Falafel-ing In Love With The Best Mediterranean Food In Chicago!

The flavors of Mediterranean food always seem to keep people coming back for more-- and Chicago is no stranger to this wildly popular cuisine. Drawing 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 restaurants where you’ll find the best Mediterranean food in Chicago. So the next time you’re wondering what to try for lunch or dinner, these delightful options will make for a great new “go-to” spot.

And if you’re out on the town shopping and seeing the sights, a fun way to surprise someone while you’re on your adventure is with a GiftYa digital gift card. GiftYa is an online retailer that sells thousands of eGifts to places you know and love. They make it so easy to keep your gift cards organized and ready to be redeemed. Simply choose an amount up to $100 and then 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! 

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1. Tuscany

The perfect restaurant to get all your favorite Mediterranean seafood

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1014 W Taylor St | Chicago | tuscanychicago.com

If you’re in the mood for an impeccable upscale Italian dining experience that features your favorite seafood options, then Tuscany in Chicago is for you. Mainly known for how good their fish is, this restaurant offers a wide variety of other seafood items 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 4pm until 9pm on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Hours are from 4pm until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

“Tuscany is our favorite Italian restaurant. The food is delicious and the service is excellent. They have the best calamari. Today, I catered an event for the first time. Thank you for the great food and for your flexibility.” -Yelp Review

You can Purchase a GiftYa Gift Card to Tuscany here!

2. The Halal Guys

This delicious food is definitely worth standing in line for!

172 N Wabash Ave | Chicago | 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 many different spots in the country including Chicago. One taste of their 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. But 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 10:30am until 9:30pm Monday through Thursday, 10:30am to 10:30pm on Fridays, 11:00am to 10:30pm on Saturdays, and 10:30am to 10:00pm on Sundays.

“The food and service are why you come here. Who needs ambience when the rest is so good! Awesome in NYC and everywhere else I've had it. Go heavy white sauce!” -Yelp Review

3. Cira

Head to this place for some truly amazing Mediterranean tapas!

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200 N Green St | Chicago | cirachicago.com

If you have a group of friends who are interested in trying all kinds of different Mediterranean-style dishes, then Cira is the place to check out! 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 so they can offer patrons new and exciting flavor combinations.

Since this space is attached to the Hoxton Hotel, they also offer a Cafe Cira, which is perfect for cozying up around 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 the Cira restaurant Sunday through Wednesday are from 8am to 10pm and 8am to 11pm Thursday through Saturday. At Cafe Cira the hours are 6:30am to 4pm Monday through Friday and 7am to 4pm on the weekend.

“I went to Cira for the first time last evening and had an amazing dinner. Service and food were exceptional. Our server Nicholas was extraordinary. Each course got better and I can't wait to return!” -Yelp Review

You can Purchase a GiftYa Gift Card to Circa here!

4. I Dream of Falafel

Enjoy this counter-serve restaurant serving healthy and delicious Mediterranean food!

851 W Belmont Ave | Chicago | idreamoffalafel.com

Sometimes it’s hard to eat healthy when you’re in a rush or just on the go. But 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, or on a plate. Then choose your base --such as rice, couscous, quinoa--and then your protein. You can pick chicken shawarma, chicken kebabs, kefta kebab, 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 11am until 9pm seven days of the week.

“I accidentally ordered from the wrong location on my lunch break and they KINDLY still made me my wrap! It was delicious and fresh with huge portions. Absolutely recommend for a quick and yummy lunch. Thank you!” -Yelp Review

5. Bar Cargo

Get your pizza craving satisfied at this popular River North restaurant!

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605 N Wells St | Chicago | 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 the flour for their dough shipped in from Rome! 

After hand tossing each pizza, they add only the best and freshest toppings made to your preferences. 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 Buffalo Chicken Wrap. 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 to try out their bottomless drink specials!

Bar Cargo is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but it’s open from 4pm to 10pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4pm to 12am on Fridays, 11am to 12am on Saturdays, and 11am to 9pm on Sundays.

“I'm not the biggest pizza fan, but I had a hankering for it last night. I ordered "The Queen," which is their margherita pizza, and it was outstanding. Best I've ever had, big and gooey and delicious.” -Yelp Review

You can Purchase a GiftYa Gift Card to Bar Cargo here!

6. Zaytune Mediterranean Grill

Casual spot to grab falafel, shawarma, or gyros.

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Can’t go wrong with hummus as some of the best Mediterranean food in Chicago! Image courtesy of the Zaytune Mediterranean Grill Yelp photo page.

3129 S Morgan St | Chicago | 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 and authentic Mediterranean meal. Whether you want to try their Grilled Steak Shawarma Salad Bowl, Lentil Soup, Tabouli Salad, or Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, you won’t be disappointed with any of the flavors.

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

Zaytune Mediterranean Grill is open from 11am until 9pm every day of the week.

“Friendly service. Very easy to place an order over the phone. The food is always excellent. I've never had a bad experience here. Add falafel to the chicken shawarma. And you'll think ...."why the hell do I eat anywhere else". A must if your in Bridgeport” -Yelp Review

You can Purchase a GiftYa Gift Card to Zaytune Mediterranean Grill here!

7. Athena Greek Restaurant

Welcoming Greek restaurant that offers Mediterranean food with a view!

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212 S Halsted St #1 | Chicago | athenachicago.com

There’s a reason everyone loves 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, 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 11am until 10pm on Sundays through Thursdays and from 11am until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

“Excellent. 3 of us had shared Saganaki to start. Then order Chicken skewer, tenderloin skewer and the leg of lamb. All were superb. And we're accompanied by some of their Greek wines. We top it off End wit baklava Services was also outstanding.” -Yelp Review

You can Purchase a GiftYa Gift Card to Athena Greek Restaurant here!

8. FIG & OLIVE

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

104 E Oak St | Chicago | 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, or try the Mediterranean Branzino and Lamb Skewers. Then if you’re craving something sweet check out the dessert menu with options like the Peach & Pistachio Frangipane Tart and Cherry & Chocolate Clafoutis.

Fig & Olive is open for dining Sunday through Thursday 12:00pm to 9:30pm, Friday and Saturday 12:00pm to 10:30pm, and Happy Hour is Monday through Friday 3:00pm to 7:00pm.

“The interior was beautiful and just the right vibe for a girls night out. I had the tuna meatballs, steak skewer, and chocolate mousse. The portion sizes were just perfect and everything was paced nicely.” -Yelp Review

9. Ēma

A lighter, California take on traditional Mediterranean dishes!

74 W Illinois St | Chicago | emachicago.com

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

Some signature dishes at Ēma are the Hummus, House-Made Stracciatella, and Lamb & Beef Kefta kebabs. There’s also a selection of spreads, dips, and mezze for you to choose from.

Ēma is open for Brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am to 3:00pm, Lunch Monday through Friday 11:00am to 3:00pm, and Dinner Monday through Thursday 3:00pm to 10pm, Friday & Saturday 3:00pm to 11:00pm, and Sunday’s 3:00pm to 9:00pm.

“Super great food! The feta in the Greek salad was so soft and flavorful. The falafel was crispier and denser than I'm used to but the star of the show was definitely the beet tzatziki and hummus. So fresh and delicious!” -Yelp Review

10. Kabobi Grill

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

Gotta love a plate loaded full of flavorful foods! Image courtesy of the Kabobi Grill Yelp photo page.

4748 N Kedzie Ave | Chicago | 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 10:30am until 1am every day of the week!

“One of the best Zabihah Halal restaurant in Chicago that offers delicious food, outstanding service, and a comfortable ambiance. It is highly recommended for anyone looking for an authentic persian dining experience.” -Yelp Review

11. Aba

Elevated cuisine making this a restaurant with some of the best Mediterranean food in Chicago!

302 N Green St 3rd Floor | Chicago | 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 for dinner Monday through Thursday 4:00pm to 10:00pm, Friday 4:00pm to 11:00pm, Saturday 3:00pm to 11:00pm, and Sunday 3:00pm to 10:00pm. Brunch is served on the weekends 10:00am to 3:00pm.

“The best food I've had in Chicago so far. Every item on the menu and drink was delicious. Will def come back for special occasions. Service was quick and the vibes are amazing.” -Yelp Review

12. Crave Kabob

Two great locations serving up delicious kabobs in Chicago!

1521 W Madison St | Chicago | cravekabob.com

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

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 11am to 9pm on Mondays through Saturdays, and the restaurant is closed on Sundays.

“The portions are huge and the food is so good. I had it DoorDash delivery and it arrived hot at my hotel and was more food than one person could eat. I will definitely be eating here again when I'm in the area.” -Yelp Review

13. Olive Mediterranean Grill

Delicious Mediterranean food that will make you say OMG!

Gotta love a quick and easy bite like a Falafel sandwich! Image courtesy of the Olive Mediterranean Grill Yelp photo page.

1001 W North Ave | Chicago | 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 who stop by!

You can order for takeout or delivery right on their website. And 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 10:30am to 9pm every day of the week.

“This is hands down the best place to go for Mediterranean cuisine. There are so many options and majority of it is veg friendly. The food is affordable and the quality is amazing! I highly recommend any location in the city.” -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 you’ll be sure to have the best Mediterranean food in Chicago at any one of these places.

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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