Review and Photos by Lydia Krupinski
I love Chicago, but after the first snow falls and the twinkling holiday lights grow dim, it’s difficult not to drown in the slush of the city’s everlasting winters. Thankfully, Algerian creperie Icosium Kafe offers an escape from these gloomy Chicago days. This cozy spot boasts a large vegetarian selection, organic coffee, moderate pricing, and an inviting atmosphere that’s sure to melt away the worst winter blues.
On a frigid Wednesday afternoon, with our bellies grumbling and our extremities frozen, some friends and I entered this tiny storefront café in Andersonville. Greeted by a bustling lunch crowd, savory smells, and bright colors, our senses were awakened.
As we poured over the menu we marveled at the fresh slices of cucumber floating in our water and the lush tapestries adorning the walls. Against the backdrop of clanking dinnerware we sipped cups of mild broccoli soup and swayed to the sounds of ethnic music. After a short wait, Katy was presented with her Crepe Marrakech, a thin pancake filled with caramelized onions, toasted almonds, sweet goat cheese, raisins, fresh mint, sun-dried tomatoes and homemade olive tapanade. David delighted in his sugary sweet dulce de leche coffee and a Palace Crepe stuffed with pine nuts, tomatoes, goat cheese, arugula, bell peppers, and baby spinach, while I savored my Crepe Iberica, complete with ricotta chesse, tangy pineapples, cilantro, scallions, crunchy pistachios, and organic greens. Between the three, Katy’s crepe was our favorite. The bold flavors and contrasting textures made our tastebuds dance with joy.
No visit to a creperie is complete without dessert. Soon after devouring our main course we ordered the restaurant’s signature sweet Crepe Icosium, filled with chewy raisins, tender pears, and rose water, topped with pistachio ice-cream and dollops of whipped cream. This
sweet and syrupy crepe tempted us to lick the plate clean. Though we couldn’t quite taste the rose water, we enjoyed the elegant presentation and airy flavors.
Icosium Kafe is the perfect lunch time destination. The vegetarian selection, unique flavor combinations, and warm atmosphere will have you singing Habibi (which means beloved) right along with the music.
Join Northsiders in Andersonville at 5200 N. Clark Street or visit the
Lincoln Park location at 2433 N. Clark, and prepare to be swept away to the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Mediterranean.