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Balena



1633 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60610

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(312) 867-3888

Find Balena on Twitter

Cuisine: Italian Restaurants

View more restaurants at exit 51a on I-90.


4.8 of 5.0 from 72 reviews


price range:$11 to $25

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Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL
  • Balena in Chicago, IL

Balena Reviews

Add your review for Balena.

  • Leandro HGnocchi with pork... 👌🏻

    55555 by Leandro H


  • Madhu sThe lamb nest balls and carrot salad were good

    55555 by Madhu s


  • Damon MThere are two secret seats which overlook the kitchen at the bar.

    55555 by Damon M


  • Dave N.Squid ink pasta (tagliolini nero)

    55555 by Dave N.


  • Ja_Moi_IGreat place for a date! Great pasta. Love the space.

    55555 by Ja_Moi_I


  • s LPeach coppetta nicely done - amaretto gelato and almond cake

    55555 by s L


  • EaterChef Chris Pandel shows off his rustic Italian side with a breakfast-y selection of dishes including scrambled egg bruschetta, crispy polenta hash with pork ragout and a porchetta sandwich.

    55555 by Eater


  • EaterDievole Le Due Arbie 2015 ($11). "It pairs great with all of Balena’s seasonal dishes like the rhubarb bruschetta, grilled asparagus and seafood specials,” says beverage director Keith Whitten.

    55555 by Eater


  • Hank sBavette pasta was delicious

    55555 by Hank s


  • Tasting TableStill looking for that perfect place to celebrate your birthday? You found it. Balena’s charming wine cellar immediately transports you to Tuscany and the authentic Italian food will do the rest.

    55555 by Tasting Table


  • Erika MI've been here for restaurant week 2015 for a date. Atmosphere is nice and friendly staff. Great choice for a romantic date.

    55555 by Erika M


  • Scot W.Their barstaff are brilliant with amaro, an Italian herbal liquer. Service was very nice. Food was a bit average.

    55555 by Scot W.


  • Raed M.Service is impeccable! Great wine selection and food had a rustic, traditional feel. Really enjoyed it but only minor complaint is that music is a little too loud for a restaurant.

    55555 by Raed M.


  • Molly LynnThe kale & lemon orecchiette is amazing. The grilled octopus with romesco stands out as well. Great spot for more inventive Italian.

    55555 by Molly Lynn


  • Kristin L.Extensive wine list; ask for recommendations. Food was delicious, served quickly and accommodated special diets with no hassle. Friendly waiter never rushed us even as we were the night's last diners.

    55555 by Kristin L.


  • David S.Delicious cocktails. Spaghetti Western and Strawberry.

    55555 by David S.


  • Leslie STry the sardine.. Awesome... And any pizza, I tried the sausage/mozzarella one and was outstanding,, great balance between flavors...

    55555 by Leslie S


  • Alan TBrussel Sprout Pizza is the best

    55555 by Alan T


  • 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.

    55555 by Kevin D.


  • TeresaAbsolutely 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!!

    55555 by Teresa


  • SaraEverything is delicious and the staff are fantastic.

    55555 by Sara


  • Alex TomasikTagliolini with sea urchin. Solid drinks. Pizza is good but rest of menu is great.

    55555 by Alex Tomasik


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

    55555 by Wrigley F.


  • 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.

    55555 by Wrigley F.


  • Esther K.Orechiette pasta 😍😍 lemony, creamy goodness topped with bread crumbs

    55555 by Esther K.


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

    55555 by Dane D.


  • Matt NTagliolini Nero

    55555 by Matt N


  • Giovanni S.Butter sage pasta!!

    55555 by Giovanni S.


  • Redeye ChicagoChris Pandel of Bucktown favorite The Bristol channels the simplicity of Italian cooking with roasted meats, wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas.

    55555 by Redeye Chicago


  • Chicago TribunePotato 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.

    55555 by Chicago Tribune


  • PamThe pork ragu rigatoni is delicious.

    55555 by Pam


  • Courtney CBest Salted Caramel Gelato ever! 4 Stars!!!!!

    55555 by Courtney C


  • 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.

    55555 by Cat G.


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

    55555 by Erick N.


  • Brian N.I wish you guys were on Freebie App - check it out at www.FreebieApp.com :D

    55555 by Brian N.


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

    33333 by Mac W.


  • Karyn T.Cool Industrial space and ambiance.

    55555 by Karyn T.


  • Time Out ChicagoThe tagliolini nero at Balena is one of the 100 best things we ate this year. http://tmout.us/rLOtk

    55555 by Time Out Chicago


  • Blunt R.I was just across the street picking up a Wolf going to Kolmar

    22222 by Blunt R.


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

    55555 by Serious Eats


  • Brian R.Everything is awesome

    55555 by Brian R.


  • CaraAsk for Linus....best waiter in the City!

    33333 by Cara


  • Gustavo D.Bad service. Cattivo servizio. Serviço ruim.

    33333 by Gustavo D.


  • Eric M.Start the night off with one of their amazing vermouths and order one of their outstanding pizzas

    55555 by Eric M.


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

    55555 by Nick H.


  • Kenny H.Amazing!!! Tasty and inviting!

    55555 by Kenny H.


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

    55555 by Cristina D.


  • 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

    55555 by Mike G.


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

    55555 by Tatiana F.


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

    55555 by Shari


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

    33333 by Jessica K.


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

    55555 by amanda


  • 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

    55555 by Veronica H.


  • 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.

    55555 by Anna B.


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

    55555 by Ashley B.


  • KateUpstairs 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.

    55555 by Kate


  • EaterBetween 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]

    55555 by Eater


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

    55555 by Brian H.


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

    55555 by Kamilah M.


  • Erica R.Gorgeous restaurant and delicious food...order the bread!

    55555 by Erica R.


  • Matt B.Don't leave without getting the bread plate.

    22222 by Matt B.


  • BlackboardEatsThere 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.

    55555 by BlackboardEats


  • ChadTagliolini Nero!

    55555 by Chad


  • Olivia L.BREAD BASKET

    33333 by Olivia L.


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

    55555 by Meg B.


  • Tasting TableMake 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:

    55555 by Tasting Table


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

    55555 by Chicago magazine


  • agirl&herfoodBeet salad is amazing!

    55555 by agirl&herfood


  • agirl&herfoodThe butterball potato and arugula pizza is so forking good!

    55555 by agirl&herfood


  • Jessica R.The Strawberry cocktail is a treat, more citrusy than sugary. Try the spicy salami pizza with the special hot sauce and the mini-donuts and vanilla gelato for dessert.

    55555 by Jessica R.


  • Chicago Realtor M.The bread basket is amaze-balls

    55555 by Chicago Realtor M.


  • Alex KGet. The. Tiramisu.

    55555 by Alex K


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