Food & Drink

11 Places to Get Your Falafel Fix in Chicago

Published On 04/07/2015 Published On 04/07/2015
Kan Zaman
Zara Husaini/Thrillist
Falafill
Little Goat
Flickr/Ed Fisher 
Hala In
Sultan's Market
Ameer Kabob
Zara Husaini/Thrillist
Noon-O-Kabab Persian Restaurant
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1. Kan Zaman 617 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

Falafel and belly dancers? Yessir -- AND this place is also BYO. So stop in, park it on a throw pillow, enjoy the show, and go to town on a vegetarian platter, which comes with hummus, baba ghannouj, dolma, and falafel (obviously).

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2. Reza's 432 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

With multiple locations around the city, Reza’s does a few different takes on your standard falafel fare. Purists can enjoy ‘em plain while more adventurous eaters can go sweet and salty with the vegetarian shami app, a dish that tops three falafel balls with tons of pomegranate and crushed walnut sauce for extra kick.

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3. Falafill 3202 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657

A concept inspired by a similar quick service spot one of the owners encountered in Amsterdam, Falafill serves up the good stuff for which it's named in a sunny storefront further cheerified with bright green/orange walls.

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4. Salam Restaurant 4636 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (Albany Park)

The most reliable spot on a strip of Middle Eastern restaurants, Salam does a steady business in tender chicken taouk, smoky house-made baba ghanoush, shawarma, falafel, and other standards -- accompanied by service that might best be described as slouchy but friendly.

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5. Little Goat 820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

Right across the street from its upscale sister Girl & The Goat, Stephanie Izard's Little Goat is an all-day upscale diner that serves insanely creative takes on classic American comfort food. Split between a sit-down restaurant and a bakery, Little Goat is the place to go for over-the-top breakfast (breakfast spaghetti, banana peanut butter waffles), exceptional burgers (you can choose between a beef, goat, and veggie patty), and crazy desserts (smoked pork & toffee crunch milkshakes, Cheez-It sundaes). If you can't sit and stay -- or handle the long weekend waits -- then hit the "Grab and Goat" take-away area.

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6. Dawali Mediterranean Kitchen 1625 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Despite the fact that this hidden gem is adjacent to the Steppenwolf Theatre, few people seem to know about it, which is good for you. The prices are great, it's BYO, and the food -- falafel included -- is excellent and always fresh.

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7. Hala In 2852 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

The falafel at Hala In (which is getting tons of praise for its inexpensive, authentic Middle Eastern food) is standard, but remarkably solid, with a nice crisp and a bit more flavor than most of the falafel dishes you’ll find around town.

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8. Sultan's Market 2057 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

Sultan's Market is the best on-the-go spot for falafel, babaganuj, curry basmati rice, and anything else Middle Eastern/Mediterranean. It's not too expensive, and you can BYOB. Score!

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9. Ameer Kabob 1050 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60642 (West Town)

This 20-some seat takeout joint is slinging the usual cavalcade of Middle Eastern tastiness (shawarma, falafel, baba ghanoush, and yes, kabobs) and, as an added bonus, serves as a perfect place to snag some grub before heading to the adjacent hookah lounge.

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10. Kurah 1355 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605 (Near South Side)

Kurah is a great Mediterranean joint with tapas options, a brick oven for ultimate freshness, and specialty cocktails.

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11. Noon O Kabab 4661 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (Albany Park)

Try the falafel appetizer -- lightly fried chickpea balls served with tahini sauce. The falafel at Albany Park’s Noon O Kabab is, like everything else at the Persian eatery, truly, superbly delicious. The restaurant’s authenticity and fantastic service don’t hurt either.

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