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Apr 16, 2013 01:45 PM

Chicago kosher restaurant recommendations needed

I'm going to be visiting relatives in Chicago at the end of May, and I was wondering what the best options are for a dinner out (or maybe lunch). We'll be staying in the Wicker Park area, which I know is not anywhere near the kosher restaurants. We'll have a car.

I'm hoping to compile some options that would be presentable to people unused to kosher restaurants – both nice and casual places, since I'm not quite sure what everyone will want. And one of the group is a chef, so they have high standards in general.

I couldn’t find any recent threads, but that may be due to the poor search function. I also tried the CRC website to see which may be the closest options, but I’m not familiar enough with Chicago to judge locations. I did see in recent posts discussions about Milt’s BBQ, which seems like it’s perhaps the closest, relatively speaking. Are there other options somewhat nearby?

Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Milt's is closest as the crow flies, not necessarily the quickest to get to (depending on the day/time).

    Taboun is right off the expressway at Dempster in Skokie (20-25 minutes from Wicker Park on a good day, 45 minutes at rush hour) It has an Israeli meat menu.

    Just one exit South of Taboun is Shallot's, which is the fine dining option in Chicago (not "the" as in the exemplar of fine dining, it's literally the only one). Has pretty good sushi, by any standards. The menu is all over the place, with no specific focus on cuisine:

    There are a few other options but it's mostly downhill from the three already mentioned.

    For lunch, do yourself a favor and venture out to Romanian. It's a kosher butcher but they sell sandwiches with their housemade corned beef, pastrami and killer salami. If it's a nice day, drive to the lakefront with your sandwiches and a cold drink and enjoy the view.

    Romanian is the last of its kind in Chicago, and there aren't a whole lot more elsewhere either. It's the least accessible spot from Wicker Park, but it will not disappoint. And buy a couple of hard salamis to go.

    Another quick mentions, Ken's Diner, about 7 minutes East of Taboun has pretty great sloppy burgers.

      1. re: Shmendrik

        I would mention MetroKlub, but it's more of a business lunch spot due to it's very limited hours (11-3 Monday through Thursday only). If that works for you, it's probably the closest spot of all.

      2. I agree with the recommendations so far - I have not been to Milt's but a friend has and he liked it a lot - Shallots Bistro and Taboun are both excellent -

        Other places to check out Soul Surfing Pizza - IMHO the best kosher pizza in the country if not the world and for an interesting treat is the Cheese Burger Calzone - now I understand why people like cheese burgers.

        Emma's Bagel Cafe - typical bagel place but they make the best French Onion Soup -

        Hamachi Sushi - a kosher sushi reaturant that opened up in Rogers Park with excellent sushi

        Tein Li Chow - a carry out Chinese restaurant located in the Jewel in Evanston - one of the best kosher Chinese restaurants in the country

        Milts, Shallots, Hamachi and Taboun are suitable and will satisfy everyone

        1. Thanks to everyone for your responses, it's much appreciated! Now at least I have a good list of suggestions to offer. If it were just me, I'd try them all, but hopefully at least one meal out will be a possiblity.

          Thanks again for all your help!

          1 Reply
          1. re: hbg1

            Also to add the Jewel where Tein Li Chow is located has an extensive kosher food section including prepared foods -

          2. Thanks again, everyone, for your suggestions. We wound up going to Milt's BBQ, which worked out well. Also, one day we stopped at the Bebe's Eatery stand in the French Market downtown to pick up a quick lunch. This was a nice option for to-go sandwiches/wraps and salads.

            I'm hoping these options stick around for my next visit!