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Your top 3 ethnic dives in Chicago [2016]....

Your top 3 ethnic dives in Chicago [2016]....
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  • Your top 3 ethnic dives in Chicago [2016]....

    Post #1 - October 11th, 2016, 9:09 pm
    Post #1 - October 11th, 2016, 9:09 pm Post #1 - October 11th, 2016, 9:09 pm
    I just moved back to Chicago after years in LA (a TREMENDOUS cheap ethnic eats city) and D.C. (a TERRIBLE cheap ethnic eats city).

    Help my move back to me out by posting your favorite ethnic dives in Chicago and surrounding area. "Ethnic" meaning authentic/probably spicy and "Dives" meaning casual/cheap --- kitchen, counter, chairs, grub!
  • Post #2 - October 11th, 2016, 11:53 pm
    Post #2 - October 11th, 2016, 11:53 pm Post #2 - October 11th, 2016, 11:53 pm
    Welcome. We have just the thing for you:

    viewtopic.php?f=28&t=32598

    The map version:

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?ll ... B0sRSLRkoc

    From a personal perspective for 2016 at the intersection of Dive and Ethnic (though we vigorously debate these terms here), I'll go beyond the list to:

    1. Tabaq, after 10 PM

    2. Lola Tining's Cuisine: sprinkle the garlic fried peanuts by the register on your halo halo

    3. Slurp Slurp for shaved noodles, must be doctored at table with house pickles. (This slot would be Qing Xiang Yuan, but they're closed until November and will be unfortunately at that point two worlds less divey than a year ago, though doubtless just as delicious).
  • Post #3 - October 12th, 2016, 8:41 am
    Post #3 - October 12th, 2016, 8:41 am Post #3 - October 12th, 2016, 8:41 am
    Another good option not on the GNR list..

    Ghareeb Nawaz on Devon - http://ghareebnawazonline.com/

    More of a cafeteria style, but decent vibe & authentic, tasty Indian food. HUGE portions for $2-$5 per entree, including sides. You can feed 6-8 people for probably $25.
  • Post #4 - October 12th, 2016, 10:42 am
    Post #4 - October 12th, 2016, 10:42 am Post #4 - October 12th, 2016, 10:42 am
    The GNR list is a great source for ethnic dives. It covers a lot of great spots from cuisines well represented in Chicago e.g. Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Polish, Pakistani, Thai, Filipino etc (btw Ghareeb is on the GNR list)

    A couple spots not on the list that reflect some other cuisines are:
    -Jibek Jolu - Kyrgyz
    -Beograd Cafe - Serbian
    -Kabobi and Noon o Kebab - Persian
    -Grace - Ghanaian
    -Shokran - Moroccan
  • Post #5 - October 19th, 2016, 2:55 pm
    Post #5 - October 19th, 2016, 2:55 pm Post #5 - October 19th, 2016, 2:55 pm
    Although not strictly what you asked for, the Strange Foods festival may give you some ideas-

    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2016101 ... estaurants
  • Post #6 - October 19th, 2016, 4:46 pm
    Post #6 - October 19th, 2016, 4:46 pm Post #6 - October 19th, 2016, 4:46 pm
    Birreria Reyes de Ocotlan - viewtopic.php?t=3639
  • Post #7 - October 20th, 2016, 5:59 pm
    Post #7 - October 20th, 2016, 5:59 pm Post #7 - October 20th, 2016, 5:59 pm
    Homestyle Taste
    Khan BBQ
    La Chaparrita
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #8 - October 21st, 2016, 6:20 pm
    Post #8 - October 21st, 2016, 6:20 pm Post #8 - October 21st, 2016, 6:20 pm
    Though a GNR, I think Dancen (Korean) still qualifies for what you're looking for.
  • Post #9 - October 21st, 2016, 9:30 pm
    Post #9 - October 21st, 2016, 9:30 pm Post #9 - October 21st, 2016, 9:30 pm
    Nha Hang Vietnam
    Taza Bakery
    Huaraches Dona Chio
  • Post #10 - October 23rd, 2016, 8:14 am
    Post #10 - October 23rd, 2016, 8:14 am Post #10 - October 23rd, 2016, 8:14 am
    Possumlad wrote:Another good option not on the GNR list..

    Ghareeb Nawaz on Devon - http://ghareebnawazonline.com/

    More of a cafeteria style, but decent vibe & authentic, tasty Indian food. HUGE portions for $2-$5 per entree, including sides. You can feed 6-8 people for probably $25.


    Seconded; a hidden gem of taste and value.
  • Post #11 - October 23rd, 2016, 1:50 pm
    Post #11 - October 23rd, 2016, 1:50 pm Post #11 - October 23rd, 2016, 1:50 pm
    Lalibela
    5633 N Ashland
    773.944.0585

    Joong Boo Market restaurant
    3333 N Kimball
    773.478.5566

    Taqueria El Asadero
    2213 W Montrose
    773.583.5563
  • Post #12 - June 10th, 2017, 9:20 am
    Post #12 - June 10th, 2017, 9:20 am Post #12 - June 10th, 2017, 9:20 am
    Santander wrote:Slurp Slurp for shaved noodles, must be doctored at table with house pickles.

    Amen to this. I was unaware of the mention when I swung by at 10pm last night, but the shaved noodles did not disappoint one bit. Wonderful thick texture, reminiscent of my longtime favorite Lulu's (Evanston) stir-fried wide rice noodle. I also found the pork and chive dumplings to be good too. Such an excellent value. I'll have to try out the house pickle tip next time!
  • Post #13 - June 10th, 2017, 10:23 am
    Post #13 - June 10th, 2017, 10:23 am Post #13 - June 10th, 2017, 10:23 am
    1) Cafe Bai - Uzbek
    2) Pakeeza - Pakistani
    3) Papa's Cache Sabroso - Boricua
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #14 - June 11th, 2017, 8:23 pm
    Post #14 - June 11th, 2017, 8:23 pm Post #14 - June 11th, 2017, 8:23 pm
    Ghareeb Nawaz is a GNR. In my mind a "cafeteria style" restaurant has steam tables a buffet of some sort. GN is quite different than this. In fact, it has a huge menu.

    If you haven't been in a while, it's worth a re-visit. They remodeled nicely and the folks taking orders seem a bit more patient to those of us who aren't from the region and have questions.

    If I lived in the neighborhood, I would eat there every day.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #15 - June 12th, 2017, 8:33 am
    Post #15 - June 12th, 2017, 8:33 am Post #15 - June 12th, 2017, 8:33 am
    bw77 wrote:Ghareeb Nawaz is a GNR. In my mind a "cafeteria style" restaurant has steam tables a buffet of some sort. GN is quite different than this. In fact, it has a huge menu.

    If you haven't been in a while, it's worth a re-visit. They remodeled nicely and the folks taking orders seem a bit more patient to those of us who aren't from the region and have questions.

    If I lived in the neighborhood, I would eat there every day.


    I used to eat there almost weekly when I was still a student in nearby Evanston. When it was finals week, I wouldn't want to cook/go out for food, so I'd order enough chili chicken biryani, hunter beef, daal, and paratha to feed me for the week. The food keeps (and freezes) remarkably well in a pinch (except the daal).

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