About The Dawson

730 West Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654
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Awarded a Bib Gourmand in 2014 and 2015, The Dawson is a casual neighborhood hangout features an energetic series of bi-level indoor and outdoor spaces. Each unique area is approachable, yet versatile in offerings, as well as experience. The menu presents a new American cuisine characterized by simple flavors with a farm-driven Midwestern sensibility by chef Shaun King. The beverage program of house made sodas, cocktails, craft beers and wines creatively complements chef King’s menu. A nod to the contiguous Dawson Brothers Fireplace Plant of late 19th century Chicago, The Dawson's interior design draws inspiration from the history of the neighborhood and the industrial innovation of that era and offers an artfully stripped-down aesthetic, highlighting natural and reclaimed materials in unexpected ways throughout the restaurant.
offers an artfully stripped-down aesthetic, highlighting natural and reclaimed materials in unexpected ways throughout the restaurant.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
American

Hours of Operation:
4:30PM - 10PM MONDAY (BAR UNTIL 11PM)
4:30PM - 11PM TUESDAY - THURSDAY (BAR UNTIL 12AM)
4:00PM - 12AM FRIDAY AND SATURDAY (BAR UNTIL 1:30AM)
4:00PM - 10PM SUNDAY (BAR UNTIL 11PM)

BRUNCH HOURS:
10:30AM - 3:00PM SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

Cross Street:
Grand - Halsted & Milwaukee

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(312) 243-8955

Website:
http://www.the-dawson.com/

Public Transit:
Grand Blue Line across the street

Executive Chef:
Shaun King

Additional:
Full Bar, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access

Restaurant Photos

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Private Dining

We are passionate about the food, beverage, and hospitality we provide and look forward to collaborating with you, our guest, to make your event memorable!

The Dawson Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.5

ambience

4.6

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

fit for foodies (98)
good for groups (91)
great for outdoor dining (86)
See All
hot spot (69)
special occasion (67)
neighborhood gem (65)
vibrant bar scene (58)
great for brunch (56)
romantic (40)
great for lunch (21)
notable wine list (17)
late-night find (14)
kid-friendly (10)
scenic view (5)
 (1)
 (1)
 (1)
 (1)
 (1)
 (1)
 (1)
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Newest
586 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5

Awesome patio and fantastic food. I'd hi ...

vip
Dined 2 days ago

Awesome patio and fantastic food. I'd highly recommend.

food5
ambience5
service3
value5

The Dawson Does It Again

Dined on May 23, 2016

I have been to The Dawson many times, and it is generally my "go-to" no matter what the occasion. When I have friends visiting from out of town, I always make sure that we come to The Dawson at least once while they are in town. My friends, Kati and Jonathan, had just gotten married in Santa Fe and had taken the train to Chicago on their way back to Baltimore. I could think of no better place to celebrate. They were both blown away by The Dawson's food and beverages. I look forward to celebrating special occasions (or just any ordinary day) for many years to come at this extraordinarily fabulous eatery.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service2
value4

Great outdoor spot

Dined on May 22, 2016

The hostess was fabulous! Our server, however, didn't seem to want to be there and wasn't helpful with the menu. She took away our empty drink glasses and walked away without asking if we'd like another. I joked that the hostess' enthusiasm made up for our server's lack of enthusiasm. I can't believe it's taken me so long to go there. I love the outdoor area, the cocktails were really good and there is something for everyone. We will return!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, notable wine list
food3
ambience3
service5

I visited with three others for my girlf ...

Dined on May 21, 2016

I visited with three others for my girlfriend's birthday. We had attended the Time-Out Mac and Cheese Smackdown and had been wanting to visit the restaurant to sample more of what they had. The award-winning mac and cheese is still brilliant. The hummus is also very good. The entrees were more hit-or-miss; the chicken and halibut were excellent, with simple, standout flavor. The pork and lamb were far more complicated. It was difficult to get some of each ingredient in a single bite, so they were bit inconsistent. The pork cut was also fatty and unevely-cooked, so, while the dish was still good, there wasn't enough pork to go around with all the other ingredients. Service was attentive, cheerful, and very helpful.

food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Wish I discovered earlier

vip
Dined on May 21, 2016

What a great find! Yelped "alfresco dining" to find them. The outdoor garden is perfect, the service and food were fantastic. Their menu is really innovative - so trust your server's recommendations.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food1
ambience4
service5
value1

Honestly, the food was just okay. Flavo ...

vip
Dined on May 20, 2016

Honestly, the food was just okay. Flavor was kind of lacking, which was disappointing given that the food isn't cheap. Got the steak "medium" but it was more "well done" than medium. My husband ordered the tuna collar (their special) and while it was huge, flavor was missing. Fun outdoor patio is available, but I'd tell anyone looking for real flavor that they're better off elsewhere.

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Love the Dawson. Cool, comfortable vibe ...

vip
Dined on May 20, 2016

Love the Dawson. Cool, comfortable vibe with great food and very affordable wine list. Outdoor space is a bonus for this urban gem.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
food5
ambience5
service5

My family and I had a great experience. ...

Dined on May 18, 2016

My family and I had a great experience. We loved the food and really appreciated the service. We will definitely be back and have already recommended it to friends.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I took a friend for Saturday brunch for ...

Dined on May 14, 2016

I took a friend for Saturday brunch for her birthday. Everything about The Dawson is 5 star. The space is absolutely beautiful. The service was excellent and the wait staff couldn't have been nicer. The food is wonderful and the menu eclectic. Not your run of the mill brunch menu. This is a restaurant that pays attention to its customers. Sometimes when a restaurant receives alot of publicity and good reviews, the servers become laid back. Not at The Dawson. Marcela the General Manager stopped by our table to make sure we had everything and we were comfortable. She then sent over a complimentary piece of their house made berry pie with coffee. I have not seen that kind of service in a very long time.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Love the place

Dined on May 14, 2016

Love the place

food5
ambience5
service5

Excellent! Service was wonderful and so ...

Dined on May 13, 2016

Excellent! Service was wonderful and so was the patio atmosphere.

food5
ambience5
service5

Absolutely loved it. Nice trendy spot, a ...

Dined on May 8, 2016

Absolutely loved it. Nice trendy spot, atmosphere was perfect.

food4
ambience4
service1
value3

Started poor, service grew great

Dined on May 8, 2016

We were greeted promptly and placed a drink order. The waitress returned to take our appetizer order, and required us to place our dinner order at the same time. Fortunately the food wasn't rushed out though. However, we waited 40 minutes from the time we sat until we received our drinks. Our appetizers came out before drinks were delivered. We asked another waiter, the bartender, and hostess staff for assistance to get our beverages during the 40 minutes. The food all was delicious though. The manager came over to apologize. They comped the first drinks and our two appetizers for us, which was greatly appreciated and saved me coming back. I love this place - the food, the atmosphere, the cocktails... so definitely happy to see they redeemed themselves.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, hot spot
food2
ambience5
service3
value1

Not what you expect for Chicago dining

Dined on May 6, 2016

Atmosphere and drinks were good. The hostess stand was a bit of a mess and really not very friendly. We had reservations, but I showed up an hour early to make sure to get on the list for outside seating. They told me that the reservation trumps the wait list, but that ended up not being the case. We ended up waiting almost 2 hours after our reservation time to get an "outdoor" table, which ended up being the first table by the windows barely outside. As for the food, it was nothing special. In Chicago you expect really good food especially so close to the West Loop. We had the chicken fried lobster for the appetizer and it was really lacking flavor. My pork entree was all fat. Just not worth the money in our opinion.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderful

Dined on April 30, 2016

Everything at the Dawson was wonderful. The food, drinks, ambiance, all of it. I went there with a group of friends to celebrate my birthday and will definitely go back.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5

Our experience at the Dawson was great, ...

Dined on April 30, 2016

Our experience at the Dawson was great, the food was all wonderful especially the lamb loin and ceviche. We were there celebrating an engagement and they had nice touches like bringing us some champagne at the start of our meal and some surprise desserts. Overall we felt so welcome and will be going back soon!

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Did not disappoint!

vip
Dined on April 30, 2016

I was beyond pleased with my first experience at The Dawson! The food and cocktails were amazing! I would highly recommend the Who You Talking Bout, Willis cocktail - delicious! We ordered the chicken fried lobster and it was so amazing and a great start to the meal. I had the top sirloin and it was perfectly cooked. The service was also wonderful! I will definitely be going back!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

Great cocktails, all the food was fabulo ...

Dined on April 26, 2016

Great cocktails, all the food was fabulous. We had a group of 8 and sat outside, it was a perfect evening for it. Everyone's dishes were great, the burger is fabulous as are the mahi tacos for two. And try the GTO cocktail, it was a big hit with us. Add to that the wonderful service and we couldn't have hoped for a better dining experience!

food5
ambience4
service4
value3

Had a Fabulous Brunch

Dined on April 24, 2016

Went in on a beautiful Sunday and sat on the patio for a leisurely brunch, food and service were fab! However maybe not the best spot if you're in a hurry.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food3
ambience5
service2
value3

Dawson Review

Dined on April 24, 2016

I'm a big fan of The Dawson, so I was a little taken back by our dinner experience. The oysters, were good as were the scallops, Mac-n-cheese was awesome, our bartender who made our pre-dinner drinks was great. He made excellent drinks and was pretty cool. Our waitress could have been nicer but maybe she was having a bad night or something, at least pretend you want to be working. Even with all that, the most disappointing thing was there "special" grilled prime rib. Now I know prime rib is fatty, that's were the flavor comes from. This cut of meat was so fatty I left more than 1/2 of it. Plus it was coated in a wine sauce that made it very difficult to even trim the fat off, because I couldn't see it. Such a disappointment for the price.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
food4
ambience4
service4

A solid urban dining experience. The ch ...

Dined on April 23, 2016

A solid urban dining experience. The chef is fantastic, the cocktails are far better than average and the food is great. They are not lazy with their menu as it seems to change up almost with the weather. I shared the mahi tacos for two and there was plenty of meat and toppings. A little spendy particularly if you order multiple cocktails but the service and food quality supports the price.

food2
ambience3
service1

That was such a terrible experience. Fro ...

Dined on April 23, 2016

That was such a terrible experience. From the food to the service. Our server might have checked on us once. I had to flag down someone else for coffee and water refills. At one point we had three empty cups and an empty bottle of water. The food was cold as well. Did not see how this place had such amazing reviews.

food4
ambience5
service5
value5

First time to Chicago visitor

Dined on April 23, 2016

Great ambience, good balanced atmosphere a very relaxing neighbourhood feel that draws all age groups

Tags: neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great Resturant

Dined on April 22, 2016

Wonderful evening at the Dawson. I love the seasonal menu (drinks included). Wonderful service as well.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

Service, food and atmosphere were amazi ...

vip
Dined on April 17, 2016

Service, food and atmosphere were amazing. I wil be back!

food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Brunch

Dined on April 17, 2016

Went to The Dawson for the first time for brunch and a friends birthday. Great experience, nice day and birthday dessert. Only wish they had pineapple juice for mimosas.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, hot spot
food3
ambience5
service3

Service was really slow. It was busy bu ...

Dined on April 16, 2016

Service was really slow. It was busy but that doesn't mean service should be slow.

food4
ambience4
service4

This was our second time at the Dawson, ...

vip
Dined on March 27, 2016

This was our second time at the Dawson, and we will definitely be back for a third visit. Food was even better (more consistent, better seasoned) this time around. So far our favorite dishes on the menu are the ceviche, the wedge salad, and the fish tacos. The cocktails are also excellent. Service has been attentive and helpful. I love the decor; my partner hates the ceiling, but raves abiut the food so I dont think it matters too much. Two small pet peeves: the bathrooms are lovely but the water pressure in the sinks is too high so you get splattered with water every time you wash your hands. Also the valet parking has been slow each of our two visits. We get out of the car and valet is no where to be found, not even a sign. Valet parking is often a customer's first interaction with a restaurant, so that first impression needs to be improved. Overall though we are thinking the Dawson might be one of our new regular spots. Food was great, and our bill was less than $100 (not including tip) for 2 cocktails, 1 app, 2 entrees, and 1 dessert. For this caliber of food that is a steal. There is lots more on the menu we are looking forward to trying on our next visit.

food1
ambience2
service2
value1

Poor experience on so many levels

Dined on March 27, 2016

My husband and I took our boys to the Dawson for the first time on Easter Sunday and inspire of not being too busy the device was done randomly and was slow. The food we ordered was decent by $32 for a small piece of mushy lamb was disappointing, not to mention that any of the staff we communicated with seemed to have a clue what gluten free even means and Iwish I had fought on earlier but when your GF dessert is served on cream puffs there is a problem!!! Needless to say we will not be returning!!! I communicated with the hostess, 3 waiters to let them know that my meal would have to be strictly GF and was assured that is would be no problem at all...well 3 days later I am finally feeling back to normal after having been " glutened"😖

food4
ambience4
service3
value4

Easter Sunday

vip
Dined on March 27, 2016

A little cool, but we sat on the patio anyway. The Dawson offered a special Easter brunch menu, so there were some items that weren't available. Overall very nice meal, our waiter was a bit slow, but it WAS Easter, so very relaxed. Overall, we've been here many times, and we will continue to come for solid food and drinks every time.

Tags: great for brunch
food5
ambience4
service5

Service was great. Steak and eggs were f ...

Dined on March 27, 2016

Service was great. Steak and eggs were fantastic! We will definitely go back!

food4
ambience5
service5

Always enjoy the vibe here. Service was ...

Dined on March 27, 2016

Always enjoy the vibe here. Service was great. Had the cauliflower & Brussels sprout apps. Both very interesting & tasty flavors! For dinner we just had burgers but they were solid.

food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Always a good bet

vip
Dined on March 20, 2016

I've been here a few times and never disappointed with the food and drinks. Will be back for sure.

Tags: good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience4
service3
value3

Burger beats the service!

vip
Dined on March 19, 2016

Service was okay. One bartender was rather drab. The other had a bit more personality. I shouldn't have to get your attention as a bar patron, I should be greeted and offered a drink. Burger was delicious! Steak and eggs could use some seasoning, but it was decent. Great long islands and margaritas from the juggling bartender. Can't wait to return in the summer!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
food4
ambience2
service4

The food was the best part. We went for ...

vip
Dined on March 13, 2016

The food was the best part. We went for Sunday brunch. B.E.A.L.T. with lobster added was really good. Not sure the lobster was worth the extra ten bucks but it did make for a really tasty sandwich. The cinnamon bun was great. Cheese burger gets good marks. Spinach omelette looked plain; I don't like spinach so didn't taste it. The worst part was driving up to the location; not a great intersection. Our table was OK but it looked like being in the back would have been nicer.

food5
ambience5
service5

This was by far the best restaurant we v ...

Dined on March 7, 2016

This was by far the best restaurant we visited during our 6 day stay in Chicago. We had made reservations in advance but due to the IHA show, taxis were scarce. We called to inform them we were running late. They were very accommodating, which was great since this was for a customer dinner. The ambience was both relaxing and inviting, and the food was amazing! We decided to add The Dawson to our list of restaurants which our company uses for group dinners. Great staff and our waiter was always on top of everything - ready to remove plates, take drink orders all while making sure we had privacy. Will definitely go back!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Date Night

Dined on March 1, 2016

Always looking to try new places and I pass this place everyday on my way to work and finally decided to make a reservation. I was certainly not disappointed. The hostesses were very friendly and provided coat check and a seat at the bar for my date when I was running a little behind. Wait staff was very attentive and cleared out food right away to keep extra table space. Their drink menu was very large, and I very much enjoyed the wine. Appetizers were great, we had the Mac and Cheese, which was amazing, highly recommend it. For main course I had the burger (which is on special on Tuesdays). Chocolate cake for desert was also great, and not too big that you felt like there was no way you'd finish it, just enough for a sweet tooth. Over all great experience and I would highly recommend it!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My favorite restaurant in Chicago, hands ...

vip
Dined on February 29, 2016

My favorite restaurant in Chicago, hands down! I never have any complaints. =)

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

new fav benedict

vip
Dined on February 27, 2016

was able to grab a last minute reservation for brunch. service and food were great. we had the smoke salmon benedict which was served on a potato hash instead of english muffin. i think i'll have all my benedicts that way from now on, thanks. pork shoulder mac and cheese was also very yummy - very rich and the pork shoulder is more like thick bacon chunks . . . and the irish coffee was perfect for a cold winter day (or a sunny and unseasonably warm winter day).

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Enjoyed the atmosphere, I was able to ta ...

Dined on February 25, 2016

Enjoyed the atmosphere, I was able to talk to my date without struggling to hear what ages saying.

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