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Chicago Ethnic Restaurants

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
In an effort to develop my palette, I'm trying to eat more ethnically.
What are some great restaurants around the city?
I don't really care which ethnicity it is, I want to try it all. It also doesn't matter if it's a nice $50 meal or just a shitty hole in the wall, I just want to experience some great flavors and expand my palette.
I have very little experience with most ethnic foods. I like gyros and greasy chinese, but I'm looking for some authentic stuff.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 81
racist!
post #3 of 81
No specific recs, but I imagine what works in NY would work there as well; go to the crappy immigrant neighborhoods, eat at the places that are crowded but where you wouldn't take a date, and order what everyone else is ordering.
post #4 of 81
Alhambra Palace

http://www.alhambrapalacerestaurant.com/alhambra.html

The Spanish Flaminco Dancers and Belly Dancers are quite good.
post #5 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
In an effort to develop my palette, I'm trying to eat more ethnically.
What are some great restaurants around the city?
I don't really care which ethnicity it is, I want to try it all. It also doesn't matter if it's a nice $50 meal or just a shitty hole in the wall, I just want to experience some great flavors and expand my palette.
I have very little experience with most ethnic foods. I like gyros and greasy chinese, but I'm looking for some authentic stuff.

Thanks in advance!



I'm shedding a little tear.
post #6 of 81
Frontera Grill

http://www.fronterakitchens.com/rest...staurants.html

It's one of the best Mexican restaurants in the city if not the country.

Tuscany

http://www.stefanirestaurants.com/tuscany.htm

Excellent Italian

Greek Islands

http://www.greekislands.net/

Fantastic Greek food

Cafe Babareeba

http://www.cafebabareeba.com/

Great place for Spanish cuisine and tapas
post #7 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Al-Wahid View Post
Frontera Grill

http://www.fronterakitchens.com/rest...staurants.html

It's one of the best Mexican restaurants in the city if not the country.


Greek Islands

http://www.greekislands.net/

Fantastic Greek food


Good recs, but wilkypoo, go to Pilsen and eat in the cheaper ethnic mexican places before going to Frontera and Bayless's other more high end place. They are fine dining mexican for gringos, and while you'll get some great perspective there, start out with more modest stuff first.

Greek Islands is great. There are a number of great ones in Greek town. The one with the red awning across the street from Greek Islands has excellent lamb.

Make sure you order the most quintessentially ethnic stuff you can find, and avoid the more accessible stuff that they put on the menus on purpose. In fact, ask the waiter/waitress about what they'd recommend if someone wanted to get a taste of greek/mexican/ethiopian/spanish/southern italian/whatever the fuckian.
post #8 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
Good recs, but wilkypoo, go to Pilsen and eat in the cheaper ethnic mexican places before going to Frontera and Bayless's other more high end place. They are fine dining mexican for gringos, and while you'll get some great perspective there, start out with more modest stuff first.
Is Bayless really "all dat" any more? I've heard his restaurants have really headed downhill in the last couple years, since he's neglected them for more "celebrity chef" kind of things.
Quote:
Greek Islands is great. There are a number of great ones in Greek town. The one with the red awning across the street from Greek Islands has excellent lamb.

I think we've been there before. But not since I was like 16 and on a weekend trip with my parents.
post #9 of 81
Devon Ave. for Indian and Pakistani.
post #10 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
Is Bayless really "all dat" any more? I've heard his restaurants have really headed downhill in the last couple years, since he's neglected them for more "celebrity chef" kind of things.


I think we've been there before. But not since I was like 16 and on a weekend trip with my parents.

He's kind of a joke to a lot of people, but I know Topolobonga or whatever the fuck it's called is good. Frontera is consistent and you'll find interesting things there. In general he doesn't have the cachet of Aschatz or Tramonto, given that he sells a lot of second rate product in the mass market, but his top end is good and his research no one can really question.
post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by VMan View Post
Devon Ave. for Indian and Pakistani.

I will be testing this out this weekend. If I find that you've lied to me or led me to sickness, then I will be very, very cranky.
post #12 of 81
-- Cardona's for Mexican, on 18th. Also Mexican, Frontera for brunch on Saturday.
-- Hemma's Kitchen in Lakeview for North Indian
-- The Pheonix for Dim Sum, and there's a place next door that does Hot Pot. Neither is that impressive but the Chinese in Chicago sucks.

-- Spacca Napoli up North for pizza. Not exactly ethnic, but wtf.
-- For Bagels and corned beef, head to Kaufman's in Skokie. Again, not exactly ethnic, but wtf.

-- For Falafel, the cabbies recommend heading to Harlem, in the low 100s
-- For Vietnamese, there's a place in Vietnam Town that a friend just recommended. I'll get it off her and post it here.
post #13 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
I will be testing this out this weekend. If I find that you've lied to me or led me to sickness, then I will be very, very cranky.

Don't bother, go to Hemma's (or Clay Oven). Hemma's has a branch on Devon, but the one in Lakeview is better.
post #14 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaxixi View Post
-- For Vietnamese, there's a place in Vietnam Town that a friend just recommended. I'll get it off her and post it here.
Thanks for all the recs.

I'm pretty sure Vietnam Town is right off the Argyle Redline stop, which is really close to me. There's a great bakery up there called La Patisserie P, if you're ever in the area.
post #15 of 81
Remember, you're supposed to have Thai food with me.
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