Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Sep 20, 2004 12:51 PM

Restaurants in Humboldt Park

  • c

My office is near the intersection of Sacramento and Chicago. We've eaten a few too many lunches from the following local restaurants Tommy's Rock 'n Roll Cafe, Chavez Taco's, Naty's Pizza, and Boston's. We're interested in any suggestions for different good lunch spots in the area. Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I am pretty sure The Black Beetle serves lunch now and for bar food I think they do a very good job.

    1. The restaurant in the boathouse in the park - La Palma - serves good Puerto Rican food in a very nice environment. Cruise the inner loop of the park and try the wagons selling miscellaneous Puerto Rican and Cuban food - Frittura's (fried stuff), pasteles, grilled meats, chicurron (sp? fried pig skin if I'm not mistaken). There's a Thai restaurant on the south side of Armitage just past kedzie. There are more Puerto Rican restaurants there. There's also the Streetside Cafe at Kedzie and Armitage ... a bar with a decent beer selection and food that I can't vouch for. If you don't mind a bit of a drive there's Delicias Guatemala (name?) on Kedzie just north of Milwaukee. Lula Cafe and Boulevard Cafe are right near there as well. El Cid is a decent Mexican restaurant right at the intersection of Kedzie and Milwaukee - far better than Abril which gets a bigger crowd. Just north of Kedzie on Milwaukee there is Friendship Chinese. I believe they deliver. Head over to Division between California and Western for a number of Puerto Rican places - Borniquen (home of the Jibarito), Coco, and others. There's also one of the best ice cream places in the city - Miami Flavors. Nearby on Milwaukee you've also got Irazu, a new place for roast chicken called something like Chicken Run, Cafe Marianao for Cuban sandwiches, etc. On Western right near Fullerton there's Cafe Bolero ("upscale" cuban) and Think Cafe (for a nicer BYOB joint). On Fullerton between Kedzie and Kimball there's a Columbian roast chicken restaurant (name escapes me), a Puerto Rican place called Esquia Del Sabor (I think they operate one of the carts in the park), and a Cuban place called Rinconcito Cubano.

      More info on any of these can be found by searching this board and/or LTH Forum. All of these places are recommended. I'm sure I'm missing some. Report back after you've tried some and give an update.



      9 Replies
      1. re: rien

        Nice roundup, Rien. I agree, but would certainly add Papa's Cache Sabroso/Pollo Chon, across Division from Miami Flavors for some of the best yardbird in town and very good jibaritos.

        The original poster named Boston's, so I know he's willing to go into humble places for good food. The new Jaliscene taqueria opposite Boston's in the little triange formed by Grand and Chicago looks very cool. I haven't tried, but it looks like a taco stand from a Sergio Leone movie, if that makes any sense.

        And, the fried pork skin is chicharon, and you are correct that La Esquina de Sabor runs the best pork truck in the park.

        1. re: JeffB

          If anyone out there has tried this little place at the triangle of Grand and Chicago, please post. It does look awfully picturesque.

          The suggestions above are very comprehensive, but I didn't see any mention of Flying Saucer at California and. It might be a nice change for lunch. I've had mixed experiences there but I do like the biscuits.


          1. re: Lill

            California between Division and Augusta, that is.

            1. re: Lill

              I'll try to remember to swing by that little taco place for a few this evening, seeing as I live at Walton/Washtenaw.

              1. re: Jamieson S

                Well, stopped in for dinner this eve. The place is really quite nice inside with a nice tile mosaic counter to sit and maybe 4 tables. Serve the typical taco/torta/burrito/tostada/quesadilla menu.
                I had a taco dinner (3 tacos, ice/beans) for $7.95.
                As it was my first time there I went with a pastor, carne asada, and lomo encebollado to sample a few things.
                Pastor was on a vertical spit with a pineapple on top and was sliced off fresh and put on the grill when I ordered. Nice acidic taste to it, really quite a nice flavor. Asada was quite nice, charred on the grill for a litle crunch, well seasoned with salt. Lomo was tasty and was prepared from a raw state when I ordered. Saw them season with a powder and some jarred (store bought)lemon juice. Think perhaps there was a bit too much lemon juice for my tatse but sure it varies depending on the cook (I had also squirted it with fresh lime before I ate so could have been my bad too). Rice was a bit overcooked but passable, beans were quite good, served with some cheese on top.
                One thing I noticed was MUCH less grease than many of my favorite taco places. It is nice to finish three tacos and not have a pool of grease on a plate, and it wasn't like these were dry and tasteless tacos either.
                I will be back for sure.

                Tacos El Jaliciense
                2859 W Chicago Ave

                1. re: Jamieson S

                  Thanks for the review. I have often driven by the place, and wondered what it was like. I love al pastor cooked on one of those gyros spits. In fact, I love anything cooked on a spit. I think it is great how different cultures have taken those gyros cookers and adapted them to their own cuisines. I have never seen anyone top the spit with pineapple, just tomatoes. It sounds pretty good.

                  1. re: DC

                    DC, if you search back here and on, you'll find some intersting stuff about the history of pastor and those gyros spits. The Chicago-Greek invention of the "Gyro-cone" and the Mexican-Lebanese/Syrian tradition of pastor both seem to owe much to Greek and Levantine immigration to the New World.

            2. re: JeffB

              Ah, forgot Papa's. I just "discovered" it a short time ago, so it hasn't moved into my long term memory yet.

              I just noticed that taqueria too ... driving home and it was backlit by a dramatic red sky. Morricone on the stereo would have been apropriate.


            3. re: rien

              pretty nice roundup.

              Like JeffB I really enjoy Papa's (which I first heard about here, from him), I also like San Juan Bakery sandwiches (I've posted before on them)on North just west of Kedzie, I occasionally get tacos from tlatzala (?) on armitage and about whipple. near the milwaukee fullerton intersection is a cuban spot I like cafeteria de pancho (there's a post or two out there on this one as well if you search). Unfortunately, it seems as if the vendors whop used to set up in palmer sq are no longer there, if someones spies them again and their great sopes - pleast post.

              btw, the mothership borinquen is on california just a little north of north ave.

              RST in the past posted on a couple places nearby as well which sound interesting but I haven't got around to trying, tropical taste (dominican) and cassava's (brazilian run)