If you are headed to Chicago for the TESOL 2018 International Convention, you are probably planning to try Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza. For those who are curious about experiencing the other cuisines Chicago has to offer, here are some neighborhoods with authentic international flavors that you shouldn’t miss.
Chinatown is home to more than 65,000 Chinese residents who first settled in this area in 1912. Traveling through the Chinatown Gate on Wentworth Avenue you will find numerous shops, authentic restaurants, and traditional Chinese architecture.
2168 S. Archer Ave., Chicago, IL
Sample Greek heritage outside of Athens in this small area of Chicago with Old World charm. This area is known for inventing saganaki (flaming cheese) in 1968, often seen in Greek restaurants today accompanied with an “Opa!” as the cheese bursts into flame. Visit Greektown for authentic restaurants, taverns, and pastry shops.
Saganaki at Greek Islands
200 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL
The strong influence of Italian culture in Chicago created Little Italy, the best place for Italian food that goes far beyond traditional pizza and pasta. Here you can try Chicago Italian staples from a quick Italian beef sandwich at Al’s Beef, to a sit-down meal with traditional Italian plates at The Rosebud.
1500 W. Taylor St, Chicago, IL
Pilsen was inhabited by Czech immigrants in the late 19th century who named the area after Plzeň, a large city in the now Czech Republic. In the early 1960s, Latinos from other parts of the city moved into this area, changing it into the Latin food hub of Chicago. It is now best known for its authentic Mexican food and colorful murals.
1510 W. 18th St, Chicago, IL
Centuries of immigration has built a city of diverse cultures and flavors that give Chicago its character and make it a lively place to visit. Other areas you might consider are Avondale for Polish food and Uptown for Vietnamese. Once you have checked deep-dish pizza off your Chicago convention to-do list, try some of these delicious international cuisines. Need some suggestions? Images featured are from some of the best!
If you try one of these restaurants or you have some other suggestions, please share in the comments.
Alana Natke is the marketing coordinator at TESOL International Association and a native of Chicago. She is a new addition to the TESOL team with experience teaching English in Prague, Czech Republic, and a recent graduate of American University, Washington, DC. She works directly with TESOL Press publications and manages advertising at TESOL.