Apr 5, 2024 - Food and Drink

Food fight: Best baklava in Chicago

thick piece of baklava on white plate.

Baklava from Athena's in Greektown. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

This Sunday, Chicago will host the annual Greek Heritage Parade along Halsted in Greektown, which celebrates Hellenic culture with dancing, music and lots of food.

Though Greek cuisine is one of many that feature baklava, we took this occasion to share some of our favorite local spots for the rich, crisp, phyllo dough pastry.

Justin's pick: I wanted to get my favorite baklava in the city from Artopolis on Halsted Street, but it's closed for water damage. So I walked a block north to one of Greektown's best restaurants, Athena.

  • The baklava is so good. Flaky, sweet and nutty with a cinnamon spice.
  • It's more of a restaurant dessert portion, and therefore more expensive than a bakery pastry. ($8)
Square piece of baklava on blue and white plate on top of red tablecloth.
Pistachio baklava from Middle East Bakery in Andersonville. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Monica's pick: I know we're celebrating Greek heritage this week, but my favorite baklava ($1.99 a piece) comes from the 43-year-old Middle East Bakery & Grocery in Andersonville.

  • I wasn't thrilled to see "vegetable oil and sugar syrup" on the ingredients label (I assumed I'd find butter and honey), but I was thrilled to nibble this treat with a hot cup of mint tea.
Square piece of baklava on green plate.
Baklava from Psistaria Green Taverna. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

Carrie's pick: Baklava is not my go-to for dessert. I like chocolate, what can I say? I'm a simple woman.

Yes, but: The huge, gooey, sticky baklava from Psistaria Greek Taverna in Lincolnwood is a special treat. ($7.25)

  • They top it with cinnamon and syrup so it's almost more breakfast than dessert, and the walnutty flavor peeks through.

What's your favorite baklava spot in the city? Let us know, and we'll feature in an upcoming newsletter!

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