not crowded and still the understaffed waiters were busy servicing the indoor crowd . One bartender and a horrible manager who shouldn’t be a manager .
The one waiter we did have was sarcastic and unapologetic . Get with it People.

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JM
Nashville
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff was excellent, view was wonderful. Very accommodating with additions to our reservation.

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OT
Chicago
32 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very nice outdoor space for relaxing or chillin’ out. The view is basically non-existent and the air can get a bit stagnant midday because it is surrounded by buildings on three sides. The food is very good and the portions are fairly generous. The mood is very placid and the music is tranquil.

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b
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Nice place with good outside seating but tables not comfortable for dining and way too loud.

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G
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Decided to try Upstairs at the Gwen for lunch with a college friend I hadn’t seen in over 25 years. After being seated and given water, no server appeared until after 20 minutes when we asked the water server to find our waitress. She appeared and took our order. We noticed that surrounding tables had a bowl of snacks but we had none. Club sandwiches and fries were very good. Only the service was sub par. I would try again

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t
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

Every day hotel dining, expected more

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

Loved the experience. Phenomenal cocktails!!

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LH
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Good views but I wouldn’t go out of my way to come here. We went for lunch and service was mediocre, food was the same. I’d come back but maybe for night time cocktails. Because it’s in a hotel and near the shopping: it’s fine to experience Chicago, but as a local Chicagoan myself: I would pass.

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SU
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was excellent! She described the menu items in detail and made excellent suggestions. She said she was from Texas and she was adorable!

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KM
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

This is a lovely rooftop lounge that is part of the Gwen Hotel. Although we were seated promptly, it went downhill from there. It was a long wait until the waitress made initial contact, coffee was another wait, and food another wait. When food was delivered we did not have utensils, no one checked on us so I had to get up and find utensils myself. About 30 minutes after we received our food a new bus-person came on the floor and we were finally asked about more coffee and water. I don't think anyone was being rude or particularly bad but the service was very uncoordinated. The manager/hostess ultimately comp'd our meal without hesitation which we very much appreciated. So if you want a lovely outdoor space and a mimosa - it's probably just fine.

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j
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service and delicious, reasonably priced food. Will come back!

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