Hungry for Mediterranean eats? These 3 new Chicago spots have you covered

If you've got Mediterranean fare on the brain, you're in luck: we've found the freshest Chicago eateries to quell your cravings. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you're in the mood for Mediterranean food.


Avli Taverna




1335 W. Wrightwood Ave., Lincoln Park

Photo: Alli L./Yelp

Avli Taverna is an upscale Greek and Mediterranean spot.

The restaurant offers a grilled eggplant stuffed with tomatoes, onions and peppers, a chicken breast shish kebab with roasted tomatoes and onions and a wild Alaskan pollack casserole with tomatoes and onions. (View the menu here.)

With a 4.5-star Yelp rating out 11 reviews, Avli Taverna has been getting positive attention.

Yelper Adam F., who reviewed Avli Taverna on Nov. 9, wrote, "This place is clearly popular, as it was jam packed at 5:30 p.m. one week after its grand opening. ... The moussaka is to die for. ... The octopus was tender yet firm and had an awesome white bean paste to balance and give depth to the dish."

Sabrina G. noted, "We ordered the lemon rice soup, moussaka, spanakopita, village salad and the unforgettable baklava dessert. Everything was so delicious, from our wine pairings to the small plates."

Avli Taverna is open from 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)

Cafe Istanbul




2014 W. Division St., Wicker Park

PHOTO: FLETCHER M./YELP

Cafe Istanbul is a Turkish and Mediterranean spot.

The Mediterranean grill offers pan-fried zucchini pancakes with feta cheese, dill and a yogurt sauce, porgies served with steamed vegetables, a braised lamb shoulder wrapped in eggplant and more. (Check out the menu here.)

Cafe Istanbul's current Yelp rating of 4.5 stars out of 31 reviews indicates positive attention from users.

Yelper Sharon N., who reviewed Cafe Istanbul on Dec. 19, wrote, "We had several entrees. Our friends shared an order of sea bass, which was prepared in a very interesting way with a flamed pile of salt! They liked it very much. ... I had the mixed grill, and the chef prepared it with vegetables instead of rice, which I appreciated. We had a plate of mixed desserts, included wonderful baklava, little cubes of Turkish flan and a chocolate tower. Everything was wonderful."

Becky H. noted, "We were immediately seated and provided the carrot dip that was mentioned in other reviews, and I found it so tasty and unique. ... I had the salad with feta and topped it with the doner as a protein, and I had more than half leftover to take home! Two meals in one, yum!"

Cafe Istanbul is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sunday.

Le Sud




2301 W. Roscoe St., Roscoe Village

Photo: simon l./Yelp

Le Sud is a Mediterranean and French spot.

The restaurant offers a pan-seared duck breast with a lavender-honey glaze, a grilled chicken with red rice and an herb salad, smoked trout caviar and more. (View the menu here.)

With a 4.5-star Yelp rating out of 55 reviews on Yelp, Le Sud has been getting positive attention.

Yelper Aline S., who was one of the first users to visit Le Sud on Dec. 22, wrote, "The homemade bread and butter added to my snails that were on a skewer--really delicious, not chewy at all. ... Wine list is great too! The foie gras tart as dessert was a great way to finish."

Kathleen C. noted, "We tried the house bread, the charcuterie, burger, croquettes and dessert. Everything was delicious and well made. There were unique flavors in all of the dishes, which I really appreciated."

Le Sud is open from 5-10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 4-9 p.m. on Sunday.