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“Excellent real tapas”
Review of Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!
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Ranked #87 of 10,110 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: Spanish, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Cross street: Armitage
Transit: Just North East of the Brown Line on Armitage.
Description: Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! Is Chicago's original Spanish tapas bar, serving the Lincoln Park neighborhood since 1985.
Reviewed December 9, 2012

Great service, reasonalble prices ,great wine. Loved the sweet potatoe dishes. Also dates wrapped with bacon

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2  Thank ccg54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 9, 2012

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba is a festive and energetic venue to have a date night or share tapas among friends. The other night a group of ten of us got together to celebrate successfully completing marathons; while OK eight of us completed marathons - one in the group had a good excuse (she was eight and three quarter months pregnant) and one not so good (I am too lazy to train for a marathon, so settled for a half).

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba features a vast array of tapas and breaks them into categories including pintxos (bite sized tapas, kind of like a Spanish amuse bouche but harder to pronounce), vegetarian/cheese, seafood, beef/lamb, and chicken/pork. There are also a few nice paellas to choose from and housemade breads with dips (there is also complimentary basic bread service with olive oil) and of course desserts (there are full sized desserts of dessert pintxos). Sangria is quite popular here (available by the pitcher, half pitcher or glass and in traditional or flavored - there is even a Cava based Sangria); for those not fans of Sangria there is a decent list of reasonably priced Spanish wines (running as low as $28 per bottle and many selections under $50) as well as beer (including some on tap) and cocktails. Adding value there are often freebies you can redeem if you check in via Foursquare or Yelp.

As we are distance runners, we tend to have hearty appetites and this enabled us to order a huge variety of tapas (we must have consumed nearly half the menu)! Nearly everything we tried was good, but I would not say there was a single must have dish and the menu did not seem to have changed much since I was last here a couple of years ago. Since my fine dining kick I have been on for the past year and a half I am always nervous returning to venues I used to love before becoming spoiled by Chicago's top tier restaurants, but Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba did not disappoint. For $40 a person (including tax, tip and moderate alcohol) we were able to eat like kings.

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba is open nightly for dinner and also has Friday lunch and weekend brunch. They post special events on their website such as a Flamenco Dinner Show with music and dancing and Paella Cooking Demos. The atmosphere is lively and casual and the decor is made to transport you to Spain without being tacky or overdone. Service is reasonably attentive and adequate. Ba-Ba-Reeba is a popular venue so it can be a bit noisy and reservations are recommended (they are on Open Table). There is a large bar where you can enjoy a glass of Sangria as you wait for your party to arrive, but I did appreciate that they sat us before our entire party arrived. The menu has a nice variety of food to choose from (even the vegetarians in our group found plenty to keep them happy) and while the food is certainly not outstanding, for the money it is a good choice if you are in the mood for Spanish tapas.

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2  Thank fabcomdr2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

I went here on a first date and didn't quite know what to expect as she picked the restaurant. The atmosphere had a great vibe to it and the wait staff was very friendly! Helped calm the nerves for sure. Tapas is great for enjoying delicious morsels of food and not feeling super heavy afterwards especially if you're going out after. The spicy potatoes to this day were some of the best I've had and my next trip to Chicago definitely will have to make a stop here.

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Thank Riskytrader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2012

My title says it all. Best tapas! No doubt about it!
Not only that I love coming here for Barca games! They also host Flamenco shows once a month.

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Thank 334AnyaD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2012

Had the opportunity to go to Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba last night with 3 other people. The menu is absolutely perfect, as there are enough selections without being overwhelming which is a common problem when you go to tapas restaurants.

We had a nice sampling during our two hour dinner. I definitely recommend the scallops, the braised short rib, and the filet medallions. Outstanding!! The potatoes with the spicy sauce are also absolutely amazing...how they make simple potatoes taste so good...I don't know.

For dessert, I had the butterscotch custard, again, absolutely delicious. My colleagues had the bananas and ice cream which they devoured.

I'll definitely be going back next time I'm in town.

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Thank newuser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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