CHIReview

Lyra review image
6.8

Lyra

$$$$

905 W Fulton Market, Chicago
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points
RESERVE A TABLE

POWERED BY

open table

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.

Garrett Sweet

Lyra review image

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.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation right in your inbox.


By signing up, I agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Food Rundown

Marcin Cymmer

Lyra review image

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.

Marcin Cymmer

Lyra review image

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.

Marcin Cymmer

Lyra review image

Spanakopita

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

Marcin Cymmer

Lyra review image

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.

Moussaka

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.

Marcin Cymmer

Lyra review image

Bougatsa

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.

Featured in

The 12 Best Restaurants In Fulton Market guide image
Guide
The 12 Best Restaurants In Fulton Market

Our favorite restaurants in Fulton Market.

The West Loop Big New Restaurant Power Rankings guide image
Guide
The West Loop Big New Restaurant Power Rankings

All these spots you keep hearing about, ranked.

Where To Get Dinner With Someone Who Talks Too Loud guide image
Guide
Where To Get Dinner With Someone Who Talks Too Loud

12 places in Chicago to take that human megaphone you call a friend.

Suggested Reading

Andros Taverna   review image
7.7
Review
Andros Taverna

Andros Taverna is a Greek restaurant in Logan Square that’s perfect for a big night out.

Where To Go On A Date Right Now In Chicago   guide image
Guide
Where To Go On A Date Right Now In Chicago

You might need some help choosing a date spot in Chicago. So we put them all in one place for you.

The Most Exciting Dinner Spots In Chicago Right Now   guide image
Guide
The Most Exciting Dinner Spots In Chicago Right Now

A night out at one of these places—whether it’s for a catch-up with a friend or an impressive date night—feels overwhelmingly of the moment.