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Carnivale

Latin American Restaurant and Spanish Restaurant$$$$
Fulton River District, Chicago
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8.8/10
531
ratings
  • The experts at Eater and Epicurious recommend this place
    • Eater
    • Epicurious
  • Roosevelt Collection
    "The Ropa vieja appetizer is fabulous!"(4 Tips)
    Kat S.
    "Try the octopus appetizer and ARRACHERA!"(9 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)
131 Tips and reviews
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  • mojitos
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  • good for dates
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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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Colin R.
    Colin ReynoldsSeptember 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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 !!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Nicole V.
    Nicole VelazquezFebruary 27, 2015
    Love coming here. So romantic. .they play great music and food is amazing.
  • Jennika G.
    Steak, mojitos, pulled beef appetizer- everything!
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Nicole V.
    Nicole VelazquezSeptember 18, 2011
    Every drink we ordered was delish and was strong! Gotta try the Victoria secret!
  • eulalia
    eulaliaApril 18, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    veal empanadas for an appetizer and the chi-town peppermint for dessert. trust me.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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
  • Israel S.
    Israel SmithMay 28, 2012
    Everything is great but the guac is a MUST! The chips are amazing!
  • 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
  • Zakia C.
    Zakia CMay 29, 2013
    They have free salsa lessons and Margie lessons during the mont of may.
  • 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
  • Feb S.
    Feb SJanuary 4, 2012
    The place is great. So colorful. The food is nice as well. Try the Skirt Steak.
  • Wendy D. C.
    Happy Hour? It was ok the bartender could use tips on hospitality and the mojitos were definitely not their signature mojitos.
  • 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
  • Heather V.
    Heather VanaJuly 21, 2011
    Pork with mashed plantain & bacon was awesome.
  • Verne P.
    Verne PJuly 2, 2012
    Try the Beef Tenderlion With Sweet Potatoe Gratin
  • Matt S.
    Matt SilvermanOctober 26, 2014
    Pulled pork taco appetizer.
  • 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.
  • Donny W.
    Donny WilliamsOctober 25, 2011
    If they have it on menu, try the ox tail.
  • Darina S.
    Darina ShapkinaMay 29, 2016
    Food, margarita, wine list, cheese plate.
  • Emily
    EmilyDecember 14, 2010
    The Arrachera (skirt steak) is amazing! Very tender and flavorful!
  • Ju Hae L.
    Ju Hae LeeAugust 6, 2014
    Atmosphere was amazing and the food was legitt
  • Shannon B.
    Shannon B.June 21, 2011
    Atmosphere can't be beat: Lively, flirty & fun!
  • Andrew
    AndrewSeptember 16, 2013
    No trip to Chicago is complete without dinner at Carnivale. Arrachera + sangria = ¡Que magnifico!
  • B W.
    B Wallace JrOctober 9, 2011
    Great service. Food, not worth the price. Don't get the short rib!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Amber Rose A.
    Ropa vieja appetizer FOR SURE. #Chicago #foodie
  • 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!
  • 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
  • Deborah P.
    Deborah PaszkietJune 28, 2011
    Great guacamole but greasy greasy chips.....
  • 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
  • Mad H.
    Mad HJuly 17, 2010
    Food is great mojitos too. Bathrooms are unique.
  • Robert M.
    Robert McMarch 6, 2011
    For dessert, the ice cream cake is a must!
  • Mike W.
    Mike WilderOctober 23, 2015
    Service industry discount Sundays - 25% off entire check.
  • Nicole V.
    Nicole VelazquezSeptember 18, 2011
    Order the Victoria secret...won't be disapointed!
  • 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.
  • ~eb
    ~ebOctober 2, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    I LOVE this place! It never disappoints!
  • Adolfo R.
    Adolfo RodriguezMay 2, 2014
    Matt is the best server!!
  • Angie E.
    Angie EmaraOctober 24, 2010
    The CHURRASCO hands down- best thing on the menu.
  • Shannon H.
    Shannon HeathJuly 15, 2013
    No miles on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday
  • Madison L.
    Madison Levin-EpsteinDecember 24, 2011
    very fun place and great food!
  • Paul D.
    Paul DobranskyNovember 13, 2013
    Michigan Ave events to be avoided in favor of Park Ave events.
  • Gabriela M.
    Gabriela MuzquizOctober 18, 2010
    Best fish tacos! overall good ambiance
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