13 Top Places for the Best Mediterranean Food in Chicago

October 28, 2021
GiftYa
jason wolfe
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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.

Tuscany

The perfect restaurant to try all your favorite Mediterranean seafood.

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

1014 W Taylor St | University Village | tuscanychicago.com

If you’re in the mood for upscale Italian dining that features your favorite seafood options, then Tuscany is for you. They have always 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!

Tuscany is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but it’s open from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Hours are from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

“Can't believe I've never eaten here before and I [was] born and raised Chicago. Tuscany on Taylor has been here since I was a youngster and has always been known as staple authentic Italian and I can finally say I agree.” -Yelp Review

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The Halal Guys

This delicious food is definitely worth standing in line for!

You won’t be disappointed with these delicious menu items. Image courtesy of Instagram.

49 W Division St | Near North Side | thehalalguys.com 

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!

The restaurant is open from 10:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and from 10:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

“Their gyros are delicious. I've also really enjoyed their lamb platter. I’m sure I'll return again since they are so close to my job. Service is good. I can be in and have my food in about 10 minutes.” - Yelp Review

Cira

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 Instagram.

200 N Green St | Near West Side | cirachicago.com

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.

Hours at Cira are from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day of the week!

“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.” -Yelp Review

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I Dream of Falafel

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 Instagram.

851 W Belmont Ave | Lakeview | idreamoffalafel.com

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!

I Dream of Falafel is open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. all seven days of the week.

“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

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Bar Cargo

Get your pizza craving satisfied at this popular River North restaurant

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

650 N Wells St | River North | barcargo.com

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!

Bar Cargo is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but it’s open from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. on Fridays, 11 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Sundays.

“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

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Zaytune Mediterranean Grill

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 Instagram.

3129 S Morgan St | Bridgeport | zaytunegrill.com

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!

Zaytune Mediterranean Grill is open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day of the week.

“We came for lunch. The chicken shawarma wrap was flavorful and the meat was succulent.  The homemade pita bread was delicious, soft and warm.  It paired well with the red pepper hummus. We will return.” -Yelp Review

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Athena Greek Restaurant

Welcoming Greek restaurant that offers Mediterranean food with a view.

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

212 S Halsted St | Near West Side | athenachicago.com

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.

Hours are from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

“First time coming to this place and the food was AMAZING!  I had the lamb chops and they were cooked and seasoned to perfection!  The service was great and the ambiance was nice as well!  I'll definitely visit here again!” -Yelp Review

Fig & Olive

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

Perfectly crafted dishes offer diners some of the best Mediterranean food in Chicago. Image courtesy of Instagram.

104 E Oak St | Near North Side | figandolive.com

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!

Fig & Olive is closed on Sundays and Mondays, but it’s open from 4 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and from 4 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

“Had been dying to come here for a while so [I] was excited to finally check it out! The outdoor patio is super cute and a great place to enjoy one of the cocktails.” -Yelp Review

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Ema

A lighter, California take on traditional Mediterranean dishes!

You can find all the comfort food your heart desires at Ema! Image courtesy of Instagram.

74 W Illinois St | Near North Side | emachicago.com 

Chef C.J. Jacobson, born in Orange county, takes both California and Mediterranean flavors to Chicago at Ema! He’s most known for a “rustic-refined” cooking style. He uses seasonal ingredients that are sourced locally from California.

Some signature dishes at Ema are the hummus, stracciatella, and lamb kefta kebabs. There’s also a selection of spreads, dips, and mezze for you to choose from.

Mondays through Thursdays, Ema is open 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays hours are from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., and from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Sundays.

“Wow, delicious food and great service. Recommend making a reservation, we chose indoor seating and enjoyed our evening and the vibe. Food simply could not have been better - everything was delicious.” - Yelp Review

Kabobi Grill

Persian and Mediterranean food in the Albany Park area of Chicago!

At Kabobi Grill, you’ll have plenty of food to fill your stomach. Image courtesy of Instagram.

4748 N Kedzie Ave | Albany Park | kabobigrill.com 

If you’re looking for traditional Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern food, you’ll find it here! The portions at Kabobi Grill won’t disappoint, and neither will the flavors. The restaurant itself has a casual, counter-serve atmosphere.

There’s a menu for lunch, dinner, and late night snacks, all of which are worth a try.

Hours at Kabobi Grill are from 10:30 a.m. until midnight every day of the week!

“Their menu is extensive. They have good meat and vegetarian options. They also have lunch specials and late night dining options. During lunch you can get either lunch specials or anything from their full menu.” - Yelp Review

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Aba

Mediterranean dishes in a great area of Chicago.

The decoration and atmosphere at Aba just adds to the dining experience. Image courtesy of Instagram.

302 N Green St Fl 3 | Fulton Market | abarestaurants.com 

With locations in Austin, Chicago, and Miami, Aba serves food inspired by many different Mediterranean influences, such as Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece. The wine and spirits served at the bar are Mediterranean inspired, too.

Fulton Market used to be a warehouse, but now it’s a central area in Chicago for great restaurants. The spot is popular both among those who live in the Chicago area and tourists.

Aba is open from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Fridays. Saturday hours are from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. and Sunday hours are from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.

“The menu consists of small plates so you can order multiple items for your table to share. My favorite items of the day was the salmon kebabs with the basmati rice, it was to die for!” - Yelp Review

Crave Kabob

Two great locations serving kabobs in Chicago!

Just as the name may suggest, you won’t want to miss out on the kabobs at Crabe Kabob. Image courtesy of Instagram.

1521 W Madison St | Near West Side | cravekabob.com 

Crave Kabob has locations in both the West Loop area of Chicago and in Skokie, both popular for their modern take on Mediterranean food and their quick service. Here, you can just grab your food and go.

There’s a lot of choices on the menu, but some of the most popular options are the wraps, hummus, and falafel bowls— all your Mediterranean favorites.

Hours at Crave Kabob are from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays, and the restaurant is closed on Sundays.

“I've ordered the bowl 4-5 times in the past month because it's that good. Love all the options you can pick to go in the bowl, and everything, including the proteins, salads, and sauces are extremely fresh and flavorful.” - Yelp Review

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Olive Mediterranean Grill

Delicious Mediterranean food that will make you say OMG!

There’s more than enough food to share at Olive Mediterranean Grill, so it’d be a great place to go with friends! Image courtesy of Instagram.

1001 W North Ave | Near North Side | eatomg.com

Olive Mediterranean Grill has been open since 2010 when it was founded by Faisal Ghani, and has been serving Mediterranean dishes that are both delicious and healthy in Chicago for all that time! You can order for takeout or delivery right on their website.

With pita, hummus, and baba ghanoush— plus plenty of other great dishes on the menu —this restaurant is one you won’t want to pass up the opportunity to eat at while you’re in Chicago.

Olive Mediterranean Grill is open from 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. every day of the week.

“I'm really happy I found this place because it's such a good price too and it would be my go to place if I lived in this area. You seriously can't go wrong with it.” - Yelp Review

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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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