Chicago >Food & Dining > Geja's Cafe
340 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061441.918327 -87.637886
Mon-Thurs 5-10pm; Fri 5-11:30pm; Sat 5pm-midnight; Sun 4:30-9:30pm
Neighborhoods: Lincoln Park, North Side
There's a reason Geja's is considered one of Chicago's most romantic restaurants: it's underground, super dark, brimming over with wine and you have to dip your succulent food in chocolate and cheese.
Gone Downhill. Overpriced, and undersized dishes now. – Now that we recently moved back to the City, I ate at Geja's again after a 15 year hiatus (used to dine here about 3-4 times year then). Unfortunately, we were very dissappointed. Prices, of course, have gone up considerably - probably more than the rate of inflation. That would be ok, if the dishes and service were at least as good as when I last dined here. But, they have gotten smaller (less meat/shrimp/lobster, less veggies, and even less dipping sauces). Cheese fondue was also smaller and dipping bread wasn't even very good. Service wasn't great either - but, we understand that can vary with the waitress (ours was a real Ditz). Of course, it remains a romantic spot -- IF you're lucky enough to get a roomy & private booth (on this occasion despite advance reservations, we were not). Long ago we learned to make our own complete Fondu Dinners - even better than the Geja's I remember; so, I think we'll stick to making our own for the future.
NEVER AGAIN!!! – So I made reservations for 2, looking forward to a very romantic date, and ended up being seated at a convertred 4-top which they split into two 2-tops 2 inches from each other. The person seated next to me (other couple) was twice as close to me as my date across the table. I heard their conversation more easily than I could hear my own (and I imagine vice versa).
When I POLITELY AND DISCREETLY asked the host for a table for 2 people, the host, visibly agitated at my audacity to desire a romantic dining experience with my date, quite rudely replied that it would be another hour wait (I knew better, and called him on it - he stammered and stumbled but wouldnt' reseat us). Plus, he knew what I was going to ask for before I even asked, which indicates I wasn't the first to have a problem with this. Granted, he did apologetically come up to our table 5 minutes later and offer to seat us at a better table if one came available, apparently recognizing how inappropriate his earlier behavior was (SORRY BUDDY, too little, too late, and another admission of guilt).
Needless to say, we weren't re-seated in spite of the fact that half the restaurant opened up within the next half hour. Plus we were right seated next to the kitchen - I can't tell you how many times I was bumped by the waitstaff running by. The table was small and was unable to handle our dinners and a bottle of wine. I had to carefully navigate all night just to keep from knocking something over. How can ANYBODY enjoy a romantic dinner at "the most romantic restaurant in Chicago" under such circumstances?
ADVICE TO GEJA'S - Don't take reservations for 2 at a time when you don't have a table for 2 available just so you can cram more sardines into the can. I would much rather have had reservations a half hour later and actually ENJOYED my dinner. If you get a good table, you'll enjoy this restaurant. However, this isn't a given so DINE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
Best Fondue in Chicago – Every time I go to Geja's it is a wonderful dining experience. There is usually a wait (20-30 minutes, usually), but well worth it. During the meantime, you can whet your whistle at their bar, which serves up the best sangria this side of the Atlantic that I have tasted.
The atmosphere is incredible, with low romantic lighting, live flamenco guitar most nights, and wrought iron fixtures everywhere. Once you are at your table, you can choose from either a la carte options or choose an entree, which is actually a 4 course meal. If you order an entree, the first courses come out together: the salad and the cheese fondue. The cheese fondue serves breads and fruits for dipping and the salad is refreshing. Waiters serve everything with a flourish and are very attentive. I have never once had a poor experience with the wait staff, as some others have noted. The entree serves a combination of meats and vegetables. They are cooked in hot oil (not water, you ignoramus!). The dessert is a flaming chocolate fondue with marshmallows for roasting and fruits and cake pieces for dipping. I have never left this restaurant hungry, as some others have noted. In fact, I have to make sure to save room for dessert, and am usually full for some time afterward. This restaurant is no more cramped than any other busy restaurant in downtown Chicago. Those who complain about cramped conditions and small portions are probably the type to conclude most restaurant orders with "Can you SuperSize that for me?" Also noteworthy is the fact that while the pricing here is listed as $$$, there are coupons available for repeat customers who sign up for their mailing list. All in all, one of the premiere dining establishments in the city of Chicago.
Romantic! Wonderful wine & Fondue! – Great restaurant for a special occasion. Very romantic setting- great wine list too. The setting is in the basement of the building so it is dark and cozy.
Overrated, Overpriced, and Cheesy! – Let me first clarify that from a culinary sense, Geja's was cheesy in a good way. However, the cheese fondue was the only unique and original part of the meal. Where Geja's is cheesy in bad way is the abundance of pathetic couples on their first dates. I went there with my wife and the ambience was indeed romantic, but all the pathetic Lincoln Park guys trying to impress their dates cheapens the romantic element of Geja's. If you are not impressed with the "romantic" part of Geja's then you will not be impressed by Geja's because that is why you are paying such a high premium.
As for the dining aspect, Geja's was not terrible by any means. Instead, it was remarkably mediocre! There are typically three courses served. First, the cheese fondue is served with pieces of bread and fruit. The melted cheese mixed with white wine was actually quite good. The second course is the main course. This is where you are provided with dipping sauces and your raw entre (vegetables, beef, chicken, seafood) to be cooked fondue style. The main course is where Geja's slips into mediocrity and becomes overpriced, but don't take my word for it. I recommend that you go to Geja's and during your main course, ask yourself if the dipping sauces are really unique. Ask yourself if the quality of your entre is really anything special. Finally ask yourself why you are paying $42.95 per person for small, subpar chunks of meat to be dipped into crappy sauces. While you are pondering those questions, you are served with your third course, which is dessert. Enjoy.
Best Restaurant In Chicago!!! – We love to visit Geja's whenever we go to Chicago. It is a little more "upscale." But totally worth the price and the wait. Always make reservations ahead of time. The food is incredible. With your meal you get Cheese Fondue, Salad, Oil Fondue (Meat and Vegetables), and Desert Fondue. They have an extensive wine list with great wines and an awesome list of coffee's. I highly recommend Geja's and I always tell my friends to check it out when they are going to Chicago
Decent for the atmosphere and price – This place is a little pricey but you do get alot of food. I ordered the veggie entree. It comes with a salad, cheese fondue appetizer, then the veggies (with plenty to fill you, couldnt even finish it) then dessert, chocolate sauce, strawberries, and cake. It was like 19.95. My bf got the seafood and the meat (which was like $45.00 or something) but again, adequate portions with plenty of food. We sat in a corner on a raised section so it was actually romantic but if we would have sat somewhere else, I dont think my experience would have been as nice because the tables are really close together and there are people bustling around everywhere but we were away from that all so I really did have a great time there and I would recommend it.
A Great Date Place – It's hackneyed, but true. It is a great place for a date. It would be the most romantic resturant in Chicago if they didn't answer the phone "Thank you for calling Geja's, the most romantic resturant in Chicago. Sure there are better places, but it's fun.
So romantic! – I absolutely LOVE Geja's. Their cheese fondue is amazing and cooking your own meats/seafood is a good conversation starter. The menu can be confusing if you aren't familiar with ordering Fondue, so make sure to ask your waiter! There's a cute little bar available if you have a long wait, but the seating is generally fast. Valet is affordable and worth it since there's no where to park. I highly recommend this restaurant for a romantic dinner you won't forget. My boyfriend and I love Geja's; it's our favorite restaurant in Chicago.
Best Fondue Ever... – I dont leave in Chicago anymore and everytime I go back I go to Gejas. It is the best fondue restaurant you will ever eat at. No other place compares to Gejas. It is a great couples place or a cool spot to eat with friends.
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