Now that spinach has been deemed a performance-enhancing vegetable, Popeye's future shortstop career hinges on his transition to chickpeas. Get a sailor's worth of energizing Lebanese cuisine with today's deal: for $15, you get $35 worth of authentic fare at Semiramis. This popular Middle Eastern eatery is conveniently located right off the Kedzie Brown Line stop in Albany Park.
Semiramis serves moderately priced bites from an extensive menu of traditionally delicious fare. Start your engine with a sharable starter such as baba ghannouj ($5) or savory hummus ($4). Fan favorites for the main feast include the falafel sandwich ($5) and marinated rotisserie chicken with lavosh and garlic sauce ($12 whole, $9 half). There's the vegetarian plate with hummus, baba ghannouj, tabbouleh, falafel, and dolmas ($12) for vegetarians, seafood of the day ($16) for pescatarians, and lamb and beef kafta ($14) for the promeatletariat.
While Semiramis offers sips such as soft drinks, lemonade, and Arabic coffee with cardamom, the real liquid power lies within the bringing of your own booze, beer, and bottles of wine. Supply the elixir of your choice to stimulate the conversation of your next Groupon-sponsored date, business meeting, or '80s hair-band reunion in the cozy atmosphere at Semiramis.
- Elaborate kebab, falafel, and roast chicken sandwiches reach a pinnacle in the lamb and beef shawarma combo -- a textural marvel of juicy, caramelized meat wrapped in thin lavosh with roasted eggplant, red cabbage, tomatoes, pickles, hummus, and harissa-spiked tahini. The shawarma and skewered meat entrees include a marinated roasted chicken resting on a huge blanket of lavosh beside a cup of cool glutinous garlic mousse called toum. At $5.50 per bird it could be the take-out deal of the neighborhood. – Mike Sula, Chicago Reader
- On a sunny day, this Lebanese café is warm and full of light. On darker days, you can look to the food for such pleasures. The fattoush salad provides forkfuls of bright, tart flavors, and the basket of warm pita begs to be slathered with foul—fava beans cooked down with olive oil and garlic to make a tangy, spreadable paste. Sandwiches, like a roasted chicken wrap, and tender kebabs are prepared skillfully, and everything benefits from a slather of the housemade garlic sauce, toum—except for the mamoul cookies. Pair those with a cup of rich cardamom-laced coffee. – Time Out Chicago
- Imagine the perfect falafel, fried until it's brown-crisp and glistening on the outside, creamy-smooth and yellow on the inside, and served up still sizzling hot. That's how you'll get it at Semiramis... A stellar choice for double dates or wine-fueled gab sessions, the dining room features cozy tables, ample lighting and modern music turned low. Beautiful wall hangings and pottery state the Middle-Eastern mood without screaming. When you're sipping your sublime Arabic coffee with cardamom and nibbling flaky baklava, you'll be glad you made the northwest trek. – Julia Steinberger, Centerstage
Semiramis may be located half a world away from Lebanon, but that doesn't stop owner and chef Joseph "ZouZou" Abraham from closely recreating the country's cuisine. The restaurant's team marinates olives in-house, stuffs shawarmas with lean cuts of lamb, chicken, and beef, and spoons sides of hummus and tahini sauce alongside the grilled kabobs. At the same time, Semiramis features a broad selection of vegetarian-friendly items, including everything from plates of baba ghannouj, tabbouleh, and dolmas to crispy falafel served fresh from the fryer.
From the Press
- Chicago Magazine named Semiramis' "piping hot" falafel the best in the city in 2009.
- "On a sunny day, this Lebanese café is warm and full of light. On darker days, the food provides the sunniness," says Time Out Chicago.
- The Chicago Reader heaps praise upon the lamb and beef shawarma sandwich, "a textural marvel of juicy, caramelized meat wrapped in thin lavosh with roasted eggplant, red cabbage, tomatoes, pickles, hummus, and harissa-spiked tahini."
A Peek Inside
Ornate rugs don't only adorn the tile floors at Semiramis; they also decorate the cream-colored wall that lies behind the dining room's banquette seating. Solitary pendant lamps dangle from the ceiling and cast a gentle glow across the space's rich wooden tables and cinched, drape-like fabric in the center of the room.
4639 N Kedzie Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625Get Directions