Most adults can agree that life overall can be stressful at times. With negative social political issues going on around the city of Chicago, it is easy to forget the beauty in us as a whole population. The windy city has been known to be one of the most segregated cities with more than 200 neighborhoods in it. Whether you live in Lakeview, Englewood, Little Village, Chinatown, or Hyde Park, the difference in cultural boundaries is clearer than water. However, with diversity comes adversity.
Regardless of what your ethnic background may be, food is known to be one of the few key elements that bring people together. Chicago is also known to be one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. Therefore, having an understanding of all if not most cultural foods in our city are important for our unity. What most of us DO share is the love for food for sure! With that been said, here are my favorite authentic multicultural restaurants in the Chicago area!
Arturo’s Mexican Restaurant
Located right at the intersection of Milwaukee, Armitage, and Western! Arturo’s tacos and cocktails are affordable yet glorious! Although there are many Mexican restaurants all over the city, only a few qualify as AUTHENTIC! By authenticity, I mean it is not an Americanized version of Mexican cuisine. Therefore, if you have a taste for REAL Mexican food, then this is definitely the place for you! The food and drinks are delicious and affordable so you can bring your family during a Sunday afternoon, or visit during a late-night-after-club/after-bar night-out with your friends!
I personally wasn’t aware of how delicious Pakistan and Indian food was until one of my college friends took me to Ghareeb Nawaz. The dishes were affordable and unique in their own way. My favorite dish was the Goat Lamb Biryani! The meat was tender and juicy. As an oxymoron Mexican, I have to confess that I am not a big fan of spicy food. Whether it’s jalapeños, curry, or wabasi, I am very particular with the amount of spice my food contains. However, I have no complaints about this wonderful dish. The affordability and great tasting meal helped me forget about the spiciness hidden underneath the layers of heaven! Ghareeb is closely located by Devon Avenue and Ridge Boulevard!
Mc Arthur’s Restaurant
This “fine southern cuisine” is conveniently located near the intersections of Madison and Central Avenue! If you want true soul food, then McArthur’s Restaurant is the place to be. Not only do they have daily specials, but they also have mouth-watering meals that will have you full in no time! From baked turkey legs to beef short ribs, they will have what you are looking for in southern cuisine. Many famous personalities have also visited this location, from mogul rapper Diddy to Chicago city officials. Enjoy southern soul food like no other!
Mama Luna’s Restaurant & Pizzeria
If one location wasn’t enough, Mama Luna’s Italian-inspired restaurant has 2 locations around the north side. Although they are mostly known for their pizza, they also have a long list of entrées that will make your mouth water. Although they claim to be number 1 for thin crust pizza, they also have a selection of BBQ, Chicken, and Pasta. If you want to try out a family-style restaurant with a fancy selection at an affordable price, then Mama Luna’s is the place to be.
Cuban food is very famously known for its authentic pork sandwiches. Señor Pan Restaurants are best known for their delicious freshly prepared Cuban sandwiches! Not only are their prices reasonable, but their food will also resonate with your stomach. They also have a daily special menu that will blow your mind! If you are a coffee lover then Cuban coffee is known to be strong, so go ahead and have a taste! Therefore, if you are craving a Caribbean taste, this is the place for you.
Joy Yee Noodle
Joy Yee is a wonderful Pan-Asian restaurant. It includes some of the most delicious seafood and noodles I could find within the Chicago area. My favorite dish is the Shrimp in Lobster Sauce prepared with ground pork sauce! This magnificent restaurant is located in the heart of Chinatown! Enjoy the friendly scenery and fresh dishes at any given day. If you love spicy food then this is definitely the place for you since most of the dishes contain some type of spice.
Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles
From the heart of Bronzeville, there is a marvelous and soulful restaurant with amazing food. The name of the restaurant is self-explanatory, literally the home of Chicken and waffles. Some of the most famous and delicious dishes are the southern style chicken meal, fried catfish, and homemade waffles. Don’t be shy to try something soulful. There is plenty of southern hospitality in this lovely joint. They also host many soul food specials and combos, so you will get the chance to try out several of these tasteful dishes.
If you haven’t tried Boricua food, then you should head to Ponce Restaurant. This Puerto Rican gem is located in Fullerton and Kostner. It is located close to the Hermosa and Humboldt Park area. Some of their most memorable dishes are Arroz con Lechon (rice and pork) and Jibarito de Bistec (steak, Plantain Sandwich). The seasonings are probably the restaurants best secret weapon.
Staropolska Polish American Cuisine
From hot appetizers to cold appetizers, this polish influenced restaurant will have you craving for more! Staropolska is located right at the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue, in between Belmont and Central Park. There is a wonderful variety of dishes in this location, from beef to seafood, and from chicken to pork, you cannot go wrong with your choice. They have a delicious polish plate dinner that consists of dumplings, stuffed cabbage, and sausage with pastelike, sauerkraut. Polish food is amazing so if you haven’t tried it then try it today!
From a cultural festival to a block party, food is the one ingredient that cannot be left out of any event. With food comes comfort and joy! Restaurants have been known to bring all walks of life customers to their home-style restaurants to enjoy outstanding family meals! Whether you prefer fast food or fancy cuisines, food is what helps us connect with one another. This is the reason why many health studies have shown the importance of having a family dinner, to reconnect with your loved ones around the table. What best way to connect with each other than through a warm, authentic, and multicultural meal! What’s your favorite authentic restaurant? ¡Buen Probécho!
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