Cafe Absinthe

★★★★☆
  • 1954 W North Ave

    Chicago, IL 60622

    Map & Directions
  • 773-278-4488

About Cafe Absinthe

Hours
Tues: 5:30pm-10pm Wed: 5:30pm-10pm Thur: 5:30pm-10pm Fri: 5:30pm-11pm Sat: 5:30pm-11pm Sun: 5:30pm-9pm

Food

Food
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I thought I was downtown because of the prices and the overall effect was bad the cafe was small and I will not be returning ever

0
★☆☆☆☆

I thought I was downtown because of the prices and the overall effect was bad the cafe was small and I will not be returning ever

Pros: Location

Cons: Everything

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Food is okay. Menu is pricey. Wait staff is only good part about this place.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Food is okay. Menu is pricey. Wait staff is only good part about this place.

.

I give Cafe Absinthe 2 stars. And I will stand by this rating...... but if the server staff and bartenders improve their demeanor and the food is actually brought back up to what it was 7 months ago......well.... then i would give it the 5 stars it once had!!! OH!! And it wouldnt hurt to keep the place clean ( ESP THE BATHROOMS) Either make the improvements or lower your prices!!! Id rather see improvements.. because the place is lovely.. Hello Owner and staff!!!!!!

1
★★☆☆☆

I give Cafe Absinthe 2 stars. And I will stand by this rating...... but if the server staff and bartenders improve their demeanor and the food is actually brought back up to what it was 7 months ago......well.... then i would give it the 5 stars it once had!!! OH!! And it wouldnt hurt to keep the place clean ( ESP THE BATHROOMS) Either make the improvements or lower your prices!!! Id rather see improvements.. because the place is lovely.. Hello Owner and staff!!!!!!

Pros: Great Location, Lovely to walk in to.

Cons: Staff is borderline beyond horrible, food and drink is OVERPRICED for the experience

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This restaurant is located in Bucktown and offers a variety of food options! I absolutely loved the chicken with roasted fennel! The staff was also extremely friendly and made sure I was pleased! I am definitely coming back next time I am in town!

5
★★★★★

This restaurant is located in Bucktown and offers a variety of food options! I absolutely loved the chicken with roasted fennel! The staff was also extremely friendly and made sure I was pleased! I am definitely coming back next time I am in town!

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.

Im sorry to say, but after a recent visit this place is no longer the gem of Wicker Park. This was once an old standby for my wife and I. The menu which use to be top notch and inventive was the same when we visited 6 months ago, and so were the specials (the waitress said they change daily). As creatures of habit we miss the great bartenders that made the best cosmos, replaced by a bartender that doesnt care about his craft and "doesnt drink" Wheres the jazz, always a key feature. Time for a revamp CAFE ABSINTHE.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Im sorry to say, but after a recent visit this place is no longer the gem of Wicker Park. This was once an old standby for my wife and I. The menu which use to be top notch and inventive was the same when we visited 6 months ago, and so were the specials (the waitress said they change daily). As creatures of habit we miss the great bartenders that made the best cosmos, replaced by a bartender that doesnt care about his craft and "doesnt drink" Wheres the jazz, always a key feature. Time for a revamp CAFE ABSINTHE.

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We went on a Friday night and it was dead. Our waiter was great, very knowledgable, the wine was great. I liked the menu selection, and our food was very good. I asked the waiter a question, and she didn't know the answer, but came back 10 minutes later with the answer, so she did follow up. The decor is nice, very urban, a little drafty, so if you are a cold person, you might not want to sit near the door. The hostess was very nice to us, took our coats, and seated up promptly. No complaints. Will be back.

2
★★★★★

We went on a Friday night and it was dead. Our waiter was great, very knowledgable, the wine was great. I liked the menu selection, and our food was very good. I asked the waiter a question, and she didn't know the answer, but came back 10 minutes later with the answer, so she did follow up. The decor is nice, very urban, a little drafty, so if you are a cold person, you might not want to sit near the door. The hostess was very nice to us, took our coats, and seated up promptly. No complaints. Will be back.

Pros: The food

Cons: A little chilly/cold

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Good food, great ambiance, only neagative would be that it's extremely loud and hard to have a quality converstation

2
★★★★☆

Good food, great ambiance, only neagative would be that it's extremely loud and hard to have a quality converstation

Pros: Great food , ambiance

Cons: Very loud

.

Overall, my family (7) had a very enjoyable night out - everyone else loved their entrees, it was a pretty quiet venue, conversation was great - though I had some serious issues. We went on a Thursday night recently, and we were pretty much the only diners there.

The server didn't know the French side of the wine list well. Considering it was half the list, this was a disappointment. She could only recommend one Bordeaux ("a lot of people order this one"), and she pushed us into a more expensive Cote du Rhone despite asking for less expensive alternatives. She didn't have a suggestion for a "medium bodied, fruit-forward, dry red". Oh well.

The duck breast was medium-to-well, despite our insistence that it be "medium-rare". It should never leave the kitchen like that. Next time order it "rare." They did much better on the traditional Midwest fare - beef tenderloin was juicy with a nice crust, the lamb was perfectly cooked. The salmon was pretty standard for any restraint (it could have been easily done at home), so the >$20 price was shocking.

2
★★★★☆

Overall, my family (7) had a very enjoyable night out - everyone else loved their entrees, it was a pretty quiet venue, conversation was great - though I had some serious issues. We went on a Thursday night recently, and we were pretty much the only diners there.

The server didn't know the French side of the wine list well. Considering it was half the list, this was a disappointment. She could only recommend one Bordeaux ("a lot of people order this one"), and she pushed us into a more expensive Cote du Rhone despite asking for less expensive alternatives. She didn't have a suggestion for a "medium bodied, fruit-forward, dry red". Oh well.

The duck breast was medium-to-well, despite our insistence that it be "medium-rare". It should never leave the kitchen like that. Next time order it "rare." They did much better on the traditional Midwest fare - beef tenderloin was juicy with a nice crust, the lamb was perfectly cooked. The salmon was pretty standard for any restraint (it could have been easily done at home), so the >$20 price was shocking.

Pros: bar is really nice, menu had several things for everybody, appetizers and salads were tasty

Cons: a bit overpriced, one dish over cooked, poor service (inattentive, uninformed, slow, didn't want to be there at night)

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tucked away from the street , this place is very intimate and dark and casual. I like that. our waiter was amazing . He knew the menu up and down and made excellent wine selections. we were a party of three and all ordered different things from lamb to beef and salads and such. we all tried each others food, drank wine and had an amazing time. from what i understand the menu changes frequently so i'm sure what i had might not be on the menu when we return. the after dinner capp's and coffee's are awesome too as well as the sweet stuff.

2
★★★★★

tucked away from the street , this place is very intimate and dark and casual. I like that. our waiter was amazing . He knew the menu up and down and made excellent wine selections. we were a party of three and all ordered different things from lamb to beef and salads and such. we all tried each others food, drank wine and had an amazing time. from what i understand the menu changes frequently so i'm sure what i had might not be on the menu when we return. the after dinner capp's and coffee's are awesome too as well as the sweet stuff.

Pros: excellent food and service

Cons: a little hard to find if you dont live in the city

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The words that would properly describe my experience there would surely be blocked by Citysearch's censors! I have never been treated so POORLY by the staff at a Wicker Park eatery in my life. This place is a pathetic attempt at trying to be a trendy upscale "cafe". BUT wait...walk inside and you will be greeted by an additional failed attempt at wanting so bad to be important? but you are a hostess!!?? This blatantly RUDE reality T.V wannabe thought we were beneath her prestigious hostess ranking. She proceeded to scold our entire group because we used "their" valet service and went to the adjoining bar and not their restaurant. The two (Wicker Park Tavern and Cafe Absinthe) are by the way connected by a glass door located inside. This place is sad and with service like this ABISMAL!

0
★☆☆☆☆

The words that would properly describe my experience there would surely be blocked by Citysearch's censors! I have never been treated so POORLY by the staff at a Wicker Park eatery in my life. This place is a pathetic attempt at trying to be a trendy upscale "cafe". BUT wait...walk inside and you will be greeted by an additional failed attempt at wanting so bad to be important? but you are a hostess!!?? This blatantly RUDE reality T.V wannabe thought we were beneath her prestigious hostess ranking. She proceeded to scold our entire group because we used "their" valet service and went to the adjoining bar and not their restaurant. The two (Wicker Park Tavern and Cafe Absinthe) are by the way connected by a glass door located inside. This place is sad and with service like this ABISMAL!

Pros: None

Cons: To many to detail here

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We'd heard so many good things about Cafe Absinthe, we had to give it a try. And yes, the food was good, and the service was friendly and helpful. But, the noise was excessive, and it was a weeknight at less than capacity. But the real kicker was the high cost of the meal, which can be summarized in five little words: six bucks for iced tea.

1
★★☆☆☆

We'd heard so many good things about Cafe Absinthe, we had to give it a try. And yes, the food was good, and the service was friendly and helpful. But, the noise was excessive, and it was a weeknight at less than capacity. But the real kicker was the high cost of the meal, which can be summarized in five little words: six bucks for iced tea.

Pros: food is good

Cons: loud, expensive

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Inventive food that doesn't blow your socks off but satisfies. Warm, cozy setting, if a bit cramped. Excellent service and manageable wine list. An out-of-town foodie who would return.

2
★★★★☆

Inventive food that doesn't blow your socks off but satisfies. Warm, cozy setting, if a bit cramped. Excellent service and manageable wine list. An out-of-town foodie who would return.

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I visited this restaurant when in town from Cleveland. We had to wait quite a while for our (reserved) table and as a result weren't seated until 10pm, but they were pretty gracious about it. Lovely restaurant, and the only 'tude I detected was from patrons, not staff...get over yourselves, anyone can get a reservation at a restaurant. Food was great, particularly the gelato!

2
★★★★☆

I visited this restaurant when in town from Cleveland. We had to wait quite a while for our (reserved) table and as a result weren't seated until 10pm, but they were pretty gracious about it. Lovely restaurant, and the only 'tude I detected was from patrons, not staff...get over yourselves, anyone can get a reservation at a restaurant. Food was great, particularly the gelato!

Pros: Swanky, Energetic, Very good food

Cons: Pretentious crowd, Packed on a wknd

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My wife and I went for our anniversary and it was great. I didn't think the restaurant was romantic at all but the food was prepared well and there was the right amount. We spent $65 per person, just food, but the wine is overpriced (as it is everywhere in Chicago).

2
★★★★☆

My wife and I went for our anniversary and it was great. I didn't think the restaurant was romantic at all but the food was prepared well and there was the right amount. We spent $65 per person, just food, but the wine is overpriced (as it is everywhere in Chicago).

Pros: Good food, Open kitchen

Cons: Loud, Expensive wine, pretentious servers

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The food was decent and the ambience was fine, but this restaurant should by no means be listed as one of the top 10 romantic restaurants in Chicago. That is unless Chicagoans find sitting within two feet of the table next to you and being able to listen to their converastions romantic.

1
★★★☆☆

The food was decent and the ambience was fine, but this restaurant should by no means be listed as one of the top 10 romantic restaurants in Chicago. That is unless Chicagoans find sitting within two feet of the table next to you and being able to listen to their converastions romantic.

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Love the ambience, expensive but great choice for a special occasion. Watch out if smoke bothers you. One big open room with no barrier to the smokers at the bar. Ruined a wonderful meal for us.

2
★★★★☆

Love the ambience, expensive but great choice for a special occasion. Watch out if smoke bothers you. One big open room with no barrier to the smokers at the bar. Ruined a wonderful meal for us.

Pros: Convenient Parking

Cons: Bar smoke

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Well it was the restaurant I fell in love at. What could be more memorable?

2
★★★★★

Well it was the restaurant I fell in love at. What could be more memorable?

Pros: great lighting, great food, great ambiance

Cons: none, none, none

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The environment is as trendy and current as you would hope in Wicker Park and the presentation of the food matches it. We had appetizers, soups, salads and some entrees and all of the dishes were good, only a few were great. The honey chocolate tart was amazing and the mint, sorrel and corn sprouts salad was unique and surprising. For vegetarians the choices were minimal and the dishes lacked a bit in flavor.

2
★★★★☆

The environment is as trendy and current as you would hope in Wicker Park and the presentation of the food matches it. We had appetizers, soups, salads and some entrees and all of the dishes were good, only a few were great. The honey chocolate tart was amazing and the mint, sorrel and corn sprouts salad was unique and surprising. For vegetarians the choices were minimal and the dishes lacked a bit in flavor.

Pros: Attractive Place, Food Presentation

Cons: Costly, Parking, Service

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My friend from New York was visiting and I decided to take her to Cafe Absinthe for dinner. We were not disappointed. The night we went was "VOX" martini night so we received a free martini - and got to enjoy the great atmosphere. I think that's one of the best qualities of this restaurant - the ambiance is so great. The food was also good!

2
★★★★★

My friend from New York was visiting and I decided to take her to Cafe Absinthe for dinner. We were not disappointed. The night we went was "VOX" martini night so we received a free martini - and got to enjoy the great atmosphere. I think that's one of the best qualities of this restaurant - the ambiance is so great. The food was also good!

Pros: ambiance, service

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My wife and I just went to Café Absinthe this past weekend and had a wonderful time. The food was outstanding, the foie gras was one of the best I have tasted anywhere. Our server was great and suggested a great bottle of wine to go with our meal; we had the lamb and soft-shell crabs. My compliments, we will be back.

2
★★★★★

My wife and I just went to Café Absinthe this past weekend and had a wonderful time. The food was outstanding, the foie gras was one of the best I have tasted anywhere. Our server was great and suggested a great bottle of wine to go with our meal; we had the lamb and soft-shell crabs. My compliments, we will be back.

Pros: Good parking, Inventive food

Cons: Noise

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I have eaten at Café Absinthe many times and continue to enjoy this place. The food is top notch and changes frequently. My only complaint would be the noise level on the weekends (thus I only go during the week and its less crowded). The staff has always been courteous and knowledgeable. I like the open kitchen, you can walk right up and watch them work and even talk to the chefs. I highly recommend this place.

2
★★★★★

I have eaten at Café Absinthe many times and continue to enjoy this place. The food is top notch and changes frequently. My only complaint would be the noise level on the weekends (thus I only go during the week and its less crowded). The staff has always been courteous and knowledgeable. I like the open kitchen, you can walk right up and watch them work and even talk to the chefs. I highly recommend this place.

Pros: Ambience, Food

Cons: Music to loud

Review Partner
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Finally out from behind the auspices of construction, Cafe Absinthe is a posh and romantic spot that delivers the goods when it comes to food and service. Beautifully decorated in red tones, the dining floor sits in front of an open

4
★★★★★

Finally out from behind the auspices of construction, Cafe Absinthe is a posh and romantic spot that delivers the goods when it comes to food and service. Beautifully decorated in red tones, the dining floor sits in front of an open

.

Great food! Everyone liked their entree, which included steak, salmon, scallops, and a few other choices. The presentation was very appealing and the food delicious. The waiter was very knowledgeable, not only regarding the specials,

4
★★★★★

Great food! Everyone liked their entree, which included steak, salmon, scallops, and a few other choices. The presentation was very appealing and the food delicious. The waiter was very knowledgeable, not only regarding the specials,

Editorial from

The entrance is off an alley behind the restaurant on North Avenue, though locals are well aware of this longstanding address. It's the kind of go-to that makes it hard to isolate recommendations---the menu changes fairly often but moreā€¦

 

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