On Kedzie on each side of Lawrence, there are two excellent middle-eastern bakeries. On the south side of Kedzie, on on the west side of the street is Salam. On the North side, on the east side of the street is Jaffar (how's that for cliche middle-eastern names...) At either one, you will find all sorts of great FRESH baklava and related sticky, flaky products (waiting for Rene G to provide long catalogue of middle-eastern sweets!). Personally, I like Salam better, they ply my kids with free cookies.
My favorite thing at Salam is not the baklava, but a triangular filo pastry (like a turnover, i know) that is filled with a custard.
If you need dinner first, there are many great options nearby. In fact the vicinity of kedzie and lawrence is probably chowdown ground zero. In the same mall as salam is an excellant middle eastern place. their pickled turnips and hot sauce really make it stand apart from most falafal, shwarma places--do be warned that the place is a bit surely and not so much a "family place". across the street from salam is noon-o-kebab. grilled meat, lotsa pickly stuff called "torshi", nibbles of feta, another great hot sauce and loads of rice with little packets of butter to mix in, how can you go wrong. there is some great noon-o-kebab comments way down this board (rene g i belive)
re: Vital Information
I'll also mention that I've always been impressed by the baklava at Pita Inn on Dempster in Skokie.
Noon-o-Kabab is indeed really good, and I also like Al-Kaymeih (sp?) which I think is just a little north of Salam, but still south of Lawrence. Al-Kaymeih also appeears to have a bakery next door, but I've never tried it.
Chicago has a decent sized Greek and Armenian population (both known for great baklava) - maybe some chowhounds have a clue as to where to get the best Greek and Armenian pastries? Greektown, maybe? There are a few Greek places near me (lawrence & rockwell), but they're all a little surly and the only one I've tried wasn't very good.
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was at taste of greektown over the weekend and had a great custard filled thingy from artopolis
306 S. Halsted St.
I agree with you about lawrence & kedzie completely. up the block is kang nam galbi, clark market, down the block you have the penguin. A while back there were some posts on thai little home cafe--any body been?
There's great homemade baklava at the Middle Eastern Bakery on Foster, between Clark and Ashland. They also have many of the other pastries similar to those mentioned by VI. All the pastries are inexpensive and delicious.
They often have fresh figs on the weekends too (get them early on Friday or Saturday, they sell out the day he gets them in--I had to buy a case a few weeks ago because I've been begging the owner for them and he saved me a case, and they were delicious!)
There's a great falafel place across the street (see my earlier posts).