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“Famous Place” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bob Chinn's Crab House

Bob Chinn's Crab House
Ranked #1 of 87 Restaurants in Wheeling
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $80
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Special occasions, Families with children, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Level Contributor
110 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Famous Place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2013

This place is infamous in the annuls of Chicago eateries with long lines to get in and plenty of MaiTais before you ever sit down. Garlic bread is legendary swimming in butter as is everything else. It used to be Chicago's highest grossing restaurant.

Visited February 2012
Thank Phamus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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720 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
332 reviews
191 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Long wait, and not sure what the fuss is all about”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2013

The salad bar is certainly good, and lots of crab offerings, but I don't see the point in standing in line for this. I can get crab lots of other places.

Thank dreytuch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westfield, Indiana
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Crab Deee-light!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2013

Casual atmosphere, yet quality and plentiful food and service...always! Crab legs are the biggest, freshest and best I have ever had and no other restaurant compares.

Not the first time I have been here, and won't be the last!

Visited August 2012
Thank UmpGuy56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buena Park, California
Level Contributor
256 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“Alaskan king crab”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2012

Every time I visit Chicago, I always visit Bob Chinn's and get the whole Alaskan king crab: it's the best crab legs ever!!! This time, my party of 5 adults and 3 kids ordered a 4.25 pound whole Alaskan king crab ($29 per pound),steamed clams, clam chowder,grilled grouper, 2 Maine lobsters ($11 per pound when added to an entree) with sides of pork fried rice, sweet potato fries, and vegetables. The Alaskan king crab tasted as good as ever (juicy and tender and you don't need the butter at all), but it seemed spinier than usual. In previous visits, it was almost effortless to get the crab meat from the legs. This time, it seemed harder to get the crab meat out, and 2 people were injured by the spines!
The Maine lobsters were fresh and sliced in half and easy to eat. The clam chowder was too thick, and did not have enough clams. The grouper was grilled to perfection and did not taste fishy at all. The steamed clams were garlic flavored and tasty, but there was a huge discrepancy in their sizes.
I almost forgot to mention the all you can eat free appetizer garlic rolls! They are sooooooo yummy and garlicky and the best garlic rolls in the world.
The server was super friendly and brought my sister-in-law a free banana Oreo chocolate peanut butter cheesecake for her birthday. She also brought each kid a free ice cream cone. I cannot wait to come back!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
Thank Matthew J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skokie, Illinois
Level Contributor
149 reviews
136 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Bob Chinn's 30th Anniversary”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2012

Successful restaurateurs occasionally thank loyal customers with special events which may involve freebies or significant price rollbacks. But as often happens, such well-intentioned promotions can draw in more customers than the restaurant can handle.

Bob Chinn's one-day Anniversary Special was a prix-fixe dinner for two. This included two Mai Tais, two cups of soup, one shared appetizer, two entrees, and two desserts. All of this for an unbelievable $30. The same items ordered individually off the current dinner menu would total closer to $90.

Yep, it was the most intense mob scene we've ever experienced there. Chinn's does not take reservations and the hostess was telling new arrivals to expect a 2-hour-plus wait.

Fast-forward to 7 PM, when we were finally seated. Our friendly and alert server advised us to order asap because the kitchen had already run out of the stone crab claw entree and was perilously low on other items. The Mai Tais were served full-strength in the iconic souvenir tiki cups. Decadent garlic rolls dripping with olive oil arrived next, then Chinn's New England clam chowder, which rivals any I've had out East. We were also delighted with the crab vermicelli - chunks of crabmeat stir-fried with cellophane noodles - and fried calamari. Yes, all portions were full-size.

The prime rib entree came medium-rare as ordered (Chinn's serves steakhouse-caliber beef). Steamed Asian basa filet in a teriyaki broth with scallions fell short of greatness because it arrived lukewarm. By 8 PM the only remaining dessert options were red velvet cake and mud pie. We did not suffer.

Indeed, Chinn's ran out of most Anniversary Special items not long after we ordered. Although our experience was good, those who arrived later were surely disappointed, and rightly so after waiting hours for a table. Chinn's offers other specials, though, so my advice is to sign up for their email list and get there early!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
Thank FoodFight101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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