Where to Go For Great Ethnic Food in Chicago
Chicago is a diverse city with a long history of being a mixing bowl for different cultures. The restaurant scene is second to none, and if you're looking for ethnic food, you won't be disappointed. Below are some of the best neighborhoods with family-own restaurants where you can sample a range of cuisines.
The Pilsen neighborhood is in the Lower West Side of Chicago and it was historically made up of predominantly Czech immigrants but today it has a large Latino population, lots of great music venues, and a number of a great restaurants. The neighborhood also has impressive murals. There are street vendors who sell tacos as well as the National Museum of Mexican Art.
1235 West 21st Street, Lower West Side, Chicago, Illinois, 60608
West Ridge is where you'll find Chicago's Little India, along Devon Avenue. The area has a number of Indian and Pakistani restaurants, shops, bakeries, and grocery stores. West Ridge is also a very diverse neighborhood with a mix of cultures and a strong sense of community. Jewish, Middle Eastern, and South and Southeast Asian populations are all common here.
Little Italy/University Village
Little Italy and University Village is where you'll find the University of Illinois at Chicago as well as many long time Italian restaurants and shops. The area's young population keeps the neighborhood full of energy. Taylor Street is where you'll find a lot of local restaurants that serve homemade pasta and lasagna along with other classic Italian favorites. Also in the neighborhood are a number of beautiful churches.
Lincoln Square is a touch of Germany right in Chicago. You can explore the cobblestone part of Lincoln Avenue and head to uniquely local shops that sell everything from sausage to clothing. Head to one of the traditional Bavarian style beer halls or poke your head in a locally owned boutique shop. Restaurants are great in the neighborhood so grab a meal and then head to the Davie Theater, with its old fashioned charm. If folk music is your style check out the Old Town School of Folk Music which has regular live performances. The neighborhood also hosts Maifest, which is a summer festival that celebrates everything about Germany.
Uptown is known for its long history, cultural diversity, fun music scene, and lively entertainment options. The Green Mill is a popular spot in the neighborhood. It's a 100 year old jazz club that still has its Prohibition era vibe. Argyle Street is the place to go for Asian restaurants that offer Peking duck, sushi, dim sum, banh mi, and pho.
Albany Park is one of Chicago's most diverse neighborhoods with populations from Mexico, South America, the Philippines, India, Cambodia, Romania, the Middle East, and more. This neighborhood is a true mixing bowl of cultures and there are a number of great family-owned restaurants and shops. Head to the Albany Park Theater Project to learn more about the neighborhood's culture as they regularly host productions on the multi-cultural aspects of Albany Park.
Chicago's Chinatown is a unique area to explore with authentic Asian grocery stores, family-owned restaurants, and excellent dumplings and dim sum. The neighborhood has a number of beautiful archways, pagodas, and statues. There are also shops that sell traditional items next to souvenirs and other trinkets. The original part of Chinatown runs along Cermak Road and Wentworth Avenue. Chinatown Square mall is in the area as well.
Rogers Park is a bit off the main tourist circuit, but it has a number of unique architectural examples, including the Emil Bach House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as an impressive theater scene. The neighborhood is diverse, and that's reflected in the restaurants found there. It is also home to the Glenwood Avenue Arts District which has impressive murals, award-winning theaters, and a variety of live music venues. There are also many art galleries in the neighborhood. To the east the neighborhood runs into Lake Michigan's shoreline and there are many nice waterfront views.
This colorful neighborhood has its roots in Puerto Rican culture, with Puerto Rican flags marking the gateways to the neighborhood. It's fun to visit during the summer months when they host the Puerto Rican Parade as well as a number of other festivals. The neighborhood is home to the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture as well as Humboldt Park. Throughout the neighborhood you'll see street art, coffee shops, wine bars, and Puerto Rican restaurants.
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $52 to $289. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $94. A few of the best options are below.
Where to Stay in Chicago