Bridgeview has long been nicknamed “Little Palestine,” for its large population of Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians, and others from Arabic-speaking places. Only 30 minutes from Downtown Chicago by car, Harlem Avenue — the suburb’s main drag — boasts a large selection of Arab-run businesses, from hookah bars to grocery stores to jewelry shops. The restaurants stand out the most, showing the best of Chicagoland’s Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Jordanian cuisines (known in Arabic as Bilad al-Sham), along with Afghan and Yemeni cuisine. While many of these restaurants share dishes, like shawerma or kebab, the sheer diversity of the food in the Bilad al-Sham region means dishes can vary tremendously from city to city: Each restaurant or bakery in Bridgeview and its neighbors have its own specialities, reflecting the identities of the restaurant workers.
Note: Every place on this map obtains its meat and gelatin from halal sources.
As of June 11, Chicago restaurants have fully reopened and the city has lifted restrictions on capacity and social distancing. However, on July 30, the city issued guidance recommending that everyone wear facial coverings while indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following safety guidelines. The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is available here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Find a local vaccination site here.Read More