Middle Eastern cuisine has been gaining popularity in Chicago over the years, with a plethora of restaurants offering a variety of dishes from the region.
From savory kebabs to refreshing mezze, Middle Eastern cuisine has something for everyone. Whether you're a foodie or just looking for a new dining experience, Chicago has plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.
Middle Eastern cuisine is known for its bold flavors, unique spices, and fresh ingredients. It's a cuisine that's rooted in tradition, but also embraces modern twists.
Chicago's Middle Eastern restaurants offer a blend of both, with dishes that are both authentic and innovative.
One of the standout features of Middle Eastern cuisine is the mezze, which are small dishes that are meant to be shared.
These dishes are perfect for sampling a variety of flavors and textures, and many Middle Eastern restaurants in Chicago offer a wide selection of mezze. From hummus and baba ghanoush to stuffed grape leaves and falafel, there's no shortage of options.
If you're a fan of meat, Middle Eastern cuisine has plenty to offer. Kebabs are a staple of the cuisine, with tender pieces of meat grilled to perfection and served with a variety of sauces and sides.
Lamb is a popular choice, but you'll also find chicken, beef, and even fish kebabs on many menus. Vegetarians and vegans will also find plenty of options, with dishes like stuffed eggplant, lentil soup, and tabbouleh salad.
In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Chicago, highlighting their standout dishes and what sets them apart from the rest.
Whether you're a longtime fan of Middle Eastern cuisine or a newcomer looking to explore something new, we've got you covered.
1. The Gundis Kurdish Kitchen
The Gundis Kurdish Kitchen is a must-visit for anyone who loves authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.
The flavors are rich and bold, and the portions are generous. The kabob platters are a standout, with perfectly grilled and seasoned meat.
The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the atmosphere is casual yet stylish. Don't miss out on the Kurdish coffee, which is some of the best around.
Whether you're a meat lover or a vegetarian, there's something for everyone on the menu. Reservations are recommended, so be sure to plan ahead.
2. Falafel & Grill
Falafel & Grill is a must-visit for anyone who loves Middle Eastern cuisine. This restaurant offers a range of delicious dishes, including falafels, gyros, and shawarmas.
The food is always fresh and made quickly, and the portions are generous.
The staff is friendly and efficient, making for a pleasant dining experience.
Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a full meal, Falafel & Grill is the perfect choice. Don't miss out on this hidden gem of a restaurant.
3. Taza Cafe
Taza Cafe is a must-visit Middle Eastern restaurant. The food is fresh and delicious, with a variety of Mediterranean options.
The customer service is excellent, and the staff is friendly and accommodating. The restaurant has a modern, counter-serve setup with limited seating.
The falafel sandwich is a standout dish, loaded with toppings. The lentil soup and chicken shawarma sandwich are also highly recommended.
Taza Cafe is the perfect spot for a quick lunch or a casual dinner.
Kabobi is a top-rated Middle Eastern restaurant that serves authentic and delicious cuisine.
The food is fresh and reasonably priced, making it an excellent choice for big groups and families. The staff is friendly and professional, ensuring a pleasant dining experience.
The portions are large, so be prepared to take some home. The restaurant has a traditional design that adds to the overall ambiance.
The menu is extensive, offering a variety of Mediterranean and Persian dishes. Kabobi is a must-try for anyone looking for a unique dining experience.
Galit is a chef-driven Middle Eastern restaurant that serves seasonal dishes and creative cocktails in a hip atmosphere.
The menu features simple Middle Eastern staples, including made-to-order pita bread from a hearth oven.
The restaurant's focus on vegetables is apparent in their Salatim course, which includes standout dishes like the beets and cabbage.
The staff is attentive and helpful, and the service is excellent overall. Galit is a great addition to any foodie's list of must-try restaurants.
6. Yaba's Food & Middle Eastern Grill
Yaba's Food & Middle Eastern Grill is a hidden gem that serves delicious and authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.
The restaurant offers generous portions of food that are reasonably priced. The chicken shawarma plate is a must-try, with its unique and savory seasoning.
The friendly family who runs the restaurant is hospitable and welcoming, making the dining experience even more enjoyable.
The no-frills option for Middle Eastern eats is perfect for those looking for a casual lunch or dinner.
7. Halal Dz House
Halal Dz House is a Middle Eastern restaurant that offers authentic Algerian cuisine. The restaurant has a clean and welcoming atmosphere, with friendly staff who provide excellent service.
The food is always fresh, halal, and delicious, with a variety of options to choose from.
Customers rave about the Tajin chicken and kabobs, as well as the vegetarian plate. The restaurant is affordable and provides generous portions.
Halal Dz House is a great place to try if you are looking for a taste of North African and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Kabobchi is a Middle Eastern restaurant that serves up delicious and authentic dishes.
The portions are generous and reasonably priced, making it a great option for a filling meal. The lentil soup is a standout dish, with a rich and flavorful broth.
The staff is friendly and attentive, providing excellent service. The outdoor patio is a great spot to enjoy the food and atmosphere.
Kabobchi is a must-visit for anyone looking for a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine.
9. Dawali Jerusalem Kitchen
Dawali Jerusalem Kitchen is a must-visit for anyone who loves Middle Eastern food. The restaurant boasts a clean and updated dining room, and the staff are friendly and attentive.
The menu is diverse and caters to almost every dietary preference. The shawarma and chicken entrees are particularly delicious, and the garlic dipping sauce is a must-try.
The falafel is also fluffy and tasty. The restaurant is counter-order, which makes the service incredibly efficient. The portions are perfect, and the prices are reasonable.
Dawali Jerusalem Kitchen is highly recommended for those who want to enjoy authentic Middle Eastern cuisine in a welcoming atmosphere.
10. Sultan's Market
Sultan's Market is a popular Middle Eastern counter-service eatery that offers a wide selection of salads, falafel, shawarma, and other Mediterranean fare.
Their food is flavorful and affordable, making it a great option for those on a budget.
While seating is limited, the quick service allows for a convenient dining experience. The restaurant also offers vegan and vegetarian options, making it a great choice for any dietary restrictions.
If you're in the mood for some delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, Sultan's Market is definitely worth checking out.
11. Middle East Grill
Middle East Grill is a top-notch Middle Eastern restaurant that serves delicious food with exceptional service.
The staff is very friendly and welcoming, making you feel right at home. They offer a variety of authentic Middle Eastern dishes that are both flavorful and satisfying.
The hummus is a must-try, and the pies are always fresh and delicious. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, making it the perfect spot for a casual meal with friends or family.
If you're looking for great Middle Eastern food, Middle East Grill is definitely worth checking out.
12. Tiba Restaurant
Tiba Restaurant offers an authentic and delicious Middle Eastern dining experience.
The menu offers a variety of dishes, including falafel, shawarma, and kebabs, all of which are prepared fresh and with care. The portions are generous and the prices are affordable.
The staff is friendly and attentive. The restaurant has a modern and bright atmosphere, making it a great spot for a casual meal.
Whether you're a fan of Mediterranean cuisine or looking to try something new, Tiba Restaurant is definitely worth a visit.
13. Caspian Kabab Fine Persian Cuisine
Caspian Kabab Fine Persian Cuisine is an authentic middle eastern restaurant serving delicious Persian food.
The restaurant has a cozy and warm atmosphere with beautiful Persian decor. The menu offers a variety of dishes including juicy kababs, lamb shank, and grilled salmon.
The owner is welcoming and attentive to customers. The restaurant also has a stocked bar and hookahs for those interested.
Belly dancers perform on the weekends. It's a great spot for a night out with friends or a romantic date.
14. LaShuk Street Food
LaShuk Street Food is a must-visit for anyone craving authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.
From silky hummus to perfectly spiced meats, everything is made fresh and with love. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the pita is always fresh and hot.
The falafel salad platter and steak hummus bowl are highly recommended. Don't forget to try the tangy zhug (hot sauce) and creamy tahini shakes.
LaShuk Street Food offers a taste of Israeli street eats in a bustling food court.
15. Baba Pita
Baba Pita is a Middle Eastern restaurant that serves up delicious food at affordable prices. The chicken kebab and lamb shank are particularly noteworthy for being tender and fresh.
Vegetarians and vegans will appreciate the variety of options available, such as falafel, dolma, hummus, veggie platters, and veggie pita pockets.
The homemade hot sauce is a must-try, and the beef shawarma in a pita is a crowd favorite. The restaurant also offers free iftar during Ramadan.
Though unassuming, Baba Pita is a great spot for Middle Eastern eats that won't break the bank.
16. Antepli Mediterranean Grill
Antepli Mediterranean Grill offers authentic Turkish food and baked goods that are delicious and consistent. The restaurant has a warm and inviting atmosphere, and the staff is friendly and welcoming.
The menu features a variety of dishes, including mixed grill, Lahmacun, and lentil soup, as well as vegetarian options like felafel and cheese pide.
The desserts are also a must-try, especially the Kunafa and midye baklava. The restaurant offers good value for money, and the service is excellent.
Antepli Mediterranean Grill is a great place to enjoy Turkish food in a cozy setting.
17. Old Jerusalem Restaurant
Old Jerusalem Restaurant is a family-owned Middle Eastern restaurant that has been serving authentic and delicious food for over 45 years.
The restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes, including Shawarma Sandwich, Falafel, and Kanafeh, all at reasonable prices. The staff is friendly and attentive, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for customers.
The food is freshly prepared and bursting with flavor, making it a must-visit spot for anyone who loves Middle Eastern cuisine.
The restaurant also offers indoor and outdoor seating, perfect for a casual lunch or dinner. For those looking for an authentic and satisfying Middle Eastern meal, Old Jerusalem Restaurant is a great choice.
18. BenjYehuda – La Salle
Looking for a delicious Middle Eastern meal in the heart of the city's bustling Loop district, look no further than BenjYehuda. This lively cafe serves up traditional Israeli street food in a modern and comfortable setting.
With a variety of options to choose from, including falafel, shawarma, and hummus, there's something for everyone at BenjYehuda.
The portions are generous, and the prices are fair, making it a popular lunch spot for locals and visitors alike.
Don't miss out on the crispy French fries, a perfect side to any meal. If you're looking for a quick and delicious Middle Eastern meal, BenjYehuda is the place to go.
19. Crave Kabob
Crave Kabob is a modern and quick-serve Mediterranean restaurant that offers a variety of delicious and healthy options.
Their menu includes wraps, hummus, falafel bowls, salads, and mixed grills. The staff is friendly and provides excellent customer service.
The interior of the restaurant is clean, contemporary, and welcoming. The food is nicely cooked and reasonably priced.
Crave Kabob is a great choice for a quick lunch or dinner with friends and family.