Buffalo Chicken Beer Cheese Fondue Fries Are Like an Edible Sports Bar
1. Las Delicias De Puerto Rico4821 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
2. La Cocina Boricua de la Familia Galarza2420 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago
3. La Bomba3221 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
4. Papa's Cache Sabroso2517 W Division St, Chicago
5. Diana's Food & Restaurant1000 N Francisco Ave, Chicago
6. El Nuevo Borinquen1720 N California Ave, Chicago
7. Vida Restaurant3452 S Western Ave, Chicago
8. Cafe Central1437 W Chicago Ave, Chicago
This unassuming little resto in Belmont Cragin houses some of the best Puerto Rican food in the city. It's hard to get past the signature sandwich, which is made with perfect execution each and every time it's been tried. Should you look past it, the snack case boasts all sorts of popular Puerto Rican street snacks including empanadas, bacalaito, and balls of papa rellano.
The family behind this mom-and-pop BYOB joint has been serving the community for more than 20 years. During that time, they've pumped out nothing but honest homestyle Puerto Rican cooking at more than fair prices. Known for near-perfect jibaritos as well as the popular gauchitos appetizer, the service here always come with a smile. You're pretty much a regular after one visit.
This Puerto Rican food cart also has a brick-and-mortar on Armitage, which you should definitely stop by so you can try the signature steak jibarito ((pronounced hee-bah-ree-to), which has two thin planks of flattened and fried green plantains in lieu of bread, which are still strong enough to hold all the grilled steak, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and melted cheese you can handle.
Papa’s Cache Sabroso is the place to go if you have a penchant for pollo, particularly of the Puerto Rican persuasion. This Humboldt Park Latin-American mom-and-pop restaurant provides meat dishes, salads, and sandwiches that taste decidedly homemade, a style only enhanced by the dining room’s humble décor of maroon plastic tablecloths and a tiled ceiling. Dishes are inexpensive, but if you’re looking for a steal, Papa’s Dinners are served either with arroz con gandules or arroz blanco con habichuelas, and the menu’s signature is Papa’s Pollo Chon Entero, an entire rotisserie chicken.
Diana's hides on a residential corner and doubles as a grocery. Walk to the back and place an order for some stick-to-your-ribs Puerto Rican perfection. Served cafeteria style, it's hard to go wrong with anything. Each dish is composed of tender cuts of long-cooked meats and paired with top-notch yellow rice and peas or white rice and beans. Either way, you won’t be hungry the rest of the day.
Home of the Jibarito, El Nuevo Borinquen is still regarded one of the best spots for authentic Puerto Rican cuisine. Even with a new look and management, patrons can still enjoy classics like the Jibarito and empanadas.
"Good Food. Good Life." That's the saying that this cute little shop on Western goes by, and you get the vibe as soon as you step inside. Two things set it apart from most of the others on this list, the first being that almost all of the food is cooked to order. The second is the selection of pastries and juices on offer. Both are made fresh and in-house so you can taste the love in everything offered.
There're nothing but good vibes once you step inside this longtime cafeteria, which doubles as one of the city's oldest Puerto Rican restaurants, where the cooks are cranking out homestyle, local favorites such as mofongo and lechon. Regulars enjoy the Mixta plates, which allow you to mix and match your meats with white rice and beans or yellow rice with pigeon peas.