Chicago >Food & Dining > Cafe Iberico
739 N La Salle Dr, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061041.896020 -87.632604
Mon-Thurs 11am-11:30pm; Fri 11am-1:30am; Sat noon-1:30am; Sun noon-11pm
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
My favorite restaurant of all time – I've been a tour guide for a university in Chicago, and I tell all of the parents and students to go the Iberico for a reasonable, delicious and authentic dinner out in the city. My girlfriends even have claimed it for themselves as thier fav place, too. It's just that good.
The red sangria- just give me a pitcher with a straw.
Queso de cabra...yes please.
Croquetas (sp?) - Ham and cheese puffs- hot pockets you are a disgrace. To die for.
Gazpacho on special- so fresh and simple.
Vegetarians, meat lovers, and those who like to drink-come here with a group and you will be very happy. Order 4-5 things right away! And then keep em coming.
We Iberico to reserve a table for the day of the World Cup final and they told us they didn't accept reservations and that it would have been "first come first served"! So we went the day of the W/C final at 11.30am (2hrs before kick off) and there was already a line. When we finally entered the hostess told us there were no tables available and that we could stay at the bar (which was already over crowded) if we wanted or eat and leave at a table before the W/C final started! The bar was full and all the tables were all RESERVED! The hostess confirmed they didn't accept reservations and when we asked why all the tables were reserved she didn't know what to say other than "sorry"! I work in the media and broadcast business and for sure I will never recommend this restaurant to anyone! Very bad service and very poor organization!
AWFUL SERVICE – So I'm giving this place 3 stars. Some of the food we got was pretty good. The COLD avocado soap was nasty! The service was just plain awful! I don't know if they were short staffed or what, but finally my boyfriend had to go refill his own glass of water. It was unreal! I wouldn't go back
Excellent Food and Service – I've tried a few other tapa places and they never measured up to Iberico's.
There food is great and the sangria is soooooooooo good. :-)
I can't say I've ever had a bad experience. And there is always a wait but well worth it. Try the gambas de ajo yum!
Dont go anywhere else or try another place. This is it people. lol
Chicago's best TAPAS. – Queso de cabra is so good we usually order 2 orders for 4 plus. Theres a garlic and olive oil shrimp you must try. The sangria is delicious go for white if you dig a sweeter taste. I prefer the red. The seafod paella's make my pants dance and OMG tell them to give you the birthday cake. I dunno what it is bu damn is that delicious. The staff is usually busy so try to order everything at once and dont be one of those annoying jerks that needs something else every 5 minutes and you will enjoy. But it takes forever to get seated but so what? How easy is to get food that has the authenticity you find on a spanish isle. Olive oil is antioxidant and helps protect cells from the mutations that cause cancer...if that helps ease the thought of waiting. : / Me likey.
Best tapas in the Loop – I've been lucky enough to have traveled to Spain multiple times in my life, and one of my favorite things about the country is the wonderful food. Cafe Iberico captures the flavors perfectly; you know you're in a great spot for Spanish food when nothing but Spaniards or other Europeans are there. Frankly, most Americans have a tough time aclimating to "traditional" flavors, and so other so-call tapas bars such as La Tasca in the 'burbs or 1492 will stoop to "Americanizing" the flavors so people feel more comfortable ordering.
Personally, the tapas are your best choice by far here, as they are decently priced, as is the sangria. Full plates can be a bit difficult to eat, especially during weekends when the place is always (ALWAYS) packed. The bar area is by far the best area to munch on tapas in since it does feel like a real meson.
Because of the crowd and noise, this is not the place for young children (especially rowdy kids who need room to move around) or the elderly. The noise will irritate them, and children probably won't be a fan of much other than the tortilla espanola or the croquetas de jamon y pollo. This is also not a place for people who are in a rush. This place is authentic Spanish, all the way down to the "manana" attitude and relaxed pace of life, and just like Spain, a meal is meant to be enjoyed over a few hours, not 45 minutes.
Overall, this is one of the best, most economic places you could go. If you really want tapas on a Saturday evening and don't want to sit in the crowd or deal with an extremely busy waitstaff, I would suggest stopping by the deli area where you can order all of your favorites to go, again at very reasonable prices. Remember, if you do decide to brave the crowd, patience is a virtue- take the time, enjoy catching up with your friends and soak in a few hours of an authentically Spanish way of life.
True to Spain tapas – This tapas bar is the closest to Spain I've been since living there. The flavors were perfect and not overdone. My favorite were the gambas al ajillo. The prices are excellent and what they should be for tapas. The sangria is great and priced very well. There will definitely be a wait on the weekend but that's the perfect opportunity to enjoy the livelihood of the bar.
Noisy, passable but good hours – We eat out A LOT...we know our stuff. And we KNOW Spain.
This is NOT "real" Spanish food.
What they call "Spanish" is not made with Spanish ingredients...kind of like passing off a "Boca burger" for a real burger...or a "Chicago Hotdog" for a grocery store generic. I always think that if someone eats here, is he REALLY going to think that this is what the food tastes like in Spain? Yikes! NO way.
However, the food is edible. (The paella does not qualify as "food".)
The best part is the hours are good. Pretty much open all day. Parking is not easy...(valet is only after 5pm)
The worst part is the NOISE! The sound BOUNCES off the ceiling and ricochets off the walls.
You cannot HEAR the person next to you. (Don't bring grandma!...Please don't bring children!) NOISE!!!
Please put in some insulation!!! (Huh!? What!?)
The Food is Authentic and Tasty – I just started writing reviews. I must disagree with some of the other reviewers. I think the service is good and the food is great. I love to eat in the bar area when possible.
Horrible service & below average food – I have never felt compelled to write a restaurant review before, but the horrific service I encountered at this place last Saturday night needs to be shared. We ordered a pitcher of forgettable sangria, croquetas de pollo and the paella. The waitress told us that the paella required 40 minutes to cook and then she literally disappeared for 40 minutes. The staff was so inattentive that we practically had to beg them for water, as well as ice for the WARM pitcher of sangria they served us. While we waited for the paella, I noticed that every other table had been served bread and olive oil except for ours (despite our 40 minute wait for food). The food certainly did not make up for the terrible service. The croquetas were average, but the paella was just about the WORST I have ever had (and I lived in Spain for a year!). The rice was hard and runny (read: undercooked). While I chose not to eat it, my famished boyfriend had a helping and wound up with a serious case of indigestion.
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