Balena

Italian Restaurant and American Restaurant
1633 N Halsted St (North Ave.), Chicago, IL 60614, United States
Hours:
Closed until 4:30 PM (Show more)
  • Mon–Thu
    • 5:00 PM–10:00 PM
  • Fri
    • 5:00 PM–11:00 PM
  • Sat
    • 4:30 PM–11:00 PM
  • Sun
    • 4:30 PM–10:00 PM
Price:
$ $ $ $
Menus:
Dinner
Drinks:
Wine, Full Bar
Credit Cards:
Yes (incl. Discover & Visa)
Outdoor Seating:
Yes
9.3/10

Based on 193 votes

People like this place

Total Visitors
3,628
Total Visits
5,422
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  • What you need to know
    Cristina D.
    Don't miss the tagliolini nero and the tiramisu.(3 Tips)
    Erick N.
    not complete without at least one pizza and pasta for the table(3 Tips)
    Kate
    Mushroom pizza was amazing and make sure to save room for dessert.(3 Tips)
    Veronica H.
    Mortadella pizza with the pistachio pesto was amazing!(2 Tips)
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55 tips. Filter by taste:

  • all tips
  • pizza
  • good for dates
  • tagliolini nero
  • desserts
  • pistachio pesto
  • rigatoni
  • pasta
  • wine
  • lively
  • rustic
  • romantic
  • authentic
  • trendy
  • potato gnocchi
  • great value
  • sea urchin
  • affogatos
  • pork
  • fancy
  • vanilla gelato
  • Alan W.

    Brussel Sprout Pizza is the best

    Alan Weed · April 27
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  • Kevin D.

    Delicious pizza and pasta. I recommend the pistachio pesto pizza and the rigatoni with pork ragu! The strawberry No1 cocktail is also delicious.

    Kevin Dulin · April 19
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  • Teresa

    Absolutely delicious and the ambience is great. Skip the pizza and choose pasta (squid ink) and meaty mains (chicken breast was recently added back to the menu!) The tiramisu is to die for!!

    Teresa · April 2
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  • Sara

    Everything is delicious and the staff are fantastic.

    Sara · February 16
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  • Alex T.

    Tagliolini with sea urchin. Solid drinks. Pizza is good but rest of menu is great.

    Alex Tomasik · November 29, 2014
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  • Wrigley F.

    Trout is amazing-tripe bruschetta-not so much! Great wine list with lots of French and Italian wines.

    Wrigley Fielder · October 2, 2014
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  • Wrigley F.

    Just a wonderful, in-depth wine list served in big, beautiful stemmed wine glasses. Perfect for friends or a date especially before or after a Steppenwolf Theater show. The trout was delicious.

    Wrigley Fielder · September 22, 2014
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  • Esther S.

    Orechiette pasta 😍😍 lemony, creamy goodness topped with bread crumbs

    Esther Shamie · September 21, 2014
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  • Dane D.

    I don't think you can go wrong with anything on the menu.

    Dane Deasy · August 21, 2014
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  • Matt C.

    Tagliolini Nero

    Matt Cosentino · August 7, 2014
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  • Giovanni S.

    Butter sage pasta!!

    Giovanni Scotti · August 7, 2014
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  • Redeye Chicago

    Chris Pandel of Bucktown favorite The Bristol channels the simplicity of Italian cooking with roasted meats, wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas. Read more

    Redeye Chicago · August 3, 2014
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  • Chicago Tribune

    Potato gnocchi with beef heart Bolognese: know that the heart, makes for a wonderfully robust, tangy, meat sauce that, spread across a gentle bed of gnocchi, adds up to a soul-warming winter dish. Read more

    Chicago Tribune · August 1, 2014
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  • Pam

    The pork ragu rigatoni is delicious.

    Pam · July 24, 2014
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  • Courtney P.

    Best Salted Caramel Gelato ever! 4 Stars!!!!!

    Courtney Pluff · July 9, 2014
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  • Tim A.

    OVER RATED *CLAP* *CLAP* *CLAPCLAPCLAP*

    Tim Adams · May 31, 2014
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  • Cat G.

    The rigatoni with pork ragu and porcini mushrooms is amazing, as is the affogato. Easy to find free parking on Clybourn (near its intersection with Halsted) anytime outside of 4-6pm M-F.

    Cat Gao · May 10, 2014
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  • Erick N.

    A meal here is not complete without at least one pizza and pasta for the table

    Erick Neu · May 8, 2014
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  • Mac V. W.

    Don't get the arugula salad. Incredibly salty. #springbreak4eva

    Mac V. Wallach · January 17, 2014
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  • Karyn T.

    Cool Industrial space and ambiance.

    Karyn Tanis · January 2, 2014
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  • Time Out Chicago

    The tagliolini nero at Balena is one of the 100 best things we ate this year. http://tmout.us/rLOtk Read more

    Time Out Chicago · December 20, 2013
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  • Blunt R.

    I was just across the street picking up a Wolf going to Kolmar

    Blunt Robbins · December 13, 2013
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  • Serious Eats

    It's hard to go wrong at this mega Italian joint in Lincoln Park. Both the pizza and pasta are top notch.

    Serious Eats · December 2, 2013
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  • Brian R.

    Everything is awesome

    Brian Rydz · November 22, 2013
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  • Cara

    Ask for Linus....best waiter in the City!

    Cara · November 17, 2013
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  • Gustavo D.

    Bad service. Cattivo servizio. Serviço ruim.

    Gustavo Dorietto · November 16, 2013
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  • Eric M.

    Start the night off with one of their amazing vermouths and order one of their outstanding pizzas

    Eric Munn · October 14, 2013
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  • Nick H.

    If they still have it, the balena charcuterie board is a perfect mix for drinks and socializing.

    Nick Hork · October 12, 2013
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  • Kenny H.

    Amazing!!! Tasty and inviting!

    Kenny Hunt · September 16, 2013
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  • Cristina D.

    Lovely restaurant. Don't miss the tagliolini nero and the tiramisu. It is to die for!

    Cristina Dordas · July 4, 2013
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  • Mike G.

    Mushroom pizza was delicious! Excellent service great date night place! Small plates meant to be shared pastas were excellent specifically the pork shoulder pasta

    Mike Gonzalez · June 15, 2013
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  • Tatiana F.

    In my opinion the best dish is the nero spaguetti and for dessert ask for tiramissu. Very good an italian restaurant.

    Tatiana F O · May 29, 2013
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  • Shari

    Orichette, Hanger Steak, Canoli Sundae, & Mozzarella + Basil pizza with Chili sauce :-) :-)

    Shari · May 6, 2013
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  • Jessica K.

    NYT article: http://nytimes.com/2013/04/28/magazine/mushroom-bruschetta-that-can-carry-a-meal.html

    Jessica Kosturko · April 24, 2013
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  • amanda

    mmmmust haves: 1) smoked mackerel with soft egg starter. 2) pork ragu rigatoni. 3) tagliolini with crab and sea urchin.

    amanda · April 22, 2013
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  • Veronica H.

    Mortadella pizza with the pistachio pesto was amazing! And the pork ragu was surprisingly out of the box. Enjoy with a glass of barbera

    Veronica H · March 30, 2013
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  • Anna B.

    Before I even sat down to my strawberry drinky drank, my eyes glazed over the somewhat rustic yet elegant decor. I enjoyed the large displays of dazzling tumbleweed hanging from the ceiling rafters.

    Anna Bokun · March 27, 2013
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  • Ashley B.

    The brown butter and sage pasta is one of the most flavorful and simple pastas I've ever tasted. Delicious.

    Ashley Bobbitt · February 28, 2013
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  • Kate

    Upstairs is quieter spot to dine. Great wine list (bottle and by the glass). Mushroom pizza was amazing and make sure to save room for dessert.

    Kate · February 17, 2013
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  • Eater

    Between the rustic Italian fare, heavenly desserts, and fantastic cocktail list, the partnership between the Bristol and Boka groups doesn't show any signs of slowing down. [Eater 38 Member]

    Eater · January 28, 2013
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  • Brian H.

    Bread that will convert even the most devout Atkin's dieter.

    Brian Hanscel · November 6, 2012
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  • Kamilah M.

    Belly up to the bar and treat yourself to an unforgettable dinner! Every dish better then last.

    Kamilah M · October 29, 2012
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  • Erica R.

    Gorgeous restaurant and delicious food...order the bread!

    Erica Ramirez · October 28, 2012
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  • Matt B.

    Don't leave without getting the bread plate.

    Matt Benton · October 22, 2012
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  • BlackboardEats

    There are many reasons why Balena was named one of Bon Appetit's Top 50 Best New Restaurants, and their Farm Egg Tajarin is one of them. Topped with sage and brown butter, this pasta dish is perfect.

    BlackboardEats · September 13, 2012
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  • Chad

    Tagliolini Nero!

    Chad · June 15, 2012
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  • Olivia L.

    BREAD BASKET

    Olivia Leigh · June 1, 2012
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  • Meg B.

    Bread is amazing. Blueberry pie dessert, polenta, and mushroom pizza are very good. Overall, pastas and desserts are the high points

    Meg Bowes · June 1, 2012
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  • Tasting Table

    Make a beeline for the bitterness scale’s lone 10: the FIB. It’s a refreshing, botanical-heavy combination of Amaro dell’Erborista, Ransom gin, fresh grapefruit and basil: Read more

    Tasting Table · May 9, 2012
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  • Chicago magazine

    We'd go back for the orecchiette alone. Breadcrumbs, kale, and lemon tuck. Yum.

    Chicago magazine · May 1, 2012
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