Symphony's Cafe

4.5
493 Reviews
$30 and under
American
Symphony's Cafe is Evanston's finest tradition and a true neighborhood favorite. Utilizing only the freshest ingredients and sophisticated service, we make your breakfast, lunch, or dinner a special experience. The versatile Symphony's dining environment is perfect for family gatherings, work lunches, Sunday brunch, group parties, or a romantic dinner for two. We are proud to serve organic eggs, creative salads, the freshest seafood, free-range poultry, prime-aged steaks, and amazingly flavorful pasta dishes. Our extensive menus truly have something for everyone, with vegetarian offerings, gluten-free options, children's menus, and consideration for special diet requirements. We look forward to serving you soon!
What 493 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
4.7
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Quiet
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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L
vipLucy
Chicago
41 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

This is a great restaurant for good food and quiet conversation. The menu is nicely varied and the dishes are well-prepared. We'll be back!

S
Seniordiner
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious and the server Bridget was personable and attentive to our table. Our party of four ordered pork chops, beef medallions, salmon zechi (nightly special) and meatloaf (also a nightly special) Prices were moderate and we received very nice portions. We were very satisfied and plan to return in the future.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was the perfect breakfast place for meeting a friend we haven’t seen in 25 years! We loved the food, service, and company! We will go back again soon!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience4

The waitress seemed to have a bad attitude initially. I brought my wife there for Valentine's day. We could've done without the attitude. According to the waitress, the kitchen was extremely busy and by the looks of the food presentation, it must've been. The food looked like it was thrown on the plate. 9 years we've been coming here for Valentine's day. This was the worst.

W
vipWjh11
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was Valentine’s Day. Delicious food! Wonderfully cute place. I want to come back for breakfast too!

ST
STBJ
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Wonderful location for Valentines Day. Sat at a table in a bay window of cafe lights.

m
michaelr
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience2

food was salty Waitress seemed very curt Value because of coupon Business seemed slow for Sat. nite

BS
BarbS
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food as well.prepared and served as any restaurant I've been to.anywhere. Not sure why it isn't mobbed, but selfishly hope the noisy hip crowd never finds it.

L
vipLucy
Chicago
42 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

This is a great place! The food is delicious. The quantity is huge, so I always bring home part of my meal for another one at home. The service is good. I appreciate the quiet atmosphere at lunchtime.

A minor nitpicking item is that the frames around pictures are very dusty, and could benefit from a quick cleaning.

H
vipHoward
Chicago
128 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience4

Everything was fine, with one big exception. I'm allergic to gluten, so requested gluten free toast on my turkey Rueben sandwich. My partner also ordered a turkey Rueben sandwich on regular toast. My sandwich was half the size of his. I asked the server why, and she said that gluten free toast is smaller - - which is a bogus excuse, because I regularly purchase gluten free sandwich bread at the store that is the same size as regular sandwich bread. Adding insult to injury, I was charged extra for the gluten free bread. So, a half-sized sandwich at extra cost. The server acknowledged that others have complained about this practice, but the owner won't do anything about it. Maybe this review will get them to change.

IG
vipItalianGirl
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

I’ve been eating at Symphony’s for over 10 years, and it’s always fantastic food. Our waitress tonight was a little unusual, but it was still a very enjoyable evening. Gem of a place!!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had the fried calamari which was excellent. The salads were ok. The shrimp and sausage on penne with tomato cream sauce was divine. The stuffed chicken (stuffed with spinach, feta and peppers) served with garlic mashed potatoes was also excellent.

C
vipCindy
Chicago
133 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

This was our third time at Symphony's Cafe. We chose this restaurant because it's close to the Welsh-Ryan Arena and have been happy with our meals before. Everyone enjoyed their orders: Pumpkin Ravioli, Veggie Aglio Olio Pasta, Beef Stroganoff special, Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Fries, Spaghetti and Meatballs and Chicken Florentine. Some of the menu items were a little pricier on the dinner menu compared to the lunch menu (we arrived at 6pm) but are still relatively reasonable.

C
vipCindy
Chicago
133 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

This was our second time at Symphony. I thought the cream of chicken rice was out of this world the first time I was here and couldn't wait to have it again. The recipe was a little different this time as they added chunks of potatoes which gave it a strange texture. Our server was very slow this time. But our meals were good so we will definitely be back.

ST
vipSTinHP
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Probably the deal in the northshore for great quality food, portions and price. My wife and I split on the salmon dinners. They graciously split everything in half on each plate for us and still the portions were substantial.

This place also has a very low noise level making conversation easy. We had a group of nine and everyone had a good meal.

S
vipSusieq
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

We came here at the suggestion of friends. The restaurant smelt funny, the wait staff was nonexistent, the food was just mediocre and not inexpensive. I will never go back here again.

LE
vipLolaE
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great neighborhood place.

G
vipGreat
Chicago
44 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience3

The waitress got my order wrong, thus, while everyone in our party was enjoying their meal, I was waiting for mine to be prepared! When I saw that most of my friends were half way through their dinner and I, a slow eater, still hadn't gotten my meal, I got up and canceled my order. As the waitress was clearing the table, she dropped a knife in my lap!!!!!!! They comped my meal, which I appreciated, but charged me the $2.50 for my ice tea! When I got home, very hungry, I ate alittle of the meal and it was excellent but the evening was ruined by this unprofessional waitress!!!!! (Getting the order wrong and dropping a knife in my lap!)

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall1food4service1ambience2

Worst service I’ve ever had.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
78 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience2

Love this place. Best rack of lamb ever! We’ll be back.

MP
vipMsParticular
Chicago
171 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

I had the most wonderful egg white omelette with goat cheese, tomatoes and onions.
Delicious!
Would love to go back frequently but the parking meters on Central are problematic. Many do not work. Couldn't get mine to accept my credit card. Didn't get all the time for the quarters I inserted. Same thing happened to the lady behind me.

L
vipLucy
Chicago
42 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We've eaten here several times, and always been pleased. The portions are huge, so I typically take home leftovers for another tasty meal! We enjoy their comfortable booths, prompt service, and quiet atmosphere (we go for breakfast or lunch).

S
Seniordiner
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We are repeat customers and enjoyed another delicious dinner. Our waitress was very nice but seemed a bit distracted when it came to giving us the bill. I had to request the bill and then she forgot to apply the discount coupon we had shown to her when initially ordering. She corrected it right away so no complaints about that.

JT
JerryT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Always eat at Symphony's before a Northwestern Football game.

Good food and service is a little slow because it is full up. Nice friendly staff.

Always make a reservation and keep it on your phone.

C
vipCindy
Chicago
133 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Symphony's Cafe was better than we thought it would be. Warm bread basket was a nice touch. Enjoyed the "pasta fagioli" soup, even though it wasn't the traditional pasta fagioli, and both of our dinners were tasty (turkey burger/fries and salmon piccata special). We will return in the future.

KG
vipKendalG
Austin
24 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have loved Symphony’s for decades and it still delivers good food, creatively and well prepared. Thank you

LF
LynnF
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It was very busy and noisy when we arrived at 1:00. The crowd thinned out later and that was better. Food was plentiful, and basic. The service was attentive. We had been looking for a nice, quiet place to have a business lunch, and this was recommended. Would have preferred something more up scale but there didn't seem to be much around that area open for lunch.

D
vipDeborah
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Wonderful food! Great setting! Thank you!

L
Lindy
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

I like the restaurant very much. It would be great for me if there were more gluten free, dairy free items on menu. But, overall, i think the food is excellent and service is great

M
vipMarkls
Chicago
45 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Normally service is quick an efficient but today being Father’s Day, it was a bit slow at brunch time. They could have used an extra waitress. They could use a wider assortment of bagels as the only choice is plain.

S
vipSoxfan
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We were some of the fortunate ones who had made reservations on Father's Day. The unfortunate ones were left to wait at least 30 minutes. The place is not humongous. Word must be getting around that this is one of the cuter places in Evanston for brunch and there's plenty of free parking within a block on a Sunday morning.

L
vipLucy
Chicago
42 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We really enjoy this restaurant. It has comfortable booths, a broad menu, well-prepared food, good service.

M
vipMarkls
Chicago
45 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Service a bit off today... new server. Never came back to table to check on us. Had to seek her out twice. Food took longer to arrive and it wasn’t that busy.

JF
JeanF
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Excellent omelette and fresh fruit. Pleasantly quiet for a Saturday morning. Would definitely return.

D
vipDanield
Naples
15 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Place to go for brunch in all of Chicago area

e
vipeatalot
Chicago
33 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

I have nothing good to say about this restaurant. We were there yesterday. I ordered eggs with well done bacon. It came totally medium at best. They took it back and brought it well done but it was very oily and didn't taste good and I love bacon. My companion kept asking for more water which they never brought. I think the food is not good and they have service problems.

M
vipMarkls
Chicago
45 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience3

Been here numerous times but this time service was very poor. Every time we needed something we had to go hunting for them. Seemed under staffed but the one who seemed to be in charge said they were properly staffed. I doubt it.

DM
DanielM
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very pleased with the food and service was great. Would definitely be going again.

MK
vipMarylK
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My birthday and Easter celebration was great. So enjoyed the breakfast!

t
viptip4u
Chicago
25 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Very good neighborhood restaurant. Friendly with good food.

FAQs

Symphony's Cafe offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (847) 475-1200.

Symphony's Cafe is rated 4.5 stars by 493 OpenTable diners.

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.