The Dawson

4.6
1306 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 1306 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Bacon plate was AWESOME. Portions were perfect. Beautiful space. Bloody Mary could be spicier.

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h
Indiana
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great time - festival St. Pats weekend. Enjoyed a nice meal with colleagues. Will come again when we’re back in the city!

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ZD
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Nice feel to the place, and good food. Friendly wait staff, good if you are looking for informal.

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G
Chicago
61 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and delicious food

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BP
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was very good, the staff excellent and the space very cool looking. It was just a bit too noisy for my tastes. However, I would go back again for the food.

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KB
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food in an intriguing setting. A little pricey relative to what's delivered but given the central location on Milwaukee, that's somewhat to-be-expected.

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MJ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and the Bloody Mary was delicious

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j
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

VERY GREAT. food was incredible.
fried chicken specifically blew my mind. the spanish octopus was my favorite, but i would've appreciated a slightly larger portion. mashed potatoes were delicious with the fried chicken.
drinks were tasty!

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k
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

amazing food (steak, lamb, pumpkin, brussel sprouts) and drinks (beer, champagne, mojito) but the service was painfully slow - when we arrived only a few people were at the bar but it took 15 minutes just to place our drink orders.

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Z
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

having a wood-burning grill in the kitchen gives food such great flavor. Chef Francisco's food is lively and fun! The hoisin duck wings are a new item (Feb 2019) that are to-die-for! Service is superb-- everyone greets you like an old friend. the atmosphere is amazing, and it's right next to the blue line so no driving! Best Patio in the City and more.

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K
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

A phenomenal time with great food and ambiance. Loved it.

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g
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved this restaurant and passed it daily on my way home, and I often wondered and decided to make a go. It is now part of my list of great places to go.

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OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Incredible incredible amazing service

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JF
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service. A lil pricey but you get what you pay for.

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EM
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Absolutely delicious food and service, but sadly is much too loud. Wish they had a wall between the bar and the dining area. It’s too loud to be a nice, romantic restaurant. The music was too loud and the crowd at the bar meant I had to scream to my date. Sigh.

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NE
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I ordered the Fried Chicken. It was more than I imagine. The chicken was crunchy outside and not dry on the inside. The Cheesy Cauliflower are the best!

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P
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The Dawson has a creative, interesting menu. The dishes generally are delicious and well-prepared. The night we dined, however, there was a heavy hand on the salt in the bouillabaisse. Otherwise, we saw a number of things on the menu we'd like to try and will be back.

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SG
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As someone having Celiacs I find it stressful eating away from my house. The Dawson made my Valentine's dinner stress free and the food was wonderful. Our waiter was very friendly and attentive. He knew of my allergy and took the extra step to talk to the chef. The frites were nice and crispy and the Old Fashion was delicious. My boyfriend and I can't wait to come back in the summer and sit on the patio. It was a perfect night!

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WM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Service was impeccable. For Valentines Day the room was set up with tables for 2 primarily. Derek - our waiter could not have been more attentive and congenial. Food was very good - loved the beet salad and the fish cooked perfectly.
A most pleasant restaurant
A little pricey! The bar tab probably bumped the bill up a bit!

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Busy nights with full house. Service was very professional and server assistants on point despite the number of covers.

Second course was a little delayed but atmosphere was relaxed so was easy to enjoy conversation.

Lobster starter was lightly battered and served connected to the tails. Enjoyed duck two ways - loved the duck sausage.

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d
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was perfect. Food, service and ambiance.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was really good and Jill was a great bartender.

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L
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

They were very accommodating with my reservation even when the group expanded more than we expected, super nice treatment.

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KM
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Ambiance, Food and Service was Excellent. The price was rather expensive, which I wouldn't have minded if the noise level wasn't so high. It didn't help that two tables over near us was a lady talking SO LOUD for almost our entire dinner. Not sure if she was just trying to talk over the music, or she had too much wine, but we were very thankful when their food arrived and her mouth was full so she couldn't yell/talk for a bit.

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CW
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

The space is beautiful. The service was good, but the servers were almost too attentive. Every time we took a sip of our water they were at our table refilling. While it was appreciated, we were forced to stop our conversation time and again. The food was ok, but in my opinion overpriced. Skip the dessert.

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D
Chicago
50 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

The Dawson is very mediocre in some areas soft scrambled eggs, burrata cheese, roasted tomatoes, pesto.. I couldn't wait. But it was terrible. Flavorless with all those toppings! No salt at all. A pile of salad on top, literally one tomato, (which carried all the flavor) a tiny dollop of pesto & the strangest texas style white bread for an avocado toast. Super disappointing. Second course was the brussel sprout hash which was great. The potatoes & egg were quite overdone but the flavors were all there & it had salt! Completely opposite from the first dish. Third was a horchata tres leches cake & a chocolate mousse. Both were outstanding. Especially the tres leches cake. One of the best desserts I've ever had. Obviously the meal was all over the place. We weren't greeted by our server for the first 10 minutes of being seated. Service was lackluster after they finally arrived. Scarce even. I was also given a dirty cup & after pointing it out I was told it was a stain which I then proceeded to scrape off easily with my fingernail. All in all I wouldn't really recommend this place. Not sure the high rating. Location? Large space? Chicken fried lobster? I'd go back for dessert & a drink but I'd eat a meal elsewhere. The Dawson needs a lot of refining.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food! Coming back from sure

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, and the restaurant week menu was such a great deal. Our waitress was very knowledgeable and helpful when selecting cocktails (also delicious).

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A
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant Week menu was short but GREAT! Highly recommend

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AP
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Unfriendly server and very greasy food. We have been wanting to try The Dawson for a while and we were disappointed.

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M
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The restaurant week menu was fantastic! Both the horchata tres leches and chocolate mousse cake had us scraping the plates. The loaded hash browns were extra crispy and so good. The hogao sauce in eggs in purgatory was too spicy for my taste though. The service and the ambience were both fantastic. Definitely worth a visit.

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j
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I met a friend at the Dawson during restaurant week, they had a great brunch menu with three courses. I considered getting something that wasn’t on that smaller menu, but glad I didn’t. Lots of options, generous portions, and easily accommodated my request for no eggs. Definitely looking forward to going back for brunch or dinner

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OT
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bacon flight was definitely a highlight! Great flavors from the smoked salmon. The chicken fried lobster was a nice touch to the brunch, super tasty as well. Thanks!

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

Our experience at The Dawson exceeded my expectations! Beautiful place, great staff, and amazing food (we ordered from the restaurant week 2019 menu items). Can’t wait to come back!

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TD
Atlanta
53 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Why did I go here? McDonalds would have been a better choice.

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ND
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I went to The Dawson for Chicago Restaurant Week during brunch. The ambiance was great. My meal was delicious and the Tres Leche dessert was marvelous. I will definitely go back.

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LL
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Dawson is a great time for every occasion. Whether it’s brunch or dinner, you will not be disappointed. Everytime I leave I look forward to returning to this trendy yet, rustic place of dining. Definitely a phenomenal addition to the River West neighborhood! On those really cold days, I highly recommend the Stars Hallow seasonal hot cocktail :)

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NQ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it. Can’t wait for it to get warm out to utilize their outdoor area. Highly recommended!

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B
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Redfish special was just right. Lamb biryani not as flavorful. Staff was all great, from the valet on.

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KJ
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Looked at the venue for possible wedding reception and had dinner after. The kids loved the burgers and Mac and cheese. Our server was very good and kind.

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