Ema

4.7
1967 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Mediterranean
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Good Vegetarian Options
  • Fit for Foodies
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 1967 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
4.4
Value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
LR
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Mid-week dinner with my best friend to catch-up. We loved the white washed brickwork in the dining room, which helps bring on the California/Mediterranean vibe. We tried a few different plates. The spicy hummus and the shrimp were delicious; the sticky date cake hit the spot. Nice wine selection, especially from regions that are not normally offered at most restaurants.

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

Not seated at time of reservation

Report
Helpful
R
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Great meal. Only issue was trying to put 4 people at a small table directly behind the reception area. This was a business meal, with 2 large sized men, so the leather chairs and table structure would not be appropriate.
They were able to relocate pretty easily. Rest of meal was great.

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

Our server was so helpful with explaining the menu and helped us pick some delicious dishes to sample. The food was fresh and serving portions were just right for sharing.

Report
Helpful
OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing meal! The atmosphere was great, very appropriate for a special night out.

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Took my parents there for the first time! They loved it

Report
Helpful
JA
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4Food 3Service 3Ambience 4

The charred eggplant was the favorite of the spreads, we had the salmon kabob and short rib. The kabob and rice were delicious. The short rib was good, I've had better, it was a bit dry. Next time I would order the beef and lamb kefta.THE DRINKS WERE AWESOME. We had 2 dirty martini's OMG, best bartender around.

Report
Helpful
g
San Francisco
74 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Every dish was packed with flavor, we finished every bite, starting with a fava spread all the way through a sticky date cake they brought out to celebrate our anniversary. Definitely get the stracciatella; simple but every bite divine. Excellent, appropriately attentive service. We had a fabulous Lebanese wine to top off the meal.

Report
Helpful
m
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food was fabulous. I love all the different textures and flavors of the items we ordered.
The server was very helpful and knowledgeable. I will definitely return when I visit Chicago again.

Report
Helpful
OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Everything was fantastic!! I sat at the bar and Angela was my server. She was absolutely wonderful! I have a lot of food allergies and she went out of her way to make sure I was accommodated and taken care of. The food was great, service was even better! It was amazing!

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

Good food and ambience but parking an issue. Service very good.

Report
Helpful
JD
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent service, delicious food!

Report
Helpful
b
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 2

The food is delicious with many choices for a vegetarian or vegan as well as carnivore or omnivore. The server was knowledgeable and pleasant, not too aggressively friendly ( a pet peeve of mine). We sat outside, as it was a pleasant evening. I'm glad we didn't sit inside, as it is loud and difficult to hear your companions. The noise level will curtail my visits in the winter months.

Report
Helpful
JT
Chicago
46 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Always good, always consistent. Love the light mediteranean fare.

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

I don’t expect anything special but iwhy ask why you’re coming or if you’re celebrating something & then not have anyone bother to even acknowledge it! Seems like a setup for disappointment.
I think you’re better off not asking that question as part of the reservation & no one will care that you don’t say or do anything.... Especially bad form when you’re the host taking someone out to celebrate their ‘whatever’!

Report
Helpful
LL
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

LOVED this place! We ended up getting an entirely vegetarian meal. We tried a ton of stuff, it was all exquisitely delicious and very fairly priced. Staff was helpful as well. Will definitely be back!

Report
Helpful
JC
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We absolutely loved Ema. The dishes were inventive, fresh and delicious. Our server also recommended a wine that paired perfectly with our meal. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had reservations and it was a Monday night so we did not experience any inconvenience in dining at all. Our server was attentive and helped us well for recommendations. Ambiance was great. They were playing house music mostly Kygo the night we were there. The only problem is that parking can be challenging because of the location but we were lucky enough to find street parking.

We had the Greek Salad and Hummus as appetizers. Both were really good. Salad was refreshing with huge chunks of feta cheese, light dressing and fresh ingredients.

For the mains we had the Lamb and Beef Kefta, and Coconut Curry Mussels.
The curry sauce of the mussels went great with the charred bread that came with it. The kefta was moist and well seasoned.

We had Youre a Peach and The Last Don for drinks. Both were fruity and surprisingly strong drinks. Everything was split between 3 girls and we still felt like we had more than enough. Would def recommend and will come back.

Report
Helpful
SF
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2Food 4Service 1Ambience 2

An important part of going out to a restaurant is for the service. While the food at Ema is quite good, the service
we had was nowhere close to what came out of the kitchen. And severely diminished the overall experience.

Report
Helpful
a
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 2

The food, cocktails and wine were, as always, amazing! Despite having a reservation, our table was ridiculously small, especially for shared plates, and awkwardly positioned adjacent to two staff stations. No one should ever be subjected to sitting there, no matter how busy it is. (We’d rather have waited for a legitimate table, and would in future.) Anyway, service was good considering busyness, and the food was sublime, so...

Report
Helpful
TV
Chicago
47 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Perfect for Mother's Day . . . great food, no fuss, elegant, amazingly friendly staff/management

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Mother’s Day

Report
Helpful
JB
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

What an absolutely exquisite Mothers Day Brunch we had. Our server Emma crushed it with phenomenal service and a mastery of the menu. The spread sampler was bomb the Brussel sprouts were seriously THE BEST I ever ate and the Honey Pie is one of the city's best desserts. They accommodated a seating request I made immediately and were a highlight of Moms Day. Thanks Ema (and Emma)!

Report
Helpful
BV
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 5

Food was really good, service wasn’t great, I had four different people attending to me and I only saw my initial waitress once after we sat down. I had to call for service twice myself, waited 10 minutes with an empty table waiting for the check and only got 1 water refill all dinner.

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Delicious food and nice ambiance!

Report
Helpful
SW
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Ema is an incredible place for brunch! Fantastic, diverse breakfast-style options and classic Ema dishes are available. My go-to for catching up with friends!

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

There was a long delay for us to be seated. It was aggravating. However, the manager personally checked on us several times. He provided some complimentary items. At our table, the server, who had been briefed by the manager to our situation, was especially nice and helpful. The food was outstanding. What could have turned into a bad night was saved by the care and concern of the manager.

Report
Helpful
SB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My first time at Ema was amazing! I loved the beets and berries!

Report
Helpful
TR
Baltimore
9 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Waitstaff is excellent including helping choose menu items. Everything is fantastic. Small plates and large plates accommodate anything you are in the mood for.

Report
Helpful
M
Chicago
46 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My husband and I dined here and loved it! I had the bartenders choice for my drink twice and both were very different and delicious. Well done drinks! The charred eggplant spread is amazing! I’d eat that weekly! We loved the octopus and the braised short rib. We will definitely be back. The only downside - they don’t serve their happy hour throughout the restaurant. It’s localized to the bar and a few nearby tables. We didn’t mind not partaking in the happy hour specials but it felt a bit misleading.

Report
Helpful
S
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had a wonderful Anniversary dinner. The food was excellent and the service was outstanding. The staff went out of their way to make it a special evening for both of us !!!

Report
Helpful
A
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great vibe and excellent food....vibrant without being too loud, delicious combination of flavors, attentive service.

Report
Helpful
MJ
Houston
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Delicious!! Great for sharing plates! Staff is very friendly and great atmosphere.

Report
Helpful
OT
London
1 review
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Nice casual place innovative cuisine well worth a visit

Report
Helpful
D
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Delicious food, great atmosphere and a pleasantly varied menu. I'll definitely go again!

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 1Food 1Service 4Ambience 4

The really wasn’t that great. The lamb and beef kefta were very dry. I was highlighting disappointed.

Report
Helpful
LE
London
1 review
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Super fresh products
Inventive meals
Nice atmosphere

Report
Helpful
R
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great experience!
Inventive and tasty cuisine, served skillfully in a beautiful space. All in all a wonderful time.

Report
Helpful
KD
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We really loved the food we got at Ema. My husband and I shared four plates and they were all delicious!

Report
Helpful
c
Chicago
41 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

All of our food was delicious except for the only gluten free dessert, a particularly nasty, sour frozen yoghurt. What’s wrong with ice cream? We had to take our gluten free guest out for dessert afterwards.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
50

Tweets by Ema