The Dawson

4.7
1384 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
The gathering place in Fulton River District, The Dawson features globally-inspired American cuisine and libations, that highlight the season's best offerings and diverse, yet approachable, ingredients and flavors. Known for its passion for creating inventive and award-winning cocktails and house made liquor infusions and syrups, the team at The Dawson specializes in libations with whimsical touches.

Acclaimed items and guest favorites include: Chicken-fried Lobster Tail, Bone-in Ribeye, Dawson Burger, Mac & Cheese, Bloody Mary, and featured Fish Tacos.

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 establishment.
What 1384 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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FG
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated my wife’s birthday and our server Emily was so attentive to our needs. She made my wife feel so special and as we enjoyed our meal, my felt the need to share her experiences online while we dined which made it even more enjoyable! Thank you all for such a wonderful moment.

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DJ
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had such an amazing Father's Day dinner at The Dawson. I saw their email blast come through about the live music and made a reservation right away. The music was so enjoyable - we sat and enjoyed wine for almost an hour before we even ordered food. The food was so good, we almost ordered seconds of a couple of appetizers instead of entrees. We didn't feel rushed once and truly enjoyed our time. It was such a memorable Father's Day!

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EW
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Using Open Table's search filters I found Dawson's. I was looking for a place celebrating with a special Father's Day menu, that would be presumably kid-friendly if they were into hosting Dads. Unfortunately, the special menu they offered wasn't enticing. We didn't order off it. And there was no kid's menu... my toddler had to eat pretty fancy mac n' cheese (for his liking). They also didn't have slings for car seats and there wasn't a great place to put our infant as a result. Also $48 fish tacos? That's ridiculous.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great time at The Dawson! Enjoyed my time there and the food was delicious! Great service!

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PG
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 4

The ambiance and service were the only things I thought was good. I ordered a martini at the bar waiting for a my friend to arrive and if had kniw what kind of glass they served it in I wouldn't have ordered one. They serve the Martinis in a champagne glass and it just wasn't appealing. We ordered a bottle of Pinot Noir at the table and it was very thin and an odd color. We had a glass of a shiraz blend after that and it was also not very good. Both of us are red wine drinkers and we both thought their wine selection was under par. We ordered the octopus appetizer and it was just not that flavorful. As an entree I ordered the Mushroom Pappardelle. It had really good flavor but the temperature was lukewarm. My friend had the scallops and hers was not hot either. The one thing we absolutely loved was the Shishito Peppers side dish that is enough for two people. It was amazing! Its unfortunate because the hostesses and servers are very friendly and accommodating but the food needs much improvement.

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JA
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Dawson was such an amazing restaurant! The space is very cool and open. The service, food, ambiance and everything was amazing! Highly recommend and I will definitely be going back!

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P
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our service was really exceptional. Our server John went out of his way to provide the best possible attention, which wasn't easy because we had some picky eaters and one of our diners didn't speak English very well. The brunch menu was not huge, but everything we ordered from the BLT to the French toast, Machaca and Chicken-fried Lobster was delicious. The only complaint was way too much icing on the cinnamon rolls, but we scraped it off and loved every bite. We'll definitely come back.

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LS
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The fish tacos were amazing!

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JE
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

The Dawson has one of the best patios in the city and the food, drinks and service are consistently good. It's a go to for us in the summer.

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OT
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Steak Frites could of had more favor and more steak, and less frites.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance but food came in small portions of mediocre taste.

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NP
Austin
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such a fun place with great food! Great for outdoor dining!

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KT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great girls brunch, sat outside and really enjoyed our time! The only thing was that we got there towards the end of brunch and one of the entrees we wanted to order was sold out. What we ended up getting was very delicious!

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M
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

Service was terrible. Food was great.

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CM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate our way through the menu and everything was incredible including their wine!

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B
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I really like the look and feel of The Dawson. We went on a sunny Friday afternoon and managed to sit our side. The service was good. The food was good and interesting. The atmosphere was great.

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a
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 5

I would come here for drinks again, food wasn't that good.

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s
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Limited menu with some very interesting offerings. Food is delicious, quickly served by courteous staff. Enjoyable and not overpriced for the city.

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CT
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was top notch as had been the experience in the past. Enjoyed the outdoor seating and it was fantastic. Great evening and space for a group of friends. Service was just OK. Server was not very attentive. A wine order was screwed up not once but twice by the bartender leaving a couple of us disappointed.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and great outdoor area

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CW
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I has been my intent to visit the Dawson from the time it opened. Turns out, Tuesday was my BIRTHDAY, the weather was gorgeous, and I wanted an outdoor spot! My friends and I had a wonderful time! I can't believe what I've been missing out on!! We will definitely be back!!

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N
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

A very enjoyable patio with good music, service, and food! Would highly recommend.

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JD
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Loved it. Great outdoor area, and the food was really good. I'd definitely come back. The only downside was parking - one girl in our party didn't come in because she couldn't locate the valet guy. I think the valet location needs to be more visible, and you need more valet people working.

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OT
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience!

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A
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Overall we lived the Dawson, the bacon options are all too good, very difficult to choose.
Our server was very nice and knowledgeable, he gave us an extensive review of every single item in the menu, we could have done with a selection of a few items though.
The only thing I was not super excited about was the noise level, was a hit high for a conversation but we still had a good time

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AG
Nashville
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

Brunch - The Dawson is beautiful indoor and out (I’m partial to the patio area). The bacon flight is always great for the group and a selection of craft cocktails alongside the brunch staples is great. The service can be slow, so definitely let staff know if you have any time constraint. Overall a great brunch spot I have come back to multiple times.

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MA
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

I thought the food was quite good, although overpriced. This concept of draft cocktails, however, is a rip-off. If a restaurant is going to offer what it markets as craft cocktails at the $13 to $15 price point, I expect something significantly better/more polished than what we received. "House-infused Manhattan" was a tasteless drink served in a glass with bar ice with little flavor and the pour, again for this price point, was chintzy. For these points alone, I will not come back.

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SB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I absolutely love The Dawson! Everyone there is amazing and the service is great!

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EK
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff was very friendly and accommodating. We wanted outdoor seating and when it began to sprinkle they quickly located us a table inside. Short shorts cocktail was very tasty. A bit pricey ($13) but good vibe and cute outdoor space.

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LL
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I met up with some friends here for happy hour, and we had a wonderful time!

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PH
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Overall - very, very good! Nice selection of Rosé perfect for the al fresco experience and really lovely patio. Service was more than competent and attentive, but a little syrup-y. Entrees tasted delicious, but the scallops dish sat a bit too long and got too cool.
We love The Dawson, and these are just minor issues that would normally be overlooked, but all at the same time, brought my usual rating for this spot down a star.
We will definitely be back!!!

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C
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific service, excellent food, perfect cappuccino, new favorite brunch spot.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quite possibly the best service I’ve ever had at a restaurant in Chicago! I love their cocktails and the food is amazing. My third time here, can’t wait for the fourth!

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J
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service! The valet service was terrible though. Had to call the restaurant twice so they could locate the valet driver! Same 10 min wait to get my car ( no other cars ) do I would not recommend to valet your car. Also it was $12 and he just left with my $20 without even a thank you!

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ML
Cincinnati
6 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The outside patio is great. We started with the empanadas, some wine and then the steak frites. A little pricey but the food was outstanding.

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GM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Our server wasn’t very attentive at all. He only came to take drink order, take food order, and bring check.

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L
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 4

Unfortunately, the food and service was quite weak!

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GH
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great outdoor patio and excellent food and cocktails to go along with it

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g
Chicago
139 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

The Dawson was OK - it was our first time and tried to make a reservation at 615pm..
they only had 545 or 645 ...very strange considering the restaurant was a 1/3 full at most
from 545 to 730.
With the exception of the meatballs...everything was pretty good, fairly pricey!
the tacos were excellent and simple - $48???
cauliflower, salad, octopus very,very good.
The drinks, cocktails were overpriced for how tiny they were...this was a big reason we would never frequent the Dawson. Unacceptable, but becoming the norm for these restaurants that don't care to take care of the locals.
overall, might go back and might recommend - better bets in the neighborhood.

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KS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unique space, innovative food - great experience! Our server was very helpful and friendly.

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