Chicago, the “Windy City”, is known for its towering skyscrapers, expansive parks, and iconic sports teams. But beyond these well-known landmarks, Chicago is also a treasure trove of international cuisine that has something to offer everyone.
The city’s diverse population means that you can find foods from all over the world. If you’re in the mood for Mexican food, head to Pilsen, where you’ll find everything from classic tacos to inventive fusion dishes. For the best Vietnamese cuisine, visit the Argyle Street neighborhood to try some authentic pho or banh mi sandwiches. For Greek food lovers, Greektown is the place to be. Here you’ll find family-owned restaurants serving up delicious gyro platters and souvlaki skewers.
But Chicago’s international cuisine isn’t just about ethnic neighborhoods. Every summer, the Taste of Chicago festival gathers the city’s top chefs and restaurants in Grant Park to celebrate the diversity of the city’s food scene. Dozens of local and international vendors set up booths in the park to offer bite-sized portions of their most popular dishes at affordable prices. Visitors can expect to find everything from classic Chicago-style deep-dish pizza to Korean tacos and Indian samosas.
The Taste of Chicago also offers cooking demonstrations and workshops, allowing visitors to learn more about the ingredients, techniques, and cultural inspirations behind the city’s international cuisine. In the past, the festival has featured chefs like Rick Bayless, who specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine, and Stephanie Izard, who blends Asian and Latin flavors in her dishes.
Beyond the Taste of Chicago, the city has a vibrant culinary scene that offers world-class dining experiences. For example, Alinea, one of the most well-known restaurants in the city, serves avant-garde American cuisine that’s been recognized with three Michelin stars. From molecular gastronomy to seasonal ingredients, Alinea is as much an experience as it is a meal.
Other top-rated restaurants in the city reflect the diverse cultures that make up Chicago. For Korean food, try Parachute, which blends traditional Korean flavors with modern techniques. For an elevated take on Mexican cuisine, check out the Michelin-starred restaurant Mi Tocaya Antojeria, which offers dishes like ceviche with coconut milk and scallops with chorizo butter.
Chicago’s international cuisine is a reflection of the city itself: diverse, dynamic, and full of surprises. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s always something new to discover and savor in the Windy City.