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“Authentic Tapas, Great experience & BYOB”
Review of Cafe Marbella

Cafe Marbella
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Ranked #1,294 of 9,604 Restaurants in Chicago
Price range: $30 - $30
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: W Bryn Mawr Ave
Description: Located in the heart of Gladstone Park, Café Marbella is a delightful tapas restaurant that charms the northwest side with its blissful European ambiance. Café Marbella is the delightful incarnation of its former Peterson Avenue location. With small plates of savory mouthfuls meant to be enjoyed with others, Café Marbella is the perfect place for a romantic date or a night out with friends.With rustic décor and old-world charm, Café Marbella provides an inviting and friendly environment for patrons. The restaurant's Chef Virgilio Trujillo has cooked in some of the city's favorite Spanish-style kitchens, including La Paella and Arco De Cuchilleros. Chef Trujillo and his team serves a wide selection of classic cold and hot tapas like Gazpacho Andaluz, Gambas al Ajillo, Piquillos con Atun and Tortilla Española. In addition, the restaurant offers larger entrees and a variety of paellas.Café Marbella is northwest Chicago’s only BYOB tapas restaurant! For special events, Café Marbella has a private room that can host a party of up to 60. Please contact the restaurant for more details.
chicago, illinois
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Authentic Tapas, Great experience & BYOB”
Reviewed December 15, 2012

The address has changed - now located at 5527 N. Milwaukee Avenue (at Bryn Mawr)- 773-853-0128 - in Jefferson Park. GREAT location. Intimate and personal service from staff and owner, Enrique. Everything on menu is terrific - and then there are the specials. And then there are unwritten "special specials". Try as many as you can manage to eat. Each dish is memorable! BYOB and enjoy a great and very affordable dining experience! Enrique, an Argentinian with a penchant for authentic tapas, has his personal art collection on the walls and is always happy to talk about the special pieces. This is "food with love". And the parade of desserts is a mind-blower! We try to get there at least once a month! Weekends are fun and very busy. For more attentive service - but still super food - we like to go on a week night - but it's ALWAYS a good, affordable and fabulous mouth experience!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank loishobart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, IL
Level 6 Contributor
886 reviews
349 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 312 helpful votes
“Wonderful tapas”
Reviewed May 29, 2012

Cafe Marbella is a BYOB tapas restaurant on the Northwest side of Chicago. It is definitely worth the drive. The food is all well-prepared, with a selection of daily specials that are always my first choice. The dishes are designed to be shared and present a wide variety of tapas classics.
The host and staff are very personable. The larger the crowd, the more fun it is. Definitely reserve for weekend seating.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
2 Thank Anna H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“The BEST tapas outside of Spain”
Reviewed February 3, 2012

Chef Virgilio is amazing. We had a fantastic meal. The scallops with polenta were phenmonenal. We asked our waiter to have the chef send out his favorites and it was superb...oysters, scallops, aspragus with cheese/ham, more fish, tenderloin and the most amazing hazelnut truffles! The tapas were the best I've had outside of Spain and the prices were very, very reasonable. Portions were good, too.

The separate dining room is perfect for large groups.

I will be coming back soon!

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
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Helpful?
1 Thank JenniferKChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“BEYOND DELICIOUS FOR A REASONABLE PRICE”
Reviewed December 4, 2011

We didn't have reservations, but we arrived at 5:30pm and were seated with a smile. The cerviche was excellent, in addition to the mussels in a white wine butter sauce. The service was prompt and friendly.

The atmosphere was small and quaint, with an old world feel. The only people that enjoyed the restaurant more were the couple out on their first day seated next to us.

The prices were reasonable. We only ordered tapas and we ended up paying about $20 per person. It was difficult to decide which flavor was more delicious, the lime juice, the fresh avocado, the butter sauce, or the fresh chopped garlic.....

I would recommend this location to anyone, but if you have more than two people or arrive after 6pm, I would make a reservation!

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
1 Thank IssitaTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Enjoyed a great meal”
Reviewed August 24, 2011

I wouldn't have ever thought to go in the restaurant unless I had read the other reviews. Even walking up to the place, it looked empty, but looks can be deceiving. We ended up parking a little north of the restaurant and walked by an unlit party room that made us think it was closed. Glad my wife forced me to keep walking towards the door because the food was excellent. The owner greeted us at the door, sat us in on of the near booths and gave the normal monologue regarding specials. We ended up choosing the fried potatoes with chorizo sausage, white navy bean soup (excellent), manchego cheese bread with caramelized onions, and sauteed calamari. Each tapas dish was well prepared and presented. We'll definitely be going back to this hidden gem.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank simplythe1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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