4 Must-Try Mediterranean Spots

September 24 2014 - 1:00 PM

1. The Pick Up Spot: Zachi, 1406 W. Belmont

If you find yourself in Lakeview, perhaps seeing a show at Stage 773 or just killing time until it’s acceptable to eat Scooter’s, stop by the unassuming storefront on Belmont. Zachi is all about its regular customers, and they do mostly takeout. The ambiance isn’t great, yet it’s worth the trade for the lentil soup samples (that you’ll wind up ordering for more), piping hot fries and delicious baklava.

2. The Biggest Menu: Zizi’s Cafe, 2825 N. Sheffield
My personal favorite of the three, Zizi’s might look like a juice bar from the from, but inside you’ll find a bounty of Mediterranean delights. The menu is much larger than Zachi, so it can be a bit overwhelming. You really can’t go wrong with whatever you order. The pita bread is homemade – light, fluffy and incredibly fresh tasting – so if you order a sandwich you won’t be disappointed.

3. The Ambiance: Masada, 2206 N. California
Masada recently opened in Logan Square, showing off its huge patio, rooftop and gaudy design. It took 7 years for the Sultan’s Market people to build this, so I had high expectations. It’s definitely worth checking out, even if just to order a cleverly named drink (like the Bourbon Turban) and enjoy the last of the patio season. Make sure to go downstairs to the bathroom before you leave to get a look at the celebs clad in turbans. Snoop Dog was my favorite.

4. The Loop Lunch Spot: Roti Meditteranean, 33 N. Dearborn + Others
If you work in or around the loop and have yet to check out Roti, you are way behind the times. Roti is like the Chipotle for Mediterranean food. Decide if you want a salad, bowl or wrap, and there are a plethora of sauces, dips, salads and more that you can add on. Naf Naf Grill came in a close second place, with some truly  incredible pita bread. Roti’s organic and healthy focus, not to mention the amazing Israeli cous cous and Spanish eggplant, give it an edge up.

Photo Credit: Zachi