Chicago >Food & Dining > Cafe Ba Ba Reeba
2024 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061441.919021 -87.648573
Neighborhoods: DePaul, North Side
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.
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.
Good, not great – Finally made it here, after hearing a lot about it. Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! is a fun place, but I have to say I was a little disappointed. The scallop tapas with couscous, pine nuts, and raisins were quite good, with very tender scallops, but the other three tapas we got were nothing exciting -- pretty standard, safe tapas fare. My paella mixta was very salty and too thick, but the fish and shrimp in the paella were tasty. And Ba-Ba-Reeba's sangria, supposedly what they are known for according to our server, was nothing out of the ordinary -- not much to differentiate it from sangria elsewhere.
Outdoor seating is a plus and the neighborhood is great, but the overall atmosphere and decor makes the restaurant feel like a chain, like Outback for tapas.
I'd go again, but definitely with tempered expectations and enthusiasm. I kind of wish I made it here during the Nineties.
A family favorite – I have been eating at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba for many years when in town on business. Four years ago I took my wife when we in town to watch our son play football. It is now a family favorite where we eat on our frequent trips to Chicago. The only downside is that they drop some of our favorite dishes during menu updates. We have NEVER been disappointed with an dish or any Sangria. Our favorite Sangria is the traditonal Red but the Black berry is good too. All of the Tapas are great. Always fun.
Fun atmosphere and good food – Went here for my birthday 'coz I've heard good things from other people and I definitely recommend this place. I'm always excited to try new tapas place because I loved tapas when I was in Granada, Spain (birthplace of tapas). I thought this place was fun-- the decor and the atmosphere. We had the steak with bleu cheese and though I don't normally like bleu cheese I enjoyed this dish. The dates wrapped in bacon was okay, I could have made it at home (try it at Tapas Barcelona, they serve it with some kind of bell pepper sauce). The paella was no good-- I make a much better paella! The potato croquettes were good.
My friends, whose first time it was to try tapas, really liked this place too! I would recommend it, especially for those who have never tried tapas.
NOT Like it Used to Be -- Dissappointing. – VERY Dissappointed. This place is not what it used to be 10 years ago. Menu has been shortened. Tapas not as special. Most were too salty. Mussels were not fresh -- even served us a couple of closed ones (where is quality control?). Sangria is overpriced, and overiced; tastes like coolaid. If you're going to have to wait long anyway, then you might as well go to Cafe Iberico for Tapas -- better value, better choices, better taste.
Great tapas – The food was great and the atmosphere is good. The service we had was good too. The place is kid-friendly. We'll go back for sure.
Great Tapas and Sangria – A great place to go with a date or a group of friends. Tapas are great, especially the meat ones. There are different flavors of sangria so you can find one that you like!
Great food, good for special occasions (but not romantic occasions) – I was at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba's the Friday before last. I enjoyed the food, the service was good, and the skewered beef was particularly excellent. Nice sangria, as well. The only fault I could find with the place was that it was a bit loud, like any restaurant on a friday night. If you really dislike high noise levels (as I do), stay far away from the bar, but the restaurant noise-level is bearable.
excellent service – I was very disapointed by the food last saturday night. I had previously had an excellent experience and so on a return trip to Chicago, I returned with high expectations. The service was fabulous and atmosphere was really fun. The food was disappointing. The shrimp was bland and tasted as though they had not put any seasoning on it. The calamari was greasy and not crisp, and the omelette was mediocre. I hope I cought it on a bad night.
DELICIOUS!!!!! – This is the best tapas food in the city!!! delicious food, great group dining,cheap. I would recomend the beef skewer, the spicy patatoes,The goat cheese marinara, and the meatballs. Beleive me Cafe Ba-Ba Reeba is the best!!!!
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