The Dawson

4.6
1261 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 1261 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
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 4

I ordered the pork chop. And more than half was pure fat. Like the goowie mushie fat. The chef said that it’s a fatty item. But I’ve had pork chop before I know how it’s prepared. I think they ran out and use ithe fat as a filler. It was So gross. For $32 I want to be able to enjoy my food.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

The food was good but the brussels hash was a bit too salty, and I like salt.

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CF
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Great ambiance but I think I would limit next visit to drinks and appetizers. The food was just average and was fairly pricey.

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HG
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

A bit of a disappointing evening at a place we really like.

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a
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and great service! Very romantic ambiance, noise level on the louder side.

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RN
Chicago
70 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service were spot on. I'd been here once before and liked it, but forgot how good it was. Especially the Chicken Fried Lobster. We did have a problem with a gift certificate which Open Table and Dawson both are in the midst of trying to solve.

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

As always, great food, service and ambiance. We went for NYD brunch and had a great experience as before. Love this place for brunch or dinner. Quality!!

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RE
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the ambience, service and food...especially the macadamia banana pie!! So good!!

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RD
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

We had a NYE reservation for a group of 6. We had to wait about 30 minutes for our table, but we didn’t mind as we ordered drinks at the bar. The manager/host apologized profusely for the wait and had an appetizer ready for us when we sat down. Although it was NYe

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GD
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

WOW....Great place! The decor is great...love the entrance. Met some friends last night that were visiting form out of town ....We all loved our experience. We started with the Roasted Cauliflower app and the Fried Lobster app...both were great. My friend and I shared the recommended Red Fish Tacos and the fish was AMAZING! My husband and our other friend both had the House-Made Cavatelli and they raved about it. We ended our night by sharing a piece of Banana Cream Pie...so Yummy! Did I mention my my bourbon barrel Old Fashion was to die for...We will be back for sure!

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Average at best.

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J
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

❤️❤️❤️❤️ this place so much!

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I came in for my birthday dinner and it was a great experience! Nice ambiance and great service.

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D
Seattle
14 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

We were visiting Chicago for a few days and the Dawson was a recommendation from the hotel. Enjoyed the fish tacos and chorizo app. Would return if in the city again.

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JU
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The Dawson doesn't disappoint. Great atmosphere, outstanding food (best hanger steak I've ever had) and prices within reason for the vibe. It's especially nice that everyone could find something on the menu, even though the menu isn't huge. For our table of 8 there were options for both the vegetarians and the shellfish allergies. Wine menu is a bit limited but selections were palatable. Cocktail menu expresses some ambition which is always fun. (How often do you see 'yoga' and 'street' in a single cocktail description?) We had a great time for our holiday dinner in the bar area; looking forward to returning in summer when weather is good for the big patio.

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E
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Nothing was bad but for the price it wasn’t remarkable. If you’re looking for a fine, reliable meal you can head here, but don’t expect it to blow your mind. We did enjoy our cocktails but I thought the serving sizes overall were pretty stingy for the price. We eat out a lot, so I have a pretty good grasp on what is or is not a good value. I enjoyed this but don’t feel in a hurry to go back.

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H
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We stopped by last Sunday to try the brunch menu since we have only ever been for dinner. The food was amazing, especially the bacon flight and cinnamon bun/roll, which was huge!
Johnathan was extremely friendly and attentive and provided great service.
We will definitely be back for brunch again!

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HP
London
6 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great restaurant! Excellent food, attentive service, and fun ambience. Would definitely recommend it to friends.

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CA
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fantastic dinner at The Dawson before a wine event. Each dish was so flavorful, thoughtfully prepared and service attentive but relaxed. Highly recommend!

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A
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I celebrated my birthday here with my boyfriend. From start to finish, the staff recognized my birthday and helped make it a truly special evening.

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MS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The restaurant is beautiful and our service was great, but I really thought the food was underwhelming. I am not a foodie by any means, I just was bored with the options and thought most of what I tried was under seasoned. Additionally, the dessert we tried was not good (at all) and the waitress had really sold us on them. I was really disappointed that we ordered it (banana cream pie). Yuck.

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M
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chose The Dawson for the parents and the in laws to get together. Excellent all around!

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R
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a little noisy because we were located by the bar in the first floor and there a couple of larger parties there that were loud, but overall it was a great experience, great selection of drinks, and the pork ragu cavatelli last dish and chicken fried lobster tails were delicious! Definitely going to return!

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing!!! Thanks! Will be back! Our waiter also gave us a free liquor shot on the house after dinner. The macadamia banana creme pie was delicious as well!

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d
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We had to get to a theater performance at 6:00 PM. dinner started at 4:00. We arrived at 3:30 hoping to eat dinner. We were restricted to a light meal, which was okay (I don't consider a hamburger dinner fare, however, it was delicious) My dinner mates were not impressed with The Dawson. Therefore, I would not recommend it. Secondly, I did not eat dinner.

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OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were both excellent. The staff and owners make a point to help your dining experience be as comfortable as possible.

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YM
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Although I went there alone to celebrate my birthday I felt agmost friends. My waiter, Jonathan, was amazing! I will be sure to experience it next time with friends. A great find!!!

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AK
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

The food was great, but the service was bad. We had 3 different people approach our table several times to clear away plates and dishes we were still eating. The restaurant was not busy on this Tuesday night and we were not there near closing time.

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LW
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

I wish you had a 'Meh" for recommendation. Although the service was outstanding, I found a $14 cauliflower appetizer unimpressive and expensive. The seasonal ravioli was good and in range with the going price of a pasta dish. The $12 sundae was very underwhelming.

The food is good, overall, however I feel the hype and price are a bit inflated.

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h
San Diego
21 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great place for super cool vibe and excellent food. Our server was so good, and made great recommendations. All food was tasty with the exception of the Brussels sprouts we had to send back for being undercooked. Everything else was excellent - cool trendy decor - lots of spaces upstairs and down to sit, would totally recommend for dinner.

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ST
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food and energy! Very noisy inside. Outside terrace is excellent in season.

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MC
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have never had a more interesting tortellini dish than I did last night. Omg the flavors and textures were a perfect blend and the tortellini was so delicate. Bravo!!!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food

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BC
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service and food. The bar area is very noisy and our original table was very close on the ground floor. The hostess was kind enough to relocate to us a table on the second floor with a little more privacy. Very enjoyable evening..

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OT
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place never misses . Excellent

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DS
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Dawson was absolutely fantastic! We had delicious cocktails, especially the bourbon one! The food was so, so delicious! The pastas were outstanding and so were the asian meatballs and rice noodles in the broth. We had been meaning to try The Dawson for so long and I'm glad we finally did! Everything was delicious, the service was excellent and we will absolutely be back!

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B
Chicago
78 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such a great evening, Anna was a tremendous bartender and offered great suggestions for dinner.

Thank you

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C
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 2

Waiter Mitchell was great!
For some reason we were seated in bar area and conversation was more difficult than an expensive meal with out of town guest should be. Hard to talk without raising voices. Food was good tho.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All around fabulous experience for my birthday!

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HM
Chicago
128 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Corner casual high end fare in a nice pub environment. Super loud so be prepared. Service is friendly and helpful.

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