Chicago's Top 10 : Ethnic Eats

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Unless stated, all restaurants accept credit cards, recommend reservations, and are open for lunch and dinner.

  1. Arun’s

    Distinct from other Thai restaurants in the city, Arun’s serves a gourmet version of the spice-and-vegetable driven Asian fare with high quality ingredients and careful presentation. Multi-course fixed-price menus change nightly, and dietary restrictions can be taken into consideration with advance notice. The quiet Thai art-trimmed rooms are conducive to conversation.

    • 4156 N. Kedzie Ave.

    • 1 773 539 1909

    • Closed Mon, lunch

  2. Pho Xe Tang-Tank

    This popular destination in Little Vietnam features several big, round tables for sociable, easy sharing of meals. A vast menu includes traditional dishes such as Bahn Xeo (Vietnamese crispy pancakes) and Pho (noodle soup garnished with heaps of fresh cilantro and basil, with oxtail as an optional extra). Bring your own alcohol.

    • 4953 N. Broadway

    • 1 773 878 2253

    • Closed Wed

  3. Phoenix

    Superior Chinese dim sum, served with a panoramic view of downtown Chicago, garner out-the-door lines for this Chinatown gem. Dishes emerging from the kitchen are quickly snatched by waiting diners, leading many to ask for a table near it.

    • 2131 S. Archer Ave.

    • 312 328 0848

    Dim Sum at Phoenix
  4. Mirai Sushi

    This hip, two-story eaterie carves some of the city’s best Japanese sushi. Options include the usual suspects such as tuna and salmon but for the most creative fare sit at the sushi bar, make a special request, and put yourself in the chef’s hands. An upstairs lounge serves up sake martinis.

    • 2020 W. Division St.

    • 1 773 862 8500

    • Closed Sun, lunch

    Sushi Bar at Mirai
  5. Ixcapuzalco

    This off-the-beaten path, regional Mexican specialist is operated by a protégé of Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill fame. Foodies head here for the outstanding mole sauces from Oaxaca, which change daily, and top fish, pork, chicken, or beef.

    • 2919 N. Milwaukee Ave.

    • 1 773 486 7340

    • Closed Tue

  6. Tiffin

    Locals debate which Indian restaurant along the eatery-and-sari-shop-lined Devon Avenue qualifies as the best. Among them, Tiffin impresses with tender tandoori oven specialties and subtly spiced lentils. More upscale than most of its neighboring competitors, it generates a warm welcome via the enthusiasm of its staff.

    • 2536 W. Devon Ave.

    • 1 773 338 2143

  7. Ann Sather

    Locals line up on Sunday mornings at the original Belmont Avenue Ann Sather for plates of oversized, sticky cinnamon rolls. But the Swedish diner makes a more ethnic appeal at lunch and dinner with limpa (Swedish rye bread), zesty duck with lingonberries, and hearty Swedish meatballs .

    Ann Sather
  8. Marigold

    This Indian restaurant has a modern vibe and the menu reflects multiple regions of India, with vegetarian, seafood and meaty options such as samosas, South Indian seafood curry, coriander-crusted halibut with pakora-style vegetables, and lamb shank vindaloo. Knowledgeable waiters are on-hand to help curry-challenged diners navigate the menu.

    • 4832 N. Broadway

    • 773 293 4653

    • Dinner only, closed Mon

  9. Red Apple

    In the heart of Polish Avondale, Red Apple offers budget priced, all-you-can-eat buffets, including dessert and coffee. The diner draws a cross-section of immigrants, artists, students, and the just plain thrifty for authentic dishes such as pierogi, borscht, goulash, and stuffed cabbage.

    • 3121 N. Milwaukee Ave.

    • 1 773 588 5781

  10. Fogo de Chao

    The Sao Paulo owned Fogo de Chao specializes in the all-you-can-eat churrascaria tradition of Brazilian barbecue. At your table costumed “gauchos” will carve 15 different cuts of skewer-roasted meats, including filet, rumpsteak, leg of lamb, and pork loin. You can use a plate-side indicator to signal for more or “basta.” A lavish salad bar begins every meal.

    • 661 N. LaSalle St.

    • 312 932 9330

    • Closed Sat & Sun lunch

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