Chicago >Food & Dining > Bandera Chicago
535 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061141.891881 -87.624122
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
Great food and great service at a great location – My wife and I just went to Bandera for the second time to celebrate her birthday, and it was as good as we expected - and we had high expectations after the first visit...! We found out it's the same owner as Houston's in LA, which we loved too, so that explained a lot of things, as there are a lot of similarities between the places.
We love the atmosphere and service, but above all - the great food...! The menu is small, but every piece is well made. The grilled artichoke is a "carry over" favorite of ours from Houston's and the corn bread is as good as others have already noted.
The coleslow salad is the best I ever had, and in fact, it's so delicate and tasty, it really doesn't look, feel and taste like a typical coleslow - highly recommended! My wife can't get enough of the BBQ ribs, which are really done right - very tender and with just the right amount of flavour (so you can still taste the meat, not just the souce...). We tried the crab cakes on our last visit, which were a special, and they were among the best we had. Also highly recommended.
On the weekends, you really do want to make a reservation, particulalry if you're planning on dinner.
To get the "full experience", the best area to sit is by the window, as you'll enjoy both the view and the live jazz music. It may be worth an extra wait.
Great Customer service!!!!! – My family and I love this restaurant. We will in fact be going there tomorrow to celebrate my husbands birthday but we also go whenever my mother comes down from michigan as she loves it also. I would rate customer service a 10 out of 10. When we were last there we had lemon drop martinis, grilled artichokes (my favorite) and prime rib. They came with a fresh chilled glass for my martini when they saw that my glass was no longer chilled which quite frankly sets them apart from most other places just from that small service but all through the meal they were super and have been there every time I have ever been there.
I cannot believe that anyone would rate this restaurant 1 star and in my opinion 10 percent is reserved for the worst service. If a foreigner is not familiar with customs then perhaps the local should have offered to help him with the local customs or as a polite guest left the tip since his business associate paid for the meal.
Response to eater32323 – To eater 32323, you should have given 5 stars to this restaurant instead of 1. The fact that the management is not afraid to stand up for its staff is not just honorable, it is good business. If 10% tips were all the the staff in this restaurant received, then the quality of staff would go down as they would leave to go to other restaurants where they are taken care in a customary and appropriate manner. Then the service as a whole would suffer, and eventually business would decline. Anyone who is in business, especially international business, should understand that it is very important to follow the etiquette and customs of whichever nation they are doing business in. The fact that your colleague only tipped 10% means 1 of 2 things. Either he/she is not professional enough to learn the etiquette rules of this country or they are simply cheap. Either way, you may want to consider not associating with this type of individual.
The most amazingly terrible experience of my life – I was on a business lunch. I was with a foreign gentleman who invited me to lunch. He insisted on paying. He did. The manager comes to us as we're leaving and starts talking to us like she's about to give us a customer survey or something. Then she goes, "On the flipside, we like to make sure that our guests take care of our staff. " (For a brief second, thoughts of waitress in the back sobbing after a groping incident went through my head.) "Typically, we receive 15 to 20%, and you left only 10. Can I ask, was this a mistake?" The gentleman asks to take a look and she's like, "oh see, that's an 8 and a 6, and oh go ahead, just change it right on there."
This is the most absurd behavior I have ever seen. First of all, you're on Michigan Avenue! If you don't expect tourists who do not know our customs to tip less, get off of Michigan Avenue!
We were discussing a contract worth several tens of thousands of dollars, and she wants to chime in for a measly 5 extra bucks. (not to mention her talking to me as if I was guilty of this horrific crime as well.) I am sickened by this incident and wish that nobody would ever go there again.
After this we both were like, "Okay, well, I gotta go." And the meeting was over. Our meeting was over because the *#^*!(! staff at this place embarrassed the hell out of everyone so bad that we just had to leave.
Best dining atmosphere in Chicago – Bandera is my husband's and my first stop whenever we come to Chicago. We love the food, the atmosphere and the service.
Our favorites include the roasted chicken, the hamburgers, the fries and the grilled artichoke.
We have enjoyed equally dining at a window seat, sitting in a booth near the chefs and sitting at the bar to watch a game on the tv as we dined.
We stay in the Chicago for long weekends and typically dine at Bandera each night after seeing a wonderful theatre production.
We highly recommend this restaurant to all!
Great Food! – Went with my 2 cousins and my mom for my mom's birthday dinner. The rotisserie chicken is AWESOME...also, the cornbread is great. Nice atmosphere and good service. We sat at a table by the window so great view of Michigan Avenue. We had reservations yet we still had to wait about 20 minutes so that was annoying!!!! Will be going back ;)
Live music a plus – The food here was a little overpriced for it's quality. The atmosphere is wonderful though. Spacious tables that are secluded from other parties, romantic lighting, and great views of Michigan Ave. The live music was a plus as well. However, I wasn't impressed with the food and probably won't go back.
Good food after a day off shopping – After a day of shopping, my wife and I were very hungry and were looking for a place to eat at off of Michigan. We walked in Bandera and were very happy with the half hour wait, since it was a Saturday at aroun 7:30. We sat at the bar and waited for our table. We found the atmosphere very satisfying and really enjoyed the food once we were seated. Our largest issue with the restaurant was that they were too quick with bringing our food. We were halfway through our appetizer when our dinner was brought to us. Otherwise, I recemmend it to others.
Nothing fancy, just great food – Despite the Michigan Ave location, this restaurant has a mix of business people and locals in addition to the tourists. As far as basic comfort food goes, it doesn't get much better than Bandera - I love the cornbread and coleslaw and as far as entrees go I really haven't ever had anything that wasn't very good. If you're on Michigan Ave, this is one of the best sit-down places to go.
The only Bandera better than this is Antonio – The cornbread is insane, the live jazz was refreshing, and the portion size was outstanding. Make a request to sit overlooking Michigan Ave. so you can glare and make witty comments about all of the poeple walking the streets.
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