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Mercat a la Planxa

#101 of 7,681 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
Neighbourhood:
Downtown / The Loop
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638 S Michigan Ave, Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL 60605-1901 (Balbo)
+1 312-765-0524
Website
Today
07:00 - 23:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Mon - Fri 06:30 - 23:00
Sat - Sun 07:00 - 23:00
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753 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 721: English reviews
Texas
Level Contributor
161 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2015

Maybe I should have tried this for dinner as they have a pretty cool menu. Lunch was ok, but nothing spectacular

Helpful?
Thank hellogoodbye_7
Level Contributor
3 reviews
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2015 via mobile

The food is ok, would expect more from an iron chef restaurant? But what is even worse is the service was horrible and they didn't even seem to care? Waited 15 minutes after being seated to get a drink and after waiting for 20 minutes to get the check and no other employee would accept payment the bartender finally found... More 

Helpful?
Thank Robert M
Chicago USA
Level Contributor
130 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2015

Having eaten there 4 times over the past 4 years I feel it is time to tip my hat to Mercat. The most recent time was 2 weeks ago, on a Sunday at 5 pm and the timing probably had a lot to do with my enjoyment (uncontrolled glee and delirium would be more apt) The only thing that holds... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Norris A
Kim B, Manager at Mercat a la Planxa, responded to this review

Wow, Bavarian Chicago- What an amazing review. While we can not compose Pulitzer-worthy prose worthy of your review, we would simply like to say, "Thank you." Your review was a pleasure to read and highlighted all of the character, cuisine and Catalan-inspired traits that we are so proud of. It has been a pleasure serving you over the course of... More 

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
93 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2015

this part of town is near the universities so decent restaurants are in short supply. If you don't want to cab it to downtown, this is a good spot to have a quiet meal. The mixed vegetables were flavorful, the oxtail pasta was tasty. Not the best meal in Chicago but it is also not won you feel let down... More 

Helpful?
Thank travelingphotodude
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
42 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2015

Why doesn't this place get more media buzz? Hamburger places get more attention. The attention to detail, from the slices of bread that accompany the charcuterie to the delicate pomegranate sauce to spread on your Manchego to that insanely creative dish with charred peppers and a nutty sauce - it's an experience I haven't found anywhere else in Chicago. You... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Helenday
Kim B, Manager at Mercat a la Planxa, responded to this review

Dear Helen, Wow! Thank you for spreading the word on what we think of as the South Loop's gem. We love serving amazing food and it is always wonderful to hear that our passion translates to our amazing guests. Thanks Helen for dining with us and we certainly hope to see you again soon! Sincerely, Mercat Management More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2015

The food was wonderful, loved the small portions. I didn't care for being sat in the bar area, would have preferred a table in the dining section.

Helpful?
Thank Craig L
westchester NY
Level Contributor
97 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2015 via mobile

Stayed at the Blackstone for business so we had breakfast here a few days. And although a little high priced, but average for a hotel, the food was excellent. Tried something different each morning and all were very tasty. Because of that we decided to try dinner. We were a party of 4 and tried 11 different dishes, each was... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank VinnyG1031
Kim B, Manager at Mercat a la Planxa, responded to this review

Dear Vinny, We are so happy that you had so many wonderful meals with us. Thank you for the outstanding review. It was a pleasure hosting you throughout your trip and we sincerely hope that you'll dine with us again the next time you are in town. Thank you, Mercat Management More 

Port Orange, Florida
Level Contributor
146 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2015

During a business trip to Chicago I ate at Mercat every evening and two mornings. The food gets better each visit. We had an amazing rib eye and garlic mushrooms, we had the same waitress, Jen twice. Jen made the experience even better. Even the broccoli and cauliflower make you crave more. The chef made mashed potatoes with truffle oil... More 

Helpful?
Thank bpbeth
Kim B, Manager at Mercat a la Planxa, responded to this review

Dear Beth, Thank you so much for your review. We are thrilled that the service and food were consistent. It's so much fun to read and/or hear from guests who are as passionate about our restaurant as we are. We'll be sure to let Jenn know about the great service you received and we hope that you have time to... More 

Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
39 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2015

Flew in to Chicago for morning meeting. Then checked in to hotel and decided to grab lunch @ the Mercat before heading to next meeting It's a beautiful room with a view, an elegant bar, and an open kitchen. Basically our waiter didn't care about us. I stopped by the bar after our meeting to order drinks - again poor... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Belvederian
Kim B, Manager at Mercat a la Planxa, responded to this review

Dear Belvederean, First, thank you so much for sharing about your experience with us. Good or bad, every guest's impression is important. We'll address your service issues with the staff. We pride ourselves on wonderful cuisine and equally exceptional service so your feedback is valuable. We hope that you stop in again should you find yourself back in Chicago. Thank... More 

Philadelphia
Level Contributor
186 reviews
150 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2015

I love the small plates menus at Chef Garces's restaurants, and I love the way he combines them to create tasting menus. The quality of the small plates is uniformly excellent. The lamb chops and the steak, two of the most popular items on the menu, are included in the tasting menu, as is a marvelously garlicky dish of grilled... More 

Helpful?
Thank Professor572
Kim B, Manager at Mercat a la Planxa, responded to this review

Dear WiseGuy572, We had so much fun reading your review! Chef Garces' menu is truly unique and it sounds like your group hit all of our favorites. Mercat a la Planxa is truly designed for the ultimate Spanish experience: fun, deliciously bold flavors and a welcoming environment to enjoy a long meal with friends. We hope to see you again.... More 

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
US$31 - US$50
Cuisine
Mediterranean, Spanish, Vegetarian Friendly
Meals
Brunch, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Free Wifi, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Valet Parking, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Private Dining, Validated Parking
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
Good for
Bar Scene, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Groups
Open Hours
Sunday
07:00 - 23:00
Monday
06:30 - 23:00
Tuesday
06:30 - 23:00
Wednesday
06:30 - 23:00
Thursday
06:30 - 23:00
Friday
06:30 - 23:00
Saturday
07:00 - 23:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 638 S Michigan Ave, Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL 60605-1901
    (Balbo)
  • Public Transportation: Nearest Red-line Stop is Harrison, head east on Balbo, restaurant is on the corner of Balbo & Michigan. Bus lines are the #3, #127, #129 all three stop at the entrance of Mercat a la Planxa.
  • Location: United States  >  Illinois (IL)  >  Chicago>  > Downtown / The Loop
  • Neighbourhood: Downtown / The Loop
  • Phone Number: +1 312-765-0524
Description
Mercat a La Planxa features an extraordinary selection of tapas dishes from cut-to-order charcuterie and cheeses to fresh seafood, steaks and chops, all inspired by Barcelona & Spain's Catalan region. The impressive menu includes an emphasis on meats and seafood served a la planxa or grilled-to-order. At the bar enjoy a tempting array of seasonally inspired sangrias, Spanish-styled cocktails and martinis, and for the wine lover choose from our extensive collection of Spanish cavas, and our carefully selected wine list featuring 40 Spanish wines available by the bottle or by the glass. 3 Private Dining Rooms available for that special event you are planning. From boardroom luncheons and corporate events to anniversary dinners and birthday brunches, Mercat is the perfect location for any celebration!

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Mercat a la Planxa staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?

Staying in Downtown / The Loop

Neighbourhood Profile
Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
Explore this neighbourhood