Middle Eastern Culture has seen a huge rise In popularity throughout the world and has even become a part of other cultures.

The west in particular has acquired a taste for Middle Eastern Cuisine and they can’t seem to stop. Middle Eastern Cuisine has surged as more people become exposed to the distinctive ingredients, spices, and colorful dishes that make this cuisine so popular. Foods like falafel and shawarma that you can eat on the go have become a staple for kids as well as adults.

This rise in the Yemeni Culture and cuisine has lead to the birth of numerous restaurants throughout the world that offer not only Middle Eastern cuisine, but also promise the culture/feels that comes with it. We at Shibam also specialize in providing top quality Middle Eastern Food in the state of Chicago. If your new in Chicago and looking to experience the Yemeni Culture to the fullest, then we suggest to start with the food. We have compiled for you, our top picks for restaurants in Chicago that we believe totally respect the Yemeni Culture and aim to deliver only the best food to their customers.


The first and the foremost is Shibam itself. Located in 4807 N Elston Ave and 6275 Mccormick Boulevard in Chicago, the quality we provide here at Shibam is truly unmatched. Whether you want to host 20 or 200, we have a kitchen that will accommodate and satisfy any request. Our talented chef’s have decorated our menu with only the best Yemeni cuisine, but if your looking for something more specific, we can take on any challenge. From appetizers to main dishes to desserts, we cater to any and every Yemeni craving you have. Some of our main dishes include

· Mandi

Our most popular dish, lightly roasted lamb, chicken or both.

Served with Rice and Chatni.

· Haneeth

Roasted meat seasoned with spices.

Also Served with Rica and Chatni.

· Lamb Head

Roasted lamb head is a traditional Yemeni delicacy.

Served with Rice or Bread.

Note : All dishes are served with basmati rice

Sheeba Mandi House

The second on this list, a restaurant we think hosts a brilliant roaster of chef’s and is considered one of the best Yemeni Food Chicago restaurants is Sheeba Mandi House. According to them, with a team of chef’s that were born in Yemen, the management at Sheeba aims to provide a wide range of authentic Yemeni Food all across the Chicago area. Meats such as lamb, chicken, and goat are staples of Yemeni ethnic cuisine, which is why Sheeba strives to give a diverse range of meat-related meal options. As stated by the head of Sheeba, “something that sets Sheeba apart from many other Yemeni restaurants is the no compromise, no shortcut policy in the authenticity and originality of the cultural aspect of the dishes.” This is something we too at Shibam have no compromise for.

Some of their main dishes include

· Kabsa

Chopped meat sautéed with long grain basmati rice, scallion, parsley and onion.

· Zurbian

Marinated chunks of meat cooked with long grain basmati rice, scallion, parsley, and onion. Served mix and ready to eat.

· Haneeth

Traditional dish of shredded meat and mashed potatoes. Served bubbling hot in a clay bowl with fresh clay oven bread.

· Burr-Mah

A very tender chunk of lamb sautéed then boiled in seasoned mirepoix for hours. Served with (Mandi) rice.

Yaba’s Food and Middle Eastern Grill

Another amazing Middle Eastern Restaurant we have on our list is the family owned Yaba’s Food and Middle Eastern Grill. A team of chef’s that through their experience and expertise, provide some of Chicago’s best, delicious and mouth watering Middle Eastern Food experience. With a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere, it is the perfect place for you and your family to enjoy a peaceful and appetizing meal.

With tons of food types like, comfort, family, vegan, kosher, healthy organic, they have an enormous menu. Everything is hand made and their falafel, lentil soup, and veggie plates are a famous go-to for a lot of people.

They guarantee a casual dining experience with authentic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes, as well as Greek, chicken, dessert, gyro, salads, sandwiches, soups, wings, grill, hamburgers and wraps. With such a huge variety of cuisines, you are enticed to come again and again to try out everything.

Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill

In case your wondering, Naf Naf means to “fan the flames “. The phrase is used to invite friends and family to come together and enjoy a meal. Naf Naf is spread all around the United States, and has 6 branches in Chicago alone. That along speaks about their food quality and professionalism.

Sahar Sander, the founder of Naf Naf, launched the very first restaurant in 2009 in Naperville, Illinois, and using their amazing mouth watering taste they kept climbing the ladder and now have countless chains opened up all around America. They promise to be your guide in exploring the best flavors of the Middle East with their handmade dishes like, pillowy pita, crispy falafel, savory shawarma and their signature sauces.

Their kitchen is in eye view, so you can see the fresh pitas baking to the shawarma’s spinning over the open flame. They even allow you to customize your pita or bowl with a variety of ingredients. According to them, their specialties include their Chicken Shawarma which is made and carved according to traditional ways, their hand crafted falafels which have only the freshest of ingredients and lastly, their fresh artisan pitas that melts in your mouth and take you on a trip to the traditional ways of Yemen and Yemeni Culture.

The Yemeni Culture truly is amazing!