10 Toughest Tables: Chicago

How hard IS it to get a primetime reservation at a city's most coveted restaurants?

Every month The Daily Meal will reveal how difficult it is to reserve a primetime table at a city's most booked restaurants. This month's Toughest Tables hones in on Chicago. We teamed up with Opentable.com's Chief Dining Officer, Caroline Potter, to find out which restaurants customers have established as the most-booked. The ten places below were determined by votes from more than 688,500 diners. To help you score a much-coveted tables, we cross-examined each restaurant to determine how tough it really is to get seated.  

Most Booked Restaurants in Chicago

Girl and the Goat — (312) 492-6262 
Location: West Loop
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "It's on a first come, first serve basis, but you're more than able to eat at the bar. We do offer the full menu at the bar."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "We do not."
Do You Accept Walk-Ins? "We prefer to seat the full party." 
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "I would recommend coming in before six and after nine. I couldn't give you a certain time, but we do our best to accommodate."

 

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab — (312) 379-5637
Location: River North
Cuisine: Seafood
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "You can eat dinner at the bar. It's on a first come, first serve basis."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "We do not."
Do You Accept Walk-Ins? "We do accept walk-ins, but you will have to wait until the next available reservation."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "I would say almost always would be 3 p.m. or 4:30 p.m."  

 

HUB 51 — (312) 828-0051
Location: River North
Cuisine: American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "You can. The bar has the same menu. It's on a first come, first serve basis."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Not in the main dining room. Just at the bar."
Do You Accept Walk-Ins? "Yes, all the time."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "At lunch between eleven and one. We don't have our books configured between one and four, so you can just walk in at any time. At nighttime, it's hard to say. It depends on the night."  

 

Shaw's Crab House — (312) 527-2722
Location: River North
Cuisine: Seafood
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes. It's a full menu anywhere you sit."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "It depends on the size. If it's a table of six, no. If it's seven out of eight, that's fine."
Do You Accept Walk-Ins? "Yes."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "At 5 p.m."  

 

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba — (773) 935-5000
Location: Lincoln Park
Cuisine: Tapas/Small Plates
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes you can."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes we will."
Do You Accept Walk-Ins? "Yes we do."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Five or 5:30 p.m."  

 

Paris Club — (312) 595-0800
Location: River North
Cuisine: French
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yup, you can enjoy the full menu. We don't reserve tables at the bar."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Typically, people let us know in advance if someone is running late. We'll hold the table for about fifteen minutes past the reservation time. But if we know in advance, it's not a big deal."
Do You Accept Walk-Ins? "We do, but we have been really busy lately, so it depends on the day. On busy nights, the wait can be upwards of about two hours. It just depends on the day."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Five-thirty and earlier and ten o'clock or later."  

 

Wildfire — (312) 787-9000
Location: River North
Cuisine: American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes, you are welcome to eat at the bar."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "We don't, no."
Do You Accept Walk-Ins? "We definitely do."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "We definitely recommend calling ahead of time, but we will try to accommodate you as much as we can."

 

The Gage — (312) 372-4243
Location: Downtown/Loop
Cuisine: American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes, it's on a first come, first serve basis."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes, if it's a party smaller than seven."
Do You Accept Walk-Ins? "Yes we do."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "I would always recommend calling in advance. There's not usually a consistent time."  

 

Sunda — (312) 644-0500
Location: River North
Cuisine: Asian
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes.  We do offer a full menu everywhere. We don't take reservations for the main bar, but we do take a handful of reservations for the sushi bar."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Typically no. There is leeway there however, depending on the night. Generally, we only seat full parties."
Do You Accept Walk-Ins? "We accept walk-ins."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "It depends on the night of the week. I would say typically at 5 p.m. On the later end, 10 p.m. probably."  

 

Quartino — (312) 698-5000
Location: River North
Cuisine: Italian
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes, absolutely."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "It depends, but we are pretty accommodating, especially if we know ahead of time."
Do You Accept Walk-Ins? "Yes, of course."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "It depends on the night."  

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