Located in the Albany Plaza Shopping Center for nearly two decades (though recently remodeled), Jaafer Sweets has long been home to some of the tastiest Middle Eastern sweets in Chicago, and the talkative owner is more than happy to provide the reason why: "We don't skimp on quality." The decorative stone floor and marble countertops attest to that.
With shelves full of various flavors of the ever-popular baklava (pistachio, walnut and chocolate), zalabia (honey-drenched pastries), mamoul cookies (dates, pistachio and walnut) and nammoura (coconut cake with an almond slice) to choose from, your sweet tooth will thank you. The most popular item is the richly dense burma (shredded, rolled pastry filled with cashews and syrup), a time-consuming treat that many shops leave off the menu. Everything is sold by the pound, with varying prices for different treats. Almost everything is available in a sugar-free version.
Don't feel like heading to the store? You can also order anything from the menu online and ship it anywhere in the U.S.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Zach Freeman