clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Shrimp in olive oil and garlic is a winner at Jaleo.
Jaleo [Official Photo]

Filed under:

Jaleo, José Andrés’s Flagship Tapas Restaurant, Opens in Chicago

The famous chef brings table side paella and a variety of Spanish pork to River North

Chicago has a range of tapas restaurants that includes Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’s Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, to New York newcomer Boqueria, to Andersonville upstart Little Madrid Cafe. Apologies to Rich Melman, but none have a personality as large as José Andrés backing them. Announced in November 2019. Jaleo finally swings its doors open to the general public today in River North, part of a larger expansion into Chicago for Andrés, a Nobel Prize-nominated chef born in Spain with restaurants in Washington, D.C.; New York; and Las Vegas.

Jaleo was Andrés’s first restaurant, opening in 1984 in D.C. The Chicago location has a few tweaks. First, there’s a basement speakeasy-style bar, called Pigtail, that should open later this year. Management hasn’t provide many details on the project other than Andrés will make a visit when the tavern is ready. There’s also a few unique dishes like paella presented table side and another rice dish (Arroz rabo de toro).

Arroz a banda con gambas
Jaleo/Regan Baroni
Tarta de Queso Vasca
Jaleo/Regan Baroni

Jaleo’s signature dishes include endives with goat cheese, oranges, almonds, and roasted-garlic dressing; Basque-style cheesecake with payoyo (a type of Spanish goat cheese). There’s also tons of pork from cured selection to the special black-footed pig imported from Spain. The menu touts this as a “secret butcher’s cut.”

Ultimate G&T
Jaleo [Official Photo]

There’s also a tapas bar that reflects a casual atmosphere. As Chicagoans return downtown to work, Jaleo wants to attract a happy hour crowd where colleagues sip on sherries and Spanish-style gin & tonics with infused gins.

Andrés continues his humanitarian efforts to battle the pandemic, which isn’t over. He was recently in India helping that country’s citizens. Still, Jaleo’s arrival is a bright moment for Chicago’s restaurant scene, and another in a series of openings for Andrés in the city.

Jaleo, 500 N. Clark Street, open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday an Saturday.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Jaleo Chicago

500 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654 Visit Website
Chicago Restaurant Openings

Five Things to Know About Čálli, Soho House’s Latest Mexican Restaurant


Michelin-Starred Mari Katsumura Takes Over Downtown Darling Chicago Athletic Association

Chicago Restaurant Closings

Cooper’s Hawk Will Vacate Esquire Theater Space and Close Its Sole Chicago Location

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Chicago newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world