Top Places in Chicago for the Absolute Best Mediterranean Food

June 19, 2020
GiftYa
jason wolfe

Got a craving for olives, feta, or gyros? Then check out these delicious restaurants!

The flavors of the Mediterranean always seem to keep people coming back for more-- and Chicago is no stranger to this wildly popular cuisine. Drawing from recipes from the countries which surround the sea, such as Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, and Lebanon, you’re always sure to find something you love--and maybe even your new favorite! We’ve put together a list of our top Mediterranean restaurants in Chicago, so the next time you’re wondering what to try for lunch or dinner, these delightful options will be your go-to restaurants.

What’s a better idea than deciding to do Mediterranean food? Paying for it with a GiftYa electronic gift card! GiftYa makes it so easy to keep your gift cards organized and ready to be redeemed. Simply choose your amount and send it to the recipient with a customized message. All they have to do is decide when they want to use it--it couldn’t be easier! Now, onto the list of amazing options for Mediterranean food in Chicago. 

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Tuscany

1014 W Taylor St.

University Village | tuscanychicago.com

The perfect restaurant to try all your favorite Mediterranean seafood

Enjoy all the amazing flavors of Italian seafood. Image courtesy of Tuscany.

If you’re in the mood for upscale Italian dining that features your favorite seafood options, then Tuscany is for you. They always have been known for their fish, but they also offer creative menu items for you to try as well, such as octopus and clams. Feel free to stop in for either lunch or dinner, and take advantage of their popular soups, salads, bruschettas, polenta, and raviolis.

Customers love that they feel like family as soon as they walk in the door, and the entire waitstaff is very welcoming and can assist with all your questions. Make sure to check out their extensive Italian wine list as well, and try a couple of new vintages!

“Staff is very personable and give you the family everybody know everybody feel. You can tell mostly regulars patronize this place and I see why. It's a great options for good authentic Italian.” -Yelp Review


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The Halal Guys

49 W Division St.

Near North Side | thehalalguys.com

This delicious food is definitely worth standing in line for!

You won’t be disappointed with these delicious menu items. Image courtesy of The Halal Guys.

What started out as a humble food cart has grown into one of the most successful American small businesses in the country. Although founded in New York City, The Halal Guys have expanded to Chicago, and have a couple of locations throughout the Windy City. One taste of this perfectly seasoned halal meat and rice and you’ll understand why folks come from all over to taste this Mediterranean food. 

Choose to either have your meat and rice on a platter, or wrap it up in gyro. And don’t forget the famous red and white sauces, that tie all those flavors together and make for one delicious meal. You can even try your halal wrapped up in a burrito as well, so consider giving that a try the next time you visit!

“Always good no matter what time of the day...night or when you want a snack lol. Good food and compares to the Halal Guys in NYC. Will always say good things about this franchise and how good their food is.” -Yelp Review





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Cira

200 N Green St.

Near West Side | cirachicago.com

Head to this place for some truly amazing Mediterranean tapas

Choose to try a couple of small plates for a good sampling of Mediterranean tapas. Image courtesy of Cira.

If you have a group of friends who are interested in trying all kinds of different Mediterranean-style dishes, then Cira is for you! They offer small plates that are meant to be shared over good conversation with friends and family. There’s always something new to try, as the plates change with the seasons and offer diners new and exciting flavor combinations, so make sure to stop by often.

Since this space is attached to the Hoxton Hotel, they also offer a Cafe Cira, which is perfect for cozying up to a table with your favorite coffee drink and a pastry. This area is well known throughout Chicago for offering a great environment to get some work done, as well as to unwind after a long day.

“You can lounge here and listen to some great music from the live DJ and chat with friends, you can sit for the day with your laptop and get work done, and all the while you will receive table service if you would like to order from the bar or from their menu.” -Yelp Review

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I Dream of Falafel

851 W Belmont Ave.

Lakeview | idreamoffalafel.com

Don’t settle for anything other than this healthy, delicious Mediterranean food!

Put your meal together in any way you want to at this popular restaurant. Image courtesy of I Dream of Falafel.

Sometimes it’s hard to eat healthy when you’re in a rush or just on the go. You won’t run into that problem at I Dream of Falafel, as they’re able to bring you all your favorite Mediterranean dishes, and make them healthy! Choose whether you’d like your sandwich in a pita, a wrap, a plate, or a bed of hummus. Then choose your base --such as rice, couscous, quinoa--and then your protein. You can pick chicken shawarma, kebabs, gyros, or falafel patties, and then add all your favorite toppings. 

When you’re done, you have a delicious meal that is easy on your waistline--and your wallet-- as well! Service here is always fast and friendly, so that you can get your sandwich, and then get on with your busy day!

“Did not disappoint! a lot of food that lasted me dinner and lunch for work! easy in and out/ a big line in front of me but thankfully the line went by quickly.” -Yelp Review



Bar Cargo

650 N Wells St.

River North | barcargo.com

Get your pizza cravings satisfied at this popular River North restaurant

Who doesn’t enjoy a great Roman pizza? Image courtesy of Bar Cargo.

There are a lot of great pizza joints in Chicago, but when you want one with a little extra Mediterranean flare, you turn to Bar Cargo. This bar is as authentic as it gets when it comes to Roman-style pizza--they even have their flour for the dough shipped in from Rome. After hand tossing each pizza, they add only the best and freshest toppings made to your customizations. Everything is then grilled to perfection in a Castelli stone oven, which was also imported from Italy. 

Choose your pizza, or decide to go with one of their other menu items, such as the chop chop salad, the fried ravioli, or the chicken caprese sandwich. No matter what you choose to eat, you’re going to be in for a real treat. Don’t forget to stop by for Saturday and Sunday brunch as well and try out their bottomless drink specials!


“The restaurant is great for a casual date night, or grabbing drinks with some friends after work. Plenty of TVs and a great draft list if you want to catch the game.” -Yelp Review


Zaytune Mediterranean Grill

3129 S. Morgan St.

Bridgeport | zaytunegrill.com

Casual spot to grab falafel, shawarma, or gyros

There are a lot of delicious Mediterranean flavor combos to try out at this place. Image courtesy of Zaytune Mediterranean Grill.

If you’re in the mood for a fresh, healthy Mediterranean meal, then look no further than Zaytune. Getting its name from the Arabic word for olive, this restaurant is all about giving customers an amazing Mediterranean meal. Whether you want to try their steak shawarma, lentil soup, tabouli, or roasted red pepper hummus, you won’t be disappointed with the flavors. 

Whether you order pick up, delivery, or eat in at Zaytune, you’ll also be sure to notice the difference in the homemade flatbread that accompanies each order-- nothing beats fresh flatbread and it truly enhances the flavor of your meal!

“A simple place for the selection of delicious and tasty Mediterranean food. The portions were just right and reasonable with the amount that we pay for it.” -Yelp Review




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Athena Greek Restaurant

athenarestaurantchicago.com

212 S Halsted St.

Near West Side

Welcoming Greek restaurant that offers Mediterranean food with a view

Satisfy your cravings for Greek cuisine at Athena. Image courtesy of Athena Greek Restaurant.

Everyone seems to just love the exciting flavors of Greek cuisine, and how such simple ingredients can come together to make some amazing meals. The simpleness of olive oil, good bread, cheese, and meat are staples in Greek cooking, and are some of Chicagoans’ favorites! Athena Greek Restaurant offers customers their favorite Greek menu items such as seafood kebabs, chicken kebabs, stuffed chicken breasts, and baked lamb.


You can either sit inside and enjoy the soothing waterfall and admire the Greek-inspired architecture, or if the weather permits, sit out on the patio and take in the beautiful views of the city. Either way, you’re in for a great meal and a relaxing and friendly atmosphere.

“Spacious restaurant, love the open space feel. Portions are huge, service is friendly and attentive You can't go wrong with a reasonably priced menu.” -Yelp Review



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Fig & Olive

104 E Oak St.

Near North Side | figandolive.com

Flavored olive oils truly enhance the Mediterranean flavors at this Chicago favorite

Perfectly crafted dishes offer diners some interesting Mediterranean flavors. Image courtesy of Fig & Olive.

Whether you choose to come to Olive & Fig for brunch, lunch, or dinner, you're bound to be impressed with their flavorful cooking oils and perfectly arranged meals. You can’t go wrong with the signature crostinis to start--such as the Manchego, marinated shrimp, or beef tartar. Then move on to their wild rosemary rigatoni, harissa marinated salmon, or marinated lamb chops. 

Customers say you absolutely need to try the dessert as well, so splurge and go with the chocolate obsession or the bruleed cheesecake!

“Excellent service and ambiance!  Gourmet appetizers and cocktails! Known for the olive oil selection tasting and delicious entrees.” -Yelp Review



Regardless which restaurant you decide to try, you’re definitely going to be in for a treat.  You can’t go wrong with the exotic and interesting flavors of this region of the world, and your tastebuds will be in heaven! Which is your favorite Mediterranean restaurant you like in Chicago? Let us know in the comments!

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