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“Delicious with fun atmosphere” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Carnivale

Carnivale
702 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 (West Loop)
(312) 850-5005
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Ranked #121 of 7,739 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $14 - $40
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin, Cuban, Puerto Rican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Dessert, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: West Loop
Cross street: Halsted
Transit: Bus: The #8 Halsted at Fulton Market/Lake: 2 minute walk The # 65 Grand Avenue at Desplaines:10 minute walk The # 56 Milwaukee stops at Fulton/Desplaines: 2 minute walk Train: The Blue Line at Milwaukee/Grand: 10 minute walk The Pink Line at Clinton: 5 min walk The Green Line at Clinton: 5 min walk
Racine, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Delicious with fun atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

In general, this was a wonderful experience with a group of my girlfriends for a special occasion. The few downfalls were minimal and did not detract from our experience, but for this purpose worth noting.
-We had a reservation but still waited approximately 15 minutes past said reservation to be seated
-Table wasn't set for right amount of people (they quickly adjusted and accomodated)
-It was pretty darn warm in there (I'd venture to say borderline hot)
-Very loud, which can be good or bad, depending on your preference of atmosphere

The food was really, really tasty and consistent. Our waiter, Wade, was great and did a great job with all of our questions, out of order ordering of food, etc. I personally had the lobster gaszpacho, salmon ceviche and the arepa. The soup was ok (tasty but wouldn't order again as it wasn't terribly memorable and very thin and unsatisfying for $8) but not bad. The salmon ceviche was insanely delicious and a generous sized plate (albeit mainly veggies, but I didn't mind). The arepa was a great option for both vegetarians and those looking for something a little lighter and came with a remoulade and frise 'salad' on top. All delish and pretty.

My group ordered quite a few different items including the flank steak, scallops, paella and tenderloin. I didn't hear any complaints and everyone left satisfied and not needing dessert. Due to that, I cannot comment on the options, although Wade did a great job of asking put not pushing the issue.

Good choice for a fun atmosphere (colorful, vibrant and loud) and tasty, central and south american cuisine.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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367 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Fun atmosphere and delicious food!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

The restaurant is colourful, loud and fun! There is a live band at the bar area, and open air seating. Didn't see what the neighbourhood looked like well enough to comment, as we had a late reservation, but would recommend this place for a fun evening. We were seated in the dining room, which looked fantastic. Food is Latin American inspired; the guacamole, steaks and paella were all great. We ordered a bunch of apps and a few entrees to share among 6 of us. Would recommend sharing family style to experience several dishes and taste variety. Ok wine list. Reasonably priced menu. Fun spot!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Very good food in an eclectic setting.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013 via mobile

Carnivale serves a wide variety of food with a Latin American flair. The steaks are fresh and well prepared. The service was prompt and attentive. Noise level goes up as the evening goes on as the room tends to echo, but it is all part of the experience. The deserts are very different from the usual. Try the rum ice cream cigar.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Altamonte Springs, Florida
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
131 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
“Great place to bring folks from out of town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

I have been here more than once and I will say that everyone is impressed every time we go.I don't think that the food is particularly outstanding but I will say that overall, they do a good job with overall experience.

Atmosphere - Really hard to explain. It can be noon on a sunny day (last time was mothers day for noon reservations) and it will look dark in this place. It really has that club vibe to it and always gets ooohs and ahhhhs every time. If you really spend the time to look at what they have done, you will realize that it is quite simple. Very oversized decor and lots of colors contrasted by a dark brown pho painted wall. Goes to show how a bit of decor really does well to make a place look up scale. One quick tip for you, If you can, get a seat on that landing area of the stairs between the 1st and 2nd floor that overlooks the dining room but yet very private. I dont know how many times people making it down the stairs stopped and said "wow, look at that table."

Service - The service was good. Not an empty glass of water ever and they were very attentive. It was almost too much at times as they were attempting to take away plates that I was still picking on multiple times. Other than that they did good.

Food - The food is ok. Honestly, this place is all about atmosphere. The food is done good and does have decent flavor but I honestly can't say its out of this world. I wont even bother saying what I tried as it really did not matter.I tried a lot of other peoples dishes as well and no wow for me. We even went thru the dessert menu and we could not find anything worth trying. I wanted Tres Leches or Flan and nothing at all.

Overall - If you are looking to impress people, then this is the place to go. Make sure to get them plenty of drinks for those that like to critic food for authenticity or what not. You will not complain about service so the folks with you will feel like VIP's. Add to this if you are able to get that prime table on that in between level, people will think you paid extra to sit there.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Spectacular atmosphere and delicious food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013 via mobile

This place catches your eye from the outside and the interior doesn't disappoint. I came with 3 others and we had a phenomenal night. Their menu is a nod to Brazil. Had a caiparinha (hope I'm not massacring the spelling of that) to start the night and their guacamole and ceviche sampler - 4 distinctly different varieties, all delicious. Between us we had 4 remarkable entrees - extremely tender beef short rib and pork, shirt steak with chimichuri and paella - the paella was our least favorite of the 4 but it was no slouch - ir's just that the other 3 were that remarkable. Our only regret was not getting there a little earlier so we could take advantage of the free Latin dance class that night from 7-8. Next time we'll plan for it!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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