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TASTE THE NEIGHBORHOODS

Make your Chicago visit unforgettable with these diverse epicurean eateries.

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If it's culture that you crave, Chicago's neighborhoods will surely satisfy. At the heart of the city's exciting dining scene are ethnic enclaves that boast restaurants of every background. Discover Chicago's diversity through a culinary tour of your own.

 

NORTH

Andersonville

It's not easy to point out a specific type of cuisine in some neighborhoods. Settled by a Swedish community, along Clark Street in Andersonville, for example, you will still find the bright blue and yellow flag flying high, but the restaurants serve not only Swedish delights, but also French favorites, Turkish kebabs, ramen noodles and Venetian small plates.

Reza's (Persian, 5255 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL)

As a spacious restaurant featuring award-winning Persian cuisine, Reza's is one of those places where you can take your entire group and everyone will find a new favorite dish.

Svea (Swedish, 5236 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL)

This small storefront restaurant serves strictly family fare--with a Swedish accent. Located in the heart of Andersonville, Svea has several items on its menu that would satisfy a hungry Viking. There are Swedish meatball sandwiches, herring salads, open-faced sandwiches and Swedish-style roast beef. 

Swedish Bakery (Swedish, 5348 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL)

This retro, European-style bakery is perfect for a grab 'n' go bite to eat. Choose from specialties like Swedish coffeecakes, cookies, sweet rolls and petit fours. 

 

Lakeview

With its beautiful stretch of waterfront to the east and punctuated with train stops from two ‘L' lines, Lakeview is one of Chicago's most accessible neighborhoods (and most diverse) areas. Here, you'll find East Lakeview, Central Lakeview, Boystown and Wrigleyville, which combine to form a lakefront community that offers something for every type of resident and visitor, especially when it comes to its diverse mix of ethnic cuisines.

Ann Sather (Swedish, 909 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL)

From Swedish meatballs to pork tenderloin patties, this classic Swedish eatery serves up authentic eats for diners looking to enjoy a hearty meal in a welcoming environment. 

Dinkel's Bakery (German, 3329 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL)

This grab 'n' go German bakery and cafe offers everything from hearty breads and pretzels to colorful cookies and multi-layer cakes. 

Mia Francesca (Italian, 3311 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL)

This charming restaurant, which was originally a candy store, was renovated in 1992 while preserving as many of the original fixtures as possible. The menu features rustic, earthy cuisine of Rome, Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio, served in a casually sophisticated trattoria ambiance.

Ukai Sushi (Japanese, 1059 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL)

Enjoy an exciting meal of Japanese small plates, colorful dishes of sashimi and expertly prepared sushi rolls at this modern Japanese eatery, perfect for carnivores and vegans alike. 

Yoshi's Café (Asian-French, 3257 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL)

For 30 years, Yoshi Katsumura's artistry has melded Asian-French textures and flavors to create the singular cuisine of Yoshi's Cafe. His eclectic and eye-appealing style is a Lakeview favorite.

 

Lincoln Square

Old World meets new in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. Charming pockets interspersed throughout the community still maintain traditions and heritage, such as a classic German dining hall and a turn-of-the-century, European-style apothecary.

Chicago Brauhaus (German, 4732 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL)

Serving up traditional German specialties for more than 40 years, this is the place to take groups for smoked ham, hearty sausage, tangy sauerkraut and refreshing imported beers.

Fork (American, 4600 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL)

This gastropub and wine bar offers hearty, homey fare in a rustic yet welcoming atmosphere. Sit in the cozy dining room flanked by red brick walls while filling up on dishes like diver sea scallops, braised beef short rib and grass-fed beef burgers. 

Gene's Sausage & Delicatessen (German/European, 4750 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL)

Gene's is a butcher shop/market that offers 40 varieties of sausage. During summer months, head up to the rooftop for grilled brats and Polish sausages, beer, and pierogi.

 

Uptown

Transport yourself to all corners of Asia with a tour of Argyle Street and the surrounding areas, with destination restaurants serving up roasted Peking duck, freshly rolled sushi, traditional Cantonese dim sum and Vietnamese specialties such as banh mi and pho. You'll also find plenty of ethnic grocers mixed among Ethiopian, Lebanese and Indian restaurants.

Ba Le (Vietnamese, 5016 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL)

Ba Le is one of Chicago's preeminent destinations for banh mi sandwiches, that French-Vietnamese mash-up of baguettes studded with herbs, chilies, vegetables, and meats. Few places do it better than this small, grab 'n' go cafe, with its sprawling menu of carnivorous and vegetarian ‘wiches.

Demera Ethiopian Restaurant (Ethiopian, 4801 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL)

Demera Ethiopian Restaurant is a casual dining setting with a authentic traditional Ethiopian cuisine in the heart of Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. The kitchen has an eclectic twist influenced by some of the ethnic and cultural groups from Ethiopia.

La Patisserie P (Asian, 1052 W. Argyle St., Chicago, IL)

This tiny bakery sells both Asian and American confections, but you're here for the former. Ogle the brightly colored, doughy, and glutenous chewy treats lining the pastry case and then plunge right in with red bean paste cakes, steamed rice cakes, taro-stuffed buns, and lots more.

Sun Wah BBQ (Chinese, 5039 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL)

This large, family-owned restaurant is known for its famous Beijing duck, but it also serves other classic Chinese barbecue specialties such as pork, chicken and ribs. 

Tank Noodle (Vietnamese, 4953 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL)

The quintessential foray into Little Saigon is Tank Noodle, the largest and most popular of the many Vietnamese eateries lining the Argyle strip. The spacious dining room is lined with large, circular tables just waiting to be stacked with deep bowls of pho, fresh spring rolls, and Hello Kitty-colored bubble teas.

 

West Ridge

Looking for immense diversity? You'll find it in West Ridge, where flourishing Jewish, Middle Eastern and South Asian commercial centers offer an array of tempting dishes. Head straight to Devon Avenue, the heart of Chicago's Indian and Pakistani communities, where people flock to experience its array of authentic restaurants, shops and ethnic grocery stores.

Hema's Kitchen (Indian, 2439 W. Devon Ave., Chicago, IL)

Experience the richness of authentic Indian flavors at this neighborhood staple.

Khan BBQ (Indian/Pakistani, 2401 W. Devon Ave., Chicago, IL)

Kebobs, naan, tandoori fish and other signature specialties offer a glimpse into the exotic world of Indian/Pakistani cuisine.

Tel-Aviv Kosher Bakery (Jewish, 2944 W. Devon Ave., Chicago, IL)

For a fresh, fragrant loaf of bread or a delicate pastry to go, stop into this cozy bakery for to give groups a chance to bring home a culinary souvenir.

Uru-Swati (Indian, 2629 W. Devon Ave., Chicago, IL)

Dive into different Indian dishes, from vegetarian favorites to rich meat-laden specialties, at this Indian mainstay.

 

WEST

Greektown

Those seeking Hellenic culture and cuisine won't want to miss the West Loop neighborhood of Greektown. Restaurants all along Halsted Street between Van Buren and Madison Streets offer traditional dishes.

Athena Greek Restaurant (Greek, 212 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL)

For an al fresco atmosphere, visit this classic Greek restaurant, where no passport is required for your group's authentic Mediterranean experience.

The Parthenon (Greek, 314 S Halsted St., Chicago, IL)

For an unforgettable Greek experience, this restaurant is a must. Groups will love watching as the waiter cries "Opa!" as saganaki ignites in orange flames. And, from surrounding tables people will be laughing and toasting. Yes, it's a typical day at The Parthenon-Greektown's anchor restaurant.

Santorini (Greek, 800 W. Adams St., Chicago, IL)

Celebrating over 21-years in business is Santorini, which relies on locally grown produce and fresh seafood that is flown in daily.

 

Humbolt Park

Farther west, experience a thriving Puerto Rican community in Humboldt Park. The "Paseo Boricua" is a mile-long stretch along Division Avenue (marked by colossal steel sculptures at each end), that showcases cultural murals and, in its restaurants, mouthwatering, authentic food. On the menu, it's easy to find succulent pulled pork, fried plantains, juicy grilled skirt steak and the iconic jibarito sandwich.

El Nuevo Borinquen (Puerto Rican, 1720 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL)

This small, local favorite serves up traditional Puerto Rican food bursting with flavor, character, and pride, offering world class food with family owned charm-the perfect place for groups to indulge their culinary fantasies.

Café Colao (Puerto Rican, 2638 W. Division St., Chicago, IL)

For a grab-and-go meal, the small Cafe Colao in Humboldt Park specializes in coffee and pastries from Puerto Rico, as well as sandwiches featuring Puerto Rican spices and soft bread.

Coco Restaurant (Puerto Rican, 2723 W. Division St., Chicago, IL)

Coco prides itself in serving fine Puerto Rican cuisine. Set in the heart of Humboldt Park, this small yet beautifully decorated restaurant has the allure of old San Juan and the captivating beauty of the Caribbean.

 

Little Italy

Have a hankering for pasta made the old-school way? Little Italy has what you crave, along with hearty sandwiches, rich cappuccinos and dense gelatos. Many of the restaurants in this community have spanned generations, keeping epicurean traditions alive for all to enjoy.

Al's Beef (Italian, 1079 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL)

Visit the flagship location of the Italian beef restaurant for a meaty, spicy sandwich, such as an Italian sub with ham, salami, capocollo, and provolone layered on a roll with lettuce, tomato, and condiments. Pick up side dishes or Italian gourmet goodies to round out your meal.

Conte Di Savoia (Italian, 1438 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL)

Since 1948, this Little Italy deli has been serving up incredible sandwiches and salads. For an on-the-go alfresco meal, have your clients order a sandwich, or stock up a picnic basket with bread, cheese, salami and wine.

Davanti Enoteca (Italian, 1359 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL)

A classic Italian spot, Davanti Enoteca offers pastas, like giant ravioli with ricotta, spinach, and egg, pizza, and spreads, like chicken liver pate and ricotta and honey.

Pompei (Italian, 1531 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL)

Established in 1909, this local mainstay serves gourmet-quality Italian dishes including hand-rolled pizzas, hand-cut pastas made from Napolitano family recipes, as well as made-to-order salads, soups built from scratch, signature pizza strudels and classic Italian pastas, with all sauces and dressing made daily.

Scafuri Bakery (Italian, 1337 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL)

A Chicago institution since 1904, this family-owned bakery serves up delectable grab-and-go options, such as pizza by the slice, sandwiches, cookies, pastries and coffee drinks. 

Tuscany (Italian, 1014 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL)

In the heart of Little Italy, this lively restaurant is the perfect place to bring clients who are craving pastas, pizzas and authentic Italian cuisine, as well as a delectable wine list.  

 

Pilsen

Panaderias and taquerias are on the agenda when you come to Pilsen, where Chicago's Mexican-American community dishes out home-style cooked cuisine all along the neighborhood's epicenter of 18th Street.

DeCOLORES galeria y sabores (Mexican, 1626 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL)

Nestled in Pilsen's colorful art district, this Mexican eatery serves up family recipes in a warm, welcoming setting. It was named a "Bib Gourmand" selection by Michelin Guide 2015.

El Milagro Store & Taqueria (Mexican, 1927 S. Blue Island Ave., Chicago, IL)

At the small, authentic El Milagro, corn tortillas start with whole kernel corn that is carefully selected and freshly ground.

 

SOUTH

Chinatown

Chicago's Chinatown is one of the largest and most vibrant ethnic communities in North America. Experience it to the fullest with a tasting tour along the criss-cross of Cermak, Archer and Wentworth Avenue, where dim sum, roasted duck and exotic eats await.

Lao Sze Chuan (Chinese, 2172 S. Archer Ave., Chicago, IL)

Fill up on Chinese specialties such as dry chili chicken, mapo tofu, Shanghai noodles, orange chicken and spicy sour noodles at this Chinatown mainstay.  

Lao You Ju (Chinese, 2002 S. Wentworth Ave. #100, Chicago, IL)

The modern, inventive interior is reflected in the menu choices, too. Enjoy the comfort of the Fluffy pancake, the elegance of the Honey Lotus Roots with Sticky Rice, and the fire of the Dragon Beard Beef. It's a great place to bring a large group of people and order a wide range of items from the menu or to settle into a comfortable booth and make a meal of appetizers. 

MingHin Cuisine (Chinese, 2168 S. Archer Ave., Chicago, IL)

MingHin Cuisine has been noted for its elaborately decorated private dining rooms and their exceptionally fresh seafood. Locals will suggest trying the weekday dim sum specials. Private dining is offered and recommended for groups of eight to twelve with special arrangements for up to 100 people.

Phoenix (Chinese, 2131 S. Archer Ave., Chicago, IL)

Specializing in Hong Kong Style Dim Sum and premier Cantonese cuisine, this Chinatown mainstay is an ideal place for getting a taste of Chicago's authentic Asian flavors.

 

For more neighborhood finds, visit our online Chicago neighborhood guide.   


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