I’ve been a devoted Chicago eater for years (lived on South side for 10 grew up in area for another 20).
Hong Mins was our Chinatown staple for years but I am sad to report that they had a fire and closed. As of earlier this summer they had not reopened (but I’ve been on the road since early Aug)
I’m suprised to see so many chains recommended on these Chicago lists.
Japanese: Itto Sushi (great Sushi but also legit Japanese food and specialties like grilled Hamachi jaw or raw tuna with beaten yam root—ask for Japanese only menu to be translated for you!)
Chinese Dim Sum: Shui Wah (on Archer in Zodiac court)
Chinese spicy: Lao Szechaun (we call it Spicy Tony’s Dry chili chicken, eggplant, hot beef tofu, pork with cilantro and several beers!!!)
Mexican: 90th and Commercial Fruteria and Jamaican grocery (counter in the back with Gorditas al pastor and homemade Horchata)
95th street fry shack—this one is hard to find. You have to find the bridge over the Calumet river and this little shack sells cartons of fried frogs legs, shrimp, etc while people wait for the barges to go by. Haven’t been to this one in awhile but it’s worth the hunt.
Okay, I better hold off or I’ll be reviewing the whole phone book. Suffice to say I can recommend a spot for most anything in Chicago from great burgers to great Duck tongue….
Enjoy those places for me!