Cafe Iberico, Chicago

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 Reviews

739 N. LaSalle Dr (312) 573-1570
  • Patatas Ali-oli
    Patatas Ali-oli
    by BeatChick
  • Cafe Iberico
    by BeatChick
  • Croquetas de pollo - $6.50
    Croquetas de pollo - $6.50
    by BeatChick

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  • rmdw's Profile Photo

    Cafe Iberico: Tapas Extraordinaire!

    by rmdw Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I REALLY like this restaurant. They offer Spanish tapas, which are individual dishes ordered a la carte.

    I've been there twice for lunch and enjoyed both meals immensely! The food is absolutely delicious and the prices are reasonable.

    Favorite Dish: Please note: I would not know about this restaurant if it were not for Dabs. In fact, I would not know anything about most of the restaurants in Chicago if it weren't for the Goddess of Food, aka Dabs.

    Legal requirement now fulfilled.

    Cafe Iberico
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    Cafe Iberico: River North-It's a tapas bar, not a topless bar!

    by Dabs Updated Jul 26, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Last visit 11/11/07-still excellent!

    My favorite Spanish restaurant in Chicago, it is close enough to the tourist area to walk/take a short cab ride, food is consistently good, service prompt, wide selection of tapas (small appetizer portions of Spanish dishes). Great place for a large group of people, sharing the dishes is a must! Our bill usually comes out to about $15-$20 per person including tax, tip and beverages, amazing considering how stuffed you are when you leave!

    There are no reservations even for larger parties on the weekends after 3 pm so plan to wait on a Friday or Saturday night, there's a bar area to wait in where you can get sangria and if you're lucky enough to get a table, you can also order food. An excellent time to go is for lunch, have never had a problem getting a table, even on the weekends. On a recent evening visit at 7pm on a Wednesday we had to wait for about 30 minutes.

    Other Spanish tapas places that are good:

    Cafe Ba Ba Reeba 2024 N. Halsted ( Lincoln Park area) food is a little inconsistent, sometimes excellent, sometimes not. The sauce that comes with most of the dishes is different than Iberico, I like the sauce at Iberico much better.

    Mercat a la Planxa, 638 S Michigan Ave, I haven't tried this one yet but a lot of people recommend. A lot more expensive than Cafe Iberico or Cafe Ba Ba Reeba

    Favorite Dish: My favorites are the patatas ali oli (cold garlic mayo potatoes), croquetas (chicken/ham puffs with a helping of ali oli), pincho de pollo (chicken skewers with carmelized onions), queso de cabra (goat cheese w/ tomato basil sauce served with toasted bread), wash it all down with a pitcher of sangria.

    Finish up the meal with one of the yummy Spanish desserts, personally I can't bypass the caramel bananas with ice cream.

    Patty, Robert and me (Dec. 2006) Cafe Iberico (photo: rmdw) Paella with octopus VT meeting January 2007 mjb123, shrimp56, balfor, cjg1, deecat (Jan 07)

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  • BeatChick's Profile Photo

    Café Iberico: Fabulous Tapas in River North

    by BeatChick Written Jul 11, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    OMG - I LOVE this place! After reading about this place for years (Dabs loves it, shrimp56 loves it, Fodorite GTGs), I decided this was a MUST DINE for Mr. Connolly & me.

    FABULOUS tapas! This is a place I'll definitely return to in Chicago!! Tapas is a small plates concept originating in Spain. Basically, a series of appetizers and very inexpensive, too. Be forewarned the plates are large; we should've only ordered half of what we did. So much we couldn't finish our pitcher of sangria (a great accompaniment)!

    My friend, Kathy Craft, lives in Chicago and says this is probably the best tapas place in town, beating out Emilio's.

    Photos: November 2008
    1) Patatas Ali-oli
    (Potatoes in aioli)
    An OMG kind of scrumptious! Tasted kinda like sour cream potato salad.

    2) Ensalata de Alcachofas a la Vinagreta - $6.50
    (Artichokes in Vinaigrette with marinated potatoes, fire-roasted peppers, and salad)

    3) Croquetas de pollo - $6.50
    (Chicken & ham puffs with aioli)
    One of my favorite things here!

    4) Churrasco a la Parrilla - $8.95
    (Flat-iron steak with potatoes, peppers, garlic & onions)
    It was a special. Probably not the best thing we ate here but still pretty, darn good.

    5) Menu with Prices

    Favorite Dish: Without a doubt, my 2 favorites would have to be the Patatas Ali-oli and the Croquetas de pollo!

    Patatas Ali-oli Ensalata de Alcachofas a la Vinagreta - $6.50 Croquetas de pollo - $6.50 Churrasco a la Parrilla - $8.95
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  • edss's Profile Photo

    Cafe Iberico: Share and Explore

    by edss Written Jun 29, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This restaurant is a great place to go with a bunch of friends. In the summer you can share a pitcher of sangria and having a large group allows everyone to order a different dish and share it with the others. This way you get to try everything. It is part of Tapas is all about. Tapas, like Meze or Meza, are appetizer style dishes which originally were served for snacking while drinking alcoholic beverages. Our group of four ordered 5 different tapas and a pitcher of sangria and were more than full.

    Favorite Dish: Everything from pincho de pollo, to the mushrooms, to the camarones was good.

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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Cafe Iberico: Excellent Spot For VT Luncheon

    by deecat Updated Jan 8, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Thank goodness for Dabs [Kristi]! She is the best when it comes to organizing VT meetings here in Chicago.

    Saturday, January 6, 2007, was no exception to her organizational skills. She selected Cafe Iberico Tapas Bar as the location for our meal. It's located in an unassuming building on North La Salle Drive near Chicago Avenue. As unassuming as the building is, the food is outstanding, and the inside is perfect for big groups.

    This meeting included: Dabs [Kristi], Balfor [Chris] from Atlanta, Cjg1 [Chris] from New York, Kristara [Janet] from New York {SEE WHY It WAS A CHRISFEST?}. Locals included Shrimp 56 [Sally], MJB123 [Martin], Kristi's friend David, and a new friend, Mark. John came at the end of the meal. Of course, deecat [Dee] was also there. (Grin)

    Kristi did the ordering, except for the marinated Spanish Olives that I ordered.

    From the huge menu choices, Kristi decided on: Tostadas De Pisto [toasted bread topped with stewed eggplant, peppers, onion, Zucchini, tomato, and olive oil], Patatas Bravas [Spicy potatoes with special tomato sauce], Champinones a La Plancha [Grilled mushrooms with garlic and olive oil], Gambas Al Ajillo [Grilled shrimp with olive oil, garlic, and wine], Chorizo Y Morchilla [A combination platter of grilled Spanish style sausages], Croquetas De Pollo [chicken and ham puffs served with ali-oli sauce], a much-raved about Potato Salad, Raxo Adobado [marinated pork loin served with home-made fries], and Pincho De Pollo [chicken brochette with carmelized onions and rice].

    Of course, we passed the dishes and took what we liked. It was a delightful experience.

    Favorite Dish: My personal favorites were the olives, the shrimp, the chicken, grilled mushrooms, and did I say THE DELICIOUS SHRIMP?

    However, we also ordered desserts such as: Flan De Caramelo [caramel custard] ordered by Sally, Platano Al Caramelo [Sauteed banana with caramel sauce served with vanilla ice cream] ordered by David, Kristi, Mark, Chris, Chris, and Janet, and Bizcocho Borracho [Lady fingers soaked in espresso and brandy, layered with sweet custard cheese and bittersweet chocolate] ordered by Dee. Martin did not partake of dessert, and that is why he is so thin!

    Entrees are also available, but we ordered just the Tapas items.

    It was a wonderful experience, with the sharing of food, good conversation, and lots of laughter which made for a delightful VT meeting in Chicago.

    Cafe Iberico Taps Bar Balfor, Cjg1, and Dabs Kristara [Janet] Mark and David MJB123 [Martin]
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  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    Cafe Iberico: VT & FT Tapas Party

    by cjg1 Updated Jan 7, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I must say I really liked this place. And then when the bill came?....? WOW. This place has great food and is incredibly cheap.

    Favorite Dish: The pot salad and croquettes are my favorites but that doesnt seem to be unual here.

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  • Hexepatty's Profile Photo

    Cafe Iberico: Amazing Tapas!

    by Hexepatty Updated Dec 30, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A Spanish Tapas Bar that really serves the best tapas I've had in a long time!

    Cafe Iberico - Chicago - YelpCafe Iberico 739 N LaSalle (312)573-1510 Mon - Thur 11am to 11:30pm Fri 11am to 1:30am Sat Noon to 1:30am Sun Noon to 11pm ...

    Favorite Dish: PATATAS ALI-OLI ($3.95) Red potatoes with garlic mayonnaise sauce. What a weird thing to be such a stand out, but it is!

    JAMON IBERICO ($5.75) - Spanish style cured ham with manchego cheese and tomato bread.

    CROQUETAS DE POLLO ($4.75) - Chicken and ham puffs served with ali-oli sauce. YUM!!!!

    PAELLA IBERICA (Allow 30 to 40 minutes) ($8.95) - Iberico's style paella with seafood, chicken, pork, and rice baked in it's own pan with saffron sauce. Amazing and at this price, it's a steal...

    Here is the PAELLA IBERICA & a Happy Man!

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  • Cafe Iberico: Not what it used to be

    by Genie20 Written Jun 22, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I used take several trips to this restaurant with family, friends and my Spanish class. Back then the food was fantastic. Recently on a trip here, I can't say the same. We ordered 10 tapas and only about 2 were decent. My favorites used to be the potatoes in garlic mayo, chicken croqets, salmon, garlic shrimp and so on. This last trip my favorites were not so good especially the potatoes and shrimp. The potatoes were so watery I think they didn't bother to drain them and just added mayo. The shrimp was way over cooked and tasted terrible.
    Also the bathroom was filthy, the soap dispenser was broken and there was no soap to use. I sure hope the employees do not use this restroom. The waitress was a little blond who was pretty snotty most of the time. The bus boys did more work than she and an 18% gratuity was added to our bill. Which was fine with me I had no intention of tipping her 20%.
    The music was very loud and if you like that it can be fun. The sangria has always been bad in my opinion and we tried it again and nothing has changed there.

    Favorite Dish: Drunk cake is still very good here. Chicken croquets are decent but you only get four little sticks.

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  • TRimer's Profile Photo

    Cafe Iberico: Tapas Dining with a Large Group

    by TRimer Updated Apr 15, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not what it once was. Great place for large groups but if you go on the weekend, the food quality is not spectacular.

    Once upon a time (when I first moved to Chicago and lived in the hood), this was a little storefront restaurant. Now they do a swift business with two large rooms off of the bar and a smaller, darker downstairs. The restaurant has lots of terra cotta and pretty tiles. Also, it has lots of long tables for large parties. We have had many birthdays, business gatherings and even a bridal shower at this restaurant. This is definately not a place to bring a date- very noisy.

    Favorite Dish: Definately the best tapas in Chicago. Iberico features both hot and cold tapas and Spanish entrees.

    I love the Pincho de Solomillo (beef tenderloin dish with carmelized onions) and Patatas a la Importanci (potatoes). The Queso De Cabra (goat cheese) is a must as is a pitcher or two or three of their sangria!!!!!

    11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.
    11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Fri.
    Noon-1:30 a.m. Sat.
    Noon-11:30 p.m. Sun.

    Outside on LaSalle
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  • sudorandon's Profile Photo

    Cafe Iberico: Conversation, Tapas, and Sangria

    by sudorandon Written Dec 29, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Legend has it that the Spanish king Alfonso the Wise once had an illness that required him to have small appetizers throughout the day with his wine in order to keep his strength. He decided this was such a good idea that when he recovered, he decreed that all taverns in Spain must serve an appetizer (tapa) along with wine, so that no man would drink on an empty stomach.

    Cafe Iberico is a Spanish-style resturaunt where you make a meal by sharing a selection of tapas from their diverse menu. Bring some friends, claim a table, and make it an evening of conversation, tapas, and sangria.

    They also have a small deli, and a bakery that sells empanadas (meat-filled pastries) and other goods.

    Favorite Dish: Since you will be ordering numerous dishes, you have the freedom to explore. Be sure to try something new. There's always something different, and there's always the next tapa.

    Whatever you choose, a pitcher of sangria is the perfect addition to the experience.


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  • Cafe Iberico: Cafe Iberico

    by grkboiler Written May 6, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I made it out to Cafe Iberico thanks to the first VT meeting I attended (finally nice to meet some people from the site). It is a Spanish tapas restaurant with a friendly atmosphere. When I sat down and looked at the menu, I was immediately impressed by the selection and variety of dishes from all over Spain and couldn't wait to start trying things.

    This is definitely one of the more popular restaurants in Chicago. I went during a down time on a Saturday afternoon, but was told it gets extremely crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. It is definitely worth a try during any time of day.

    Hours are:
    Monday - Thursday: 11am - 11:30pm
    Friday: 11am - 1:30am
    Saturday: Noon - 1:30am
    Sunday: Noon - 11pm

    Dress is casual. Valet parking is available from 5pm to Midnight. There is also street parking and parking lots on the side streets.

    Favorite Dish: First of all, 2 dishes from the menu should be enough to fill up 1 person. Since we had a group of about 10, each person ordered a few different things and it worked out great.

    Among my favorite dishes were:
    Patatas Ali-Oli (Potatoes in Garlic Sauce)
    Calamares (Squid)
    Pulpo (Octopus)
    Queso de Cabra (Goat Cheese)

    Everything was excellent.

    There is also an extensive wine menu and a market.

    Cafe Iberico

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  • Dundooni's Profile Photo

    Cafe Iberico: Tapas for Everyone!

    by Dundooni Written Apr 26, 2005

    Cafe Iberico floored me. It was nearly midnight and the entire restaurant was packed with people, eating dinner casually as if it were 8 pm! This is a great spot to hit after a show, like we did after seeing a great jazz set at the Jazz Showcase. The atmosphere is loud and lively, and very trendy. The word on the street is that it is a pretty big hangout for graduate students and young professionals.

    Favorite Dish: We had the spicy potatoes, the chicken and beef skewers, and a delicious shrimp dish which can best be described as a shrimp scampi. Lots of choices and little plates makes for a great opportunity to sample and share.

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  • Etoile2B's Profile Photo

    Cafe Iberico: Authentic Tapas

    by Etoile2B Updated Mar 16, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Café Iberico is arguably the best tapas restaurant in Chicago. And I tend to agree, although I’m also a huge fan of Café Ba Ba Reeba in Lincoln Park, as well as a few of the other tapas spots in the city. Located in Streeterville, this authentic tapas café doesn’t take reservations, even for large parties, and is generally packed so if you’re planning a night out here either come early or be prepared to wait. But it’s worth the wait. The restaurant itself is no frills – don’t expect the vibrant décor found at similar establishments. But the food here makes up for what the interior design lacks. Café Iberico is probably the most authentic tapas place in the city complete with European football games playing on the televisions at the bar and homemade Sangria flowing. Come for the food, if nothing else.

    Favorite Dish: Some personal favorites: Pincho de Pollo, Patatas a la Importancia, and the Paella Marinera.

    Allow 40 minutes for paella.

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  • monika79's Profile Photo

    Cafe Iberico: Top Place for Tappas !!!

    by monika79 Updated Oct 6, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cafe Iberico is a traditional and inexpensive way to enjoy excellent Spanish tappas and cuisine.

    Favorite Dish: Some of my favorites are:

    Patatas Ali-Oli
    red potatoes with garlic mayonaise sauce

    Queso DeCabra
    baked goat cheese with fresh tomato basil sauce

    Calamares a la Plancha
    grilled squid with olive oil, garlic and lemon juice

    Inside Cafe Iberico

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  • jmhenry1123's Profile Photo

    Cafe Iberico: Tapas in Chicago

    by jmhenry1123 Updated Oct 1, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cafe Iberico serves up authentic spanish tapas and has sangria that is out of this world along wish delicious spanish wines.

    The decor looks like it came directly from Spain. The music can be a drowning at times but has great atmosphere.

    They do not take reservations so be prepared for a long wait for a table during prime dinner hours (and spanish dinner hours). If you are waiting, do your friends a favor and order a pitcher of sangria as you wait. The time will fly by

    This is a great place to go with a group of friends and share a bunch of appetizer sized dishes.

    The paella here is top-notch. Be sure to order it early in the evening because it takes about 45 minutes to prepare it.

    Favorite Dish: Patatas Bravas - Potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce

    Tortilla espana - A frittata like omelet of potato and eggs

    Paella Valencia - A national dish of Spain. Arborio rice infused with saffron, chicken, pork, shrimp, mussels, clams.

    They also have different varieties of paella to choose from on the menu.

    I have no idea what dessert tastes like as I am already too full from the rest of the meal

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