A lot of people find themselves getting in a rut when it comes to food, visiting the same restaurants over and over again. When you live in Chicago, a place with so many eateries and restaurants to suit every cuisine desire you could think of, doing this is a complete waste.
If you’re looking to taste more of the foods made locally by people from your community instead of sticking to chain restaurants, then take a look at some of our options. Made to suit a variety of different budgets, and taste buds, we’re sure you’ll find something you like from the options we have listed below!
Polish – The Chow Brothers
Owners: Two brothers. They are Chicago natives raised in a Polish household.
Location: 205 W Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606
Contact information: 312 980 1409
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 11AM-7PM
The Chow Brothers are Chicago natives bought up in a Polish household who embrace their heritage by combining Central-European gastronomy with their culinary discoveries and experience. Putting a traditional twist on popular Polish dishes like Pierogi, Pickles, and All-Natural Kielbasa, their bold flavors are sure to blow you away. In fact, their Pierogi’s are so delicious that they have been named a must-have staple by Chicago’s food magazine.
With a menu ranging from full meals to light bites and traditional Polish comfort food at affordable prices that rarely exceed $10 a dish, this is a meal you won’t want to miss! If you cannot make it to the restaurant, let the chow brothers bring their delicious offerings to you with their convenient online ordering alternative. They also offer catering services for those looking to embrace the Eastern European culture on a larger scale.
Mexican – Las Carnitas Uruapan 43
Owners: Marcos Carbajal and his father, Inocencio Carbajal
Location: 1725 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608
Contact information: +1312 226 2654
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 7AM-6PM, Saturday-Sunday 9AM-5PM
With their original location opening in 1975, Las Carnitas Uruapan was created with one goal in mind; to introduce the best, most authentic carnitas of Uruapan to Chicagoans. Showcasing the best of what his hometown has to offer, El Guero still regularly greets his customers by name at the storefront in the historical neighborhood of Pilsen, making the family-orientated nature of the restaurant even more present.
Reflective of the street fair’s found in Western Mexican markets, their menu consists exclusively of pork carnitas, and the side dishes that are commonly associated with them. This includes a variety of different things, including salads, pork crackling, and tacos with a potato filling. They don’t offer delivery, but if you’re looking for a relaxed restaurant with authentic, Mexican tastes right here in Chicago, this is the place for you!
Italian – Bacchanalia
Owners: Paula Bogolin and Dante Pieri
Location: 3413 Oakley Ave, Chicago, IL 60608
Contact information: +1.7732546555
Opening Hours: Monday & Thursday 11AM-9PM, Tuesday & Thursday 3PM-9PM, Friday 11AM-9:30PM, Saturday 4PM-10PM, Sunday 3PM-8:30PM
After moving to the United States in 1958 in search of the American dream, Mr. Belfonte Pieri decided to fulfil his lifelong dream of opening an Italian restaurant alongside his wife Noemi. Using traditional recipes bought back from their friends and family in Tuscany, they offer truly Italian meals like fried calamari, three cheese ravioli, and spaghetti alla carbonara at extremely affordable prices.
With many of the side dishes, and small plates on their menu below $7, this restaurant allows you to experience the best of Italian cuisine without breaking the bank, making it the perfect place for couples, families and groups of people. They don’t offer delivery, but they do have catering services should you want to experience Italian dishes with a larger party at your own, private event.
Indian – India House
Owners: Jagmohan Jayara
Location: 59 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
Contact information: +312 645 9500
Opening Hours: Monday-Thurs 11AM-2:30PM / 5:30PM-10PM, Friday 11AM-2:30PM / 5:30PM-11PM, Saturday 11:30AM-3PM / 5:30PM-11PM, Sunday 11:30AM-3PM / 5PM-10PM
India House incorporates traditional Indian cuisine with modern Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to project a truly Asian taste with all their meals. Using a list of spices including cumin, turmeric, and chilli spices, their menu isn’t one for those who struggle with spices! With that being said, if you do decide to visit, you won’t be disappointed; created by second generation restaurateurs, you will receive the traditional Indian experience right here in Chicago!
Their food menu isn’t the only unique thing on the menu, either, with a selection of traditional Indian alcoholic beverages on offer at their bar should you need to quench your thirst.
This restaurant also hosts a number of different entertainment options, including meetings, birthday’s, and other family or friend gatherings.
Cuban – 90 Miles Cuban Café
Owners: Christina and Alberto Gonzalez
Location: Multiple locations, including Logan Square, Roscoe Village and Lincolnwood
Contact Details & Opening Hours: Dependent on location. Please check the website for more details.
The Gonzalez family arrived in American after a 15 hour journey on a stormy black sea in June of 1980. From the moment they landed in America, they immediately started working towards their Cuban café, with a rare dedication, rarely seen in larger restaurant chains.
In this family-owned restaurant, their priority doesn’t only lie with the food they serve—although with their $10 special menu and opportunities to place your order online, you really cannot go wrong with that, either!
Instead, they hope to offer you a cultural experience that will leave you with memories far surpassing the visit you attend. With special events such as Latin Jazz Jam Tuesday’s, and Tropical Friday’s, it’s impossible not to become involved in the true nature at the heart of the Gonzalez family—and Cuba as a whole!
Greek – Greek Islands Restaurant
Owners: Gus Couchell and friends, plus Louie Alexakris, general manager and son-in-law of the owner
Location: Several locations, including Greektown in downtown Chicago and Lombard in the western Chicago suburbs
Contact information: (312) 782-9855
Opening Hours: Sundays–Thursdays 11AM-midnight, Fridays & Saturdays 11AM-1AM
After many years of hard work, a group of Greek immigrants were delighted to provide America with some of the most intriguing delicacies Greek cuisine has to offer. Their special’s menu alone is something to marvel over, with offerings including Mediterranean Style Salmon, Boiled Loin Lamb Chops, and Baked Lamb Riblets, just to name a few options. Slightly more expensive than some of the other offerings in our list, with dishes generally ranging from $15 and upwards, this restaurant is still worth visiting.
In addition to their restaurant offerings, they also provide catering services for larger events, and delivery for those who cannot make it into the restaurant.
Regardless of how you taste the Greek cuisine on offer at this restaurant, having been named the best Greek restaurant in all of America, it’s not something you can afford to miss!
Chinese – A Place By DAMAO
Owners: 24-year-old Aishan “Damao” Zhong, and Mori Guo
Location: 2621 S Halsted St Ste 1, Chicago, IL 60608
Contact information: 312-929-2088
Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 12PM-10PM, Friday-Sunday 11PM-10PM
If you’re looking for authentic Chinese dishes created by those who know the culture well, look no further than ‘A Place by Damao’. In all of their dishes, the owners work hard to fill them with so much flavour your taste buds are bound to explode in delight. Be warned that these spices and other flavourings take no hostages, however; this definitely isn’t the place for those who cannot handle their spice!
If you can, however, why not take your time to enjoy some of the best of what their menu has to offer, including pork ear, duck neck, and chicken gizzard. Priced reasonably at less than $10 per dish, you are not going to be disappointed! They also offer online delivery and catering options for those who cannot access the store, or would like to experience their Chinese cuisine on a larger scale at their own, private event.
Japanese – Shiawasesushi
Owners: Wany Phyang and Ohm Onthuam
Location: 3422 N. Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60657
Contact information: 733-833-8888
Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 4PM-10PM, Friday-Saturday 11:30AM-11PM, Saturday, 11:30AM-10PM
Looking to distinguish themselves from the typical sushi eatery on offer in Chicago, Shiawasesushi adds their own, healthy twist to traditional Japanese cuisine. With a variety of salads on the menu, including Ahi Poke, you are sure to find something you like in this restaurant. If you’re looking for something more traditional, they also offer Japanese sushi rolls, including their signature sakura roll. This role consists of salmon, tuna, yellowtail, superwhite tuna and masago… our mouths are watering just thinking about it!
You might think that this luxurious-sounding cuisine comes at a cost, but this isn’t necessarily the case, with most of their dishes coming under $15. As an additional bonus, the restaurant is also currently offering 30% and 50% off discounts when people order online, which you can view by visiting the website linked above.
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