Ema

4.7
1830 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Mediterranean
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good Vegetarian Options
Mediterranean & California-inspired restaurant featuring small plates & light style cooking in Chicago's River North.

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
7.7

_ma is a small plates Mediterranean restaurant in River North, and it's good for a lot of occasions.

Ratings 7.5-8.0:These are restaurants that are reliable, tasty, and particularly good for whatever we have deemed them “Perfect For.” Hit up a 7.7 for Date Night with confidence, as long as you don’t need the restaurant to be the most interesting thing that happens that night.
What 1830 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
Food
4.6
Service
4.6
Ambience
4.3
Value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
J
Chicago
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food and drinks were delicious. The best we’re the lamb and beef kafta, brussel sprouts and roasted beets!

Report
Helpful
CB
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food was outstanding!

Report
Helpful
VC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

The food was well prepared and delicious. The ambience was nice. It was difficult to hear my friend as other conversations were loud. I enjoyed my first experience at Ema.

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Perfect. Drinks service and food!!!! Definitely b back

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Very late in seating us but management was informative

Report
Helpful
CC
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

We ordered lots of small plates and split them — everything was really good except for the scallops, which were salted to the point where all you could taste was salt. Service was friendly and attentive but not intrusive. The Brussels sprouts alone have earned the chef a place in heaven.

Report
Helpful
ME
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I love the menu at Ema!

Report
Helpful
m
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful service, great restaurant.

Report
Helpful
KM
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Love this place. Been here twice now, on biz trips to Chicago, and I plan to keep coming back. The food is fresh, creative, and delicious, the wine is delightful, and the space is beautiful.

Report
Helpful
CS
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food was great. Definitely will return for some more good food. Amy the server was the best.

Report
Helpful
b
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 2

No coat rack or coat check, which is absurd in Chicago. Noise level off the charts. Good great.

Report
Helpful
S
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 1Ambience 2

The waiter not good at survive , she was kind of weird

Report
Helpful
c
Las Vegas
18 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Very clean meal, had the spread sampler delicious & flavorful, with Falafel sandwich. my aunt had the grilled octopus with potatoes. Will be back!

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Simply amazing food and experience

Report
Helpful
C
Chicago
39 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

The best grilled octopus I ever had. Really soft in every bite, perfectly grilled.

Report
Helpful
TO
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food was incredible. Simple ingredients, but so much flavor!

Report
Helpful
KM
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

It was a good restaurant, but with so many other amazing restaurants in the vicinity, I would not go back. Brussel sprouts were amazing though.

Report
Helpful
SF
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Server was so nice and kind and accommodated my guest with gluten allergy. As usual, the food is always delicious.

Report
Helpful
f
Chicago
53 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic wine selection. Got me to try an Israeli wine that I wouldn’t have found elsewhere. All of our food was excellent. Had the lamb chops which were outstanding.

Report
Helpful
P
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

Food is fantastic. Service was a bit spotty. I had reserved a High Top seat, but was not offered that when we arrived.

Report
Helpful
AJ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 4Ambience 5

All of the dishes we excessively salty. Will not be going back.

Report
Helpful
o
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

My friend and I both ordered the egg white frittata and found it to be very bland and unseasoned. Otherwise great, we love the brussels sprouts.

Report
Helpful
S
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

I had a dinner for three here on a weekday, and the place was still packed. I really enjoyed everything we ordered, especially the charred eggplant spread and the brussel sprouts! Although the portion per plate was quite small, I actually loved how I got to taste a variety of dishes. I'd recommend it to anyone seeking a mediterranean fix in downtown Chicago!

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

the house bread is amazing and i would put their hummus on everything if i could. 10/10 reccomend the egg white frittata.

Report
Helpful
GC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food was fresh, delicous and perfectly cooked! Atmosphere was wonderful and drinks were great! One thing - the experience going to the restrooms feels way off the vibe of the restaurant. Looks to be shared with the hotel and could use some updates.

Overall, can't wait to go back!!!

Report
Helpful
FH
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent overall experience.

Report
Helpful
A
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Had a great time at Ema! Star of the show was the hummus and pita. We got the spicy one and it was not as hot as we expected, but the pita was delicious. The octopus was tender but a little bland. The short rib was great, but nothing to write home about. The lamb kaftah was tasty but quite heavy and gave me a little indigestion; would not order again but that may just a personal intolerance. Would be happy to return if given the opportunity, and would recommend it as a great restaurant in the area, but probably won't seek it out again.

Report
Helpful
ST
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Overall a good experience other than having to wait 15 minutes past our reservation time to get our table

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 1Ambience 3

Unlike LETTUCE’s typical standard of attentive & responsive service, we had an extremely disappointing & poor experience. One of the 4 entrees arrived after the other 3 of us were done. . Not only did it arrive late but the server never returned to check on us or let us know it was delayed or give any indication he was aware it was missing! It was not until we finally flagged him down to report that we were still waiting for the 4th entree that he babbled some attempt to explain that that entree takes a little longer. 5 min+ later, the manager presented the entree and said, “don’t worry we won’t charge you for this one” and muffled “sorry”. At that point, since the rest of us were done eating, we told him not to bother and to just take it back and he walked away without further comment. The experience defied all basic service expectations for even a much lesser acclaimed restaurant..

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 4

Overpriced, bad value, appetizer were very good but the entrees were terrible!!

Report
Helpful
C
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 4

The food was plated pretty but completely bland. The fish special was $20 for a tiny portion and literally tasted like nothing. Of the five things we ordered the only thing with flavor was bacon Brussels sprouts. Our server was aloof and uninterested in our dining experience. The servers also are dressed really casually and basic for being a trendy high end restaurant.

Report
Helpful
GA
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food and waitstaff are always amazing here!

Report
Helpful
KU
St. Louis
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food was amazing and the staff knew the menu and ingredients well. I am vegan but my boyfriend is not, and they were able to accommodate easily. Favorite spot that we will frequent when in Chicago!

Report
Helpful
SR
Chicago
35 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 1

The service was rushed and sloppy. Having each small dish put onto the same dish with other sauces on them was not appealing and ruined the taste of each individual one.
We felt rushed and asked them to slow down, which they did but then it was served one each person but one got a main course.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 2Ambience 3

Initially, we were offered a table next to the kitchen where we would be inches away from all waitstaff traffic in and out of the kitchen.

When we requested another table we were given a very small one by a post. However, there were at least a dozen nice large tables available in the dining room entire time we dined.

Report
Helpful
A
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful time! They were very mindful of allergies!

Report
Helpful
D
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

The food was delicious but over priced for the amount you get.

Report
Helpful
R
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

Great restaurant that I would recommend to any of my gourmand buddies. Loved that there was a full bar at each end of the dining room. One negative was our waiter who never really understood how much food we were looking for and had a couple of worn thin expressions each time he came to the table.

Report
Helpful
SM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Modern greek cuisine. Overall good food and fairly flavorful, but still not tastier than a more authentic Greek restaurant.

Report
Helpful
S
Minneapolis
15 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Helpful staff, high quality food, interesting wine list

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
46

Tweets by Ema