The Palm Court

4.5
1996 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Afternoon Tea
Tea has been a long tradition at The Drake, a Hilton Hotel. The Palm Court began serving Tea during the holiday season of 1982 and has welcomed the worlds' most prominent guests such as Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth, and the Empress of Japan. We look forward to adding your name to the distinguished list.

The uniqueness of the beauty of the room centers around a gorgeous limestone fountain with a giant urn as its center motif dating 275 years old, this French bronze by designer David Williams. Most importantly, the ambiance of this afternoon affair is greatly enhanced by the live harp music performed Wednesday through Sunday by our musicians dressed in classical evening gown attire.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Afternoon Tea, American
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Hours of operation
Afternoon Tea
Daily 1:00 pm–4:30 pm
Cocktail Service
Mon–Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–8:00 pm
Fri 8:00 pm–12:30 am
Sat 5:00 pm–12:30 am
Entertainment & Dancing
Fri, Sat 9:00 pm–12:30 am
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Phone number
(312) 932-4619
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Mark Lagges
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Private party facilities
Planning an event? A bridal or baby shower, a birthday party... Come celebrate your special events with The Drake, a Hilton Hotel for Afternoon Tea service at the Palm Court. This beautiful room is perfect for celebrating your most special occasions. We will be delighted to assist in coordinating your party including floral and decorating arrangements with Mangel’s Florists and providing a gift table or special seating arrangements to fit your needs.
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Private party contact
Amy Verdon: (312) 932-4307
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Cross street
Michigan Avenue & Lakeshore Drive
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Parking details
Discounted valet parking is available when you dine in at the Palm Court. Valet parking is provided seven days a week with a flat rate of $14.00 for three hours. After three hours, normal rates apply.
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Entertainment
Live Harp Music is featured during tea time Wed-Sun

Live Music
Come down to The Drake for a little spin in front of the gorgeous fountain. Or just relax on the big, comfy couches with a nice cocktail, and watch the dancers like the rest of us! Live entertainment is provided every Friday & Saturday night along with The Palm Court evening comprised of soups, salads, sandwiches and sweet selections.
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, High Tea, Late Night, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1996 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.6
service
4.8
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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Nashville
5 reviews
Dined 9 hours ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We always enjoy this tea time at the Drake, our girls always remember as best part of trip! Service was excellent as always

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CF
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Afternoon tea at the Drake is in a beautiful setting. Our server was wonderful. Brought a friend who was in visiting from out of town. She loved it too. The harpist added to the ambiance. The finger sandwiches and dessert were very good!

However, the price has increased significantly since I was l last here. The bill for two was $115.00 without tip. No cocktails or extra's which would have increased the price. So may reconsider a subsequent visit? It's the Drake so I guess you just assume the expense.

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OT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Celebrating my moms birthday

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Waited a long time even though we had a reservation. The room is lovely and the experience is awesome. Definitely something unique. The food ranged from good to great, but it was pretty standard tea fare. We had fun and are glad we went but it is not a splurge we'll do all the time.

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L
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great time, great location and the service was excellent!

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OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful and elegant atmosphere with incredible tea service. Loved everything about it!!

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OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 5

The ambiance, service and tea were great. The food was stale and the sandwiches were very sparse, stale and seemed like they were made with day old Wonder bread. We were really looking forward to this experience and were very disappointed with what we received for $52/person.

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d
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

The room is beautiful and the harpist was divine, but I'm afraid the food service quality has suffered here.
The lemon curd is not real lemon curd. The tea pots do not have "proper" spouts, which cause the tea leaves and various ingredients to become clogged in the spout, so that the tea leaked all over the table and us (!) while pouring. My husband had coffee and a waiter diluted it with hot water then walked away, never replacing his coffee. There was very little attention paid to our table.
The Drake better bring in an English woman- who knows her stuff -to tighten up this operation.

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DE
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great, grand, classic hotel like great hotels used to be. The Palm Room features tall ceilings, a central fountain chinese screens, paneling, and a wonderful view to the center lobby.
Their high tea is a classic, and especially during the holidays when the whole place is decorated.
For entertainment, later in week, a solo harpist plays quiet background music.

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MK
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The ambiance of the Palm Court is surreal it is so beautiful. Food is beautiful and tastes as good as it looks. Tea was delicious and service is attentive and kind. I will be back!

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KB
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

My daughter and I had afternoon tea on a Sunday at 3:30. It was a Mother/daughter sweet 16 celebration. We were seated by the fountain and next to the harp. Service was excellent. She was treated with a piece of cake and the harpist played happy birthday. Very memorable experience and we enjoyed it very much!

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VT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Way overpriced for the amount (and not so great) food given. Beautiful ambiance!

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SW
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took my friend to their holiday tea, for his birthday. We were seated by the fountain, which was beautiful, our server was lovely. There was also a woman playing the harp. If you want a magical experience please dine here! I will again.

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AT
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a terrific experience. It was a lovely setting for afternoon tea. The food and the service was top notch.

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DW
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a joyous tea with our family and the staff was outstanding!!

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MC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 4

The tea is delicious but the food must be improved.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The spooky tea food was not as tasty in comparison to the regular tea service.

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RB
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

A great time! Went there for my honeymoon, my wife loves tea and I couldn't have found a better experience for us!

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KW
Columbus
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

I was in Chicago tagging along with my husband who was on a business meeting. The forecast for the day was gray and blustery so I was looking for a place to have high tea for lunch with a few friends and this worked. We had a comfortable table beside the fountain, a live harpist playing quietly in the background and a pleasant, attentive waiter who was very knowledgeable about the wide tea assortment. We were able to enjoy the tea, scones, sandwiches and sweets and hours of conversation in an elegant yet comfortable setting.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

Special afternoon tea with my daughters. Service was outstanding!!! Food was fine, it didn’t taste fresh or like it had been prepared on site. Was disappointed because I read online they had little chairs and “tea” for American Girl dolls and that was not the case. That is really the reason we specifically chose The Drake. However it was a nice experience overall.

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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely afternoon tea at the Palm Court.

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CC
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 5

One word...sad. We have been going to the Chicago Drake Afternoon Tea for years & it continues to go downhill with the quality of the food. The food is unappetizing to look at & quite frankly, pitiful. The mini sandwiches keep getting tinier & ingredients sparse, if at all. I meant to take pictures but had forgotten.

The ham with asparagus, had a tiny sliver of ham, you could barely see it & not even taste it in the dried out bread. Egg salad was, meh & the cucumber sandwich looked old. The scones & chocolate chip muffin however, were tasty. Desserts, again disappointing, lime jello with a marshmallow in a shot glass? What? For $52/pp I expect more.

We love the ambiance (Breathtaking) & harpist, which is why we repeatedly return, hoping the food will improve. How hard can tasty tea sandwiches be to make?(Firstly, you have to actually add ingredients). The pictures, on their website of the sandwiches, are not even close to what we received (Again). They were delicious & plentiful when we first started going here years ago, so it can be done. In the past, the Palm Court was packed & difficult to get a reservation (For a good reason), now quite opposite. I travel for business around the globe & this by far is the worst food in an Afternoon Tea, I have ever experienced.

We did discuss this with the new manager, who is hoping to make some changes. Please do soon, as we will be paying our next visit instead, to the Peninsula or Langham for their Afternoon Tea. It certainly cannot be any worse.

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CI
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 4

Very disappointed that the menu change had not been listed on the website. Lime jello is not something I want for afternoon tea. I wish there had at least been a choice between their “regular” tea menu and the “spooky” tea.

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BJ
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved the tea at Palm Court. Wonderful atmosphere to celebrate my daughter's birthday. Will definitely come back again. The service was outstanding!

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JL
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Top notch quality and service in a beautiful setting!

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IG
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

The Drake tea is a Chicago classic, and our family has enjoyed it many times over many years. It's very nice, but not excellent. It feels warmer, more inviting, and less stuffy than the Peninsula tea, with traditional not-too-fussy foods and a room layout that offers a bit more privacy. However, as the food quality has decreased (or at least, not increased) their prices have increased. On our most recent visit, they were only offering a seasonal "Spooky Tea" (not advertised on their website/opentable that I was aware of) that spookily subs in jello with gummies for the usual macarons...for a higher price, at that. My advice is to wait until these terrible menu options are gone to go for tea. And then make sure you're visiting on a day when the harpist is there. Otherwise, visit the Pen.

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LJ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

I love the Palm Court - I took my grandma here to celebrate her 96th birthday, its also where we celebrated her 88th. Its perfect in terms of ambiance, food, and service. It's not perfect, however, for handicapped options. She uses a walker and had to do a decent amount of stairs to get up to the restaurant and even to use the restroom once in there. That was disappointing there wasn't anything to accommodate, especially given the service level expected. The food however was delicious and it was fun to have high tea for a special occassion.

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k
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great place for afternoon tea. The atmosphere was beautiful and the live harp music was relaxing.

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W
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A friend and I met at the Drake for tea. Being fall, and close to Halloween, they had a Spooky Tea. It was divine! Yummy themed treats that were fun and delicious. Bravo to the Palm Court for its' creativity, fine unhurried service with a warm smile, and a cozy, beautiful atmosphere! Can't wait for Christmas! xo :)

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JS
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

I have always loved the Drake for High Tea for special occasions. I brought a friend for her birthday and was very underwhelmed and disappointed by the menu. I've been there many times and have always enjoyed the assortment.

I recommend calling first to find out the menu before booking. I would have chosen somewhere else had I known. It was very expensive for a very below average assortment.
The service was exceptionally slow.

The ambiance was beautiful and specal.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was ok. Not as original or fancy as I would expect for the price.

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OT
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Birthday great atmosphere

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Website not updated for pricing I formation for high tea in all places. Otherwise, great time!

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NP
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing atmosphere exceptional service, had High tea for my girls birthday

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KA
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So much fun! We were celebrating friends birthday! This has been on our Chicago bucket list for years!

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S
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Beautiful ambiance...stunning room with floral centerpiece fountain is the perfect setting for afternoon high tea. Harp player is the most serene touch for this experience. The pure history of this high tea is worth the trip in itself...so many dignitaries and celebrities have taken their high tea at the Drake including Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana. Tiered presentation of scones, sweets and finger sandwiches was lovely. Each person gets to choose a pot of tea. It was relaxed and we added a glass of Prosecco to enjoy, as well. My only complaints are that the server never explained the teas or recommended any for the novice tea drinker and servers wore ugly black Hilton T-shirts in such a fancy setting with a dress code. They should consider having staff wear a jacket over the T-shirts. It cost about $50 pp plus tip and we were full when we left. Overall fun experience.

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OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

Was not a very pleasant experience. The food seemed stale. Also, while we were there a protest was going on in front of hotel, someone was given a tour for an event there and they stopped by our table to discuss. Not the experience we were looking for.

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J
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

I would certainly do this again, it's a really great overall experience. The tea is by far the best tea i have ever had. The food is just okay, it's small desserts and sandwiches. Which are just okay. The experience is fun and appropriate for all ages. I want to take my 12 yr niece here when she comes to visit. The drake hotel is gorgeous, and shockingly I was actually full when I left. Service is outstanding they are very accommodating to gluten free and vegetarian, so it can be for anyone.

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L
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 1

It’s sad to see the shape the Drake is in.

We had great/attentive service while we had tea but they really need to step up their game in every other aspect.

The hotel needs to be completely restored. Every attempt that has been made to update or fix something has been done poorly and tastelessly. The servers and hostess were also wearing t-shirts and tennis shoes which is strange for the feel of the space and the occasion of tea. What happened to formality in Hospitality? Take some notes from the Penn.

It’s all in the details and the Drake has really let these slip away. Shame on the Hilton’s for letting this beautiful space be forgotten.

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BD
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We knew we were coming to a classic location with an excellent reputation for our afternoon tea and we were not disappointed. We were dressed for a proper tea which included hats. Although we were the only ones in hats, most of the other patrons were appropriately attired. We had a wonderful seat, right next to the exquisite harp player and the fountain. My daughter has a lactose intolerance and her needs were promptly and deliciously met. Our waiter was a delight. The tea was the best I've had and I've attended many teas! Tea at The Drake in the Palm Court was exceptional.

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