Lyra review image



905 W Fulton Market, Chicago
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Anyone who tells you that the food at Lyra is “great!” or “terrible!” is lying. The food is fine. It’s also irrelevant, because you shouldn’t come to this huge, crowded, Greek restaurant in the West Loop for the food. You’re here for untz-untz music and to sit next to a table full of people randomly yelling “skeet skeet” until you get enough booze in you to do some shout-talking of your own.

Lyra falls into a very specific restaurant category. It’s a party restaurant—a place where you can count on spotting cast members from Love Is Blind, eavesdropping on the CEO of Cameo, and smelling sulfur from the hundreds of bottle sparklers parading by during the course of your two-hour meal. 

Don’t come here expecting to eat great Greek food.

Lyra’s menu boasts phrases like “carved tableside” and “blistered feta” that might trick you into thinking it has more substance than a typical party restaurant. And while some dishes are solid—lamb chops are tender and the flaky spanakopita hand pies have a nice balance of juicy spinach and salty feta—most are underwhelming.

Lyra review image

photo credit: Garrett Sweet

Because like the guy at the table over talking about the models and bottle service on his latest Miami yacht rental, Lyra is mainly full of sh*t. The “blistered feta” in the watery prawn saganaki means a server carelessly pours ouzo over your skillet and lights it on fire. There is no blistering, just some tiny prawns and cheese crumbles going up in anemic flames, like your bank account after an unavoidably pricey meal here. The $45 gyros (“carved tableside”) is simply a plate of lamb shoulder that’s half-heartedly shredded with a fork by a server who’s in a rush to get away from your table. And the overdressed tuna tartare is sitting in so much acid, it tastes more like ceviche.

“At least it’s a guaranteed fun time, right?” Well, that depends. Do you like the idea of partying adjacent to the yacht guy who will absolutely brag about how much he just spent on a bottle of wine? Then yes. And at 11pm on Friday and Saturday, they play clubby Greek music while servers dance on tables with sparklers and everyone waves napkins around and around. That part is objectively fun. But other than that, the service is awkward and intrusive. There’s a fleet of bussers and staff wandering around looking for something to do.

Lyra is the kind of restaurant we wish we could rate on a sliding scale. Are you here celebrating a 29th birthday on someone else's budget with seven other people also uninterested in intimate conversation and good food? It’s a 9.1. But if you're on a first date with that introvert from your coffee shop, it’s a 5. Unless you’re one of those extremes, this place is just another busy, expensive West Loop spot with average food. As long as you know that, book a table and prepare to hear about upcoming trips to Mykonos. Who knows, maybe you’ll get invited.

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Food Rundown

Lyra review image

photo credit: Marcin Cymmer

To Start

At the top of the menu, you'll see something called "To Start." It’s a mezze spread that comes with an array of perfectly fine spreads like tzatziki, charred eggplant, and a too-thick spicy feta that laughed at our cracker and then broke it. And the tarama with black-caviar is a little misleading, we counted about four fish eggs on ours.

Lyra review image

photo credit: Marcin Cymmer

Tuna Tartare

This is an aggressively seasoned tartare that’s overdressed. It has an overwhelming amount of acidic juice that softens the kataifi piled on top.

Lyra review image

photo credit: Marcin Cymmer


Our favorite dish on the menu. The pastry is flaky, and filled with a mixture of juicy spinach and feta. Order this.

Lyra review image

photo credit: Marcin Cymmer

Lamb Chops

This is the entree to order. The lamb chops are tender and medium rare, with a sweet, acidic tomato and olive compote that complements the gaminess of the meat.

Prawns Saganaki

For something that’s set on fire at your table, the prawns saganaki is very boring. The tomato sauce is bland and watery, and the half hearted pour of ouzo doesn’t inject enough flavor to make a difference.


We’re willing to forgive moussaka a multitude of sins because it’s just so comforting. The one at Lyra has nicely seasoned meat, but it eats really dry. The dish is about three inches of ground beef with some potatoes on the bottom of the cast-iron dish and a thin layer of charred bechamel on top.

Slow Roasted Lamb Gyros

When we saw that the lamb gyros were carved tableside, we naively imagined a server brandishing a grandiose spit at our table. The “carving” is actually cutting the lamb shoulder into smaller pieces with a fork and spoon. We have no qualms with the tender meat, but the pita slices it comes with are dense and tough with edges that are fused together.

Lyra review image

photo credit: Marcin Cymmer


Prepare to be either delighted or stressed out by this dessert. Another tableside preparation, in this case a dome of phyllo and powdered sugar surrounding cinnamon ice cream, honey caramel, and semolina custard that a server smashes at your table. It results in a mess that’s hard to eat and tastes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

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