Food & Drink

EmPANada-mania: 8 Must-Try Spots in Chicago!

Chicago is a city known for its diverse food scene, and one dish that has captured the hearts and taste buds of residents and visitors alike is the empanada.

This savory pastry filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, and vegetables has become a staple in many Chicago neighborhoods. Whether you're looking for a quick snack or a filling meal, there are plenty of places in the city to indulge in this delicious treat.

But with so many options, how do you know where to find the best empanadas in Chicago? Fear not, because we've got you covered.

We've scoured the city to find the top spots for empanadas, each offering their own unique take on this classic dish. From traditional Argentine-style empanadas to creative fusion flavors, there's something for every palate.

Whether you're a longtime fan of empanadas or are just discovering this tasty pastry, this guide will help you navigate the Chicago food scene and find the best places to satisfy your cravings.

So grab a napkin and get ready to explore the city's top empanada destinations!

1. El Cubanito Restaurant

El Cubanito Restaurant
2555 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60639 (Google Maps)

El Cubanito Restaurant is a must-visit place for anyone who loves empanadas. This family-owned restaurant serves up some of the best empanadas in town. The pastry is deep-fried to perfection, and the filling is flavorful and delicious.

The shredded chicken empanada is a must-try, and the Cuban (ham and cheese) empanada is just as good. The prices are great, and the service is friendly and prompt.

While the menu is small, everything on it is excellent. The sandwiches are also worth trying, especially the Cuban and the steak. The coffee is also delicious, with several options to choose from.

The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, making it a great spot for a quick meal or a leisurely lunch. Don't miss out on the opportunity to experience El Cubanito Restaurant.

2. Tango Sur

Tango Sur
3763 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613 (Google Maps)

Tango Sur is an Argentinian steakhouse that serves delicious empanadas. The restaurant has a cozy and intimate setting, perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.

The empanada dough is delicious, but some reviewers found the fillings a bit bland.

However, the traditional Argentinian approach to cooking and the generous portions make up for it. The restaurant is BYOB, so be sure to bring your own alcohol.

The staff is friendly and attentive, and the candlelit ambience enhances the dining experience. If you're looking for a place to try authentic empanadas, Tango Sur is definitely worth a visit.

3. Irazu Costa Rican Restaurant & Catering

Irazu Costa Rican Restaurant & Catering
1865 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Google Maps)

Irazu Costa Rican Restaurant & Catering is a must-visit for empanada lovers. The restaurant offers a variety of empanadas that are freshly made and delicious.

The menu also includes other Costa Rican dishes that are sure to satisfy your taste buds. The restaurant has a nice open space with beautiful decor, making it a great place to dine with friends and family.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. The restaurant is BYOB, so you can bring your own bottle of wine or beer to enjoy with your meal.

The service is quick and the prices are reasonable. Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, Irazu Costa Rican Restaurant & Catering is a great choice.

4. Pochos

1727 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608 (Google Maps)

Pochos is a must-visit place for empanadas. The food is delicious and the staff is friendly.

The cafe Palmero is a perfect cold coffee to go with the empanadas.

The atmosphere is great and the restaurant has a good selection for pescatarians.

The restaurant is a hidden gem and worth the visit.

5. Diana's

1000 N Francisco Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Google Maps)

Diana's is a small Puerto Rican restaurant that serves some of the most delicious empanadas in town.

The restaurant may not look fancy, but the food is definitely worth the visit. The empanadas are freshly made and come in a variety of flavors, such as beef, chicken, and cheese.

The prices are also very reasonable, making it a great option for a quick lunch or dinner. The restaurant also offers other Puerto Rican dishes, such as pork bowls and fried plantain sandwiches.

The staff is friendly and the service is prompt. For those who appreciate authentic Puerto Rican food, Diana's is a must-visit.

6. Sabe a Zulia

Sabe A Zulia
5306 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60639 (Google Maps)

Sabe a Zulia is a hidden gem for those searching for authentic Venezuelan food.

They serve delicious empanadas and pastelitos that are hard to find in Chicago.

The warm and outstanding service is a plus. The restaurant also offers other Venezuelan dishes such as tequenos, mandocas, and chicken plates.

Prices are reasonable, making it a great value for money.

7. Don Pablo's Kitchen & Bakeshop

Don Pablo's Kitchen & Bakeshop
1007 W Argyle St, Chicago, IL 60640 (Google Maps)

Don Pablo's Kitchen & Bakeshop is a South American restaurant that serves some of the best empanadas in the Midwest.

The empanadas come in various flavors and are generously sized, making them a great value for their price. The restaurant also offers catering services, which is perfect for events and parties.

The owner, Pablo, and his team provide excellent customer service and make sure that their customers are happy with their orders.

If you're looking for an authentic taste of South American cuisine, Don Pablo's Kitchen & Bakeshop is the place to go.

8. Cafe Tola #2

Cafe Tola #2
3324 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Google Maps)

Cafe Tola #2 is a Mexican restaurant known for its delicious empanadas. Customers rave about the Ropa Vieja filling and the variety of veggie options available.

The outdoor seating is perfect for enjoying the colorful murals on the walls.

Service is friendly and quick, and the prices are affordable.

Cafe Tola #2 is a must-try for anyone looking for amazing empanadas in a fun and vibrant atmosphere.