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The Ultimate Guide to African Food in Chicago

By August 18, 2021January 21st, 2022Arts & Culture, Resources

Craving Ethiopian, Egyptian, Ghanaian or Somali food? We’ve got you covered with our exhaustive list of Chicago’s must-try African restaurants.

African, food, restaurant, Yassa, ChicagoPhoto courtesy of Yassa African Restaurant
By August 18, 2021January 21st, 2022Arts & Culture, Resources

Craving Ethiopian, Egyptian, Ghanaian or Somali food? We’ve got you covered with our exhaustive list of Chicago’s must-try African restaurants.

For decades, immigrants from African countries have brought their sweet and savory recipes to Chicago by opening family-owned restaurants. They have introduced our city to a mash-up of cuisines, from Egypt’s signature ful medames (a stew of fava beans in garlic and lemon) to Moroccan couscous, and from Senegalese seafood to Ghanian peanut butter soup. 


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While African immigrants make up just 5 percent of Chicago’s immigrant population, they are among the fastest growing immigrant communities here.  Over time, the African food scene in Chicago has become more concentrated in the Bronzeville, Uptown and Edgewater neighborhoods, where many African immigrants live. Roaming these neighborhoods, one can come across businesses serving Moroccan, Nigerian, Somali, Senegalese, Ghanian, Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes. 

Ready to spice things up and travel through the diverse flavors from the Maghreb to those of East and West Africa? Borderless Magazine has compiled a comprehensive list of 28 African restaurants to try in Chicago organized by neighborhood.

Map is color-coded by a country’s cuisine. Click on the top left icon to see map key.

Bronzeville 

Yassa African Restaurant (Senegalese): lamb curry, yassa, fataya, mafe, aloco

3511 S. King Dr.

773-488-5599

11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sundays–Thursdays 

11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays  

Website, Yelp

Edgewater 

Dynamic African Cuisine (Nigerian): jollof, pepper soup, yam dishes

1127 W. Thorndale Ave.

773-728-0082 

10 a.m–9 p.m. Mondays–Saturdays; 1–8 p.m. Sundays

WebsiteYelp

 

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Vee Vee’s African Restaurant (Nigerian): pepper soup, fufu, egusi, yam dishes

6232 N. Broadway St.

773-465-2424

12–11 p.m. daily 

Yelp

Irving Park

Al Waleema Restaurant (Algerian): lham lahlou, kesra, tagine, biryani, maqluba, knafeh, griwech, chebakia, pastries, cookies, cake

4304 N. Pulaski Rd.

773-628-7704

10 a.m.–10 p.m. daily

Facebook

Shokran (Moroccan): tagine, kebab, pastilla, couscous, merguez, mint tea 

4027 W. Irving Park Rd.

773-427-9130 

3–9 p.m. Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 3–10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Website

Zebda (Moroccan): kefta pizza, couscous, tabbouleh, kebab, merguez, pastilla, tagine, mint tea, coffee, cake  

4344 N. Elston Ave.

773-545-7000

10 a.m.–10 p.m. daily

Yelp, Facebook

Kenwood 

Gorée Cuisine (Senegalese): yassa, mafe, fataya, thiou curry, soupou kandia

1126 E. 47th St.

773-855-8120

9 a.m.–10 p.m. Mondays–Wednesdays; 8 a.m.–11 p.m. Thursdays–Sundays

Yelp 

Lincoln Park 

Cairo Kebab (Egyptian): hummus, ful medames, dolmasstuf, tabbouleh, falafel, shawarma, kebab, koshary, ma’amoul, baklava, Turkish coffee

1524 W. Fullerton Ave.

773-687-8413

11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sundays–Thursdays; 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fridays–Saturdays

Website

Near West Side 

Couscous Restaurant (Moroccan): baba ghanouj, falafel, tagine, shawarma, couscous, lentil soup, baklava, Turkish coffee 

1445 W. Taylor St.

312-226-2408

11:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. daily

Website

 

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Bulsho Restaurant (Somali): anjero, soor, lamb shank, cambuulo

211 W. Walton St.

312-265-0198

5 a.m.–1 a.m. Saturdays–Wednesdays; 5 a.m.–12p.m. Thursdays; 5 a.m.–2 a.m. Fridays

WebsiteYelp

MEROË Sudanese & Mediterranean Grill (Sudanese): hummus, baba ghanouj, ful medames, falafel, shrak bread wraps, kebab, shawarma, hilba pudding, ligemat 

939 N. Orleans St.

312-265-1230 

No dine-in option currently. Pickup and delivery 2–9 p.m. Mondays–Saturdays; pickup 2–11 p.m. Fridays

Mogadishu Restaurant (Somali): anjero, sabaayad, fajita, cambuulo, tilapia, biryani, lentil soup, lamb shank

931 N. Orleans St.

312-265-1850

6 a.m.–12 a.m. daily

Yelp

 

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Noble Square

Marrakech (Moroccan): pastilla, zaalouk, dolmas, tagine, kebab, couscous, harira soup 

1440 W. Chicago Ave.

773-770-9018

5–10 p.m. Wednesdays–Saturdays 

Website

Badou Senegalese Cuisine: fataya, fufu, jollof, attieke, couscous, diby guinar, touba coffee, tea

2049 W. Howard St.

773-293-6913

12–10 p.m. Mondays–Fridays; 12–11 p.m. Saturdays; 12–9 p.m. Sundays 

Website

Den Den (Eritrean): shiro, tibs, derho, spiced tea

6635 N. Clark St.

773-973-4752

10 a.m.–11 p.m. Sundays–Thursdays

10 a.m.–12 a.m. Fridays–Saturdays

Yelp

 

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K I African Restaurant (Nigerian): meat pie, jollof, egusi soup, fufu, ofada, ayamase, tilapia, moi moi, coffee

7137 N. Clark St. 773-856-0044

12–9 p.m. Mondays–Saturdays; 2–9 p.m. Sundays

Website, Yelp

Qaato Halal Restaurant (Nigerian): suya, moi moi, ewedu, ognobo soup, yam and plantain dishes, ayamase, jollof, coffee, tea

7118 N. Clark St.

773-465-6255

12–8 p.m. Mondays–Saturdays

Website

 

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A post shared by Sarah Em (@s.em.kowalski)

Yinkres Nigerian Restaurant

2407 W. Lunt Ave.

(773) 856-0541

11 a.m.–9 p.m. Mondays–Saturdays 

Yelp

South Chicago 

Southside African Restaurant (Nigerian): efo riro, jollof, meat pie, egusi soup, ayamase

8311 S. Baltimore Ave.

872-666-5588

10 a.m.–10 p.m. Mondays–Saturdays 

Facebook, Yelp

Uptown

B&Q Afro Root Cuisine (Nigerian): jollof, catfish, egusi soup, ogbono soup, moi moi, asaro 4701 N. Kenmore Ave.

773-878-7489

11 a.m–10 p.m daily 

Yelp 

 

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Demera Ethiopian (Ethiopian): messob, sambusa, ambasha, ice cream, tiramisu, torte 

4801 N. Broadway St.

773-334-8787

12–8 p.m. Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 12:30–8 p.m. Tuesdays; 12–9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Website

Mama Osas African Restaurant (Nigerian): jollof, amala, eba, egusi soup, meat pie, fish pie

1027 W. Wilson Ave.

773-561-2754

11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sundays–Thursdays; 12 p.m.–11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays 

Yelp

 

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A post shared by Shalynda Davis (@shalyndadavis)

Palace Gate Restaurant (Ghanaian): jollof, peanut butter soup, okra soup, fufu, banku, fish stew, waakye 

4548 N. Magnolia Ave.

773-769-1793

12–8 p.m. daily

Yelp 

Tesfa (Ethiopian): zilzil tibs, wat, kitfo, alicha 

1023 W. Wilson Ave.

312-698-4481

11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mondays–Saturdays; 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Sundays

Website

 

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A post shared by TESFA (@tesfaethiopiancuisine)

The Mukase African Restaurant (Ghanian): fufu, okra stew, peanut butter soup, jollof, omo tuo, curry chicken  13635 W. Wilson Ave.

773-754-7121

11 a.m.–9 p.m. Mondays–Thursdays; 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays–Saturdays; 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Sundays 

WebsiteYelp

 

Nigerian Kitchen Restaurant: egusi, ewedu, ogbono soup, yam and plantain dishes

4447 N. Broadway St.

773-271-4010

11 a.m.–9 p.m daily

Website

Iyanze Bar And Cafe (Nigerian): cassava, fufu, egusi, jollof, ewedu, honeybush tea, hibiscus tea, ogbono soup, peanut butter soup, fufu, yam dishes

4623 N. Broadway.

773-944-1417

11 a.m–9 p.m Mondays–Saturdays 

Yelp

 

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West Loop 

Dozzy’s Grill (Nigerian): jollof, jorrito wraps, suya kebabs, spring rolls, red bean bowls

131 N. Clinton St. (Chicago French Market) 

312-351-9551

9 a.m.–3 p.m. Mondays–Fridays; 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturdays 

Yelp 

 

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If you try any of these places, make sure to tag us on Twitter or Instagram @borderless_mag and tell us about your experience!

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