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Head to Garifuna Flava for some Belizean food on the South Side.
Head to Garifuna Flava for some Belizean food on the South Side.
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10 Under-the-Radar South Side Restaurants to Try Right Now

South Side restaurants deserve more of your attention

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Head to Garifuna Flava for some Belizean food on the South Side.
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Perhaps more than ever before, most of Chicago's attention is on the North Side. Curses have been broken and goats have been exiled, as a World Series title is back in Chicago and the North Side is where it calls home.

Perhaps though, your attention can be redirected to the South Side to check out some of best restaurants that fly under the radar. The South Side is evolving, changing and growing. Swing by and try some under-the-radar restaurants that hit it out of the park. These must-try spots are listed alphabetically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Café on the Grove

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4317 S Cottage Grove
Chicago, IL
What better way to start your South Side adventure than with a delicious, hearty brunch in the historic Kenwood neighborhood? From standard breakfast fare such as bacon, eggs and pancakes, to some notable favorites like the Jamaican jerk salad and crab cakes. The popularity of Café on the Grove has grown thanks in part to their decedent cheesecakes.

2. Del Toro

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2133 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 733-7144
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When it’s late at night and you have a craving for craft beer and rare tequila, Pilsen has you covered. Mexican food with a modern flare, Del Toro sits on a blink-and-you’ll-miss it corner on Halsted. The bar is lined with many classic tequilas, and even more tequilas you’ve never heard of—some they even make into flaming jalapeno margaritas.

3. El Pollo Real

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3823 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60623
773-847-3907
You know this grilled chicken is the real deal as you exit I-55 and take Pulaski south into Little Village and smell the smoke emanating into the street. Grilled marinated chicken is the specialty of this tiny little shop - you get to pick either natural or with their special blend of delicious seasonings. They offer many grilled, smoky sides to go with your chicken as well.

4. Garifuna Flava

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2516 W 63rd St
Chicago, IL 60629
(773) 776-7440
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Named after the culture mix of Caribbean Indians and West Africans, this Marquette Park gem delivers the fresh and exotic tastes of Belize to the South Side of Chicago. Authentic Belizean dishes that include an array of jerk flavors and their popular Panades – corn patties stuffed with fish and cabbage. You’ll feel like you’ve actually done way south of the border.
Garifuna Flava

5. Kusanya Cafe

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825 W 69th St, Chicago
IL, 60621
(773) 675-4758
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While Englewood is not usually perceived to be a destination for foodies, the culture is changing and the neighborhood is receiving loans and grants to assist the rebuild. At the forefront of what may be the beginning of gentrification is the non-profit community roastery known as Kusayna Café. Breakfast, sandwiches, and pizzas served all day and their coffee is roasted in house daily. “Join the revolution,” as Kusayna puts it.

6. Litehouse Whole Food Grill

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1373 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615
What do health food, a "mission from god," and President Barack Obama have in common? They all resided in Hyde Park, and this organic, gluten-free, wholesome Christian restaurant takes a healthy approach to a variety of dishes that include bowls, burritos, and tacos. Take note: it follows Christian Sabbath hours.
Litehouse

7. Mariscos El Veneno

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6835 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60629
(773) 735-7888
You’ll only find seafood-inspired dishes that represent the Gulf Coast of Mexico at this West Lawn staple. Bring your own six-pack of beer to enjoy the Nayarit-style cuisine that includes grilled snapper, crabs, lobster and shrimp. Don’t be shy to take a dive into the complimentary ceviche that comes with their insanely spicy, yet addictive, venom salsa.

8. Original Triple Crown

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211 W 22nd Pl
Chicago, IL 60616
Not to be confused with the newer Triple Crown Restaurant on Wentworth that caters to a more Americanized palate, the Original Triple Crown is a gritty Cantonese restaurant for the adventurous diner. Nestled on 22nd Place in Chinatown, this mainstay has been serving up some of the best sautéed clams and fried squid for decades. Their intensely flavorful “100 Flavors Chicken” will send your senses in 100 different directions.

9. Tony's Italian Beef

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7007 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60629
(773) 284-6787
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One of the best beefs in Chicago has resided at this family-run West Lawn restaurant since 1975. This eight-seater is always jammed with locals crushing homemade beef, red sauce and signature giardinara. If the classic beef isn’t your thing, go with breaded steak or chicken parm.

10. Yassa African Restaurant

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3511 S King Dr
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 573-4682
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No need to book a flight to Africa for authentic Senegalese cuisine—simply request an Uber to Bronzeville. One of the most unique restaurants on either side of the city, The menu hosts a variety of dishes tinged with rich French and Spanish influences that please a wide range of tastes. Grilled fish and lamb are amongst their most popular items.

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1. Café on the Grove

4317 S Cottage Grove, Chicago, IL
What better way to start your South Side adventure than with a delicious, hearty brunch in the historic Kenwood neighborhood? From standard breakfast fare such as bacon, eggs and pancakes, to some notable favorites like the Jamaican jerk salad and crab cakes. The popularity of Café on the Grove has grown thanks in part to their decedent cheesecakes.
4317 S Cottage Grove
Chicago, IL

2. Del Toro

2133 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608
When it’s late at night and you have a craving for craft beer and rare tequila, Pilsen has you covered. Mexican food with a modern flare, Del Toro sits on a blink-and-you’ll-miss it corner on Halsted. The bar is lined with many classic tequilas, and even more tequilas you’ve never heard of—some they even make into flaming jalapeno margaritas.
2133 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608

3. El Pollo Real

3823 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60623
You know this grilled chicken is the real deal as you exit I-55 and take Pulaski south into Little Village and smell the smoke emanating into the street. Grilled marinated chicken is the specialty of this tiny little shop - you get to pick either natural or with their special blend of delicious seasonings. They offer many grilled, smoky sides to go with your chicken as well.
3823 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60623

4. Garifuna Flava

2516 W 63rd St, Chicago, IL 60629
Garifuna Flava
Named after the culture mix of Caribbean Indians and West Africans, this Marquette Park gem delivers the fresh and exotic tastes of Belize to the South Side of Chicago. Authentic Belizean dishes that include an array of jerk flavors and their popular Panades – corn patties stuffed with fish and cabbage. You’ll feel like you’ve actually done way south of the border.
2516 W 63rd St
Chicago, IL 60629

5. Kusanya Cafe

825 W 69th St, Chicago, IL, 60621
While Englewood is not usually perceived to be a destination for foodies, the culture is changing and the neighborhood is receiving loans and grants to assist the rebuild. At the forefront of what may be the beginning of gentrification is the non-profit community roastery known as Kusayna Café. Breakfast, sandwiches, and pizzas served all day and their coffee is roasted in house daily. “Join the revolution,” as Kusayna puts it.
825 W 69th St, Chicago
IL, 60621

6. Litehouse Whole Food Grill

1373 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615
Litehouse
What do health food, a "mission from god," and President Barack Obama have in common? They all resided in Hyde Park, and this organic, gluten-free, wholesome Christian restaurant takes a healthy approach to a variety of dishes that include bowls, burritos, and tacos. Take note: it follows Christian Sabbath hours.
1373 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615

7. Mariscos El Veneno

6835 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60629
You’ll only find seafood-inspired dishes that represent the Gulf Coast of Mexico at this West Lawn staple. Bring your own six-pack of beer to enjoy the Nayarit-style cuisine that includes grilled snapper, crabs, lobster and shrimp. Don’t be shy to take a dive into the complimentary ceviche that comes with their insanely spicy, yet addictive, venom salsa.
6835 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60629

8. Original Triple Crown

211 W 22nd Pl, Chicago, IL 60616
Not to be confused with the newer Triple Crown Restaurant on Wentworth that caters to a more Americanized palate, the Original Triple Crown is a gritty Cantonese restaurant for the adventurous diner. Nestled on 22nd Place in Chinatown, this mainstay has been serving up some of the best sautéed clams and fried squid for decades. Their intensely flavorful “100 Flavors Chicken” will send your senses in 100 different directions.
211 W 22nd Pl
Chicago, IL 60616

9. Tony's Italian Beef

7007 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60629
One of the best beefs in Chicago has resided at this family-run West Lawn restaurant since 1975. This eight-seater is always jammed with locals crushing homemade beef, red sauce and signature giardinara. If the classic beef isn’t your thing, go with breaded steak or chicken parm.
7007 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60629

10. Yassa African Restaurant

3511 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60653
No need to book a flight to Africa for authentic Senegalese cuisine—simply request an Uber to Bronzeville. One of the most unique restaurants on either side of the city, The menu hosts a variety of dishes tinged with rich French and Spanish influences that please a wide range of tastes. Grilled fish and lamb are amongst their most popular items.
3511 S King Dr
Chicago, IL 60653

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