Chicago >Food & Dining > Cafe Ba Ba Reeba
2024 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061441.919021 -87.648573
Neighborhoods: North Side, DePaul
Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, Chicago's first Spanish restaurant, serves fresh, authentic Spanish cuisine in a lively, vibrant atmosphere. The menu features Spanish tapas, hot and cold appetizers meant for sharing, as well as paella, a typical Valencian rice dish made with vegetables and meat or seafood. You'll be tempted by the Pintxos ("peen-chos"), one or two bite snacks popular in Northern Spain, which are the perfect way to sample your way through the vast Mediterranean menu. Everything goes well with Sangria, a famous wine "fiesta" drink made from fresh fruit, wine and liquor. Don't miss the large outdoor patio decorated with the sights and colors of Spain.
Always an enjoyable night out with round after round of sangria and typical tapas like bacon wrapped dates and goat cheese marinara.
Chicago's tapas standby is approachable even for the unadventurous eater. Red sangria is clearly a must.
I used to really like this place but the last few times I went the food quality was down. I love the atmosphere and it is still more affordable as small plate places go. I hope they can turn it around
Good tapas...nice atmosphere – I have been craving tapas for many years since I studied abroad in Spain. I never knew where to go until I did a search on Urbanspoon.
I got there right when it opened for dinner and sat at the bar. Everyone was friendly (the greeter, server, etc.). I ordered the same tapa that I ate all the time in Spain--tortilla española (warm potato and onion omelette)--and it was fantastic. Nice presentation, reasonably priced, and it tasted great! Everything from the atmosphere to the bread and olive oil took me back to Malaga.
I believe this would be a great spot by yourself or in groups...check it out!
Perfect place for big groups! – This is one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago! The key is to always make reservations through Open Table. The atmosphere is fun & loud and perfect for big groups, such as birthday parties or girls night out. The blue cheese steak and spicy potatoes are a must!
great place! – this place is soo cute and has great food. try the sangria, its to die for!! great tapas and service was excellent... just another quality restaurant in great lincoln park! :)
PARTY IN YOUR MOUTH – SERIOUSLY the best tapas! Get the dates wrapped with bacon and the cheesey potatoes and the meatballs and the goat cheese with tomato sauce. oh my gosh. its soooooo damn good.
Terrible service-Caution w/Open Table reservations – I made a reservation through Open Table for 7:30 pm on May 25. I received 2 emails confirming this reservation for 7:30 pm. When I showed up to the restaurant at 7:25 to check in, the hostess informed me that I did not have a 7:30 reservation and that I was a no show for my 6:30 reservation. I showed her my confirmation email for 7:30 on my blackberry, but she rudely told me to contact Open Table because the restaurant had me in their system for 6:30. I have used Open Table successfully close to 50 times in various cities and I have never had an Open Table reservation disregarded in this manner. I am extremely dissatisfied with how the hostess treated me. With thousands of other restaurants in Chicago, I do not recommend this restaurant to anyone.
A nice surprise. – I've been dying to find a great spanish tapas bar in town. And although Babareeba is not your "authentic" spanish tapas, it takes what is great about spanish flavors and gives it a nice twist. Tried the "toro brochetas" which are basically a skewer to great tender meat with a plate of potatoes, caramelized onions and a stewed tomato - had the pork and it was very flavorful. Had the scallops, pine nuts, couscous and that was very delicious - strong garlic flavor, well seasoned. The mushroom empanada was small, but worth every bite, esp the porcini alioli on the side. Lastly the mini desserts were perfect sized, nothing profound, but was a nice sweet end to a great tasty meal. I'd rather have a tasty twist to classic tapas than have not so great authentic tapas. Make reservations!
Worst paella I ever had. – I went for the Paella. Traditional paella has a crispy, caramelized, toasted bottom (called socarrat in Valencian) that is considered a delicacy. To achieve a socarrat, one either needs to time the evaporation of the water properly with the completion of the rice being cooked or turn up the heat to high and listen to the bottom of the rice toast. Once the aroma of toasted rice comes from the pan, but before the rice burns, the heat is removed once again. The paella is ready to be served after having cooled for several minutes.
The paella they served me was not crispy, and it was loaded with grease rather than broth and had way to much salt and not much meat or seafood at all. It was more like and overpriced rice pilaf. I was very dissapointed. I know they are well known for the tapas and the $3 tapas bar but if you are looking for an authentic paella, this is not the place to spend $60.00 for it. It taste like grease and salt.
Great tapas – The food here is great,service is good too. A litle crowded on the weekends so make sure you have reservations. Paella, brochetas and tapas tasted great and they have a wide selection of them.fun atmosphere and cheap.
My favorite Tapas – I cannot give enough praise to this place. They have some of the best tapas I've ever had and I love the ambiance of the place. Every waiter/waitress I've had has been nice, polite, and fun. I've never sat waiting for a refill (unless I was sitting in the bar area) and I've never had to send back a plate.
I highly recommend the bacon-wrapped dates, which are set in a apple vingrette, the Baked Goat Cheese in Marinara Sauce, and the Chicken/Chorizo sausage skewers. All three are simple divine.
My only complaint is that sometimes they turn the music up too loud some nights so I can't even hear my boyfriend.
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