About Sayat Nova

Located just steps from Michigan Avenue in the heart of Chicago's thriving Streeterville neighborhood, Sayat Nova is a cozy, romantic enclave tucked back from the city's urban sprawl. Since 1970, we have offered Armenian cuisine that presents a slightly earthier variation on typical Mediterranean fare.

157 East Ohio Street
Chicago, IL 60611
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Middle Eastern

Hours of Operation:

Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30AM - 3:30PM
Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 3:30PM - 10:00PM
Sundays: 3:00PM - 9:00PM

Cross Street:
Michigan Ave.

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(312) 644-9159

Website:
http://www.sayatnovachicago.com/

Parking Details:
Discount Parking offered around the corner at the Park 1 on the corner of Grand and St. Clair

Public Transit:
Red Line Grand and State Any Michigan Avenue Bus

Additional:
Bar Dining, Full Bar, Outdoor dining, Wine

Sayat Nova Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

4.0

ambience

4.2

value

4.2

Noise

Quiet

88% would recommend it to a friend

Authentic (11)
Cozy (8)
Quiet Conversation (7)
See All
Good for a Date (7)
Creative Cuisine (6)
Neighborhood Gem (6)
Romantic (6)
Good for Anniversaries (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Casual (5)
Comfort Food (5)
Great for Lunch (5)
Good for Groups (4)
Good for Birthdays (3)
Business Meals (3)
Fit for Foodies (3)
Healthy (3)
Special Occasion (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Fun (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Bar Seating (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Great Beer (1)
Vegan (1)
Late-night Find (1)
People Watching (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Spicy (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
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370 reviews
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vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined a day ago

The food was amazing. Everything was authentic and delicious!!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 26, 2017

My family is from eastern Europe, so the type of food served here (Armenian) is somewhat familiar. I had the smoked eggplant appetizer, followed by lamb meatballs in a mint yoghurt soup. Flavors was delicate and the food was well-prepared. It wasn't very busy, so service was very quick and the pace could have been slowed down a bit. I had the appetizer within a few minutes, and the main course followed right on it's heels (the soup included with the main course came out before I was finished the appetizer). The food was excellent, it just would have been nice if dinner was longer than 30 minutes (from seating to paying the check).

Tags: Authentic, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 21, 2017

Excellent home style cooking of Armenian cuisine, solidly good without over-sophistication. Offers excellent dishes like Kufta which are not always found in typical restaurants of similar categories.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 20, 2017

Love this restaurant. It really is a neighborhood gem! It's my third time around and I'm already referring it to many. Love Love the knaffi and all the Yelp reviews aren't wrong - the lamb, (anything lamb) is amazing. Highly recommend.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Good for Groups, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 14, 2017

This was a nice atmosphere to have a conversation. Not too loud. The service was excellent.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Great Beer, Business Meals
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Tucson)·Dined on November 6, 2017

The food was excellent. The lamb was superb. The staff was very friendly.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

A great place for good food and nice service. Low key, fun place priced right for what it is...a nice place for dinner

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Good food, friendly service. Authentic atmosphere.

Tags: Authentic, Comfort Food, Business Meals, Notable Wine List, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, People Watching, Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Casual, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Great spot for authentic Armenian food, which is similar to Lebanese, Greek, and Turkish cuisine. Inventive interior design with circular booths along the perimeter, which gives a nice sense of privacy, especially for couples. On our visit for dinner, there was a very large party (around 20), and our table service suffered in terms of attentiveness. By no means a deal-breaker, though.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service3
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 1, 2017

Very nice place and I have been there many times. Great service. I brought my cousin and his wife from out of town for dinner and drinks.

Tags: Good for a Date, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 21, 2017

Garlic yogurt sauce is not good! There is no garlic

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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Delicious food, good service. My husband and I went with two friends, everyone enjoyed the food, and the wine. We will definitely be going back again.

Tags: Cozy, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Very tasty food. Nice ambiance and decor. Kibbe was awesome. Creative cocktails.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 14, 2017

We had the mezza sampler to start with hummus, yalanchi sarma & plaki.
The hummus & yalanchi sarma were good. The plaki was so incredibly bland.
I really wanted to order the red lentil soup, but it's made with chicken stock - why?!
Suggestion: use vegetable stock, which would create an additional vegan dish on the menu.
I ordered that same mezza sampler for my main - because I'm vegan - and while the plaki was bland, I was hankerin' for more beans.
Husband ordered the kebab combo which he said was tasty.
Our reservation was at 9pm. The kitchen closed at 10pm.
Once the kitchen closed, the staff lit up their cigarettes in either the kitchen or back room,
and that smoke permeated the entire restaurant like a bar in the 1980s.
One could avoid that smoke with an earlier reservation.
I don't need to go back.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy, Vegan
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food2
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (Grand Rapids)·Dined on October 14, 2017

This was a restaurant favorite of my family Years ago. I had not been in some time, and will not go back.

The food was truly mediocre and over-priced. My German guests barely touched their plates beginning with really "un-inspired" salads through main courses. The only good dish seemed to be a lentil soup.

Tired place.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 1, 2017

Having eaten in many many middle eastern restaurants this place left much to be desired. First off, the pita bread tasted like generic grocery store version. Meat was under seasoned and over cooked and never got better from there.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (Indiana)·Dined on September 30, 2017

Great place, food and service are excellent. We have dinner here every time we are in Chicago.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 16, 2017

This was not my first visit to Sayat Nova. I've been a customer for years. Everything about our meal was perfect with the exception of one mighty stiff drink. My partner's drink was fabulous, so perhaps mine was just a mistake. I'd still comeback in a heartbeat.

Tags: Comfort Food, Cozy, Good Vegetarian Options, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on September 8, 2017

Although the menu looked exciting, the quality of the food was just okay. I wouldn't mind eating there if I need something quick to grab. Otherwise, I wouldn't consider it for business or special occasion meals.

Tags: Quick Bite, Casual
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 3, 2017

I would not recommend it. I've been here before, but this time the service was terrible, and they kept getting our food order wrong. The server just kept shrugging and silently walking away. Will not come back.

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food2
ambience2
service1
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 25, 2017

I went with my wife and 20 year old son. We are all very savy in the kitchen. The food was good and authentic. and very neatly presented. The chef is very consistent. The wine list is acceptable for a small place. Good place to go when you know what you want, but it won't knock your socks off.

Tags: Healthy, Authentic
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
·Dined on August 16, 2017

Absolutely delicious! Second time going back here and I enjoyed it more than the first.

Tags: Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 10, 2017

Great food, great and attentive wait staff. Enjoyed our meal and time at table in restaurant!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 3, 2017

I travel to Chicago once a month and I always go there for diner on every trip since I have discovered this place. It is tasty, the staff is super friendly, the quality and portion of the food served is fantastic! If you are looking to try something new or Mediterranean food, I highly recommend this place.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 2, 2017

Very good Armenian food. Tuesday is 1/2 price for all bottles of wine making the restaurant a real bargain. Service is friendly and the setting is private and romantic.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Detroit)·Dined on July 26, 2017

we are from out of town and had eaten at Sayat Nova several years ago. the food was ok but the service had been poor. this time, we were in town and walking by and decided to try again. I'm so glad we did. the food was delicious (I'm Armenian and know what most of it is supposed to taste like - and it is great). The service was very good. It was Tuesday and wine bottles were half price - a short but just fine wine list. For Chicago, or really any large city, the prices are very reasonable for the quality and portion size, which was generous. I have the Armenian sampler entrée. excellent grape leaves, stuffed eggplant, kufta in yogurt and the best cheese beorag,. My husband had lule Kebab (delicious) and the pilaf was just like mine. unless you are in LA, its tough to find an Armenian restaurant. I would definitely return here.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Casual, Romantic
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Houston)·Dined on July 10, 2017

I chose to sit at the bar: Even though it was dinner time (7 PM), the restaurant was not crowded on a Monday night. The bartender was polite and provided great assistance; however, he was not very attentive and it took me a couple tries when I was trying to get his attention. I ordered the Sautéed Lamb.
The dinner came with a side salad as an appetizer. It had a great vinaigrette. The lamb was served with pita bread, rice, and grilled veggie. The lamb was cooked well.

I ended up taking a Togo box as it was more than enough food. I also ordered the raspberry cheesecake Togo. The dessert was a bit disappointing as the portion size was tiny. It tasted like something I could get at Costco.

I did like that the restaurant had wifi that I could use while I was there. Overall, I give the restaurant 4 stars.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on July 9, 2017

Sayat Nova is one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago. The Armenian food is all made from scratch. I highly recommend all of the appetizers. This time, my friends and I shared the Armenian Combo - sarma, cheese boereg, kufta, and eggplant. For our entrees, my friends had grilled lamb and grilled chicken while I had the lula kebab. We also shared an order of tabouleh. We split one serving of kadayif for dessert. The meal was fabulous! Perfect atmosphere and perfect service!

Tags: Comfort Food, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on July 9, 2017

Exceptionally good middle eastern food

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on July 8, 2017

Great service from staff. They were or is chocolate dessert and more than made up for it with other selections. Friendly.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on July 7, 2017

Good food and service. Inside is nicely decrated just a little too dark.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on July 6, 2017

We had a wonderful time. The food was excellent as was the service.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Fun, Comfort Food, Casual, Tasting Menu, Tapas
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 27, 2017

Very good Armenian restaurant a half block from the Mag Mile!
I love every dish here and the service is great. The Sauteed lamb is awesome!

Tags: Cozy, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 24, 2017

I wanted to introduce visiting friends to my favorite Chicago restaurant. They had a splendid time, as I expected. I have been dining at Sayat Nova for nearly 40 years. Other favorite restaurants have closed or changed in that time, but Sayat Nova remains a reliable friend.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Neighborhood Gem, Tapas, Cozy, Good for a Date
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 3, 2017

Nice relaxed dinner

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food3
ambience3
service4
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 1, 2017

The service was good - in and out efficiently and the servers were pleasant. The lunch menu has good variety. The food is perfectly fine - not a great presentation. Good lunch spot for sure.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on May 27, 2017

Overpriced and highly disappointing. Bread, mezze, and entrees all poor quality, sadly, with some items tasting like generic canned food. Service rudimentary & inattentive, even on a slow night. Bigger business here is drinks. Overall, seems like a (nice-enough looking) tourist trap, unfortunately - cannot recommend.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

vip
 (St. Louis)·Dined on May 27, 2017

The food was mediocre and my wife ended up getting sick from the lamb. Service was terrible. I would not recommend this restaurant.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on May 26, 2017

Great food and great service. We enjoyed everything from appetizers to desserts. Would recommend to anyone staying close to the Magnificent Mile.

Tags: Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on May 25, 2017

Spent a lovely night there. The atmosphere is so romantic, the food was
wonderful. We enjoyed the music of Anne and Mark Burnell.

Definitely try the red lentil soup. Outstanding.

Tags: Authentic, Cozy, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

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