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, complete with soup, sides, and challah. As 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 the holiday classics — a shawarma-rubbed brisket is available for dine-in patrons, while takeout customers can order za’atar roasted chicken, smoky garlic hummus, Brussels sprout-parmesan latkes (Hanukkah is the real latke holiday, but sure), and honey pie. A four-course meal, including dessert, is $64.95 per person, with pickup Monday, September 25, or Tuesday, September 27. Order via Tock.
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 $54.95 per person for groups of two, four, or six; pickup and delivery are available at Beatrix’s locations on Sunday, September 25, and Monday, September 26. Order on Tock.
Helfeld’s Deli: The newest entrant to Chicago’s Jewish deli scene opened over the summer after a series of delays, and the High Holidays create the perfect opportunity for those itching for a taste. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Masa Madre: Mexican Jewish bakery Masa Madre, a rare spot where Chicagoans can find the flavors of Sephardic (Spanish and Portuguese) and Mizrahi (North African and West Asian) Jewish cuisines, is offering sweet treats for the new year. Options include a round challah — a shape exclusively for the High Holidays as a symbol of the ever-changing seasons and, to some, a crown — stuffed with guava paste pieces, brushed with honey syrup, and covered with puffed amaranth. A plain version is available too, as well as a box set that includes one challah, a mini churro babka, and a 3-ounce jar of local honey. Place orders 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 and chopped liver by the quart from James Beard Award winner chef Sarah Stegner. Call (847) 205-4433 to order; pickup is Sunday, September 25.
Publican Quality Bread: The PQB team’s relocated bakery (now with a cafe) in West Town is getting into the holiday spirit with another round challah submission: Chicagoans can try head baker Greg Wade’s sesame seed-coated honey oat challah. Though the bakery is not a certified Kosher facility, the challah is dairy free. Order via Tock.
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.
Steingold’s of Chicago: The Yom Kippur break-fast is the sweet spot for the Lakeview bagel shop, which has bagels and lox platters for preorder; they come with all the fixings, plus whitefish, potato, and egg salad ($140 feeds 5 to 6 people, $240 feeds 10 to 12). There are also brisket and chicken feasts for Rosh Hashanah, available in two sizes or a la carte. Order on BentoBox.
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 Wednesday, September 21, and Yom Kippur on Friday, September 30. Peruse the menus and place orders online.