A bowl of matzo ball soup
Jewish Americans are in for another pandemic Passover. | Jeff & Judes [Official Photo]

There’s no need to scramble for matzo balls and brisket

Most years, the Jewish holiday of Passover involves gatherings of family and friends for two seders, or big ritual meals. They are held this year on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28. As COVID-19 vaccine rollouts continue across the country and a growing contingent of grandparents become inoculated, some families are reuniting for a holiday predicated on multi-generational gatherings. However, Jewish Americans who are still waiting for their shots will mark the weekend as the beginning of their second Passover in isolation.

Demand for at-home Passover fare remains high, and some establishments have already sold out. Others are still slinging brisket, matzo ball soup, and more for dine-in and carryout. This year has also seen an influx in representation for flavors associated with Sephardic (Spanish and Portuguese) and Mizrahi (Middle Eastern and North African) Jews, such as date-studded charoset and chraime-style gefilte fish.

See the list below for a selection of restaurants, delis, and retail spots with Passover essentials. Diners who follow strict kashrut, or Jewish dietary rules, should confirm whether their chosen restaurant is certified Kosher.

As of March 2, Chicago restaurants are permitted to serve customers indoors with a 50 percent maximum capacity per room, or 50 people — whichever is fewer. At the same time, despite winter weather, a number of Chicago restaurants continue to offer outdoor seating. Regardless, the state requires reservations for both indoor and outdoor dining. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as an endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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