There’s always been a bit of a stigma when it comes to African fare. It’s intimidating. It’s too exotic. The restaurants don’t welcome outsiders. This could not be further from the truth. Step inside one of the many West African or Ethiopian eateries in Chicago, and you’ll find someone who’ll eagerly introduce you to their interpretation of egusi soup, jollof rice, berbere-spiced chicken, or other dishes from their native country. Many have been around for more than 20 years, and while they’re primarily on the North Side, diners will find a few on the South Side as well. Here, we’ve gathered some of the city’s most notable offerings as well as newcomers like Dozzy’s Grill.
As of March 2, Chicago restaurants are permitted to serve customers indoors with a 50 percent maximum capacity per room, or 50 people — whichever is fewer. At the same time, despite winter weather, a number of Chicago restaurants continue to offer outdoor seating. Regardless, the state requires reservations for indoor and outdoor dining. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as an endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.