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Logan Square Gets Cafe Tola’s Acclaimed Empanadas This Week

The chain gives bustling Milwaukee Avenue yet another popular food option

Cafe Tola’s empanadas
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Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Empanadas are the business at Cafe Tola — the family-owned mini chain that debuted in 2012 in Lakeview — and business is good. Last week, Victoria and Gerardo Salamanca announced they’ll open a River North location at the Ohio House Motel. But before they open downtown, the Salamancas will unleash their fourth location in Logan Square. Victoria Salamanca said Cafe Tola No. 4 will open on Friday at 2489 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

Cafe Tola opened its first location six years ago on Southport. The Salamancas have since taken over the former Hot Doug’s space in Avondale and opened a restaurant near Addison and Ashland. Cafe Tola also serves breakfast tacos, coffees, tortas, and sweet and savory pastries.

The restaurant’s popularity continues to soar — there was even an empanadas cart present on Friday at Revolution Brewing’s taproom for a barrel-aged beer release. Thus the Salamancas have more plans for spots in Chicago and say they’re just getting started. But for now, customers in Logan Square can find them starting on Friday at the former SmallFry space.

Cafe Tola in Logan Square
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago