The Dawson

4.7
1167 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top tags:
  • Outdoor Eating
  • Good for a Date
  • Group Bookings
The gathering place in Fulton River District, The Dawson features globally-inspired American cuisine and libations, that highlight the season's best offerings and diverse, yet approachable, ingredients and flavors. Known for its passion for creating inventive and award-winning cocktails and house made liquor infusions and syrups, the team at The Dawson specializes in libations with whimsical touches.

Acclaimed items and guest favorites include: Chicken-fried Lobster Tail, Bone-in Ribeye, Dawson Burger, Mac & Cheese, Bloody Mary, and featured Fish Tacos.

A nod to the contiguous Dawson Brothers Fireplace Plant of late 19th century Chicago, The Dawson's interior design draws inspiration from the history of the neighborhood and the industrial innovation of that era and offers an artfully stripped-down aesthetic, highlighting natural and reclaimed materials in unexpected ways throughout the establishment.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service, Farm-to-table
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Hours of Operation
Monday: 4:30pm - 11:00pm (Kitchen 10:00pm)
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 4:30pm - Midnight (Kitchen 11:00pm)
Friday: 4:00pm - 1:30am (Kitchen Midnight)
Saturday: 10:30am - 1:30am (Kitchen Midnight)
Sunday: 10:30am - 11:00pm (Kitchen 10:00pm)

BRUNCH:
10:30am - 3:00pm Saturday and Sunday
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Phone number
(312) 243-8955
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Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Smart Casual
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Neighbourhood
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Cross Street
Grand Avenue and Halsted Street at the Grand/Halsted/Milwaukee intersection
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Parking Details
Valet parking is available nightly and all day on Sunday. Limited metered street parking is available.
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Public Transit
CTA Blue Line - Grand Avenue stop
CTA Bus - Grand Avenue/Halsted Street stop
CTA Bus - Milwaukee Avenue / Halsted Street stop
CTA Bus - Halsted Street / Grand Avenue stop
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Special Events & Promotions
Private Events Manager
The Dawson
312-372-4001
events@the-dawson.com
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Beer Garden, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1167 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
4.5
Food
4.4
Service
4.7
Ambience
4.2
Value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined 15 hours ago

I arrived at The Dawson after seeing such high ratings all over the internet and was expecting something extravagant. The ambiance and outdoor seating area was definitely great but the food was lackluster to say the least. Considering the price of our bill (for 4 people) and all the great reviews I’ve read, I expected WAY better. $50+ steak had a few leaves of undressed arugula on top and tasted like something I could easily grill at home— it was bland and only had a tiny spoonful of sauce on top, not to mention that the meal was just a plain old steak on a plate with absolutely nothing on the side. Scallops were bland even with the sauce, grilled cauliflower was unseasoned and literally tasted like they just put a big cauli on the grill (sauce under it was decent but the crispy chickpeas tasted borderline burnt), the muscles were “eh”, and the table was too small for us to keep our appetizers long enough for us to really finish before our entrees were ready. Moscow mule was also subpar. For the price I believe there is way better and I was hoping to get more out of my experience. The service was also pretty average. Overall, not a great experience and don’t think I’d ever go back.

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4.0Dined 2 days ago

Great ambiance

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Ate outside on patio, the chicken fired lobster and redfish tacos were excellent also the Mai Ti's :)

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2.0Dined 3 days ago

To start the hostess tried to seat my family and I at a table inside although my reservation clearly asked for an outside table and there were plenty of tables available. After saying that I rather wait than seat inside she took us to our table in the patio. The service started well but it declined as the place got crowded and it didn’t happen to us but two tables beside us got their orders wrong. Food was good but nothing outstanding. Burguer lacked of seasoning. The fries were really good.

At the end the server offered us a couple of shots as courtesy but that didn’t help make over for the OK experience.

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4.0Dined 7 days ago

The ambiance was wonderful and I appreciated the fabulous service. The food was delicious. However, the portions are incredibly tiny for a very high value. You're looking at ~$25-$50 per dish that comes in a portion size that would fit a small plate.

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2.0Dined on August 6, 2018

Went for the Sunday night Camp experience. It was nothing but a different menu with a hot dog & grilled cheese. Online they make it seem like this totally New concept where the "guidance counselors" - aka servers, guide you through the menu & experience.. none of this happened. Service was shotty at best. The brussel sprouts were terribly undercooked & barely warm as was our elote corn cob which had to be taken back to heat, (per request by the server when dropping it off!) The chicken fried lobster was good as was the cauliflower but there was nothing that stood out. Just a very mediocre experience in a lovely outdoor setting. The outdoor patio is their redemption in my opinion.

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5.0Dined on August 5, 2018

Girls brunch, food, drinks and ambiance were perfect for our get together

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1.0Dined on August 5, 2018

Totally my fault, but I was hoping to have a romantic dinner with my husband. It was SO loud that romance was impossible. The place seems great for friends' get together, but not for a date/special occasion. We had a ribeye and scallops, for the price I felt like I could have just prepared dinner at home, not terrible but not "noteworthy" either. I think if I return I would sit at the bar, table service was slow and somewhat lackluster.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

Awesome service and the food was amazing!!!

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

It was delicious! Had lunch with a girlfriend for so much needed one on one time. It was perfect. As was the bacon flight!

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

Love the Dawson. Food and service amazing.

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4.0Dined on August 3, 2018

I had put in my reservation that we were celebrating a special occasion and as soon as we were seated we were greeted with complimentary glasses of champagne! It really added the special touch we needed for our celebration!

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4.0Dined on August 3, 2018

Love the Dawson, but with one exception. In the summer, the patio is amazing. The food is always great, and we've tried a big chunk of the menu. The greeters at the front are always charming and the backup people are friendly and efficient. Our only issue seems to be with the actual servers. Last night, our 20-something server insisted on telling us all of her favorite things -- which is, surely, a management edict. I'd also love to be able to enjoy my drink without being pestered to order food. We like the place too much to avoid it for these minor server issues -- but it confounds us how they get so many things right and mess up this one area.

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5.0Dined on August 3, 2018

Been to the Dawson 5 times now and have always had a great experience. No matter if you are on the patio on a nice day or sitting by the bar the service is wonderful and helpful. The food has never dissapointed (Elote is a must) and the cocktails have always been interesting and delicious.

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1.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Service was poor, our waiter couldn't answer many menu questions when he decided to stop by . Expected food quality to be better based of prices. Burger was well down when medium rare was requested. Halibut was under seasoned. Unfortunately, I won't be heading back even though I like the vibe and setup of the restaurant.

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Food, service, team all excellent! I'm looking forward to returning and will recommend.

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Great burgers and Old Fashions. Awesome ambiance with cute courtyard. This is a staple in our go to dinner spots.

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Great food, service, and outdoor patio. Went for our wedding anniversary dinner and they provided complimentary champagne and dessert which made the evening much more special.

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4.0Dined on July 31, 2018

Went for anniversary dinner and the atmosphere was great. The only downside is that there was only one vegetarian entree option. It was very good, but I was a little disappointed.

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5.0Dined on July 31, 2018

Excellent service. Bartenders know what they are doing. Outdoor seating in late July was great. Be adventurous on the menu and you will be rewarded.

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5.0Dined on July 31, 2018

Beautiful patio that is set off from the street and very quiet. Really excellent food.

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5.0Dined on July 30, 2018

Food was absolutely amazing! I love farm to table concepts particularly because of how fresh the ingredients normally are and they fulfilled just that. I got the corn ravioli and the vegetables tasted so good and the meal wasn’t too heavy like a lot of pasta dishes can be. It was perfect. My boyfriend got the halibut and that was so good too, light with amazing flavor. The drinks and dessert were good as well. Our only complaint was that the waitress was slow. She was very nice and sweet so we weren’t too bothered by it and didn’t say anything. And to our surprise at the end she brought us both a glass of champagne. Would definitely recommend and look forward to going back!

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

This place is the best.

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

Sunday brunch with the family. One of the best outdoor spaces in the city. Service was top notch. The food was fantastic. Had the bacon flight...you must get this. One of those menus where it's so hard to pick what you want because there are so many great choices. Great cocktail menu with delicious bloody marys. Can't wait to return.

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4.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Solid restaurant with plenty of great food options and drinks. Awesome outdoor patio area which is where we sat on a beautiful night. Service was mostly good, but our waiter did not come by our table frequently. Nonetheless, would definitely recommend

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Great service. Bartenders were helpful, friendly and attentive. All of the staff were professional and service-oriented. On top of that - food and atmosphere were amazing.

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4.0Dined on July 27, 2018

Food was outstanding and cocktails matched the quality of the food. We had some appetizers, including the chicken fried lobster, which were all outstanding (the sauce with the lobster was really, really good). The steak & frites were extremely tasty -- well seasoned and perfectly done; I should tell you that the french fries were some of the best I have had.

Overall AWESOME food AND atmosphere, mediocre service from ONE person. So I do HIGHLY recommend The Dawson.

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4.0Dined on July 24, 2018

The Dawson has a great ambiance, appetizers where outstanding, especially the oysters. Portions on some of the main dishes were small. The outdoor dining area is very cool, and the servers were great.

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5.0Dined on July 22, 2018

Those hamburger are AWESOME... french fries , fried lobster good .. The drinks are good , nice place to hang out with friends..

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4.0Dined on July 22, 2018

One thing that really frustrates me is when I walk into a restaurant and the say something along the lines of; "This is the only thing we currently have available." I eat my meal which takes about an hour and a half to two hours and walk out with there still being an abundance of great seating still available.

I understand if you need to plan the floor accordingly to your reservations, but if no one is going to be in the spots you say are taken, and there still is plenty of seating available, then give me the better seating please. It takes no more than 3 minutes to bus a table, I should know I did if for many years!

Other than that food and ambiance were great as always and very much enjoyed the atmosphere and friendly staff.

-C. Krueger

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5.0Dined on July 22, 2018

Bacon flight is a MUST! Servers very helpful in all brunch cocktail selections. Bread pudding will be ordered every time I dine there.

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5.0Dined on July 22, 2018

Loves the watermelons challenge, breakfast sandwich torta and bread pudding. Great ambiance and not loud at all. Will go again! Had a super fun girl’s brunch. It rained but next time we’ll sit outside

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5.0Dined on July 21, 2018

Amazing service

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4.0Dined on July 20, 2018

The temperature inside was really cold

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3.0Dined on July 19, 2018

The food was fine, nothing exceptional. The waiter was odd, and somewhat nervous. Not the most accommodating. There were seven of us, so maybe he felt overwhelmed, although the restaurant wasn't crowded. The ceviche was good, the burger was okay. Peosecco was average. I thought the experience would be better. Although it wasn't terrible, we had just eaten at Bar Siena the day before. That place had mind blowing food and cocktails, and great service.

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4.0Dined on July 18, 2018

Great patio and awesome food! Little pricey, but everything was excellent!

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4.0Dined on July 18, 2018

The Dawson is a great location with great food but each time I've gone there, the service is awful. They need to bring their wait staff up to the same level as their food, location, & ambiance.

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4.0Dined on July 17, 2018

Service started out a little slow because the waiter had several large parties. Could have used more wait staff. But he picked up the pace, gave a great recommendation on a cocktail and finished strong. Food was great!!

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3.0Dined on July 15, 2018

The service was not very great this time. Took a really long time to get beverages/food. Overall, it's a great place to get drinks/food. Little pricey.

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5.0Dined on July 15, 2018

Clean and vibrant environment, food was amazing!

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