People naturally feel romantic when they're bathed in mood lighting, whether it's the twinkle of the flame beneath a fondue pot, the full moon in a starry sky, or the slow, glowing flow of lava oozing through a downtown thoroughfare. Heat up the mood with today's deal: for $25, you get $50 worth of fondue and fine wines at Geja's Cafe in Lincoln Park. If you redeem your Groupon Monday through Thursday, it will be worth $60.
Geja's Cafe offers an interactive and edible experience in an intimate dining space, perfectly suited for a romantic meal or the celebration of a panda birth. Four-course premier dinners start with a bubbling food Jacuzzi of melted swiss gruyere, followed by a crisp green salad as a cool contrast to other sizzling stages. Entrees run from a fresh vegetable medley ($29.95 per person) to the regally approved Prince Geja's combination of aged beef tenderloin, lobster tail, jumbo shrimp, Atlantic sea scallops, and boneless chicken breast ($49.95 per person), all served with assorted vegetables and eight dipping sauces to tastily tailor each bite. Shivering sweet teeth left untended during savory meal phases find simmering solace in the Belgian chocolate fondue, flamed tableside. Dinners are available a la carte without cheesy and chocolatesque accoutrements for $9 less. Geja's wine rangers have compiled an extensive collection of international wines to complement skewered suppers. For aural flavors, there's live flamenco guitarists. Their sweet sounds combined with soft candlelight and curtained booths give rise to the restaurant's reputation for being the hottest romantic dining destination in the city (there is one more romantic restaurant, but it's on fire). Call ahead to make a reservation.
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The Chicago Reader and Centerstage Chicago discovered the romance at Geja's Cafe, while Check, Please! gives the restaurant five out of five forks. More than 600 OpenTable reviewers give Geja's an average of 4.3 stars, and more than 350 Yelpers give the restaurant an average rating of four stars.
- Geja's is often touted as the most romantic restaurant in town. There are dissenters, but I'm among those who find it a wonderful evening out. The candlelit basement feels like a Spanish cave, with wine bottles, curtained booths, and a live guitarist. And the fondue dining experience is a welcome change from the usual restaurant routine. – Rachel Klein, Chicago Reader
Imagine: it's a wintry night in Lincoln Park. You're crossing the bridge over South Pond, the downtown skyline shimmering to your left, the zoo's holiday lights twinkling to your right. It's undoubtedly romantic, but, in true Chicago fashion, it's also really cold. Luckily, just beyond the groves of snow-laden trees, lies Geja's Cafe, a cozy fondue spot perpetually adored as one of Chicago's most romantic restaurants.
Looking back on Geja's nearly 50-year history, there is perhaps one story that crystallizes this reputation better than most. Owner John Davis once told the Chicago Tribune about a couple from Minnesota who traveled to Geja's for their first date, their engagement, their rehearsal dinner, and to celebrate the birth of their first baby. Small children aren't permitted inside—because of the hot fondue pots—so they jokingly asked if they could leave their baby at the coat check. The new mother working the counter happily obliged.
This anecdote lays out the qualities that have helped Geja's endure for a half-century as one of the city's most beloved dining institutions. Here's a closer look at those characteristics, starting, of course, with the ambience.
Geja's has an entire page on its website devoted to couples who have gotten engaged there. Proposers can call ahead to have management help with arrangements, or they can just let the low lighting, flickering candles, and curtained-off tables set the scene.
Geja's three-course fondue dinners make for an incredibly memorable meal. Servers fire up a cast-iron pot for each stage—first with brandy-spiked gruyere for dipping fruits and breads, then with soybean oil for cooking veggies and a choice of meats, and lastly with flaming chocolate for torching marshmallows and embarrassing diary entries.
"You get a feel of serenity when you walk in," Janice Koch, longtime neighbor of the restaurant once told the Tribune. "You're not rushed or pushed. It's all just... consistent." Guests are free to navigate meals at their own pace, also taking time to enjoy the extensive wine list (which includes three private-label varietals) and live flamenco guitar.
93% of 6,680 customers recommend
“Great atmosphere and service!!!”
“It's wonderful! Food, service, ambiance is beautiful!!”
“Amazing food and service ”
340 W Armitage Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60614Get Directions