Chicago has always been teeming with Jewish and kosher-style delicatessens and restaurants–you”ll probably recognize some of these if you live there or grew up there. Some of the best noshings are had at old-school delis, or new delis and diners that are nostalgic for the past. There’s also a kosher diner, and a unique kosher butcher that makes the best sausages and hot dogs in town. These places serve up not only classic deli fair, but also several sandwiches, hot dogs, and burgers completely unique to Chicago.
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Since 1942, Manny’s has been serving up Reubens, chopped liver, kishke, kasha and so much more in its old-school cafeteria-style restaurant. The walls of this Chicago institution are plastered with newspaper clippings and memorabilia that prove just how much people love this place.
According to its website, inspiration for this kosher restaurant “comes from Maimonides, the prominent 12th-century Torah scholar. His ‘Guide for the Perplexed‘ addresses questions of philosophy and theology that are still relevant today.” Milt’s is known for pairing barbecue with philosophical lectures. With solid vegetarian options — tofu tenders and a hearty vegetarian chili, to name a few — along with meat fare, this BBQ joint has something for everyone.
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This new-school diner is full of nostalgic touches, drawing inspiration from the Jewish delis and casual family restaurants that the owner grew up with. Visit it if you’re craving all-day breakfast, knishes, or melts in the heart of the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Hand picking my famous Romanian hard salami. This place is meat heaven, the price and quality can’t be matched!! #Romanian #oldworld #originalkosher #koshersausageking #kosherchicago #fkffoodtour #fellowkosherfoodie
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No post about Jewish food in Chicago would be complete without mention of Romanian Kosher Sausage Co. Eater Chicago describes it as “a gem that’s been doing things the right way for over 50 years,” one of the most beloved butcher shops in Chicago. In addition to sausage, Romanian makes corned beef, kishke and beef chopped liver, which is apparently the best in the city.
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Ken’s Diner, Skokie
This ’50s-style diner has been a kosher destination for over 30 years. It makes several different specialty burgers and a sprinkling of Ashkenazi dishes like chicken schnitzel and pastrami.
Pronounced: KISH-kuh, Origin: Yiddish, literally “intestine,” this usually refers to a sausage-like dish. It’s also used to connote a strong emotional connection to something, as in “I feel it in my kishkes.”
Pronounced: KOH-sher, Origin: Hebrew, adhering to kashrut, the traditional Jewish dietary laws.
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.