Dismiss Notice

STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Chicago Ethnic Restaurants

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by kwilkinson, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Johnathan

    Johnathan Senior member

    Messages:
    666
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    I'm not sure where you live, but if you don't mind driving to Oak Park, there's a really fantastic and inexpensive Thai restaurant called Mama Thai up there.
     


  2. SField

    SField Senior member

    Messages:
    6,278
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    titties, have you tried a 1000 year old egg?

    Please do.
     


  3. kaxixi

    kaxixi Senior member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    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.

    Didn't notice these posts before I posted, so I'll reiterate that I recommend Frontera for brunch. It is a reasonably unique experience, and they serve good drinks. FWIW, I've seen Bayless there, though certainly not every time I've been.
     


  4. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

    Messages:
    33,652
    Likes Received:
    858
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    I'm not sure where you live, but if you don't mind driving to Oak Park, there's a really fantastic and inexpensive Thai restaurant called Mama Thai up there.
    I'm not allowed to eat Thai until I meet GoSurface. I think I'll get some Cambodian sausage that day too.

    I don't have a car, but if CTA can get me there, I'll gladly take recs a ways away from my apt.
    titties, have you tried a 1000 year old egg?

    Please do.


    A google search doesn't make it sound very promising, but I'll try.
    Ware2kop?
     


  5. kaxixi

    kaxixi Senior member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    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.

    While I like Greek Islands the best, I don't think any of the restaurants in Greek Town are especially worthwhile.
     


  6. SField

    SField Senior member

    Messages:
    6,278
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    While I like Greek Islands the best, I don't think any of the restaurants in Greek Town are especially worthwhile.

    I'll take it a step further that I don't think greek food is especially exciting. The olive oil is a nice departure, they love simple, rustic food and fresh ingredients, but the italians do it better.

    I did have some good dolomedes and moussaka there. It's comfort food, but for meditarranean, there is better. Still, you'll often have great roasted lamb at a decent greek restaurant. I don't eat greek often, but it's kind of hard to fuck up so I'm rarely dissapointed.
     


  7. kaxixi

    kaxixi Senior member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    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.

    Yes, it is. Thanks right back for the rec.
     


  8. Al-Wahid

    Al-Wahid Senior member

    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    Nuevo Leon in Pilsen is definitely one of the best places for cheap Mexican

    http://www.nuevoleonrestaurant.com/

    It's not a restaurant but there's Ferrara Bakery

    http://www.ferrarabakery.com/

    They have cheap Italian food for lunch and in my opinion they are one of the best Italian bakeries in the country. I'm quite partial to their cannolis.
     


  9. wmmk

    wmmk Senior member

    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Location:
    Amherst, Mass.
    Lao Sze Chuan in Chinatown doesn't seem like the kind of place that would be good, but it's amazing. Get the lamb with pure cumin. Not greasy at all.

    Tiffin on Devon is good Indian.

    Vermillion is interesting Indian/Latin American fusion.

    Galapagos cafe in Irving Park is good.

    Viet Bistro over by in Edgewater is pretty good Vietnamese.
     


  10. otc

    otc Senior member

    Messages:
    14,992
    Likes Received:
    4,591
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    I would pass on the pheonix for anything other than their dim sum on a weekend (otherwise they are just expensive for reasonably unauthentic chinese. Personal favorite in chinatown is lao szechuan. The owners of lao szechuan opened up another place specializing in a different set of regional cuisine nearby called lao shanghai. It's a less spicy option although feels a little less ethnicy since the dishes from that region are more common in the US--I would definately try the soup-filled dumplings there if you have never had them at a chinese restaurant. At lao szechuan my favorite dishes are the Yu Shiang Pork, the szechuan string bean, and the ma po tofu--we usually get those three and then try a few others, especially for the non-spicy eaters (three-cups chicken is great for this). The only problem is that I have had a few bad experiances when I'm not with asian people. The fix to this I have been told is to literally tell them you want it asian-style or "like they make it for the asian people"--otherwise they hold back way too much on the spice and those dishes, especially the pork, come out pretty bland and nasty. For indian, you've already gotten some great suggestions but I thought I would throw out the viceroy of india on devon and if you want to stay downtown, India House on grand (its very good but you are paying downtown prices). Vietnamese up by foster is great...I honestly just walk around until I find one that has a lot of happy looking people in it. Pho is good stuff but I think the BEST part of vietnamese cooking is the very heavy french influence and use of lots of fresh vegetables. This is best experianced in their sandwiches which usually come on a great crusty baguette with vegetables and your choice of a vietnamese styled meat--all for some ridiculously low price like $2-4. For mexican, your best bet for authentic big platters of typical mexican food (not the fancy bayless style dishes) is probably Neuvo Leon in pilsen (just off the ashland blue). Bayless has already been mentioned but I am a big fan of both Topolobompo and Frontera...frontera doesnt take reservations but they have tables in the bar area with full menu service that can hold 2 or 4 people and you just have to stake out a table and wait for someone to leave...Topo takes reservations. Both are fantastic and pretty authentic but present a side of mexican food you rarely see (especially topo). Topo is going to be good for things like mexican seafood dishes that you are NOT going to see anywhere else while frontera will give you a little bit more standard fare but with excellent sauces. I think the best part of my suggestions is definately the chinese food though...just remember to go with someone or make it clear to them that you can handle the food. EDIT: it took me a while to type this out and it looks like two people beat me to the punch on two of my places [​IMG]
     


  11. kaxixi

    kaxixi Senior member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Regarding Vietnamese:

    -- My friend's recommendation is Tank, off Lawrence.
    -- For a small and tasty, albeit expensive, bowl of pho in a convenient location (near Despos), you could drop by Le Colonial. It is on their appetizer menu and costs the same as a large bowl would at any of the places recommended so far.

    If we're already recommending bakeries, I suggest Bittersweet in Lakeview and Bonjour in Hyde Park. Both are French, both are very good, and both are accessible via public transit.

    Again, not exactly ethnic, but the Hopleaf makes decent Belgian food and has a phenomenal selection of Belgian beers. Get the Saison Du Pont if they have it. I mention it in part because it is also accessible by CTA--a good thing given the alcohol content of most of their beers.

    Some comments on others' recommendations:

    Nuevo Leon in Pilsen is definitely one of the best places for cheap Mexican

    I agree with everyone. They are right next door to Cardona's.

    Lao Sze Chuan in Chinatown doesn't seem like the kind of place that would be good, but it's amazing. Get the lamb with pure cumin. Not greasy at all.

    Yes. Probably the best Sichuan you'll find in Chicago. For late night seafood, you can try Triple Crown. For smoothies, go to Joy Yee's (they have several branches). My previous comment on Chinese in Chicago applies to all three.

    Tiffin on Devon is good Indian.

    I ate there once, and did not go back.

    For indian, you've already gotten some great suggestions but I thought I would throw out the viceroy of india on devon...

    Same comment. Ate there once and did not go back.

    Vermillion is interesting Indian/Latin American fusion.

    I like Vermillion, but she is really inconsistent. The cigar shop next door is fun.
     


  12. Spencer Young

    Spencer Young Senior member

    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    Another vote for Tank. It's BYOB, too.

    Hema's is tasty stuff as well. Vermilion is fun, just for the creativity. Mundial in Pilsen is also good for Mexican.

    Go to Hot Dougs and try something random - it'll be palette building. What about Arun for Thai? Fancy but again, probably interesting flavors.
     


  13. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

    Messages:
    33,652
    Likes Received:
    858
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    Again, not exactly ethnic, but the Hopleaf makes decent Belgian food and has a phenomenal selection of Belgian beers. Get the Saison Du Pont if they have it. I mention it in part because it is also accessible by CTA--a good thing given the alcohol content of most of their beers.

    Hopleaf + mussels + beer selection = [​IMG]
    I've only been there once, but their mussels were amazing.
     


  14. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

    Messages:
    20,605
    Likes Received:
    391
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    greater chicago
    indian - hema's kitchen, and hyderabadi kitchen, both on devon
    israeli - taboun on california corner devon
    vietnamese - tank, braodway and argyle
    italian - tratoria doc in evanston
    chinese - katy's dumpling house - look online, its in the far west suburbs
    mexican - el ray de tacos on clark
    ethiopian - addis abbeba in evenston


    by the way, do you know LTH forum?
     


  15. Gradstudent78

    Gradstudent78 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,309
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    Noodle Garden in Evanston has excellent Thai food.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by