Ethnic Food Tour

As the kick-off to my internship, all of the Chicago area dietetic interns went on a bus tour yesterday to experience the ethnic foods of Chicago!

1) Our first stop was Kedzie and Lawrence where there are a handful of Middle Eastern and Mexican markets and grocery stores.

My favorite place was a Middle Eastern bakery called Jaafer Sweets. Check out all the goodies!

Here I got to try some of their incredible Baklava!

2) The second stop was Devon Avenue where there are countless Indian markets.

I stopped in a grocery store, Patel Brothers where they had the most interesting selection of produce, spices and snacks (which you could buy in bulk from barrels).

At Kamdar Plaza, another Indian grocery store, we got to sample somosas! I have had these before and totally love them!

A somosa looks almost like a dumpling, but it is deep fried and stuffed with potatoes, peas, and tons of spices! I also got to sample a piece of candy, which is what you see on the plate to the left. It was a slice of a date roll with pistachios and coconut in it. Delicous!

I visited Sukhadia’s which is a little store that sells Indian sweets and snacks. Since I couldn’t decide on one single snack, I ended up buying the Super Mix! It’s various spices makes this snack mix extremely flavorful and even a little spicy!

Then it was lunch time! We stopped at Reza’s Restaurant for lunch. Reza’s is a Persian Mediterranean restaurant on Devon and Clark.

We got to sample their falafels, hummus, baba ghannouj, and yogurt. It was all wonderful! The most interesting part was their famous Sumak spice. The waiter described it as the “Greek A1 sauce”. It has sort of a salty flavor to it that added a tangy taste to just about everything you put it on. I especially loved it on the yogurt!

After lunch I walked around the neighborhood near Reza’s and found a Swedish Bakery.

This place was absolutely packed with people and they had free samples of a lemon frosted cake, the perfect dessert to lunch!

3) Our third stop was around Broadway and Argyle where there are African and Asian restaurants and markets.

At Bale Bakery, I couldn’t resist a good ole’ bubble tea! I hadn’t had a bubble tea in years and went with the watermelon flavor!

With bubble tea in hand, I headed over to Old World Market which is an African, Jamaican, and Caribbean grocery store. Inside they sold an interesting array of meats (everything from beef tongue to pig hooves) and more types of yams then I knew existed!

Overall the ethnic food tour was the best experience! I really enjoyed getting to see parts of Chicago that I typically would never have visited! And of course trying new foods is always one of my favorite things to do!

Share your favorite ethnic cuisine with Eat Chic!

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