Jewish families love to pass along legends of selfless bubbes who have spent countless early fall afternoons in the kitchen, kneading challah dough, chopping carrots for tsimmes, and stirring steaming pots of chicken soup. How those women suffered to prepare the high holiday meals! How they wanted their children and grandchildren to know of their suffering!
The pandemic tendency toward takeout has remained, so peruse Eater Chicago’s list of restaurants, delis, and bakeries in and around Chicago with full meals and soup, sides, and challah. As it was written in the Book of Proverbs, “Who can find good takeout? For its worth is far above rubies.”
Aba: Aba in Fulton Market offers a Mediterranean inflection on holiday favorites — customers can order za’atar roasted chicken, shawarma-rubbed brisket, salt-roasted red and golden beets, and sticky date cake for takeout. Orders are open until noon on Wednesday, September 13 via Tock. Dine-in patrons can count on special dishes such as savory mushroom kugel on Friday, September 15, and Saturday, September 16.
Beatrix Fulton Market, River North, and Streeterville: The Beatrix Rosh Hashanah meal serves up all the classics: gefilte fish (typically for Passover), chopped liver, matzo ball soup, burnt honey chicken, slow-braised short ribs, potato pancakes (see: Hanukkah), apples and honey, and two kinds of cake — olive oil and chocolate. The family-style package is available to order until noon on Thursday, September 14 for pickup or delivery on Friday, September 15, and Saturday, September 16. Order on Tock.
The Goddess and Grocer: Chef Debbie Sharpe’s mini-chain has a variety of options. Choose from family-sized portions of appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts; dinner packages for two or more; and Yom Kippur platters of bagels and lox or vegetarian frittatas. Preorders for Rosh Hashanah must be in by noon on Monday, September 11, and Yom Kippur by noon on Friday, September 22. Peruse the menus and place orders online.
Helfeld’s Deli: The father-daughter duo behind this newish Jewish deli is back for the High Holidays with bagels, enormous sandwiches, and deli meats and salads by the pound are available a la carte, alongside a variety of catering trays. Call (773) 904-7751 to place orders or email the team at email@example.com.
Lure Fishbar: New York import Lure Fishbar will mark the High Holidays with a dine-in menu of matzo ball soup, burrata with heirloom tomatoes, oven-roasted chicken, baked whitefish, latkes, and apple and honey matzo bread pudding for dessert. The lineup is available for Rosh Hashanah from Friday, September 15 through Sunday, September 17; it’ll be back for Yom Kippur’s break-the-fast on Sunday, September 24, and Monday, September 25.
Masa Madre: Mexican-Jewish bakery Masa Madre is taking a break from their retail business, but fans can still get a taste of Sephardic flavors at two virtual challah-making classes on Sunday, September 10, and Thursday, September 14. Students will learn to knead, mix, flavor, fill, and braid round guava-amaranth challah. Class bookings are available online.
Max and Benny’s: The beloved Northbrook deli will be open on both Rosh Hashanah (dine-in and takeout) and Yom Kippur (takeout only) and also has a full catering menu available, with chicken, brisket, fish, chicken soup, bagel-and-lox platters, and more. Order online for pre-holiday pickup.
Prairie Grass Cafe: Northbrook’s Prairie Grass Cafe is offering holiday brisket dinners for two that include chicken soup, barbecue brisket, and chopped liver by the quart from James Beard Award winner chef Sarah Stegner. Call (847) 205-4433 to order; pickup is Friday, September 15.
Sam & Gertie’s: Chicago’s sole vegan Jewish deli will from its summer hiatus on Wednesday, September 14 with a plethora of Ashkenazi-style offerings, including matzo ball soup, deli salads, baked goods, and more. Patrons should take note that it’s only open on Saturdays and Sundays.
Schneider Deli: Chicago’s newest Jewish deli opened in early August in Chicago’s iconic mid-century Ohio House Motel and is already rolling out the welcome mat for the year 5784 with catering menus for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. For the new year, chef and owner Jake Schneider is offering Bubbe Eunice’s brisket, oven-roasted chicken, kale salad, honey cake, and a smattering of sides. Online ordering for Rosh Hashanah is open through Friday, September 8. For Yom Kippur, options include a spread of assorted bagels, cream cheese, nova lox, tuna salad, kugel, and all the bagel accouterment (think tomato, onion, and capers). Pre-orders are open through Monday, September 18. More details and order forms are available online.
Steingold’s of Chicago: Chef, owner, and bagel specialist Aaron Steingold has tons of Rosh Hashanah offerings available this year, including beef brisket, saffron-poached cod, and honey sponge cake, which can be purchased as a package or a la carte. The Yom Kippur break-fast is a sweet spot for Steingold’s, which has bagels and lox platters, as well as challah French toast casserole. Order online via Toast.