We’re sometimes skeptical of the idea of a “hidden gem” when it comes to restaurants. If a place serves good food, then people are going to find it. How do you even hide a restaurant? Answer: behind a bunch of literal gems. Welcome to Oasis Cafe.
Jeweler’s Row is a historic stretch of Wabash in the Loop. It’s an area where there are a lot of jewelry stores, plus huge jewelry wholesalers and manufacturers out of sight in old spaces like the Mallers Building. But we’re not here to tell you how to ice yourself out and spend all the money you don’t have. We’re just here to tell you there’s a little Mediterranean cafe hiding in the back of one of these stores.
Oasis Cafe might hold the record for the most random place in town. Take note of the little sign out front on Wabash before walking into what appears to be a jewelry store. But look further, past all the watches and necklaces that will have you wondering who buys this stuff, and you’ll see Oasis Cafe. The food is simple and cheap Mediterranean like falafel, shish kebab, and plenty of hummus and baba ganouj for less than $10. And it’s also pretty good. There are a couple of tables if you want to sit and it’s also easy to carry out. Pop in for a quick lunch or grab an early dinner before they close at 5:30.
Maybe even buy some diamond earrings on your way out. Who knows what kind of hidden gems you’ll find.
A falafel sandwich is our go-to move here, and should likely be your go-to as well. This is a straightforward falafel option.
Enjoying that falafel? Get some hummus and pita on the side. You'll feel like you're living on the edge.
Perhaps you'd rather have a soup on the side? Again, the world is full of possibilities, and we endorse this soup.
If you want a little bit of everything, go for a combination plate. You get falafel, hummus, and a choice of meat served over rice.