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Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba OR Emilio's Tapas?

I am looking for a fun tapas restaurant with great food for a group of about 8 people in the Lincoln Park area. (Hence my not mentioning Cafe Iberico). Does anyone have an opinion between BBR and Emilio's? I have never been to either and am not sure.

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  1. Both are good. Emilio's is less corportate and authentic, but you will not go wrong with either.

    1. We've been to Cafe Ba-ba-Reeba many times and the original Emilios (in Hillside) many times, but never the Chicago location and I agree that both locations are very good. The Hillside Emilios is a little more authentic although I'd say it's a little less festive than Cafe Ba-ba-Reeba. Just an added note... we tried Cafe Iberico recently for lunch and was not impressed whatsover!! Hope this helps!

      1. My favorite is Emilio's in Hillside. I would pick Emilio's on Fullerton over Cafe Babareeba on Halsted. Emilio actually started at Cafe Babareeba many years ago.

        1. Baba is still running many of the same items emilio put on the menu 15 years ago
          I find emilios much better

          1. I prefer Emilios, but make sure you go to the location on Fullerton. I went to the Gold Coast location once and was very disappointed.

            1. Hmmm...I hope people don't take offense.

              I've been to Emilio's twice. I don't recall the location where I went the first time...the food was pretty good. The wife and I just recently went to the hillside location and were a bit disappointed. The tapas were pretty good and alot of fun (as it should be). But the paella was disappointing (at both places). All the seafood was horribly overcooked and there was no soccarat to be found (which is merely a preference). This, in itself, would still have been fine for an average dining experience...but the cockroach crawling up the wall turned us away.

              I'd recommend it for the tapas and a fun place to eat...but I'll stay away from the paella and the Hillside location.


              1. Good Paella is hard to find...well, except for my mom's. The paella at Cafe BaBa and Emilio's is not the greatest.

                  1. re: babychef

                    The original post said: "in the Lincoln Park area. (Hence my not mentioning Cafe Iberico)"

                  2. My friends don't like Emilio's on Fullerton - and I trust their judgement.

                    Cafe Ba-ba-Reeba - festive, food tastes pretty good in my opinion but are tiny... good variety on sangria... helpful hint... they will not seat your party until you are all there - at least that's how it was the last time I was there.

                    1. As I understand it, Emilio was imported by the Lettuce group to open and run BaBaReeba as Chicago's first tapas restaurant. After his contractual gig, he went on his own and opened the Hillside tapas place in - I believe - an old fast-food building. It's still quite good. He opened La Meson (tapas) in an elaborate old mansion in Naperville, and then Banlieu (not a tapas place) behind Yorktown shopping center. Both were very good. He's sold both several years ago.

                      Does he have a place at 31st Street and Wolf Road in LaGrange Park? Never been there . but think I heard that a year or so ago.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MikeLM

                        > Does he have a place at 31st Street and Wolf Road in LaGrange Park?

                        All of Emilio's five restaurants are shown on his website at www.emiliostapas.com

                        None is in La Grange Park.