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Chicago Wedding Reception Caterers

Browse these wedding reception caterers with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Chicago.

Top Pro
  • 4 years in business
  • 319 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Audrey S.
Verified review

Chef Rich and his amazing team dazzled us with their culinary talents for our in-home private wedding dinner reception. They knew their way around our kitchen better than us! From the initial introduction phone call, to our in-house meeting, to the last minute requests we asked for, to the night of the AMAZING dinner (and the immaculate clean up!)...every step of the way was hassled-free and exceeded our expectations! The top-notch level of professionalism, expertise in menu selections, presentation of the food, quality of the ingredients, abundance of each menu selection was incredible! We actually felt like royalty for the night. Thank you Chef Rich and your team for a memorable night on the day of our wedding! We're forever grateful!

North Island Catering
4.8
from 145 reviews
  • 32 years in business
  • 263 hires on Thumbtack
Dylan S.
Verified review

Long Story Short: If you are looking for a caterer for a smaller corporate event, graduation party, birthday party, casual wedding… HIRE NORTH ISLAND CATERING! They are very accommodating, and work their butt off to give you exactly what you want for your event. They make delicious home made food, for a reasonable price. If you are looking for something very large, more high-end, with passed hors devours, or signature cocktails, keep moving. The Details: We hired North Island Catering for our wedding reception for roughly 175 people held at the Haight in Elgin, IL. We wanted a heavy appetizer set up with hand held buffet style food options for dinner. Additionally we had desserts and a late-night food option. We also wanted a full open bar for guests, and champagne welcome. The Food: First off, Allen was very cooperative and flexible when it came to picking out our menu and food options for the event. Unfortunately, we were so busy with mingling with guests, we really didn’t get to try too much of the food ourselves! However, many of our guests gave us great compliments on the spread. Allen allowed us to come in for a ‘tasting’ at his restaurant beforehand to get a feel for the types of food they offer. Everything was delicious, everything! We ended up serving a whole gamut of different hot and cold appetizers, including jalapeno poppers, bacon wrapped shrimp, veggies, fruit, sweet & spicy jelly spread, among others. For dinner we served pulled 2 different salads, pork, tinga, and Italian beef along with a ton of other sides. We received nothing but happy reviews from our guests regarding the food. The brownies got a standing ovation! The late night food was a success, and I saw many people with a hot dog in one hand and drink in the other, working it on the dance floor. The Service/Presentation: Allen and his crew arrived to the event on time, and prepared to get the food out quickly and efficiently. We had a lot of food, and a lot of hungry people. One negative we did feel the need to comment on was the presentation. We requested heavy plastic plates and silverware, and I was a bit surprised to see small white paper plates with purple details instead. The dressings for the salad were set up in large Styrofoam cups, with a plastic spoon to ladle. I felt that this part could have been jazzed up a bit. Food was placed on black plastic trays, and the hot food was kept in metal tins (no problems there). Although not a huge deal, I would recommend having place cards or some way of labeling the food in the future, so guests know what they are grabbing. Alcohol was served in clear plastic cups (perfect), but towards the end of the night it moved to red solo cups, not a favorite of mine, but no big deal in the end. Although not the fault of Allen, I think that in the future allowing the table to be served off of both sides would have eliminated the long line of people waiting to get some grub! Allen and North Island Catering did a great job of getting food out when needed, providing great food, and cleaning up in a timely manner. Our venue had pretty strict policies regarding catering and Allen, and his team, were up for the challenge. The Bar: This is the part of the review where I was a bit hesitant to write. Everything turned out to be okay in the end, but there were some hiccups along the way. Since the beginning of communication with Allen, they let us know that they would like our input on deciding the amounts of alcohol we would like served. Allen had asked us to provide a complete list of alcohol we wanted. We did, and it included some higher end spirits. Allen gave us an updated quote for the alcohol and let us know that anything left over would be ours to keep. After running some numbers and doing the math ourselves, we provided our alcohol estimates to Allen. He stated that he thought it was completely too much. Being a catering professional, we trusted in his work, and let him make the final decision on how much to buy. When we arrived at the venue in the morning (we decorated ourselves the day of), we were surprised to see how little alcohol there was. In our minds, we knew that with our group of friends and family, they would be taking full advantage of a full bar! Our day-of venue organizer also made some suggestions that she didn’t feel the alcohol/mixers would be enough given the size of our large party. We were able to contact Allen right away and voice our concerns. We even offered to have him buy more than he thought we needed and return what was left (as opposed to having us keep anything leftover). Allen understood our concerns, and ultimately brought more alcohol to the event. This was just an unnecessary stress for us on the day of the event. On a positive note, when booze was running low, North Island Catering even went out during the event and bought more. Additionally, a small mistake was made and a different brand of beer was bought than what we previously discussed. (I had time to change the Bar Sign with the correct brand, so ultimately it was no big deal). Finally, we paid to have the bar until 12 (midnight). Not sure where the miscommunication occurred, but the bartenders started cleaning the bar and announcing last call at around 11pm. We had lots of guests coming up to us, wondering why they could no longer get a drink. We did not realize the venue wanted the caterers to be gone by 12, so we were expecting the service to run a bit later. The bartenders continued to hand out beers as they were cleaning, so kudos to them. The Communication: Communication with Allen was impeccable. Allen was always very responsive via Thumbtack, and by phone. (Even when there was a Blackhawks game on). Allen was quick to offer suggestions, answers, and solutions to our questions and concerns within a few hours of us reaching out. If there was any reason to contact them, we knew that he would respond quickly. This was very reassuring since we planned the event completely ourselves. The day of the event Allen was able to answer phone calls and texts without a problem. The Price: The price of this event was very fair, and I think it was worth every penny. Our venue planner demanded that North Island Catering bring more workers to help with the service, and the addition of these people were the only last minute costs we had to endure (no fault of North Island). I appreciated that North Island Catering provided us with a price, negotiated with us to allow us to keep under our budget, and stuck with their promise in the end.

Chic Chef Catering
4.8
from 128 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 197 hires on Thumbtack
Jane M.
Verified review

Thanks to Thumbtack I found the coolest, down to earth waitstaff! we hired Chic Chef Catering for my sons wedding reception. Revi, Tedrick and staff team were very polite, friendly and made sure everything went well. They made sure the whole place was clean from the tables, bar & even checked the bathrooms. We had 180 guests and couldn't be any more happier with them. They set up all tableware and sweet tables. I was amazed about the amount of guests that commented to me how impressed they were with the service. I HIGHLY recommend them for any event! - Jane

Inglenook Catering
4.9
from 102 reviews
  • 50 years in business
  • 133 hires on Thumbtack
Amanda B.
Verified review

We chose Inglenook Catering because of their sky-high reviews, and I am so glad we did! They live up to their incredible reputation. We hired Inglenook for our wedding reception. We went with the Standard Buffet for 70 people and added an additional side. The food was delicious. Our guests were impressed across the board....even our vegetarian, gluten-free, and "foodie" friends. Also, the portions were spot on. We had some leftovers of everything so I know everyone got enough to eat. The team was punctual and efficient in their arrival, setup, and breakdown. Joe, the owner, was delightful to work with! He was warm, helpful, and patient. We had many questions and went back and forth as to which package to choose and Joe was great about answering all of our questions and helping figure out what was right for us. He was very thorough in his descriptions and we never felt "sold to." Our booking was a relatively small and simple one, but he treated us like we were his number one client. Their pricing is completely translucent with no hidden fees, and we felt we got a steal-of-deal because their food quality and service is so high. I would trust and recommend Inglenook for any event big or small!

Top Pro
Cater~2~U Catering LLC
5.0
from 49 reviews
  • 10 years in business
  • 68 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Kevin B.
Verified review

We have had many private chefs and caterers. We have found our “go to” chef service. Food was amazing. Mike and Matt were fun. They entertained the kids at the bar as they cooked, served.. and cleaned up. If you have never had a personal chef, try them. If you have before, uplevel to them. And by the way.. the cost was a bargain. Dinner for 8 with wine and beer pairing Less than $100 per person Insanely goid!

Top Pro
Just a Bite
4.9
from 49 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 74 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Janice G.
Verified review

We used Just a Bite for our wedding reception (130 guests), and couldn't have been happier with our choice. Going into the planning, we had no idea what we wanted. Loretta was so patient and spent a lot of time helping us plan the event and make decisions. She had great suggestions and pointed out all the little details we never even thought of. She had ideas for many different types of appetizers, everything from simple favorites to unique and elegant creations. With her helpful guidance, we were able to put together a buffet menu that was fabulous AND fit our budget! She was always available to answer questions and gave us much-needed advice on various aspects of the event. Loretta and her staff are friendly, creative and reliable. It really showed that they cared about making our event perfect, and it was. The spread was beautiful and the food was amazing!! Many of our guests commented on how great the food was. We will definitely be using Just a Bite for future events!

Top Pro
Hu's Assisting
5.0
from 46 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 77 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Crystal Garhammer W.
Verified review

Holly and team were fantastic! Professional team for my clients wedding! Highly recommended ! Thanks Holly and team! Crystal WeddingBliss708 Wedding Planning & Coordinating

Rośe a special event co.
4.7
from 47 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 74 hires on Thumbtack
Lisa C.
Verified review

I was so impressed with this company they did a wonderful job with my wedding. We planned my wedding in 8 weeks and it went off without a hitch. I was amazed by the decorations and the amount of running around they did the day of the wedding so I didn't have to worry about anything. They went above and beyond the duties of a wedding planner. I highly recommend them. Diane was like a mother to me and Michelle was running around like crazy just to be sure we had no hiccups on our wedding day they are both truly amazing at what they do.

  • 29 years in business
  • 62 hires on Thumbtack
Amy W.
Verified review

We selected David to be the chef at our wedding reception (72 people) after meeting with him and working together to create a custom menu of hors d'oeuvres. He was very easy to work with and extremely detailed orientated, but most importantly the food was outstanding. Our guests were very happy and we were able to provide a delicious healthy menu for all. David and his wife were extremely accommodating and made the party easy and fun for us to enjoy. We highly recommend David for your next event.

Top Pro
  • 18 years in business
  • 64 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Carmen S.
Verified review

Thank you very much C2Details, for providing the extra care during our family's recent wedding celebration. You were professional in your presentation and sensative to our special day. we appreciated your extending care to even the smallest details. Your quality of work helped to make this day memorable for our family. Your work exemplified your name! ~ Carmen Staggers

Divine Cake Design
4.8
from 26 reviews
  • 9 years in business
  • 37 hires on Thumbtack
Patricia C.
Verified review

We were very happy with Divine Cake Design. The cake was delicious ! Lots of compliments from our guests from our wedding. Definitely would recommend her to friends and family !!

Top Pro
Food with Flair
5.0
from 22 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 24 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lauren K.
Verified review

We had an amazing holiday party with all of our friends and family over this December. Carol brought the "wow!" with her artful presentation and delicious appetizers, entrees AND desserts! Our guests still talk about how much they loved all of the food. Carol and her team had such professionalism and took care of everything from prep, setup and cleanup. Thanks Carol! We hope to use you again soon for our daughter's wedding shower this Spring!

  • 8 years in business
  • 26 hires on Thumbtack
Alexa M.
Verified review

We had our tasting with Diana today and officially hired her to bake our wedding cake! Diana has been very responsive and allowed us to design our cake with her, which was a lot of fun and helped me envision the final product! I'm planning on following up on this review after the wedding, but so far we are very pleased! Thank you, Diana!

Top Pro
BellaRu Catering
5.0
from 11 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 9 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lucy T.
Verified review

BellaRu offered incredible service and delicious food! Everyone at our wedding was raving about the food. Chef Nick is a genius and I would highly recommend them!

Deborah Lee & Me
5.0
from 11 reviews
  • 14 hires on Thumbtack
Gretchen O.
Verified review

Deb and Robin worked with us to make our wedding a wonderful event. They listened to exactly what we wanted and made sure to provide us with options that we'd love. I didn't have to worry about a thing - and when I did, Deb was very about my nervous bride-ness!

Madre Catering
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 11 years in business
Robert W.
Verified review

What can I say the Food and price was perfect for our wedding.

PhylClay's Catering
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 12 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Chad H.
Verified review

PhylClay Catering catered my wedding reception. All my guests remarked on how good the food was. My wife was happy and wants to use them for her birthday party! I HIGHLY recommend them!

Iman J.
Verified review

Chef Ken's professional. flexibility and attention to detail made our catering for the wedding one the many highlights from that special day. I'd hire again without hesitation.

  • 10 years in business
Marcia B.
Verified review

Tony catered my daughter's wedding and it was everything I hoped for... The food was not only outstanding but the presentation and attention to detail was perfect ...he was a delight to work ! Don't hesitate to have him cater any event!

Pam D.
Verified review

The food is fantastic. That Chick Can Cook catered my daughter in laws wedding shower. Her ordevor was out of this world along with all the food she prepared. That Chick Can Cook also catered a luncheon for our school district. You must try her chicken sald.

Bob Cha
5.0
from 2 reviews
  • 5 years in business
Katherine G.
Verified review

Jun and his wife are amazing to work with! I wanted a late night snack for my wedding after the reception, something that my guests can grab and go, or stay longer and enjoy their food and it WAS a huge hit with my guests!! They even included special Korean rice cake (it's Korean traditional thing to do for weddings and birthdays. They explained but I kind of forgot.... >.<) and it was beautiful!!!! My guests raved about how good the food and the rice cakes were. Many of the guests and myself included had the rice cake for the first time and it was surprisingly very good. Their chicken & spicy pork are AMAZING! One thing that I really really appreciated from them was for the tasting before the wedding. I wasn't sure if the food trucks offer tastings because, I mean you know, they are food trucks, right? But to my request, Jun didn't even hesitate. He just said sure, let me know the time! But like every other wedding planning process, my fiancé (back then :)) and I had scheduling conflict with all the meetings with vendors & visiting places and Jun asked if I would like for him to drop off some foods so we could try. We were very grateful for his understanding and couldn't refuse his offer. He dropped off way more food than we expected (we had to call few of our friends to come over!!!) and all of them were very delicious so we book him right away! He is very easy to communicate and always trying to help you out and you got to admit, everything helps during a wedding planning! Anyone who planned it will know, it is VERY stressful and because he took care of everything, I had one less things to worry about and I will be forever grateful for that. so THANK YOU!!

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do you find a good caterer?

Reviews, interviews and menu tastings will help you find the right catering choice for your big day. Start by screening possible wedding caterers based on past reviews. If a caterer you are interested in has a review that concerns you, ask them about it; how they respond will be very telling. Next, ask about their availability for your wedding date.

If the wedding caterer is available on your date, it’s time to talk about menus and prices. Be clear about what your maximum budget is find out what choices this will allow you. Caterers may custom-create a menu for your event, or they may have menu templates within different price ranges that can guide your decision. A clear budget gives the caterer clear parameters within which to work and offer creative suggestions. Schedule a menu tasting to confirm you love your wedding menu. Once you have a menu and date, and have paid a deposit to reserve the caterer’s services, confirm additional details including when the food will be delivered to the site, what kind of service will be provided, how many servers will be onsite and for how long, and who is responsible for setup and cleanup. The more specific your contract, the fewer worries you’ll have on your wedding day. Get more smart hiring tips here.

Do you tip a wedding caterer?

Tipping 15 percent to 20 percent on a $3,000 catering bill can feel daunting — especially in light of all the other costs of throwing a wedding — but tipping your wedding caterer is standard practice. Be sure to ask your caterer about their specific policies. Many catering companies include gratuity as a line item on their bill. If tipping is not automatically included in your total, a good approach is to tip all the people involved the day of the event rather than paying one lump sum to the catering company. For each server and bartender, you can tip $20-$50, depending on how long they were onsite and whether they did exceptional work. You can also tip the chef; experts suggest $50. It’s also a good idea to tip the catering manager, the point-of-contact person who keeps the catering service running smoothly the day of your wedding, ensures all the food looks beautiful and is plentiful, and resolves any mishaps. Industry pros recommend tipping the catering manager $100-$200. If gratuity is not included and you’re tipping individuals, set aside $200-$500 in cash to be safe.

How much does wedding catering cost per person?

Wedding catering costs will always vary based on the number of guests you’re inviting, the menu you want to serve, and the way the food will be served to your guests. As you interview wedding catering companies, you’ll be presented with a cost per person for various menus. On the low end, wedding catering may cost approximately $15-$18 per person. This would include prepared food only, with no setup or service of any kind. The starting price for a simple buffet meal with minimal service typically averages $22 per person. Opting for the same menu with all organic ingredients could raise your costs to about $33 per person. A moderately upscale menu (finer ingredients, more elaborate presentation) could range from $24 to $34 per person. High-end wedding catering cost truly has no limit. Lobster, filet mignon, specialty seafood, organic ingredients — menu choices like these can boost your cost per person up to $150 and more.

How much does it cost to hire a caterer?

Catering prices depend mainly on how fancy you want the food and service to be and how many guests you’ll have. When you’re first looking to hire a caterer for your event, consider how many guests you’ll have and your total food and drink budget. The national average for event catering is $340, but catering prices can range into the thousands depending on your menu, guest count, and service.

Event catering is a broad term that covers everything from fully prepared, ready-to-eat food that the hosts plate and serve themselves to full-service, multicourse meals, including rental of linens, glassware and other items, with service staff organized by the catering company. Usually a caterer will determine cost based on the type of event you’re having, how many guests will attend, the level of service you desire, and what type of menu you’d like to have. For example, if you have a set catering budget, say $1,500, and you plan to have 50 people attend, that means you have $30 per person for food. If you have the same budget with 100 people, you have $15 per person for food. In this way, the number of people you want to attend your event and the level of food you want to serve them determines how much catering will cost.

What should you look for in a caterer?

A delicious meal is a critical element of a successful wedding, with happy guests fondly remembering your fabulous wedding food. The right caterer for you will be:

  • Available: Even the best caterer is no good if they aren’t available on your wedding date. Ask early before you get your heart set on someone.
  • Affordable for you: Find a caterer that you can afford. Having a spending plan ahead of time will mean you won’t overspend on food.
  • A good personality fit: Wedding planning is stressful, so work with someone that you can get along with and communicate with easily.
  • Experienced and recommended: Ensure the company has a proven track record with events of your size and the references to back it up.
  • Transparent about money: Steer clear of shady pricing. Find a caterer who is very clear about costs and is happy to talk you through budgets and pricing options.
  • Transparent about food: Find someone who is clear about where they source their food from and where it is prepared.
Hire skilled professionals for absolutely everything.