The 10 Essential Spanish Restaurants in Chicago

Eater Chicago |
Nicole Schnitzler |
Nov 19, 2018
Original Article: "The 10 Essential Spanish Restaurants in Chicago"

Where to find terrific tapas, pintxos, sangria, and much more

Between siestas, sangria, and 10 p.m. dinners, there’s a lot to love about Spanish culture. And then, of course, there are the tapas — the small plates that are easy to share, brimming with bold flavors, and just exotic enough to please even the largest of crowds.

Thankfully, Chicago is home to a slew of spots specializing in just that, with styles ranging from the traditional (pan con tomate, patatas bravas) to the modern day (brandade tortillas, foie gras a la plancha). From pintxos and paella pioneer in Lincoln Park to a wine-centric newcomer in River North, here are 10 of Chicago’s best spots for Spanish cuisine now.

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!

This lively Lincoln Park restaurant has been gathering groups for more than 30 years for a variety of Spanish share plates. Kick things off with a sampling of the pintxos (namely the chorizo-wrapped dates and bacalao croquettes), and do try the paella — the mariscos version packs in a medley of saffron-laced seafood, including shrimp, squid, and mussels. If there’s a wait, head to the bar for some sangria — staff serves six kinds here.

Bar Ramone

Wine is the focus of this recently opened River North spot, which showcases more than 100 bottles alongside porrons of Txokolinas (making for the best kind of party trick). Still, food is close to follow — a menu from chefs Hisanobu Osaka and Doug Psaltis showcases a collection of modern day tapas, including potato croquetas with truffle aioli and pork belly with saffron and Marcona almonds. 

Media Contact

Emily Clark pr@leye.com 773-878-7340

You May Also Like...

How To
New Spots to Play Summer Scratch Off in Chicago
Aug 16, 2019

Summer Scratch Off is here and we're giving our Frequent Diner Club Members 88 days to eat, 88 days…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Best Spots for Group Dining
Aug 16, 2019

You finally got the whole crew to agree on the same day and time, now you just have to find the…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season in Chicagoland
Aug 16, 2019

Warm weather is here, which means al fresco dining is too! We've rounded up the best patios at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour in Chicago
Aug 15, 2019

TGI- (insert day of the week here)! Here are all the happy hour deals available at Lettuce Entertain…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Labor Day 2019: Chicago
Aug 12, 2019

Spend Labor Day, Monday, September 2 at one of our Chicago restaurants. From DIY Bloody Mary Bars…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Kid-Friendly Restaurants: Chicago
Aug 12, 2019

You've been to the zoo, the beach, the pool... the kids are starting to go stir crazy. Here is your…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Let’s Brunch at Bar Ramone
Aug 9, 2019

For those who plan their weekend around brunch, we've got some good news for you. Your favorite wine…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba’s Paella Mixta
Aug 7, 2019

Paella is the perfect party dish. It's a shareable, one-pan meal where most of the cook time is…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Brunch this Weekend: Chicago
Aug 7, 2019

If you're anything like us, you plan your weekend around brunch. Here is your guide to all of our…

read more >
How To
All the Ways to Rosé this Summer
Aug 7, 2019

Let’s face it, rosé is welcome all day, every day. We’re here to help you navigate your way…

read more >
In The Restaurants
When at Bar Ramone, Happy Hour as the Spanish Do
Aug 7, 2019

If you've ever vacationed in Spain, you're probably familiar with bars that serve delicious free…

read more >
In The Restaurants
11 Ways to Enjoy Fried Chicken
Aug 4, 2019

Fried chicken never fails to satiate our cravings for something meaty, crispy, and delicious. A…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants in Chicago
Jul 25, 2019

At Lettuce Entertain You, we aim to make finding gluten-free friendly restaurants a lot easier. Many…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch – Chicagoland
Jul 23, 2019

For that one hour escape from your office, you want to make sure to make most of your lunch hour.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Try Our Favorite 16 New Burgers!
Jul 23, 2019

Your favorite Lettuce joints are offering up NEW craveable burgers that are sure to give you the…

read more >
How To
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Jul 18, 2019

A well-crafted appetizer is the perfect way to make sure your guests won't go hungry so you can…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Culinary Care Delivers Comfort to Cancer Patients, One Meal at a Time
Jun 10, 2019

Introducing our friends at Culinary Care, a Chicago non-profit organization that helps cancer…

read more >
In The Restaurants
In Season: Spring Peas
May 29, 2019

Spring has sprung and with the change in the season, our chefs have beautiful green veggies on their…

read more >
In The Restaurants
These Dishes & Drinks are Perfect to Share
Feb 8, 2019

The way to one's heart is through the stomach, so how about sharing one of our favorite dishes or…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba’s! Moroccan Chickpea Stew
Jan 23, 2019

Stews are the perfect way to warm up this winter and Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba's! Moroccan Chickpea Stew is…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba’s Cana de Cabra Pintxo
Jan 15, 2019

For party appetizers, goat cheese is always a good idea and our friends at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! have…

read more >
How To
How To Drink Wine Out of a Spanish-style Porron
Nov 10, 2018

The Catalonian tradition has officially come to Chicago! Bar Ramone, River North's newest spot…

read more >
In The Restaurants
It’s Apple Season: Where To Eat ‘Em
Oct 16, 2018

Yeah, yeah, pumpkin this and pumpkin that, but let us not forget about our other favorite fall…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Cooking and Dance Classes To Improve Your Skills
Sep 17, 2018

Have you ever wanted to learn how to cook like a chef or dance like a pro? We offer a variety of…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Sherry Wine 101 With Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!
Sep 15, 2018

"If penicillin can cure those that are ill, Spanish Sherry can bring the dead back to life." -Sir…

read more >
Openings
Bar Ramone – Our First Wine Bar – is Open in River North
Sep 6, 2018

It’s time to pop the cork, Chicago. Bar Ramone, Lettuce Entertain You’s very first wine bar is…

read more >
In The Restaurants
This One’s For Our Indecisive Diners
Feb 26, 2018

For all of you indecisive order-ers out there - the "I want to order one of everything on the menu"…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce in Love: Weddings with Lettuce Parties
Feb 13, 2018

It's almost Valentine's Day and love is in the air. Believe it or not it's a tale as old as time (or…

read more >
How To
All Hail the Bloody Mary
Jan 1, 2018

The classic hair of the dog brunch cocktail is getting a facelift. From fresh seafood garnishes’…

read more >
How To
Not Your Average Party Ideas
Dec 18, 2017

The Lettuce Parties team knows the ins-and-outs of all of our restaurants and they've let us in…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Sandwiches – They’re What’s For Breakfast
Aug 15, 2016

What has a runny egg, meat (sometimes veggies) and cheese sandwiched between two buttery biscuits…

read more >
In The Restaurants
A Few of Our Favorite Brunch Dishes
May 15, 2016

Brunch: An epic weekend meal situated between breakfast and lunch at which it is totally acceptable…

read more >
How To
Trend Alert: Toast
Apr 21, 2016

Yes, you read that right; toast is trending. Hot on the heels of the launch…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lessons Learned: Experience All Of Our Classes
Apr 11, 2012

Ever wanted to learn how to cook like a chef or dance like a pro? We offer a variety of ongoing cool…

read more >

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
Chicago Air & Water Show 2019
Aug 16, 2019

Chicago's favorite summer spectacle, the annual Air & Water Show, returns the weekend of August…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour in the D.C. Metro Area
Aug 16, 2019

It's 5 o'clock somewhere! Here are all the happy hour deals at our D.C. metro area restaurants, from…

read more >
How To
New Spots to Play Summer Scratch Off in Chicago
Aug 16, 2019

Summer Scratch Off is here and we're giving our Frequent Diner Club Members 88 days to eat, 88 days…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Best Spots for Group Dining
Aug 16, 2019

You finally got the whole crew to agree on the same day and time, now you just have to find the…

read more >
In The Restaurants
For the Love of Lobster: Shaw’s Lobster Festival 2019
Aug 16, 2019

It’s time to paint the town red with Shaw’s Crab House’s Annual Lobster Festival happening all…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season in Chicagoland
Aug 16, 2019

Warm weather is here, which means al fresco dining is too! We've rounded up the best patios at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
DC & Bethesda Restaurant Week 2019
Aug 16, 2019

DC Restaurant Week (August 12 - 18) and Bethesda Magazine Restaurant Week (August 9 - 18) are back…

read more >
How To
How To Win (2X, 3X, 4X or 5X Points) All Summer Long With Scratch Off
Aug 16, 2019

It's baaaackkkk! Summer Scratch Off is here and available now through September 30, 2019 exclusively…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour in Las Vegas
Aug 16, 2019

It's 5 o'clock somewhere! Treat yourself to happy hour on The Strip at one of our Lettuce Entertain…

read more >
Openings
Introducing Quality Crab & Oyster Bah
Aug 16, 2019

Something’s been boiling over at Oyster Bah and we can’t keep a lid on it any longer! We have…

read more >
In The Restaurants
3 Japanese Dishes You Might Not Have Tried Yet
Aug 15, 2019

You've had sushi and ramen, but have you tried okonomiyaki, chawanmushi or Japanese soufflé…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Life: Meet Avril Zayas, Senior Designer
Aug 15, 2019

Welcome to Lettuce Life, a behind the scenes look at what makes Lettuce Entertain You special: our…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now