By Dennis Lee

Zachi is small—as in, three small tables in a narrow room. But when owner Mike Moustafa greets you with a sample of his velvety, cumin-spiced lentil soup, you’ll feel a sense of grandeur. The falafel is booming with garlic, parsley, and spices, rather than the mealy, dry, and dull chickpea mash that plagues so many unfortunate joints. The chicken shawarma wrap is truly something to behold—moist, meltingly soft and full of round, poultry flavor, balanced with house-made pickles that cut refreshingly into every bite. Make sure you save room for the sweet baklava bites, too. Beautiful phyllo dough is layered with a perfect ratio of crushed nuts, soaking in a decadent sugar syrup that fills each bite with blooming sweetness.

... on the side

falafel throwdown
Mike is so confident that his falafel is the best in the city that he’s willing to have a cook-off with any Middle Eastern restaurant in Chicago. He’s serious, too.

true home cooking
According to Mike, there are no truly authentic Middle Eastern restaurants in Chicago—he strives to create food that tastes as if it was airlifted from stands back home.

delicious is universal
Zachi, translated, means tasty.



Mon–Thu 11 AM–9 PM; Fri–Sat 11 AM–10 PM; Sun 11 AM–8 PM

price range

$3 (bites) to $12 (shrimp kalaya)