I would like to put your cultural appropriation in mah belleh.
September 6, 2013 7:31 AM   Subscribe

Inspired by this and this, I am looking to compile a list of the "best" places to get cuisine of a specific nationality or region or ethnicity in Chicago.

By "best" I mean generally regarded as having 1) delicious food that is 2) a reasonably good approximation of what you could expect to find in [food's place of origin].

As I have eaten a lot of food in the years I've lived here, I have an ok start. Here's what I know so far:

Mexico City-style taqueria: La Chaparrita
Peking Duck: Sun Wah
Chinese food: the Tony Hu enterprises in Chinatown, specifically Lao Sze Chuan (though since I realize there are like 100 different ethnic groups in China, I'd love recommendations for styles you don't see as often in the US)
Iranian Kabab: Noon o Kabab
Northern Iranian: Masouleh
Swedish: Tre Kronor
Colombian: Las Tablas
Argentinian: Tango Sur
Ghanaian: Grace (I haven't been here but I've been told by a number of people that this is the place to go)

And then there are things like pizza (where the answer is obviously Pequod's) that it would be nice to compile a list of, too.

I would like to expand this list considerably, though, and update it if there are any changes or some place I haven't been to in a long time has become inexplicably shitty.

So, lay it on me, Chicagoans. If I want to eat a particular type of food, where should I get it?
posted by phunniemee to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
I am told by a Thai friend that Sticky Rice at Irving Park and Western serves mostly authentic northern Thai food.
posted by goatdog at 7:42 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

Ha! I was also going to recommend Sticky Rice for Thai.
posted by macrowave at 7:46 AM on September 6, 2013

There's a Lao Sze Chuan in Uptown now if that's more convenient for you.
posted by Oktober at 7:46 AM on September 6, 2013

Ethiopian: my favorite is Demera.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 8:03 AM on September 6, 2013

There are a few issues with the list, but you could do a lot worse than starting with the LTHForum Great Neighborhood Restaurants sorted by cuisine.
posted by hoboynow at 8:28 AM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]

When I used to live in Chicago, LTH was my bible (oh man, I miss Chicago).

Korean Chinese - Great Sea
Banh Mi - Nhu Lan
Cuban - 90 Miles Cafe
Costa Rican - Irazu
posted by sandmanwv at 8:32 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also in Chinatown, Phoenix or Three Happiness for dim sum.
posted by capricorn at 8:40 AM on September 6, 2013

Dominican, according to my Dominican students when I taught - TINY restaurant on North, north side of the street, just west of Kedzie. Apparently called "Tropical Taste".
posted by Ms Vegetable at 9:04 AM on September 6, 2013

Korean BBQ: San Soo Gab San
Afghan: Kabul House Express
posted by misskaz at 10:46 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Another resource for more obscure cuisines: Chicago Cab Fare
posted by gueneverey at 11:07 AM on September 6, 2013

Oh yeah, speaking of cabbies, they are ALL ABOUT Ghareeb Nawaz.
posted by misskaz at 11:09 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Great Montenegran restaurant run by an older couple, one of whom will whip out the keyboard occasionally while you're eating some burek: Deta's Cafe
posted by Theiform at 11:22 AM on September 6, 2013

Armenian: Sayat Nova
Ethiopian: I love Demera, but I think Ethiopian Diamond is better
Japanese Ramen: Wasabi
Tacos: L'Patron
posted by anotheraccount at 12:25 PM on September 6, 2013

Thought of some more...

You had a couple Iranian suggestions, but I'd add Reza's.

Shokran is not only my favorite Moroccan restaurant in Chicago, it's probably my favorite restaurant in Chicago.

Armenian - Seconding Sayat Nova who make probably the best hummus on the planet

Lots of Ethiopian recommendations already, but Ras Dashen was where we always went. The pumpkin wot is revelatory-level awesome.

And mentioning Harold's Chicken Shack just in case...
posted by capricorn at 12:40 PM on September 6, 2013

For Indian/Pakistani, Devon Street - and for quite authentic South Indian vegetarian (which I strongly recommend), Udupi Palace is consistently solid - it's one of the few Indian restaurants my mom will actually eat out at. If you've never eaten South Indian food, it's quite different than North Indian meat and paneer and tandoori-type dishes.

(Elsewhere in the country, if you have a Saravana Bhavan, that'll also be pretty good and authentic.)
posted by vetala at 4:51 PM on September 6, 2013

Definitely Reza's for Iranian. My uncle is from Iran and has been taking me there for 30 years.

Jibek Jolu for Kyrgyz. Podhalankah for Polish.
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:04 PM on September 6, 2013

My favorites:
northern Italian - Rose Angelis in Lincoln Park
Indian/Nepalese - Cumin in Wicker Park
Ethiopian - Ras Dashen has never done me wrong
posted by deliciae at 9:49 PM on September 7, 2013

Peruvian: Taste of Peru
posted by me3dia at 8:35 AM on September 10, 2013

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