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Jun 24, 2008 05:51 PM

African food in Uptown

We have a group of ~10 going to the theatre in Uptown and looking for African dining before the show. Any recommendations? BYOB preferred. Thank you

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  1. There's a wealth of mom-and-pop African restaurants in Uptown: Ghanaian (such as Palace Gate on Wilson as well as Grace on Broadway just north of Montrose), Nigerian (TBS on Sheridan, Nigerian Kitchen on Wilson etc) and of course Ethiopian, Eritrean and Somali up Broadway going towards Edgewater. The Nigerian and Ghanaian restaurants mentioned above do most of their business by day (several operate lunch trucks downtown-there are several old posts in the archives on this topic dating back to circa 2003) and might not be prepared to serve in a walk-in group of 10 so I would suggest visiting beforehand, chatting with the chef, and possibly discussing a menu (family-style dishes perhaps?) to accommodate ten.

    Here's a classic post from the old Chicago Board on African lunch trucks. It's a hilarious piece-one of the best ever on this board:

    Incidentally, the venerable BQ Afro Root restaurant (several posts on this from the old board-see the post by John Beadle linked below; it discusses which Nigerian restaurant here in Chicago is Igbo, which Yoruba, which Edo) which was located on a prominent corner (Lawrence and Clark) and which closed when that entire block was redeveloped (condos) has actually moved to a nearby location. It is now on an obscure stretch of Leland just w of Sheridan, close to a nearby highrise which is apparently full of Nigerian tenants.

    John Beadle's old thread:

    When the Belizean restaurant Flower's Pot closed two years ago, I was told by the owner that they would be moving to a new location several blocks away off Howard. I had hoped that they might be found again in a hidden location quite like BQ Afro Root, but I have searched high and low all over the area without any luck. Too bad, bec it was one of the best restaurants of any kind we have in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

    Fortunately, we now have a superb new (two weeks old) Belizean restaurant called Garifuna Flava located on 2516-18 W. 63rd Street (everyday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. excep Mon; F-Sa till 2 a.m.). The cooking is top-notch and the menu is packed with quite unusual daily specials such as Darasa with stewed pigtails, tapou (green bananas cooked in coconut milk with fish stew), Matilda Foot (Bundiga), Boil Up (boiled cassava, sweet potatoes, ripe plantains, stewed fish, pigtails with dumplings), Hudut Bururu with Tikini (Fish soup with mashed green plantains), Hudut bururu with falumou (serre). Also homemade breads, homemade journey cake, fresh powder buns. And the classic masa or corn-based snacks: panades, garnaches, tamales, ducunu, conch fritters. Oh full bar to boot!!!

    1. Google "chicago menus" and click onto "African" to see menus of African restaurants. I would tend to think of Vee-Vee's---check and see if they are still offering the all-you-can-eat buffet.