The Nile is a restaurant in Hyde Park on 55th Street. It offers generous helpings of great Middle Eastern food at thoroughly reasonable prices. It’s a great place to go on a Saturday night when dining halls shut down and you want to stay nearby on campus.

Photo by Susanna Tuan

The dish I’ve gotten a couple times here is the maklouba. This is a large dish and is vegetarian with the option of adding meat. It consists of a rice base piled high with sautéed eggplant, cauliflower, chickpeas and carrots and is covered with pine nuts and tart, homemade yogurt. The meat that comes with the dish is contingent on the day you go, but when I got the beef, it was incredibly tender. The whole dish provides a wonderful blend of rich flavors from the beef and sautéed vegetables to the tart yogurt and sweeter pine nuts. I can guarantee you will leave full and satisfied, most likely with a doggie bag in hand.

Photo by Susanna Tuan

In addition, this place offers wonderful, free salads (at least with an order of the maklouba) that are light and tasty, often just consisting of tomatoes, cucumbers and a light dressing. The flavor isn’t exceptional, but it isn’t overpowering, and I found it a wonderful precursor to my meal. It actually piqued my appetite rather than sated it as many heavier appetizers do.

Photo by Susanna Tuan

Also, I can’t speak from any personal experience, but a couple of my friends had great things to say about the combo platters (a platter that comes with four varieties of meats, along with some rice and assorted vegetables), so give it a shot if you’re there! I can say that, after having had a few bites of everything, the meats are remarkably tender and very satisfying. The combo platter sticks to the trend of delivering a massive amount of food for a reasonable price.

Overall, the Nile delivers huge amounts of tasty food for good prices, and it’s an ideal destination for an easy, affordable meal on campus. That said, one issue I have with this restaurant is the service, which tends to be quite slow. This isn’t a major issue though, so I would still wholeheartedly recommend the Nile for what it is: solid food, lots of food and great prices.


Hours of Operation:

Mon-Fri 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Sat 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM

Sun 12:00 AM – 10:00 PM


1162 E 55th St, Chicago, IL 60615

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