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Carnivale

Latin American Restaurant and Spanish Restaurant$$$$
Fulton River District, Chicago
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8.7/10
547
ratings
  • The folks at Epicurious and Eater like this place. Would you agree?
    • Epicurious
    • Eater
  • Roosevelt Collection
    "Also, try the Arrachera (skirt steak) as a main course!"(9 Tips)
    Patrice Y.
    "You must get the ropa vieja appetizer."(4 Tips)
    dana hotel and spa
    "the Carnivale ice cream cake is colorful and delicious!"(4 Tips)
    Courtney Q.
    "Great drink menu - highly recommend the mojitos and red sangria."(11 Tips)
134 Tips and reviews
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  • Serious Eats
    Serious EatsSeptember 2, 2013
    Carnivale’s loud, colorful lounge vibe plays off of its busy location perched above the Kennedy Expressway, and the ceviche mixto has bombastic, bright flavors to match.
  • C R.
    C ReySeptember 21, 2015
    Probably the best all around Latin dining experience you can find in the city. Everything on the menu is delicious and the ambiance is first class.
  • Tatiana B.
    Tatiana BuenaventuraJanuary 12, 2015
    Is a awesome place to celebrate special occasions. We went on a regular Sunday to have brunch and they had live music! The menu is interesting but the food is nothing special! You pay for the place
  • Terence S.
    Terence Steward IIFebruary 23, 2014
    Every good review I've read about this place is true. This spot is outstanding! The lamb is probably the killer entreé to get, along with the Churrasco.
  • Courtney Q.
    Courtney QuigleyOctober 25, 2013
    You can't come here without enjoying the ropa vieja appetizer!! Arrachera & market fish were excellent choices. Great drink menu - highly recommend the mojitos and red sangria. Loved it!
  • Art'n S.
    Art'n StudioJuly 16, 2015
    Arrachera is pretty amazin one that you should definitely try out and can't find any compliment word for decoration.. Awesome!
  • Eater
    EaterMay 24
    Colorful décor, a festive atmosphere and live entertainment ensure there’s never a dull moment but chef Rodolfo Cuadros’ cooking is the real attraction. Read more
  • Kat S.
    Kat S.July 22, 2014
    Fun atmosphere and great for groups! Try the octopus appetizer and ARRACHERA! Shout out to our server, Oscar, you da man!
  • Raed M.
    Raed MansourDecember 3, 2016
    Great vegetarian appetizers, dinners and desserts. Wonderful service and the space is a celebration of design worthy of any special occasion.
  • Scott Kleinberg
    Scott KleinbergAugust 16, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    BONUS: 2 tips for the price of one. First, the coconut mojito is very creamy and tasty. Second, don't be fooled - a small order of guacamole is plenty if you plan to eat anything else.
  • Tammy
    TammyAugust 17, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    lunch specials are the best. if you go often enough, they will also provide you with coupons or special promotions! my favorite is definitely bistek palomillo. to die for!
  • Bitches Who Brunch
    Bitches Who BrunchNovember 3, 2016
    CThis is the perfect place for a group brunch, a party brunch, or to take family visiting out of town. Read more
  • Nedish B.
    Nedish BOctober 26, 2013
    Really loved it !! Just had been there first time for my birthday it was awesome!!! Drinks and food are excellent ! Of course should make reservation before you go !!
  • Roosevelt Collection
    The Ropa vieja appetizer is fabulous! Also, try the Arrachera (skirt steak) as a main course! Finally... drink your dessert with the best Mojitos in Chicago!
  • michelle j.
    michelle jimenezDecember 23, 2014
    You have to eat ropa vieja. To die for appetizer. Love this place!! Such a fun atmosphere!
  • Ivan N.
    Ivan Nuñez-PachecoAugust 2, 2016
    Great atmosphere and ambiance with amazing food to boot. Try any of the tapas - you won't go wrong. The ropa vieja is excellent
  • InterContinental Chicago
    InterContinental ChicagoSeptember 7, 2011
    Robust Latin flavors from around the world served in a trendy vibrant atmosphere. If you're in a small group, ask to be seated in one of their private dining areas.
  • Leila S.
    Leila SamiiNovember 9, 2014
    Hidden gem. So beautiful and vibrant inside matching the menu. The scallops were cooked to perfection!
  • Scott Kleinberg
    Scott KleinbergDecember 17, 2015
    Been here 10+ times
    The guacamole is terrific here. And the chips are too. That's just the beginning. I've been here at least 30 times and I've never been disappointed.
  • Epicurious
    EpicuriousJanuary 22, 2015
    The food, which borrows from all over South America, is as lively as the setting. Throw in a few caipirinhas, and it feels like a Brazilian Carnaval. Read more
  • dana hotel and spa
    dana hotel and spaSeptember 1, 2012
    the Carnivale ice cream cake is colorful and delicious! We recommend sharing with the entire table!
  • Ana L.
    Ana LaValleyMay 13, 2016
    Everything we had was amazing! Drinks were a little strong but food was delicious
  • Michelle T.
    Michelle TruongMarch 27, 2014
    Vieja Ropa appetizer and guacs are musts. As is the ice cream cake for dessert.
  • Amanda W.
    Amanda WhitneyAugust 21, 2016
    Food is amazing, margaritas are amazing-- cocktail pictured doesn't compare to their margaritas though
  • Xandrea R.
    Xandrea RapierApril 5, 2016
    Octopus and scallops are excellent! Wide variety of drinks. Tables are very close together, would not recommend for a romantic evening.
  • Kevin D.
    Kevin DulinJanuary 6
    The Bolivian Lamb Chops were to die for! Don't bother with the cotton candy it's a waste of money.
  • Jonathan E.
    Jonathan EckertSeptember 13, 2011
    Yum! Yum! And more Yum! A great, colorful dining room with EXCELLENT food and service. Sit in the balcony if you can for a great view.
  • kevin s.
    kevin smithJanuary 14, 2016
    Every time I come here, I always love it. I got the Chicken Milanese and it was awesome. The arrachera is always a winner.
  • Bloomingdale's
    Bloomingdale'sAugust 12, 2010
    Salsa singing in your ears, salsa tingling your taste buds. A crazy-quilt of colors dazzling your eyes. Go fo Latino dishes like your abuelita used to make and tequila flights to wash them down with.
  • Epicurious
    EpicuriousAugust 24, 2010
    South American cuisine and brightly colored decor will transport you to, well, Carnivale! Try the rum-glazed roast pork or pupusas stuffed with oxtail, cheese, and refried beans.
  • Tammy
    TammySeptember 13, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Bistek Palomillo is one of my faves. If you want a cheaper option while dining here, go for their lunch menu. Just as delish!
  • Scott Kleinberg
    Scott KleinbergJuly 4, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    The menu changes often enough. The steaks are usually terrific and come with great sides and sauces.
  • Peter D.
    Peter DykstraOctober 15, 2013
    Another great Wine & Beer tasting event coming up on 11/6/13, to support local Chicago Special Olympics. Sign up here! on.fb.me/195bZR2 Read more
  • Chicago magazine
    Chicago magazineApril 16, 2012
    Color and noise upstage the food, but cured meats and Spanish cheeses elevate the party. So do the many tequilas and Latin-inspired drinks. Read more
  • Scott Kleinberg
    Scott KleinbergJanuary 13, 2016
    Been here 10+ times
    The guacamole is top shelf here. There are two sizes, but you want the small. The large one is way too big to enjoy the rest of the menu.
  • Missy
    MissyDecember 27, 2014
    Get the ropa vieja, tell them to make it the old way! 😉 Order the guacamole and the arrachera. Perfecto. 👌
  • Jennie
    JennieAugust 28, 2013
    BEST MEAL EVER. Got lucky with a Travelzoo Deal for 4 people. 4 appetizers + 4 entrees + 4 drinks for $145. We enjoyed the appetizers the most, esp the squid and ceviche.
  • Joe A.
    Joe AgostinelliMarch 28, 2010
    Scallop ceviche is a surprise for you...sweetness from pineapple and yuzu orange, before you get a strong zing from habanero. Don't let that scare you away from it though, very good.
  • Truth D.
    Truth DoctorMarch 3, 2013
    Found a new menu item that's excellent! The short ribs are so tender they fall off the fork! It's worth the trip!
  • Nicole V.
    Nicole VelazquezFebruary 27, 2015
    Love coming here. So romantic. .they play great music and food is amazing.
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoFebruary 21, 2012
    Nothing like stilt walkers to remind you how batshit crazy Bourbon Street is. Live music, samba dancing and a Mardi Gras–inspired menu complete the celebration Read more
  • Darrell N.
    Darrell NakagawaJuly 21, 2012
    The ice cream cake is great!! The guacamole was awesome as well
  • Jennika G.
    Steak, mojitos, pulled beef appetizer- everything!
  • Pradeep N.
    Pradeep NayarOctober 30, 2011
    Definitely try and reserve in advance to get seated fast....also..do defintely try the coconut mojito! Read more
  • Aimee O.
    Aimee OhMay 18, 2013
    Thoroughly enjoyed the Arrachera (skirt steak). Ropa Vieja is a MUST!
  • eulalia
    eulaliaApril 18, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    veal empanadas for an appetizer and the chi-town peppermint for dessert. trust me.
  • Nicole V.
    Nicole VelazquezSeptember 18, 2011
    Every drink we ordered was delish and was strong! Gotta try the Victoria secret!
  • Scott Kleinberg
    Scott KleinbergMarch 17, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Reservations are interpreted in an interesting way here. 7:00 is more like 7:20. Something to keep in mind as you make your evening plans.
  • Patrice Y.
    Patrice YursikMarch 9, 2014
    You must get the ropa vieja appetizer. You must!
  • Manish S.
    Manish SharmaDecember 30, 2016
    Try to save some space for their desserts. We made that mistake but next time we are going here just for dessert.
  • Carol Ann W.
    Carol Ann Walls-SandellFebruary 1, 2010
    Had another amazing meal at Carnivale this past weekend! Of course we started our feast with the Ropa Viejo appetizer! Chef Mendez and his team are incredible. Read more
  • Cristina D.
    Cristina DordasAugust 23, 2014
    Ropa vieja is to die for! Highly recommended
  • Emily C.
    Drinks pretty good. We got an appetizer which tasted store bought. The music was loud we left early as we actually wanted to talk to each other. The manager came over but couldn't even hear us
  • Israel S.
    Israel SmithMay 28, 2012
    Everything is great but the guac is a MUST! The chips are amazing!
  • Alex F.
    Alex FlisAugust 27, 2015
    Great food and drinks but we had absolutely terrible service. Our waiter was more than rude. However once we spoke with the manager she was extremely apologetic and very kind- she gave us coupons
  • Zakia C.
    Zakia CMay 29, 2013
    They have free salsa lessons and Margie lessons during the mont of may.
  • Wendy D. C.
    Happy Hour? It was ok the bartender could use tips on hospitality and the mojitos were definitely not their signature mojitos.
  • Feb S.
    Feb SJanuary 4, 2012
    The place is great. So colorful. The food is nice as well. Try the Skirt Steak.
  • Patrice W.
    Patrice WooldridgeOctober 17, 2010
    Excellent food and service. Quite crowded hard to hear one another and two of the 4 entrees were Luke warm.
  • Tamara
    TamaraAugust 7, 2011
    Cream Corn is delicious, but if waiter asks if you want guacamole beware it's $15.
  • Tamara K.
    Tamara KOctober 27, 2014
    I love the atmosphere and the cocktails are divine
  • Jahmela
    JahmelaAugust 19, 2016
    Steak and the Ropa Vieja are to die for
  • Matt S.
    Matt SilvermanOctober 26, 2014
    Pulled pork taco appetizer.
  • Heather V.
    Heather VanaJuly 21, 2011
    Pork with mashed plantain & bacon was awesome.
  • Angie E.
    Angie EmaraJanuary 4, 2011
    Escolar ceviche is out of this world fresh! Must try!!
  • The Vyne
    The VyneNovember 16, 2010
    The ropa vieja is amazing. Definitely get it as an appetizer.
  • Darina S.
    Darina ShapkinaMay 29, 2016
    Food, margarita, wine list, cheese plate.
  • Donny W.
    Donny WilliamsOctober 25, 2011
    If they have it on menu, try the ox tail.
  • Ju Hae L.
    Ju Hae LeeAugust 6, 2014
    Atmosphere was amazing and the food was legitt
  • Emily
    EmilyDecember 14, 2010
    The Arrachera (skirt steak) is amazing! Very tender and flavorful!
  • Andrew
    AndrewSeptember 16, 2013
    No trip to Chicago is complete without dinner at Carnivale. Arrachera + sangria = ¡Que magnifico!
  • Shannon B.
    Shannon B.June 21, 2011
    Atmosphere can't be beat: Lively, flirty & fun!
  • Rachel C.
    Rachel CrawfordNovember 30, 2009
    Guacamole is great! I've had multiple dishes and all were good, however the skirt steak is absolutely delicious.
  • B W.
    B Wallace JrOctober 9, 2011
    Great service. Food, not worth the price. Don't get the short rib!
  • Verne P.
    Verne PJuly 2, 2012
    Try the Beef Tenderlion With Sweet Potatoe Gratin
  • Amber Rose A.
    Ropa vieja appetizer FOR SURE. #Chicago #foodie
  • Emily B.
    Emily BoltonAugust 25
    Gimmicky. Food is overpriced and not that great. They try to upsell you on apps, etc. good for accommodating large groups but generally not great.
  • Iveliss
    IvelissSeptember 12, 2012
    Get a steak...any steak! Amazing!!!
  • Alex G.
    Alex GascaFebruary 16, 2013
    Expensive, but really really good!
  • Charmin
    CharminJanuary 19, 2013
    The Arepas is amazing!!!
  • Bitches Who Brunch
    Bitches Who BrunchDecember 15, 2016
    Voted Best International Brunch by Bitches Who Brunch in 2016!
  • Crain's Chicago Business
    Crain's Chicago BusinessFebruary 3, 2011
    Carnivale isn't known for its "hamburguesa," but maybe it should be. The Dietzler beef stands out with assertive meaty flavor. Read more
  • Maria D.
    The "Pork Adobo" is my favorite!!
  • David W.
    David WelchNovember 20, 2011
    Try the plantains and braised beef app. Amazing!
  • Robert W.
    Robert WilsonApril 7, 2012
    I really like their Churrasco! Yum
  • Melissa A.
    Melissa AuJanuary 8, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Carnivale has delicious food and a great ambiance. I recommend the ropa vieja or empanadas for apps, New York strip steak for the entrée, and banana cream pie for dessert.
    Downvoted Sep 17
  • Lauren T.
    Lauren TalbertJuly 18, 2011
    Do not go here... Horrible valet service put dents in my car- tried to talk to the management of the restaurant and was very rude and NOT helpful- plus bland chicken and pork-NEVER AGAIN - try cafe28
  • Mike W.
    Mike WilderOctober 23, 2015
    Service industry discount Sundays - 25% off entire check.
  • Deborah P.
    Deborah PaszkietJune 28, 2011
    Great guacamole but greasy greasy chips.....
  • Mad H.
    Mad HJuly 17, 2010
    Food is great mojitos too. Bathrooms are unique.
  • Adam
    AdamNovember 17, 2016
    The food is average at best, for the price. You're paying for the kitsch decor. It's a novelty restaurant.
  • Nicole V.
    Nicole VelazquezSeptember 18, 2011
    Order the Victoria secret...won't be disapointed!
  • Adolfo R.
    Adolfo RodriguezMay 2, 2014
    Matt is the best server!!
  • ~eb
    ~ebOctober 2, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    I LOVE this place! It never disappoints!
  • Damon T.
    Damon TaylorNovember 20, 2010
    sangria made me forget how much I loved this place...where am I?
  • Dan G.
    Dan GeigerMay 5, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    Staff is fantastically helpful. Empanada Gallega is awesome.
  • Shannon H.
    Shannon HeathJuly 15, 2013
    No miles on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday
  • Paul D.
    Paul DobranskyNovember 13, 2013
    Michigan Ave events to be avoided in favor of Park Ave events.
  • Robert M.
    Robert McMarch 6, 2011
    For dessert, the ice cream cake is a must!
  • Angie E.
    Angie EmaraOctober 24, 2010
    The CHURRASCO hands down- best thing on the menu.
  • Madison L.
    Madison Levin-EpsteinDecember 24, 2011
    very fun place and great food!
  • Richie C.
    Richie CruzAugust 28, 2014
    everything.
  • Kristen S.
    Great atmosphere and food!
  • Noemi E.
    Noemi EscutiaMarch 30, 2014
    Calamari is awesome
  • Gabriela M.
    Gabriela MuzquizOctober 18, 2010
    Best fish tacos! overall good ambiance
  • Alex G.
    Alex GascaFebruary 16, 2013
    There's naked chicks every where
  • Joe R.
    Joe RaabApril 24, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    The chicken skewers for an appitizer are AMAZING!
  • Sara S.
    Sara SimsNovember 2, 2013
    Just left the restaurant because the wait staff is that bad.
  • Tricia L.
    Tricia LeeAugust 10, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Best mojitos in town!
  • Sergio T.
    Sergio TorresOctober 4, 2011
    Be sure to wash your hands after using the bathroom.
  • Kelly F.
    Kelly FerraraJune 7, 2011
    The halibut is phenomenal!!
  • Robert W.
    Robert WilsonApril 7, 2012
    Really like there Churrasco!
  • Sidnee L.
    Sidnee LewisOctober 16, 2011
    Excellent Sangria!
  • Brandon T.
    Brandon TJune 3, 2011
    New York Strip = Amazing
  • Katrina R.
    Katrina RamosMay 14, 2014
    Festive Latin fusion
  • Bijal S.
    Bijal ShahAugust 27, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Check out Tara and David...Chicago's hottest couple! They're much cooler than you.
  • Mark S.
    Mark SrJuly 6, 2013
    Ask for Andrea
  • Rochelle L.
    Rochelle LaxamanaAugust 11, 2011
    The sangria is really strong.
  • Jill
    JillJuly 8, 2011
    Get the skirt steak
  • Annie M.
    Annie McDonnellDecember 21, 2011
    Come have a Hum Bug!
  • Elizabeth L.
    Elizabeth LisowskiSeptember 20
    Connor rec
  • Rachel M.
    Rachel MeteaAugust 23, 2010
    Atun entree is delicious
  • Martin K.
    Martin KarolJuly 12, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Best Guacamole in the area.
  • Jim W.
    Jim WadeApril 19, 2012
    Celebrating 19 years with my beautiful wife
  • Angie E.
    Angie EmaraOctober 24, 2010
    Mojito smoothie is YUM!
  • Brett R.
    Brett RamseyDecember 14, 2010
    Try the Mac and Cheese
  • Brennan T.
    Brennan TSeptember 12, 2010
    Tuna ceviche correct.
  • Bethany M.
    Bethany MavroniclesJune 19, 2010
    Go and have a mojito
  • Jamie G.
    Jamie GradoJanuary 16, 2011
    Don't plan on ever using coupon off cell phone they will only accept paper copies
  • Charles D.
    Charles DrozdSeptember 4, 2013
    Lunch takes forever! Do not eat here unless you have 2+ hours to spare
  • Andy P.
    Andy PhelanApril 11, 2010
    Was a bit overrated.. but the food was good. Too much like a circus for me.
  • tom g.
    tom gronerNovember 20, 2009
    great atmosphere and great food
  • Matt P.
    Matt PorthFebruary 10, 2010
    Having a great time w MSIers!
  • Ling L.
    Ling LAugust 30, 2010
    Not a single bad menu item.
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