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Time
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El Che Bar

4.6
511 reviews
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$30 and under
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Steakhouse
Top Tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Hot Spot
El Che Bar, Chicago's Argentine-influenced resto-bar, is Executive Chef/Partner John Manion’s homage to the steak-heavy traditions of Argentina's Asador. Located just beyond the West Loop’s famed “restaurant row”, El Che Bar opened in 2016 and has quickly built a reputation as Chicago's go-to destination for beef, wine, and live-fire cooking. A 12 ft. custom-built grill ignites a range of South American-tinged meats, seasonal vegetables, seafood and novel barrio-inflected bites to perfection. Chef Manion’s passion for Latin flavors imbues the spirited dishes and dramatic setting of the swanky 100-seat restaurant. Guests can feel the intensity of the open flame when dining at the chef’s counter for a 10-course meal. El Che Bar has earned a coveted three-star rating from the Chicago Tribune and was named in the “Top 50 Chicago Restaurants” by Chicago Tribune’s dining critic, Phil Vettel in February 2017.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Steakhouse, Argentinean, American
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Hours of operation
Monday - Wednesday 5pm - 10pm
Thursday - Saturday 5pm - 11pm
Sunday - Closed
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Phone number
(312) 265-1130
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
John Manion
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Private party facilities
Housed in the former Checker Taxi building, El Che Bar is Chef John Manion’s spirited Argentine-American restaurant, a love letter to his time traveling throughout the country.
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Private party contact
Allison Diedrich: (708) 205-2458
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Green
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Parking details
Street parking available surrounding. Valet available 7 days a week $12
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Public transit
Greenline - Morgan
Blueline - Grand
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wine

Specials

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Mon - Thu 5:00PM - 5:45PM 8:45PM - 10:00PM
Fri - Sat 5:00PM - 5:45PM 9:30PM - 10:30PM

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.6

El Che Bar is a cool and trendy Argentinian restaurant in the West Loop.

Ratings 8.5-9.0:Now we’re in the range of absolutely excellent restaurants that you might go to more than once a year/lifetime. These restaurants tend to define a city, and make up the places that you absolutely cannot miss if you want to have any credibility as a restaurant-informed person in a major metropolis.
What 511 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Amazing in every way. Staff is incredibly helpful.

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3.0Dined 3 days ago

Very disappointed and not worth the $200 spent for 2 people. The waiter was not knowledgeable of the wines and was rather not chalant with service. For only 3 dinner plates, the two we ordered were subpar especially for about $35 each e.g. fish was basic and pork chops were burnt.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Food was excellent, Malbec perfect, entrees fairly priced and the service (Scott) couldn’t be better. Very nice experience.

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3.0Dined 6 days ago

Medium rare steak was over cooked.

Fish had a lot of bones, even though it said it didn’t

Shrimp salad & empanada are great, bring back the swordfish.

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5.0Dined on June 5, 2018

Nice decor, attentive staff, flavorful empanadas and a superb asado (so plentiful that two of us couldn’t finish it!). My dessert was so good (chamomile panna cotta) that I asked for seconds! It quickly became our new favorite spot for Argentinian fare. Will certainly be back and highly recommend it!

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5.0Dined on June 5, 2018

Found El Che on a list of best restaurants in Chicago, went for first time and will come back. Great cocktails, food, vibe, and service. Can’t miss.

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2.0Dined on June 4, 2018

mediocre in everyway

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

My sister and I loved El Che Bar. We were visiting from out of town and only had 1 meal together. I'm so glad we chose this place! I haven't stopped talking about the steak since we left. We shared the 16 oz. New York Strip and it was the perfect size for us. The seasoning and flavor was out of this world. Having it cooked on the fire added a perfect char to the outside. I could have cut the steak with a spoon it was so tender. We got the asparagus/polenta and the Japanese sweet potatoes, both were exceptional. That was plenty of food for the two of us.
Our server was wonderful, she was very attentive without being overbearing, her timing was perfect. I was dissatisfied with the Empress of Mars drink (because I forgot that Mezcal has a smokey flavor) and she quickly replaced it with a Pinot Nior for me with no hassle. The food and drink is definitely worth the price tag. I was nervous about going since it was our one meal in Chicago and it ended up being the highlight!

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4.0Dined on June 1, 2018

Solid food, good service, relaxing atmosphere. Very enjoyable time and I would return.

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4.0Dined on June 1, 2018

We were a large party and the reservations team was very accommodating to our needs. We had a great time. Love the gnocchi

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5.0Dined on May 29, 2018

One of the best meals I have had out in a long time. Everything from poultry to vegetables exploded with flavor! I cannot wait to go back!

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2018

Had dinner with a friend at El Che for the first time. Our server was awesome, super attentive and made recommendations, accommodated changes at the last minute, etc. We shared olives, an empanada, the cheese bread, manchego/strawberry/arugula salad, sweet potatoes and a filet. Everything was great - definitely recommend the cheese bread and filet and empanada. The restaurant wasn’t super booked at 5pm on a Monday, so ambiance was quiet and calm. Filled up a bit as we were leaving, but noise still wasn’t an issue. Would recommend!

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5.0Dined on May 20, 2018

Our waiter Graham was absolutely amazing, he knew we were celebrating our anniversary and brought out a glass of champagne as well as a dessert wine on the house! Thank you for making tonight so special!

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4.0Dined on May 20, 2018

My husband I I had dinner here to celebrate my birthday. The food at El Che is always good, and the service is professional. Last night’s progress through the meal was a little slow, which was fine with us, if not quite so agreeable to the couple at an adjacent table. This couple complained about the time it took to be served their entree. It appears they had a time constraint. Lucky us. We weren’t so encumbered and our evening was more than enjoyable.

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4.0Dined on May 19, 2018

My wife and I visited El Che Bar this past weekend for our 10 year anniversary. The food was good, and it was very nice to receive a complimentary sparkling wine when we arrived. That being said, for a $250 dinner, I was left wanting when comparing this experience with other $250 dinners we’ve had in the city (RPM Steak, Maple & Ash, Prime & Provisions, Bavettes, Chicago Cut). This was probably at the bottom of our list. I ordered the Parrillada which consisted of a variety of meats. I love variety and it was good, but not worth $70. The sweetbreads were decent, and the blood sausage was good but not amazing. I wish I would have got the ribeye, but it was almost $100, which is a lot more expensive than those other places. Anyway, I like the restaurant. The drinks are really good, but the food left us wanting.

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Most outstanding service and attentiveness by staff ive experienced in a long time

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3.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Overall a nice restaurant with good ambiance & drinks - our experience may have been better if we had a better server. He didn't wait on us, it was difficult to get his attention even though he walked by us constantly, he didn't check in when it we clear we were finished with our drinks and put in our entire food order at the same time instead of having the snacks, appetizers and main course come out in the order the menu suggested. I'm assuming this place could have been a better experience for others that had a different waiter.

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4.0Dined on May 6, 2018

The food was great, the menu offers a lot of choices. The service was absolutely terrible, so slow, but it may have just been an off night for them. Our waitress was very nice. Very cool decor.

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5.0Dined on May 5, 2018

In this particular occasion, we sat at the bar. Everything was wonderful as always! Very lively and fun!

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5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Amazing food and very attentive service

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4.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Good food and good service!

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5.0Dined on April 27, 2018

El Che Bar is way underrated in my opinion. It should have the 2 hour plus weekend waits and completely full bar that the best ones have a few blocks away on randolph and fulton have. the food is amazing, service is great, wine is fantastic, this is a wonderful place to eat. I've been here a few times now and never have left unhappy!

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5.0Dined on April 27, 2018

Great environment. Conversation and music constantly. Fun cocktails. Food was great, desert menu could be better. Overall loved it.

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3.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Though service and ambiance were great, food lacked a bit - needed seasoning. Chorizos were not the "real" thing I am used to as typical Argentinean chorizo that my family/friends used to cook. Same with the side sauces offered with the Asado - lacked seasoning, chimichurri was not authentic, salsa criolla needed more flavors...alfajor that my husband ordered for dessert was dry.
The arugula salad was very nice. Espresso was good and served like in Buenos Aires. Strawberry ice cream was good.

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Great service. Very understanding as we had two small kids. The NY Strip was very flavorful!

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Such an awesome atmosphere with excellent service. The food was phenomenal!

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4.0Dined on April 20, 2018

The chicken was the highlight dish - oak coals definitely help the cause and might make people avoid

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5.0Dined on April 19, 2018

Great menu and food, great location, great scene. Looking forward to going back.

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5.0Dined on April 18, 2018

Delicious food, great service and will be back!

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5.0Dined on April 18, 2018

The staff from top to bottom was outstanding !!! They remembered my OpenTable note that my visit was with a "special someone" on a first date and they made certain our sitting was suitable for such an occasion. Our waiter and the wine expert on staff were both very helpful with wine ideas and selections. Wonderful experience. Most certainly recommend El Che.

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5.0Dined on April 17, 2018

Great waiter and excellent food. Very generous portions. Cocktails were amazing and really beautiful too!

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4.0Dined on April 17, 2018

Prices are a little steep otherwise great!

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4.0Dined on April 17, 2018

Nice quiet restaurant. Service staff exceptional. The food was really good but have an open palate.

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4.0Dined on April 15, 2018

The service and food were impeccable at El Che. The only downfall is that it's a bit too loud. So you can't really hold a conversation.

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

I had two "foodie" friends in from out of town, and I was told el Che Bar was the place I needed to take them. We had the best experience. Our server was amazing, friendly and knowledgeable. When we complimented the dessert and said, "we must have the recipe", the dessert chef soon came out to the table with a thoughtful and handwritten card with it. Lovely experience all around. PS. Get the gnocchi.

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5.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Everything was wonderful! Already planning multiple trips back with family and friends. Great spot for any occasion with plenty of menu items for every palate.

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5.0Dined on April 13, 2018

While our fire-grilled NY strip was delicious, we were particularly impressed with the sweet breads appetizer and the gnocchi.

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5.0Dined on April 11, 2018

Everything about the meal was excellent from the drinks to the dessert! The gnocchi and sweet potatoes were my favorite though.

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5.0Dined on April 10, 2018

Food was outstanding - we focused on appetizers and small plates. The duck & pork rillete was delicious!

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

We were very satisfied with service, drinks and cuisine. The atmosphere and crowd added to this enjoyable experience. I will return and recommend this restaurant.

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