I love the fresh, earthy, spicy flavors of Middle Eastern food from falafel to tabbouleh to kebabs. Chicago has a rich landscape of such cuisine in each neighborhood. Below is a list of 9 Great Middle Eastern Restaurants in Chicago.
What: Middle Eastern stalwart in the Bridgeport neighborhood with some of the freshest pita you will find in Chicago. Everything is special here. I especially love the marinated shrimp salad but be sure to get their special spiced fries.
Where: 3129 S. Morgan St. – Take the #8 Halsted bus (transfer at the Halsted ‘L’ stop on the Orange Line)
What: This Lebanese restaurant in Albany Park serves
wonderful entrees and super strong coffee in a cozy setting. The owner makes you feel right at home and it is BYOB.
Where: 4639 N. Kedzie Ave. – Take the Brown Line to the Kedzie ‘L’ stop
Middle Eastern Bakery & Grocery
What: I love this Middle Eastern bakery, grocery store, and cafe in the Andersonville. It is the best place to visit for a meal, lunch on-the-go or to shop for ground spices.
Where: 1512 W. Foster Ave. – Take the Red Line to the Berwyn ‘L’ stop.
What: Blink and you’ll miss this busy Middle Eastern restaurant in Chicago. It’s not only one of the best Cheap Eats in town but it’s also one the best Hidden Eats in Chicago. Oasis Cafe is tucked in the back of a jewelry store in The Loop. Buy yourself a shiny new bobble with the money you save on lunch!
Where: 21 N. Wabash Ave. (Wabash Jeweler’s Mall) – Take the Green, Orange, Brown, Pink and Purple Lines to the Washington/Wabash ‘L’ stop.
What: One of the most popular Middle Eastern restaurants in Chicago for vegan and vegetarian options at lunchtime. However, meat is available in salads and wraps. The soups at I Dream of Falafel are good as well.
Where: 555 W. Monroe St. (West Loop) – Take the Green Line to the Clinton ‘L’ stop. There are other locations in Chicago.
What: Pita Heaven has become quite popular with workers and residents in the South Loop neighborhood. Their salads are always made to order and the spinach pie is one of the best in the city. Of all the Middle Eastern restaurants in Chicago, this one is the closest to Grant Park, Soldier Field, and Museum Campus
Where: 1250 S. Michigan Ave – Take the Green, Orange or Red Lines to the Roosevelt ‘L’ stop. The #3 King Drive and #4 Cottage Grove buses stop out front.
What: A cash-only, counter-serve Middle Eastern spot in Chicago’s Wicker Park with falafel, gyros, and salads.
Where: 2057 W. North Ave. – Take the Blue Line to the Damen ‘L’ stop.
What: A neighborhood favorite serving Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes in a bright setting. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals are available. Get the saganaki (sizzling cheese). OPA!
Where: 5253 N. Clark St. – Take the Red Line to the Berwyn ‘L’ stop in Andersonville
What: This Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fusion spot near the West Loop has counter-service and it is popular with the work crowd.
Where: 176 N. Franklin St. – Take the Orange, Green, Brown, Brown, Pink, Purple and Blue Lines to the Clark/Lake ‘L’ stop.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA trains and buses to these 9 Great Middle Eastern Restaurants in Chicago. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!