Jilly's Cafe

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4.3
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286 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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French

Located just outside the city of Chicago, Jilly's Café has been called a "North Shore Treasure" by Zagat's 2002 restaurant survey. Our French Countryside decor, handpicked flowers, and friendly wait staff make for an intimate and cozy atmosphere suitable for all kinds of occasions. Here authentic French food is served with an American twist making for enough dishes to keep our specials changing daily. We offer a Sunday brunch that carefully combines a traditional American brunch with French flavors, while champagne effortlessly flows throughout the course of the meal. Jilly's is available for private parties, and reservations are strongly recommended.
What 286 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Chicago
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Got there first thing for Sunday morning brunch. Great time to go if you're not into crowds or noise. Service was friendly but not invasive. Food was excellent, especially given the very affordable prices. Perfect place for you and a friend to catch up.

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OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Special birthday. They put a candle on her dessert and sang. Lovely.

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B
Los Angeles
89 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Charming restaurant. I have been there for lunch but never for dinner. Yummy split pea soup and spinach salad. Great salmon, short ribs and steak frites.

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JF
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

New ownership has made a dramatic difference overall. Nightly special of Seafood Risotto was perfectly done. Could use an extra waiter of popular nights. Staff was eager to please!

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OT
Chicago
40 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Jilly's never fails to meet our expectations; a delight!

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JM
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful atmosphere, delicious food and gracious service. And a special treat for a birthday celebration!

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JR
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The brunch menu was diverse and I sampled various entrees and all were good. I will be back. Loved the ambiance. A hidden gem

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B
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Creative delicious food. Incredibly pleasant and knowledgeable staff. We always enjoy a meal here.

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M
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The decor was old and service was slow even though we were the only ones there. The red wine was served cold out of the refrigerator. The food was not prepared as ordered and the flies were a PIA. I can’t believe this place has been open for as long as it has been.

It’s an embarrassment to French cafes everywhere.

I will NEVER eat there again.

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E
Chicago
434 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Jilly’s is an authentic French bistro. Service is excellent, the food is wonderful, the wine list varied and reasonable. A romantic setting and moderately priced. Fantastic!

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m
Chicago
72 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Really enjoyed the entrees, apps and dessert were average. The place was nearly empty. Didn't really like the location. Busy street, bad parking situation.

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s
Miami
6 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

We have eaten here about 3 or 4 times over several years. We were attracted by the charm of this small cafe, the quality of the food, and the service. This time, we were disappointed.

It is a small restaurant -- maybe 40'x20' of dining space in a storefront. We were surprised to be seated next to a table of 8 or 9 persons celebrating a birthday. There was also second table of 8 dining in this small restaurant, in addition to several occupied four-tops. This was really too much for the room; too many people, too much noise. And it was more than the staff could easily handle.

You can either be a small restaurant or a big restaurant, but you can't be both.

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S
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

A cute little restaurant with a big bold flavor. I will be going back.

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s
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

We went for Mother’s Day. $55.00/person. Food choices were good, one glass of champagne/ rose or mimosa. Coffee and the 2nd glass of champagne ( which was offered) EXTRA. They included a 20% tip on the entire bill. Food was tasteless and service simply adequate.

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KP
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service in a small, intimate place, easy for conversation and comfort. Parking was not available on site, but nearby around the corner. Spoke with the relatively new owners who have kept the basic menu, with some personal specials. If you like venison,,, it's a must try on the menu. Nice selection of desserts. Had not been there for many years, but we will be back.

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KJ
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great place to visit with friends for excellent food and nice atmosphere where it's easy to talk and hear.

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CS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

This is a lovely little restaurant! We had the mussel appetizer which was delicious and plentiful and the fried goat cheese which was sooo good! The waiter recommended the beet salad which I have been obsessing about since I had it. Tangy, sweet, savory all in one salad. I had regret about my main course, but only because I went for the Steak Frites, which were good and the portion was generous, but I wanted more flavoring...like a sauce or drizzle of something savory. I will have to go back to get the arctic char which they happened to be out of. We ordered two desserts (creme brule and chocolate cake) which were both top notch...sweet, but not cloying. Definitely going back to try some of their other dishes. The service was spot on. The timing with serving the food, perfect.

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s
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Jilly's is out of my normal price range, but for a special treat, it had good value.The only disappointment with the service was that the server waited until we were ordering to tell us which entrees on the menu were not available, including one that we intended to order. The food (filet, salmon and skewers of shrimp/scallops) was all very well prepared, appealing to the eye and very tasty. We enjoyed two desserts: creme brulee and carrot cake -- delicious. We will return for another special occasion.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The waiter, Ali was great! I had a seabass which was outstanding. Such a lovely restaurant, quiet, small and perfect for special occasions. Furthermore, the owner was so friendly. We had a good time. We will be back soon!

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SS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The food at Jilly's Cafe is excellent, and my friends and I had a wonderful time catching up with each other. Our waiter was attentive and the atmosphere was quiet and surroundings lovely. The only difficulty is the lack of parking near the place. Although street parking is available in Evanston, you have to keep feeding the meters to avoid a ticket, and at the lunch hour there could be a hike to a spot. However, the weather was sunny and nice, so a walk was not a problem. If Jilly's had a parking lot they would probably see more lunch traffic.

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RJ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have always found the ambiance, food and service excellent. We've never been disappointed in all the years we've been coming to Jilly's.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Found this lovely place in Evanston. Ali is very nice and we came here for the Friday night dinner and totally enjoyed.

We got the table next to the window. This restraurant is petit but they have every thing well prepared in the detail. The noise level is very low and the background music is nicely played for a conversational dinner.

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KR
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful birthday celebration. It was quiet, the food tasty and the service outstanding.

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c
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Jilly’s has become our “go to” spot when we want to stay in the neighborhood and have an excellent meal. Everything is made to order and arrives hot. We have enjoyed the beef short ribs, sea bass and filet. The pate put on the table is truly delicious. If you want a quiet, lovely dinner this is the spot.

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NW
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

the food not the quality it used to be. we were disappointed.

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L
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely, casual neighborhood gem with delicious, rustic French cuisine.

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KG
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Jilly's is always dependable for food and service. A very good wine list. We like a restaurant where it is quiet enough to carry on a conversation and Jilly's fits that description

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J
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

They were missing one of the items listed on a dish. They graciously replaced it with something else why asked

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NH
New England
57 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

One of our favorites was somewhat disappointing this time. The steak special had a steak that was tough and grissley. The venison was not great either. The short ribs, on the other hand were great as usual. Also the soup of the day, mushroom brie, was delicious.

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MD
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Such a lovely restaurant, small, quiet, intimate, perfect for a birthday dinner such as we enjoyed. The tomato/cucumber/mozzarella salad was especially delicious. However, it's kind of pricey - over $100. for two people, which included one wine and 2 desserts. We would certainly go back for a special occasion. Lunch is a little more reasonable and the menu is great.

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V
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Service used to be impeccable, food amazing, music just spot on (Frank Sinatra and oldies). Unfortunately there has been a change in owners. The owner kept the same menu, same decor but does not live up to the same standard. Service was awkward at best, items forgotten and some fast beat techno music suddenly started playing and did not suit the ambience at all. Food was about the worst change. The seafood bouillabaisse was completely over cooked, fish was tough and chewy. Salmon was dry and tasteless. Portions have shrunk considerably. The new owner has run down what used to be a lovely authentic spot. Sadly, we cannot recommend this place.

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S
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been coming here for years. It’s the perfect place to catchup with a friend. There is something on the menu for everyone (always good). Highly recommend their version of an “egg roll” as an appetizer. It’s a small, intimate restaurant with excellent service. I highly recommend.

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AV
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Spent my birthday at Jilly’s having my favorite smoked salmon lunch.

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SR
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful evening great food would come back again and definitely referred Jilly's Cafe to my friends keep up the good work Susan

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K
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Jilly's Cafe continues to be a neighborhood gem. On our recent visit, we had the best service ever, and the dinner was very good. Heartily recommend.

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T
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Got there early and had a table right by the window. It was warm there, even though it was quite cold outside. The service is good with the right amount of attention to water refill and other needs. The pear shaped chicken was quite tasty. We would go there again.

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j
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We love Jilly's and go there for special occasions all the time... was a little shocked to find out there was a price per person already on the menu at $90 per person. Finding this out when we were handed our menu was kind of a buzz kill. On a normal day we could have had everything we wanted and splurged and it would have only been $120. After tea and tip we were over $230 for dinner. We will be back - but not on Valentines day which has been our tradition for years.

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DF
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

very cozy-quiet evening-great food and wine-only thing to keep it from 5 stars -PARKING-there isn't any

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FT
Chicago
45 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This is one of the best restaurants that we go to when in the Evanston area. The quality of the food is high, the preparations are unique and the service is excellent. The room can get a bit noisy on busy nights or if there is a larger group, but most tables are for two-four people. The beet salad remains a favorite and the pate they serve with fresh bread is excellent as well. If you are planning to dine at a popular time, make reservations.

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LE
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Enjoyed quiet lunch, warm atmosphere, good food and service, mice ambience.

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