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Jun 2, 2008 11:22 AM

best ethnic Eats in Chicago

Hey, I was just wondering what are some of Chicago's best ethnic eats? What cuisines are this city's strengths?

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  1. It's a big city with lots of immigrants who've brought their cuisines with them. Some of the large groups, or "ethnic" eats which are in abundance:


    The choices are so varied you can find offersings from sub-groups. The possibilities are endless. Oh, don't get the group started picking-apart different types/styles of pizza, Italian beef or hot dogs . . .because the discussion will go on for years!

    1. The three that I consider to be the "big ones" would be Thai, Mexican and Polish. Very strong representation of these three relative to other US cities.

      8 Replies
      1. re: jesteinf

        I don't know about this--there's a Chinatown, but no Thai Town. And I think there's more Indians than Thai's, but I could be wrong.

        1. re: The Old Man

          What I'm getting at is those three are the "best" of the ethnic cuisines in the city when compared to what you can find in other cities.

          I don't know if Chicago has more Thai restaurants or Chinese restaurants, but the Thai food here is some of the best in the country. The same cannot be said for Chicago's Chinese food.

          1. re: jesteinf

            I agree with Jesteinf. With TAC, Sticky Rice, Spoon Thai, etc, Thai is very well considered one of the best ethnic foods in Chicago. With Mexican we have the plethora of high-end/innovative places (Bayless restuarants, Salicipon) and a plethora of more mom/pops places that serve excellent regional fare.

            I'm not on top of the Polish scene but I have heard great things about the buffets of Red Apple.

            1. re: lbs

              Note that the buffets are Polish-American and are unknown in Poland. Chicago has a very dynamic Polish-Polish restaurant scene with food that is commonly higher quality than prevails in the very price conscious buffets. I am not sure anyone could keep up with the many newer Polish restaurants and delis without plugging up arteries.

            2. re: The Old Man

              Time to get out and smell the curry Old Man - the Thai curry that is. While there is no Thai town, I'd bet there are more good Thai restaurants in Chicago than Chinese restaurants. Go check out the big three listed below (Spoon Thai, Sticky Rice, TAC Quick). Make sure you order off the Thai language menus for the best authentic tastes (English translations available).

              1. re: wak

                I'll be back in Chicago in late June. Which is the must must of the three?

                1. re: The Old Man

                  Personally, I like Spoon Thai the most.

          2. While there are many good ethnic choices, I thoroughly enjoy Greektown.