Chicago has a flavor of its own — blending its different neighborhoods, people and cultures. Chicago restaurants have followed suit, mixing together a wide array of cuisines to create some one-of-a kind global fare. The city's chefs have found flavors know no borders, so it's time to start expecting the unexpected on the Chicago dining scene.
Here are some of the most unique ethnic fusion restaurants in Chicago:
Vermilion's Latin-Indian cuisine is spicing up fusion food. The combination of the two countries' fierce flavors does not disappoint. For the main course, the traditional Indian Chicken Tikka Masala is a must try, but the Tandoori Skirt Steak is the star of the show. Chef/Owner Rohini Dey combines a Latin skirt steak with Indian flavors in this dish, which is considered sac religious in India but also happens to be sinfully delicious. A vegetarian option prepared with Portabella is also available. Don't even think about missing dessert - the sticky toffee pudding and the caramelized bananas are to die to for!
This modern "Mom n Pop" establishment is of the city's trendiest dining options. The restaurant may be small, but it's flavors certainly aren't. The younger generations can't get enough of their Korean-New American food located off the beaten path in the neighborhood of Avondale. The Baked Potato Bing Bread is one of Parachute's most popular dishes. The potato bread is baked with bacon, scallions and cheddar cheese and brushed with sesame oil before it's skillet fried and oven baked. The chewy and crispy creation is then served with a sour cream butter.
Fat Rice // 2957 W Diversey
The only restaurant in Chicago with "Macanese" food is Fat Rice. Their menu consists of a fusion of cuisine from Macau (the Portuguese province of China) along with strictly Chinese and Portuguese dishes. Adventurous eaters, order the Arroz Gordo or "Fat Rice in english, for which the restaurant was named. The dish is similar to paella and is usually reserved for special celebrations in Macau. The bottom layer is made up of jasmine rice is mixed sofrito, chorizo and salted duck and is topped with curried thighs, char siu pork, linquica sausage, jumbo prawns, manila clams, tea eggs, croutons, Portuguese olives, pickled chilies. Sauces (mushroom soy and diabo hot sauce) are served on the side.
Chef Billy Kim (owner Urbanbelly and bellyQ) has done it again with BellyShack! This time creating dishes fusing his Korean heritage with his wife's Puerto Rican background. This Logan Square restaurant's inventive menu is offering options that can't be found anywhere else. The Boricua is a sandwich with Korean BBQ beef (or the vegetarian choice of marinated tofu) between two fried plantains instead of bread. For a twist on a Chicago staple, order the Belly Dog: a hot dog topped with ramen noodles and kimchi. Don't forget to BYOB when dining on the Korean-Puerto Rican cuisine.
Bohemian House cooks up cuisine inspired from the countries of Czech, Germany and Austria. The menu changes constantly in order to utilize only the best produce possible, meaning guests can expect the highest quality ingredients at this River North restaurant. Check out Bohemian House's latest brunch menu featuring Butcher's Goulash (poached egg, knackwurst, beef shank, parsley, onion and rye toast) and a strawberry kolachy with creme fraiche. The most unusual selections on the dinner menu include the Pork Shnitzel and Hungarian Langos best paired with one of the many European spirits and beers on the drink menu.
De Quay // 2470 N Lincoln Avenue
Dutch and Indonesian flavors meet comfort food in Lincoln Park at De Quay. Chef and owner David de Quay drew inspiration from his childhood and Dutch heritage to bring together a casual and completely one of a kind dining experience in Chicago. Start with gouda fondue which is served with an assortment of breads for dipping. Summer Lamb duo (curried lamb sausage, rib chops, goat gouda mashed potatoes, rogout of fava beans, smoked Holland hot peppers and natural jus) is a crowd favorite entrée choice.
Table, Donkey and Stick fuses an array of European dishes with its main flavors hailing from France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Slovenia. The restaurant has a relaxed and rustic atmosphere reflects the Alpine influences behind the menu. Sample the fresh charcuterie and bread that are prepared on site. For dessert, sip on the critically acclaimed hot cocoa, spiked with green chartreuse then sprinkled with tarragon powder and, of course, marshmallows.