The Windy City is a city steeped in history with a thriving cultural scene. As the third largest city in the United States, it is a diverse melting pot of different cultures. Its variety is well represented in its abundance of dishes – from the typical Chicago deep-dish pizza to the perennial favorite, the Italian beef sandwich and the colorful rainbow cones. Regardless of your dietary requirements, there is something for everyone here in Chicago. If you’re having trouble finding halal restaurants in your area in the city, don’t worry. Here is a list of the 10 best halal restaurants to tear your socks off in Windy City.
1. The Halal Guys
After trying the Halal Guys cattle gyros in New York, we can personally witness the delicacy of their plates. This halal fast food chain has a humble history, starting as a food cart on the streets of Manhattan. Her legendary food truck is still pulling long lines snaking around the block in NYC, and it’s no different here in Chicago. It is not difficult to understand why they offer a generous portion of rice, well-marinated meat and a slice of flatbread in their legendary white sauce. At less than $ 10 a plate, it’s also a very affordable meal, with both Muslims and non-Muslims looking for more.
2. Cairo Kebab
Cairo Kebab is a casual eatery that offers Middle Eastern dishes at affordable prices. The Cairo Kebab is located in the heart of Lincoln Park and serves innovative Mediterranean cuisine with an authentic Egyptian touch. The friendly chef Ahmed prepares breakfast for you. With an extensive halal menu, including vegan options and desserts, you’re spoiled for choice.
3. Tandoor Char House
Tandoor Char House is a Sub Continental restaurant. It was opened by two brothers who were inspired by their mother’s kitchen and their love of the kitchen. They also serve some innovative Indian-Western fusion dishes like Tikka Masala Penne and Tandoor Burger. The Chaat Fries, a homemade creation with French fries dusted with a fine hint of Indian spices, are a must, as are the fusion steaks. Since Tandoor Char House is a halal joint, no alcohol is served, although there is a BYOB directive for non-Muslims.
4. Salam Restaurant
Salam Restaurant prides itself on being one of the best restaurants in the city’s Middle East. It offers an authentic halal menu in American and Oriental style with vegan and vegetarian options. They also serve some outstanding falafels that are considered one of the best in Chicago. A warm, inviting space with friendly waiters to dine here is sure to be a pleasant experience.
5. Sabri Nihari
Sabri Nihari serves authentic South Asian cuisine in a casual, stylish setting and is a must if you are looking for Pakistani food. The menu is extremely extensive and ranges from bread to traditional curry dishes and grilled dishes. You are definitely spoiled for choice here. Round off your meal with a faluda, a colorful Indian dessert made of jelly, rice noodles and ice cream. Sabri Nihari has definitely earned a place in the Michelin Bib Gourmand with authentic, delicious Pakistani cuisine at affordable prices.
6. I-Cafe Sukur’s Place
I-Cafe Sukur’s Place is a casual, cozy restaurant that serves authentic Turkish food. They pride themselves on their carefully selected, fresh and completely halal ingredients. Try their lentil soup, a hearty vegetarian soup that comes with a side dish of fluffy bread. Conveniently located next to the Irving Park L-Station, you can easily drop by if you are looking for delicious Turkish dishes on a budget.
7. Epic Burger
With eight locations in Chicago, you’ve probably seen Epic Burger. Good news – the Chicago-based burger chain is now offering a halal version of its flagship Epic Burger (made from Creekstone beef), glazed with its new Thousand Island dressing. Your crispy, perfectly seasoned fries are also served with halal honey mustard. Hopefully they’ll make their other burgers halal in the future.
8. Nini’s Deli
Ninis Deli, the only restaurant on this list that serves Latin American cuisine, is a family-run establishment that has served its trademark empanadas and sandwiches for more than 30 years. The cozy restaurant is located on the corner of the block and is ideal for brunch. Don’t go without trying one of the Cuban sandwiches.
9. Bombay Wraps
Bombay Wraps is a straightforward little restaurant that serves fresh wraps, although only two of their wraps – beef kebab and lamb curry – are halal. Nevertheless, they both offer good value for money: fresh pieces of meat are placed between two fluffy rolls and poured with a generous amount of sauce. The food is prepared very quickly to order. So if you have a tight schedule, Bombay Wraps is a good place for a quick midday run.
10. Taza Cafe
Taza Cafe, founded over 10 years ago, has been supplying downtown Chicago with its specialty hummus and falafels for some time. If you feel hungry, you can eat hummus with chicken kebab, beef gyros or even a turkey bowl. Taza always offers friendly service and good food at wallet-friendly prices. The only downside is that the store has limited seating. So prepare for the take-away order.