Feature

Chicago: Pilsen comes alive

One of Chicago’s great food neighborhoods has just gotten better.

One of Chicago’s great food neighborhoods has just gotten better, said Camille Bromley in Saveur.com. Though cozy Pilsen was established by 19th-century Czech immigrants, it’s “long been the place to go in Chicago for Mexican cuisine,” and a wave of newer restaurants has simply added to the mix. Now “something of an art community,” Pilsen is all about colorful options, from 1960s-era taquerias to a reimagined speakeasy to an Argentine pizza joint.

Pl-zeň The kind of place that “New Pilsen” adores, this hip gastropub serves locally sourced, Latin-influenced food and nurtures its ties to both local craft brewers and artists. Menu items like rib sliders and duck tacos are “as clever as they are tasty,” and the tongue-in-cheek Red Riding Hood mural outside makes Plzeň hard to miss. 1519 W. 18th St., (312) 733-0248

Nightwood At this East Pilsen gem, the “super-seasonal” menu changes daily, though you can count on exceptional cocktails and recurring food favorites like the “buttery, maple-sticky, crispy pig ears.” Recently, the foie gras came with ginger, orange sauce, and a salty-sweet fish-sauce caramel. 2119 S. Halsted St., (312) 526-3385

Chimichurri Yes, this newcomer serves classics like churrasco (Brazilian barbecue) with Argentine chimichurri sauce. But the Argentine-style pizzas are the reason for a detour. The fugazzeta rellena has a layered crust stuffed with ham and mozzarella and topped with slivers of onion. 1454 W. 18th St., (312) 733-4030

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