The Walnut Room - Chicago

4.4
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2358 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
The world famous Walnut Room has been a Chicago tradition since 1907. Located on the 7th floor of Macy's on State Street the Walnut Room is the first restaurant ever opened in a department store. With Circassian wood paneling imported from Russia and Austrian chandeliers, the 17,000 square foot dining room is both elegant and comfortable. Conveniently located in the heart of the Chicago theatre district the Walnut Room is an excellent choice to take a break from shopping or for a meal and a glass of wine before the show at our Wine Bar. The Wine Bar features a small plate menu as well as more than 20 wines by the glass.
Enjoy a classic Mrs. Herring's Chicken Pot Pie or choose from the more contemporary menu offerings created by some of the country's best known chefs as members of the Macy's Culinary Council. Please note, if you are booking for Sunday, the only menu available is the brunch menu.
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What 2358 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JG
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food & excellent service!! Not many there when we first arrived so noise level was null.

j
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food3service5ambience5

It was a very good experience for all 21 students and faculty.

AS
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience1

The food was absolutely awful. For a brunch at such an iconic location, I would think that they would have stepped it up a notch. I think you can find the same food at a Holiday Inn breakfast buffet, but they probably use real eggs. Extremely disappointed and will not return.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall1food2service3ambience2

Brunch buffet was not even close to $30 value.

SS
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Diane, our waitress was OUTSTANDING. Wish dessert would have been more diversified.

Biggest disappointment was the cost of parking even with the small Macy’s validated parking.

Wanted to see the Christmas tree as it was the first time my little niece (6 yrs old) was there. I wanted it to be super-special as her Mimi passed away right before Christmas.

P
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience3

Food was very good. Service very slow.

ST
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Lovely, old world, Chicago history with good food and great service.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We took a girls trip, about 22 of us on a party bus t to see a musical. They drew so accommodating to our tight schedule and till excellent food and service

DB
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was a wonderful experience which brought me back to childhood days lunching at the Walnut Room.
Delicious food and great service.
Thank you!!

OT
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Nice and server was knowledgeable of menu items.

RH
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience2

We had to make a reservation and when we got there it was almost empty. I made reservation expecting to see tree , but it was gone by then. My husband had never been there so I was excited to show it to him. Very disappointed

SD
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Walnut Room is more than a place for lunch/dinner..it is a memory on the Holidays like no other...we made it to see the tree on the last day, as well as the last day for the amazing lunch buffet....the food was outstanding, and the tree beautiful as ever, and we enjoyed sitting up close to the tree, was glad to get in early enough to have a great day at the Walnut Room...loved it

JA
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Everything was great, except the temperature of the room. It was very HOT in there. Other than that no complaints. Food & service were great!

SG
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a nice holiday treat!

OT
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience2

Extremely weird. The Walnut Room is riding the coattails of greatness that it once had, but is now just a ghost of what it was. It feels haunted and the food is ok but not fantastic. The buffet they want you to get says mini chicken pot pies but they just have a turine of saucy filling and some little pastry stars to plop on top. It’s all very sad. The staff mostly seems like they don’t care about anything. The red lighting has the ambience of a horror movie. It desperately needs new management and ownership to bring it back to where it should be. What a horrible disrespect to history.

U
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Annual tradition

P
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience1

I had never been to the Walnut room before. The chicken pot pie was delicious, our server was wonderful. But the place is definitely run down. My chair had several slices in the vinyl seat and the wood back definitely needed to be refinished or painted. It looks like no money was put into this dining room in many many years. Our table was right by the entrance to the dining room and a group of five or six hosts/hostesses gathered and talked or were on their phones the whole time we were there. I don’t know where a manager was. So will I go back next year? No not unless they update the furnishings and train the employees better.

s
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

It was a wonderful afternoon. They have a great buffet that is totally worth the price. We got there early and they were able to seat our party of 7 without a problem. Our server was extremely friendly and fast.

C
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

I have grown up going to the Walnut Room and viewing the windows when it was part of Marshall Fields, a company that truly took pride in what they provided patrons during the holiday season. Macy’s clearly does not feel that same sense of commitment.

I was deeply disappointed by my recent experience which was supposed to be a fun mom and daughter trip for my oldest. There were 5-6 hostesses at the stand upon our arrival. None of whom greeted us or remotely made us feel welcomed. They looked more concerned with talking amongst themselves than doing their job.

It took at least 10 minutes for anyone to acknowledge our presence at the table once seated. Though our server was nice, he seemed bothered to be helping a table of only 2 especially when I passed on the buffet option.

As for our food, my daughter’s mac and cheese was not something your average child would ever eat. It barely tasted like cheese. One bite and she wouldn’t touch it again. A complete waste of $10 that I, quite honestly, wouldn’t even eat. Her fruit salad was just large chunks of peaches and pineapples that seemed like left over fruit from something else. My lobster bisque was incredibly salty. The only decent part of our meal was my salad and the ice cream she had as dessert. However, even the pieces that came with her build a snowman ice cream treat, tasted and felt like they’d been sitting out for days.

Overall, it was not a meal I’d recommend to friends. Is the ambiance wonderful? Yes. Are the fairies a nice and much anticipated touch for my daughter? Yes. But other than that, I’m not sure it was worth the cost of our meal. It’s truly sad to see what has happened to such an iconic holiday treasure. Truly hope that something changes for upcoming years and families who have been carrying this tradition on.

JK
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was everything I’d hoped it would plus more! The mashed potatoes were delicious! I can’t have gluten so I was kind of worried if I would be able to eat very much, I did!! Soup and salad was perfect as was the green beans. Carrots might have been a little over done for me. Rest of my group walked away very uncomfortable because they ate way to much! Wait staff was very nice and the Christmas tree was absolutely beautiful!

MJ
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

I love the Walnut Room at Christmas. The tree was beautiful this year. I especially enjoyed the fairy princess that walked around and gave out wishes! A wonderful experience year after year.

KO
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience2

The Holiday Buffet was not very good this year. The Walnut Room seems to be getting worse every year. This used to be a go-to family holiday tradition for my family, and I was the last one that still tried to make it happen every year. I'm sad to say, I think this year helped me to give up the 40+ year tradition.
Ever since Macy's took it over (and I like Macy's), it's far more of a commercialized experience and less of a culinary experience (like it once was). You get a sense that the service staff, while friendly enough, tries to rush you out of there (even though it was hardly busy for this time of year). Their chairs have even seen better days!

BG
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food was better than I remember . Used to go every year as a kid with my mom and grandmother. Chicken pot pie is definitely their specialty! The service was good, though I had to keep asking for my server to bring things. He should of checked on us a bit more. The tree was pretty and of course took the pics in front of it! Loved having fairy dust sprinkled over my head to wish for my special New Years wish!

KC
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

It was a beautiful setting and the buffet was plentiful. The variety of foods were excellent. Wish I could have gone before Xmas to get the holiday ambiance.

RS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful tree. The food was excellent. My favorites were the chicken and meatloaf, star pastry on the mini chx pot pies. A little too much pepper in the pot pie.

The service was outstanding. Our server and bus boy(?) were warm, efficient and professional. The hostesses were very welcoming. We came earlier than our reservation and they accommodated us.

KS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Going to the Walnut Room during the holidays is a family tradition and we love sitting by the Christmas tree. We usually go in January so the ambiance is quiet, peaceful, and very pleasant. Our daughter absolutely loves going and the staff is always very kind and friendly. The Christmas fairies do a wonderful job being magical and are always so sweet with our daughter. And the Frango Mint ice cream pie is a must!! Thank you!

TB
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious, We had the short-ribs, chicken pot pie and a gluten free version of the Parmesan chicken. Gluten free vegetarian options are extremely limited. The staff were attentive and the ambiance was festive. Our bill for a family of four was 150.00.

WB
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I grew up on the NW side of Chicago (Norwood Park), so Marshall Field's and the Great Tree were an integral part of my growing up. While I understand that Macy's now makes the decision on how to decorate the tree, IMHO, I think it would be better to go back to more traditional ornaments and lighting. The huge red LEDs totally took over the room and you really couldn't even tell that there was a Christmas tree in there. I also understand that the star is Macy's symbol, but an Uncle Mistletoe in there somewhere would be a great nod to the whole Great Tree history. Otherwise, our lunch was delicious, reasonably priced, we had a great server, Kenya.

JM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall4food3service2ambience4

I guess everyone has to do this once and for some it is tradition. The menu was just ok, not great and not many choices (must not have a grill to cook on)and the help seemed less than helpful. They all just gathered together at the front podium on their phones or talking amongst themselves and didn't seem cheerful or welcoming. The ambience was very pretty with the tree. Restrooms were disgusting and in desperate need of an update and are so far from the restaurant. Everyone always talks about visiting during the holidays and it is always so hard to get in so we wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Not super impressed and probably won't go back.

m
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Went here before our play and was looking forward to the Walnut Room experience. Service was excellent and the buffet was very good.

The tree was also beautiful.

The only downside was it was not that busy and they put us at a table that was essentially a passing zone so we kept getting bumped into or passed by. Very distracting.

TR
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Due to our schedule, we were unable to go to the Walnut Room before Christmas. So we went after New Year. What a pleasant surprise! There was no wait (which ranged from 2 - 3 hours before Christmas in the past) for a table. All the decorations and ambience remained. The wait staff was superb and the buffet (a wonderful addition to the holiday fare) was great, although they did run out of lobster bisque soup, one of our favorites. There was no key lime pie left on the desert table but when I mentioned it to our server, she immediately ran to the kitchen and promptly came back with two! We always enjoy our visit to the Walnut Room and this year was no exception.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We had a very nice dinner at the Walnut Room on New Year's Day. The buffet was $30 but it had prime rib that was absolutely delicious. All the offerings were very tasty and cooked well and not sitting in chafing dishes burning. We did try to book a for a larger group on open table and they said they were all book but when we got there, there were plenty of open table so not sure what happened with open table saying there were no reservations available and they were completely booked. I bet a lot of people did not come to eat there because open table said there were no tables available. We went at 6:30 p.m. And decided to wait in line if there was a lline. But there wasn't lucky for us!

y
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome buffet at a great price. Everything was delicious!!! Beautiful interior and amazing Christmas atmosphere. Everyone should visit at least once!

EC
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Wonderful old word ambiance and the food was delicious. Great and festive holiday decor.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience4

New Year’s Day lunch with Great Tree view

KS
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service1ambience4

Service was terrible. After 20 minutes of sitting without having had the waiter stop at the table, I went on a hunt for water for the table.
We really enjoyed the buffet, and highly recommend that.

CD
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It is a beautiful experience we wait all year for. I call it my Christmas gift to myself we go after Christmas so less crowds....The food at the buffet is amazing the service is great everyone very friendly. It completes our Christmas traditions love it!

JB
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Going to the Walnut Room every New Year's Day has been a tradition of ours for the last 27 years. The one thing we look forward to is getting the Lobster Bisque, but this year the soup had a burnt taste to it. We did bring it to the attention of the Manager who did take a sample of it but never took it off the buffet or come back to us with fresh soup. To me this was unacceptable. The rest of the buffet was great with the exception of the prime rib, which the Chef prepared all rare, there was medium or well done prime rib. Not everyone likes red meat. Overall the buffet was good and worth the $30.00 cost.

M
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall1food3service2ambience2

Lunch at 10am on New Year’s Day?!?! Really? Who eats lunch at 10am any day, much less the morning after you were up till 4am. The service is nothing like what it used to be a couple years ago...greeter was impatient and agitated with the fact that I wanted to sit by a window.

DP
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience5

We had the buffet, a lot of disappointing food. Lobster Bisque was too salty to eat, Prime Rib was extremely fatty, salads and veggies were just OK. But I think what really bothered me the most was the condition of the ladies room on the 2 separate times we used it. Of the 3 stalls, 1 didn’t have toilet paper, 1 wouldn’t flush and the 2nd leaked water all over the floor. Only 1 of the 2 soap dispensers has soap in it, no paper towels anywhere and all this was reported the first time but nothing had changed when we went back over an hour later. The condition of the chairs and rug in the Walnut Room could be described as shabby, not a place to make memories.

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