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Best Middle Eastern Food Chicago

Falafel At Taste Of Lebanon

Chicago’s Best Middle Eastern Cuisine: Al Bawadi Grill

Falafel from Taste of Lebanon .

I cant count how many times Ive gone to Taste of Lebanon only to realize I didnt bring cash. But the walk to and from the ATM only ramps up the anticipation of getting my hands on some of the crispy balls of falafel that this neighborhood spot is known for. The patties are made with ground chickpeas, herbs and liberally spiced before theyre plopped in the deep fryer, emerging with a perfectly crunchy brown crust and a soft pale-green middle. The falafel is served on a bed of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, radish, a few pickled peppers and a side of tahini. Warm pita bread comes separately, wrapped in aluminum foil. You can also get the falafel in a wrap with hummus or baba ganoush. 1509 W. Foster Ave., 773-334-1600

Grace Wong

The 15 Best Middle Eastern Restaurants In Chicago

Jerry Santos: We Enjoyed the Lamb and Beef Koubideh. Dill Rice was more moist than the more famous persian restaurants. Ample servings and great service. Nice cozy atmosphere.

sharif nassr: You can’t go wrong with the: beef koubideh, lamb koubideh, or chicken skewers. Order medium. The dill rice with saffron is moist as always. Love the cheese and bread amuse. Ask for their spicy sauce.

Adisak Pochanayon: Come for lunch and get the lamb plate with dill rice.

John R: Get the lentil soup! They’ll put it in a styrofoam cup if you order it for carry out.

Reyna Griffin: Their lentil soup is the best! Paired with the chicken wrap, its the bees knees.

Mike: Try the chicken and rice bowl – all the toppings are delicious. Make sure to try the hot sauce, too. It’s some of the best in the Loop.

Rebecca Neubauer: Some of the best quick Mediterranean in the city. Ranks up there with Taza. Much better than I dream of falafel

Louis S: Stuff some of the fries into your pita. It’s how it’s done across the Middle East.

Raphael Mbarek: Fantastic food and great service. A bit noisy – so probably not re best location for a date. Ideally for a great evening with friends or family, tough.

Staff Picks: The colorful and eclectic cuisine of Kurdistan finds itself in Chicago for the first time at this sleek-yet-cozy Lakeview spot. Lamb and eggplant set the tone for dinner and weekend-brunch services.

Phaisal: Amazing food! And the waiter are AWESOME. Definitely coming back

Middle East Bakery And Grocery

Middle East Bakery and Grocery has been serving Chicago since 1981 and has continued to serve fresh and healthy Middle Eastern products to the community. The small shop has grown over the years to incorporate a range of high-quality products in the supermarket as well as a much-loved restaurant.

Bread, dips and salads are made in-house every single day to assure their customers the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern products. The fresh-made hummus is a particularly popular product with over a dozen flavors available to try.

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Adana Kebab At Cafe Istanbul

Adana kebab is served sandwiched between sheets of flatbread, here with the top piece pulled away to show the lamb skewers.

The most important ingredients served up at Istanbul Grill are warmth and welcome. OK, kinda corny, but hospitality should always be like this. You cant sit down to wait for your to-go order without someone insisting on bringing you a cup of tea. At lunch one visit, I politely refused tea four times, so they brought free dessert instead. The chef calls over from the grill to make sure you liked everything. And you do. A recent weekend lunch started with a gratis yogurt-and-carrot dip, lovely with the crackle-crusted bread. My adana kebab chopped lamb patted by hand into patties and carefully formed onto long flat skewers, then grilled was a generous dish, served with flatbread, rice and salad. Kebabs of chopped meat, instead of ground, offer a much better texture, and these were tender with a bit of heat from chile flakes. A cup of tea showed up, unbidden. And for dessert, a creamy custard glazed with sweet-bitter caramel. All in all, Cafe Istanbul is more like eating at someones home than a neighborhood joint. $15. 3037 N. Clark St., 773-698-6995, myistanbulgrill.com

Joe Gray

Dukan International Food Market

Pin on 10 Great Middle Eastern Restaurants in Chicago

For fresh, delicious pita bread every day, Dukan International Food Market is one of the best places to go in Chicago. Offering a wide range of Middle Eastern products to cook with, this supermarket is well known in the community for its friendly service and for its commitment to delivering the highest quality products. If you are looking for a tasty and unique range of products, Dukan International Food Market is a great place to try.

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Best Middle Eastern Restaurants Chicago

Caspian Kabab Fine Persian Cuisine Chicago

Caspian Kabab Fine Persian Cuisine Description: Persian restaurant & bar with hookahs. Middle Eastern eatery & bar with exotic decor, hookahs & belly dancers on the weekends. Address: 1413 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, United States Phone Number: +1 773-666-5767 Website: https://caspiankabab.com/ Store Hours: Sunday: 11:30AM-9PM | Monday: Closed | Tuesday: 3-10PM | Wednesday:

Pars Cove Restaurant Chicago

Pars Cove Restaurant Description: Persian & Mediterranean fare since 1976. Decades-old restaurant dishing out traditional Persian & Mediterranean plates in a casual setting. Address: 435 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614, United States Phone Number: +1 773-549-1515 Website: http://parscove.com/ Store Hours: Sunday: 4-8:30PM | Monday: 4-9:30PM | Tuesday: Closed | Wednesday: 4-9:30PM | Thursday: 4-9:30PM

Tiba Restaurant Chicago

Tiba Restaurant Description: Informal pick for Mediterranean eats. Unfussy, bare-bones eatery serving an array of Mediterranean dishes such as salads & kebabs. Address: 2721 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625, United States Phone Number: +1 872-208-6660 Website: http://www.tibarestaurantchicago.com/ Store Hours: Sunday: 10AM-11:30PM | Monday: 10AM-11:30PM | Tuesday: 10AM-11:30PM | Wednesday: 10AM-11:30PM | Thursday: 10AM-11:30PM |

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Galit Chicago

Masabacha Hummus At Galit

Masabacha hummus, defined by whole chickpeas, and pita by chef Zachary Engel at Galit .

James Beard award-winning chef Zachary Engel opened Galit just four months ago. The local, seasonal Middle Eastern and Israeli immigrant-inspired restaurant earned three stars from Phil Vettel, I think before the signs even went up on the sun-drenched storefront. Engel says their brisket hummus has become the signature in the Lincoln Park area. For him personally, though, its the mushroom. I suggest starting with his masabacha hummus, defined by whole chickpeas swimming in a luminous pool of golden olive oil. Tear off a piece of warm house-baked pita to swipe through a cloud of green herbed tehina sesame paste and a generous sprinkle of smoky red Aleppo pepper. You will understand why this silky spread is the standard to which all others should be compared. $12. 2429 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-360-8755, galitrestaurant.com

Louisa Chu

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Artichoke And Cheese Pie At Middle East Bakery & Grocery

Artichoke and feta pie at Middle East Bakery in Andersonville.

Everyone, at this point, knows the genius of the spinach pie. But through its more than 30 years slinging food in Andersonville, Middle East Bakery & Grocery has never been content to stop with spinach pies. Amid its 15 or so offerings are a lamb and potato pie. Olive, parsley and cheese. Spinach and onion. And the showstopper: artichoke and cheese. The artichokes are plump and flavorful, accented with bright lemon juice. Feta adds welcome saltiness and texture. The secret weapon, though, is the fresh dough housing the entire arrangement, which features a nice crunch at the edges. All Middle East Bakery pies are baked daily, usually emerging from the oven at about noon. Thats when theyre at their peak, but 10 minutes at 325 degrees in the toaster at home will also do the trick. $2.25. 1512 W. Foster Ave., 773-561-2224, middleeastbakeryandgrocery.com

Josh Noel

Pita Sandwich At Naf Naf Grill

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Falafel pita sandwich at Naf Naf Grill.

Did you know that Naf Naf Grill while it has successfully stretched franchises all the way out to the East Coast began in Chicagoland? The fast-casual Middle Eastern restaurant opened its first location in Naperville 10 years ago and eventually spread the gospel of falafel through the Loop, where it has become one of the citys go-to spots to grab a quick bite, especially for lunch. Naf Naf hasnt been the only spot serving quick, tasty Middle Eastern cuisine downtown during the last decade, but theres no disputing that it has been one of the most successful. Its food has a lot to do with that. The pita sandwich is the preference, although youll get a pita even if you choose a bowl. For proteins, go with the falafel or chicken shawarma, both well-seasoned and always moist. The show-stealer, though, might be the garnishes: the chopped salad is fine, but the purple cabbage, sumac onions and Middle Eastern pickles are not to be missed. Prices vary by location $7.35-$7.95 at 326 N. Michigan Ave., 312-263-0019, nafnafgrill.com

Adam Lukach

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Koshary At Cairo Kebabs

Koshary at Cairo Kebabs.

While Chicago certainly doesnt lack for Middle Eastern restaurants, Egyptian food is slightly more difficult. One of the few options I could find is Cairo Kebabs in Lincoln Park. Here you can try koshary , an exceedingly popular vegetarian dish in Egypt that combines more kinds of carbs than seems possible. Can you think of another dish that features pasta, lentils, rice and chickpeas? Fortunately, those comforting ingredients are balanced with a heap of crispy fried onions and a slightly spicy tomato sauce, making the dish far more exciting than youd expect. You can also ask for hot sauce, if you need an even more aggressive kick. 1524 W. Fullerton Ave., 773-687-8413, cairokebab.com

Nick Kindelsperger

Mixed Grill At Al Bawadi Grill

Mixed grill at Al Bawadi Grill

This colorful restaurant, open since 2008, is as welcoming as they come servers seem positively thrilled to provide explanations and recommendations for the vast menu. The easy option, a sort of Middle Eastern 101, is the signature mixed grill. It includes three skewers, one each of lamb, kufta and chicken, along with a few strips of shawarma, grilled tomato and rice. As if that werent enough, it includes a starter plate of hummus. And because the restaurant is alcohol-free , you wont spend a great deal of money on your visit. $19.99. 7216 W. 87th St., Bridgeview, 708-599-1999 albawadigrill.com

Phil Vettel

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Labneh At Cedar Palace

Labneh from Cedar Palace.

When I learned that yogurt could be eaten in a savory way, I felt like the entire world had suddenly opened up to me. This soft, ultra-strained yogurt is common in Middle Eastern cuisine and for good reason it offers a lightness to heavy dishes, a cool balm to spicy flavors, and a creaminess that doesnt overpower. At Cedar Palace, the labneh is served with a generous glug of olive oil, a scattering of mint and served with pita bread. Its rich and thick and perfect to pair with whatever dish youre ordering from the restaurant, whether its a lentil soup or a combination plate loaded up with meats. 655 W. Armitage Ave., 312-643-0933, cedarpalacechicago.com

Grace Wong

Istanbul Market And Cafe

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What started as a grocery is now also a cafe in suburban Mount Prospect that serves simit, lahmajoon, menemen, borek, and more. Dine on heaping portions amid shelves of Turkish ingredients and baked goods to-go. Its a bit of a trek, but worth a stop if youre headed to or from OHare International Airport.

This Lebanese restaurant has one of the more extensive menus on the list, including regional specialities like sfihaa flatbread with a spiced minced meat toppingand fattehchickpeas over toasted pita bread with yogurt, tahini, garlic, sumac, and melted butter. All of the mezzes are excellent, but the baba ghanoush is especially good, with the level of smokiness you find in Beirut. Thats no surprise, as the restaurant originally opened in Raouche, Beirut in 1935. Though the family immigrated to Chicago, they still source spices from Turkey and make their own zaatar, which is fresh and tangy and should be added to every order.

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Turkish Coffee At Four Letter Word

Turkish coffee at Four Letter Word.

Turkish coffeehouse Four Letter Word has two locations: one on Diversey Avenue in Chicago, and another its flagship in Istanbul, Turkey. Historically speaking, coffeehouses have long been part of Turkish culture, given that Turkish coffee is traditionally served as a patient, sit-down ritual. The ceremony isnt quite as elaborate at Four Letter Word, but the prep and product are. The small vessel of coffee packs potent flavor. The grinds come in the coffee, where theyre combined with sugar, given a single good stir, then left to brew over heat. The grinds sink to the bottom while the liquid rises, and a soft froth forms across the top. The remaining heterogeneous beverage is sweet, tangy and rich with bean flavor making for a rich enough cup of coffee that you might wind up staying awhile anyway. Turkish coffee, available in-store only, $6. 3022 W. Diversey Ave., 773-360-8932.

Adam Lukach

Lamb At Zad By Pita Inn

Lamb at Zad by Pita Inn.

Dating to 1982, Pita Inn was such a north suburban sensation at its original Skokie location on Dempster Street that it needed new, larger digs. Those opened two miles west, also in Skokie and also on Dempster Street, in 2015. In Pita Inns place sprouted Zad by Pita Inn, which, you guessed it, is also operated by the Pita Inn folks, though with a greater emphasis on entrees rather than the standard chicken shawarma, falafel and hummus. Among the stars at Zad is the lamb , which arrives as a glorious glop: yellow rice ringed with green beans simmered in tomato sauce and topped with tender lamb. Every component is delectable on its own savory rice, tangy beans and rich, gamey lamb but swirl them together and you get a clue to why that strip mall storefront has been home to some of the suburbs most heralded Middle Eastern food for 37 years and counting. 3910 Dempster St., Skokie, 847-410-7999, www.zadbypitainn.com

Josh Noel

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Best Middle Eastern Restaurants In Chicago

So how does this work?

We pick our top choices based on the quality of the food, service, and consistency over time. Well start off by giving you the best options overall for dining in Chicago and then follow up with links to different types of restaurants in different neighborhoods at the end of this page.

Middle Eastern Restaurants In Downtown / The Loop

Chicago’s Best Middle Eastern Cuisine @ Pita BBQ

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Ghormeh Sabzi At Noon

Ghormeh sabzi, an Iranian herb stew, on July 27, 2019 at Noon-O-Kabab, the Persian restaurant in the Albany Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side of Chicago.

When a Persian-French chef friend made ghormeh sabzi, the herb stew considered the national dish of Iran by some, he insisted on using parsley leaves only, never the stems. At Noon-O-Kabab, the Persian restaurant in Albany Park on the Northwest Side, they offer a comparably beautiful bowl. Alluring dried black limes, fenugreek and time transform the parsley with cilantro, scallions and spinach into a deeply verdant pool, further enhanced with tender kidney beans and chunks of lamb. The Naghavi family opened Noon-O-Kabab in 1997, what was then a modest cafeteria-style storefront in the diverse neighborhood. Now two restaurants side by side, the casual counter service and white tablecloth establishments offer the herb stew, served with rice. Get the long grain basmati steamed white with a few saffron grains or the rice flecked green with dill. Choose one or both, but I highly recommend extra. $15.95 and $18 . 4701 N. Kedzie Ave., 773-279-8899, noonokabab.com

Louisa Chu

The Best Of Mediterranean Restaurants In Chicago

The Nile of Hyde Park was founded in 1991 by owner and chef, Abed Moughrabi. This marked the beginning of a long journey to bring the best in Middle Eastern cuisine to the people of Chicago. The Nile of Hyde Park is a family owned and operated institution that has been serving the community with a strong emphasis on consistency, quality, value, and sincerity.

We have an extensive catering and in-house dining menu with a variety of choices for the meat lover, vegetarian, and anyone with a palate for fine dining.

After 26 years in the Hyde Park community, customers have become family with multiple generations sitting at our tables. It is a sincere pleasure and an honor to serve the familiar and new faces of our guests, young and old, as we continue our culinary journey with Chicago and the Hyde Park community. In addition to authentic, homemade cuisine, you will find competitive prices and a willing staff dedicated to the needs of their customers. We look forward to many years to come.

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