Aba

4.8
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1087 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mediterranean
Aba is a Mediterranean restaurant with a rooftop patio located in Chicago's historic Fulton Market District. This is Chef CJ Jacobson’s second restaurant with Lettuce Entertain You, and is an extension of Ema (mother in Hebrew) in River North. Aba, meaning father in Hebrew, incorporates a light style of cooking with a large emphasis on raw and cooked protein. The bar program is crafted by Lead Mixologist Liz Pearce and showcases rare Mediterranean-inspired wines and spirits. Please note that outdoor seating is first come first serve, is not available for reservations and is weather permitting.
What 1087 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
Food
4.6
Service
4.9
Ambience
4.4
Value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Loved the kind staff and fun atmosphere for my birthday!

m
Chicago
30 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

THE FOOD HERE IS AMAZING. Every item we had was so full of flavor.

OT
Atlantic City
8 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Nina was more than a waitress. She understood our gastronomic goals of the evening and was our “Aba Ambassador”. The food was impeccably prepared and appreciated the kitchen’s efforts with our late arrival.


You want pictures? Here are the originals, but would appreciate a follow on my food blogging Instagram account, @FoodWithByte

S
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

For a self proclaimed Foodie from Tulsa,Ok., the options we chose made our eyes roll back into our heads!! The service was top notch and the beautiful ambiance made it’s patrons even more so!! Thankfully my kid goes to school in Chicago, so I have zero reasons not to return!!! THIS is why I love this city and it’s exceptional people. Bravo Aba.

F
Chicago
30 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Aba & Ema have similar offerings but the vibe at the former is much better. Even on a Wednesday night (9pm reservation), it was energetic. Loved the food & dessert. Our server, Jason, was knowledgeable & we ordered per his recommendations.

MK
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

This has quickly become my FAVORITE restaurant in Chicago and maybe my favorite restaurant ever. The menu is constantly updating to meet the seasonal palate but not in a way that's so obvious and overpowering to the natural flavor of the food.

The staff is incredible. INCREDIBLE. They are helpful with the menu, they take great care of their guests, and they are truly thoughtful. Even down to the napkin placement (I left to use the restroom and I came back and had a fresh linen napkin waiting for me), the table wiping (they clean if you spill or ask), and the plate replacement - the staff ANTICIPATES your needs. They are ON IT. This last time, we dined with Jess - she paid attention to our needs, provided excellent recommendations, and really made our last date night before our baby arrives something to remember. I'm so lucky to live just a few blocks away and I can't wait to visit again soon!

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great twist on middle eastern dishes

MM
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

My boyfriend and I came to Aba for our anniversary dinner. It was our first time there. The food AND service were both fantastic. We enjoyed the short rib hummus, Jerusalem bagel, green falafel, chicken kefta kebab and kulfi for dessert. Everything was delicious.
Our server was so attentive and gave us great recommendations. The manager also stopped by with a round of bubbles for us to help us celebrate.
The atmosphere was lively in the packed restaurant, but we had no problem hearing each other at the table. It's a beautiful spot.
We loved Aba!!

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

It was wonderful!

A
1 review
Dined on 10 November 2019
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience5

We had several dishes that we ordered that we did not receive and the server did nothing when we asked about them. The runners attempted to bring out a few dishes that we didn’t even order. All around friendly and warm service but very unorganized.

BM
1 review
Dined on 10 November 2019
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Great food!
Lovely service from the entire staff and the aesthetics are Lovely

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on 9 November 2019
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience5

Food was amazing

p
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on 9 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing service! Went for a birthday celebration and they made sure to make the bday boy feel special!

OT
Chicago
45 reviews
Dined on 9 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Wonderful ambiance, the food was incredible and our server was so helpful! Can’t wait to go back!

L
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on 8 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Absolutely loved Aba. It was our 4th time there and it was our best one yet. The food was amazing and the service was excellent. We had the Kampachi, short rib hummus, village salad and the grilled cauliflower and they were all delicious. I had mistakenly put 2 people on my reservation instead of 3 but I called and they were very gracious and accommodated me. I will definitely go back sooner rather than later. I am still drooling just thinking of their delicious food. I highly recommend this restaurant.

S
Chicago
198 reviews
Dined on 8 November 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience5

We have been here many times and love it. Atmosphere is fabulous. They have changed the preparation of a few of our favorite items and in our opinion, not for the better. Octopus now has a tomato based sauce - not a fan. Tuna appetizer was changed significantly (prior to the change it was one of my husband's fave tuna dishes ever). Hope they go back to the original recipes for these two items.

T
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on 8 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing food, drinks, and friendly service. Inside decor is beautiful. Great for special occasions and for groups!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 7 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We had a group of 4 dining here. One was a vegan and another had several allergies. The staff was very accommodating and everyone was happy.

OT
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on 7 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Service and food was fantastic

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 6 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Everything was wonderful

OT
Detroit
1 review
Dined on 6 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food was great and overall great experience

BS
St. Louis
1 review
Dined on 6 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We had a wonderful experience from start to finish . Wait staff was excellent , drinks and food done right . The planning has already started for a return visit as we live four hours away !

KP
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 5 November 2019
Overall3Food4Service2Ambience4

Great food, great ambiance, service was lacking. Being a restaurant where many small dishes are ordered together, it is unfortunate that dishes were brought out with no accompanying explanation, used plates were not cleared, and staff did not check in on the quality of the meal or to see if we needed anything else.

f
1 review
Dined on 3 November 2019
Overall3Food4Service4Ambience2

The beauty of the place and the hight spérit of the food demand a very spécial touch for the music.
The insparation that creat the food should be the same with the music.
This place has the opportunity to offer a large range of mediterranean music, a balance betwen moderne and ancient mood. Right now the place is missing a important ingredient : the ambience

Jean-Pierre
Montréal

C
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 3 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service3Ambience4

a bit too loud for smaller groups and the service was soooo slow (our water glasses were hardly filled) BUT THE FOOD WAS INCREDIBLE!!! highlights were the octopus, the charred broccoli, and the chocolate tart but we genuinely loved every single plate we got. the pita is also phenomenal. will definitely return!!

LS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 3 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food here is SO good! We got 10 items so we could try a little of everything. We loved every dish. The waitress was so sweet and attentive. She even sent over a celebratory desert for us.
The wait was a little long considering we had reservations but that’s expected during Sunday brunch. Will definitely be frequenting this place.

BB
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on 3 November 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience5

Wonderful place and we love it’s now open for brunch. Having said that, the music was extremely loud for brunch time. Maybe they can dial it back a bit.

L
Chicago
51 reviews
Dined on 29 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Loved the pumpkin hummus and the lamb wrapped in eggplant. I always get the crime brûlée pie. Service was great.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on 29 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The dining experience was great at Aba. Our waiter was extremely helpful in choosing delicious small plates. We had a yummy short rib hummus that was very filling. Along with some other really good picks. (Nice restrooms also.) My only complaint was the signage, I was coming from a direction and that Aba was not written on the awning so we missed the entrance.

GS
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on 27 October 2019
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience4

My sister and I had a fun overnighter planned in the city. We were looking forward to our reservation at Aba. Unfortunately some things fell short. We ordered the homemade stracciatella, charred eggplant spread, and green falafel. One alcoholic drink, which my sister said she doesn't think any alcohol was in it. She barely drinks and felt absolutely nothing after she finished it. I ordered a non-alcoholic drink, which was good, not great. The stracciatella was excellent. Well seasoned, balanced and very fresh ingredients. The charred eggplant tasted like liquid smoke was added. No taste of eggplant what so ever. We both had 2 bites just to make sure we weren't judging on only one bite. We had to send it back, it was so overwhelming (not in a good way). The waitress was very nice and asked what else could she get us. We decided to have our falafel and see if we wanted another dish. The falafel dish as a whole was good, but when we tasted only the falafel (without the avocado tzatziki and micro greens) it didn't have any flavor. It tasted like nothing. We didn't end up ordering anything else. Our waitress dropped off our check, we put the cc in there right away. She let it sit there for 10 minutes. A little odd and seemed intentional. This was 9pm on a Sunday so the restaurant was busy, but she was very attentive until we decided not to order anything else. Unfortunately, I would not return to Aba. Ema, on the other hand, I've been to several times and would highly recommend.

A
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on 27 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Excellent food. Great staff. Did a wonderful job with several allergies.

L
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on 27 October 2019
Overall4Food5Service3Ambience4

My third visit and while the food is still delicious the service was underwhelming. It was an early Sunday afternoon so it was not super busy. Our server never checked on us to see if we needed anything ...she took one persons drink order and never even asked the rest of us before she walked away. At times she walked by our table without even looking in our direction so we could get her attention. I was close to asking for a manager since this was so out of line with past experiences....but then we never saw a manager either. I am hoping this was just an off day.

AW
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 27 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great experience from the reservation process to leaving the place . Highly recommend to everyone, definitely will be back again.

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The ambiance is great. Food is amazing.

JJ
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Incredible! What an enjoyable dining experience. Would love to come back!

JB
Kansas City
16 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Aba is best at spice and comfort! Very cool space if a bit busy (popular!). Our server was great and the squash was phenomenal!

TC
Denver
33 reviews
Dined on 25 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Loved it
Wonderful meal and great service

OT
1 review
Dined on 25 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Our experience was phenomenal! It was definitely a 5/5

GW
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on 24 October 2019
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience5

Great double date. Food was good and sharing plates was a good way to tastes a lot of variety on the menu

AL
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on 24 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food was delicious and the atmosphere was great. Only complaint is that it was really loud.