4 culturally authentic North Side restaurants to take your kids to

Consider yourself lucky if you are a foodie living in Chicagoland. You can (and you should) take your children on a ‘round-the-world tour of the most exotic and diverse cuisine, all without having to travel beyond the city limits.

You want Swahili? We got you. Hmong? You got it. Siberian? Not a problem. Lebanese? Why didn’t you say so? Not only is nearly every group represented in restaurant form, but the food at many of these eateries are certifiably authentic by the highest standard. If you are raising a budding celebrity chef or a discerning food critic, you should take them to these authentic favorites around the north part of town:

Chicago Brauhaus

– German

4732 N Lincoln Ave

Chicago, IL  60625

A staple of the Lincoln Square food scene for nearly half a century, the Brauhaus boasts an authentic Bavarian atmosphere from the food and beer to the decor and the live German music. Your little one will come away being able to pronounce Königsberger Klopse like a natural born German in no time.

Cafeteria Marianao

– Cuban

2246 N Milwaukee

Chicago, IL 60647

Sometimes, the places with the best grub are the unassuming hole-in-the-wall types. If you frequent Logan Square, you may have walked right by this place and not even noticed it. Cafeteria Marianao is beautifully gritty, no nonsense, no frills, only good food without the ceremony. Walk up to the window, grab your Cubano and enjoy. Your kid will be bugging you to take them back for another Medianoche from now until they’re old enough to get a job and buy their own.

Star of Siam

– Thai

11 E Illinois

Chicago IL 60611

Considering its swank local in the middle of downtown, Star of Siam is surprisingly inexpensive. The seating style in this restaurant also makes it a unique standout. You’ll be seated upon plush pillows instead of a boring old chair. Enjoy one of Chicago’s longest running Thai restaurants. Your kid can go to school the next day with some leftover Lard Na and Satay for lunch and make all the other kids jealous.

La Bomba

– Puerto Rican

3221 W Armitage

Chicago IL 60647

If you don’t know anything about Puerto Rican food, you need to update yourself, like, immediately. Traditional Puerto Rican food is flavorful and fun. If they’re adventurous, fried cod cakes and jibarito sandwiches are sure to become your kid’s new favorite thing. In contrast with the other restaurants on this list, La Bomba is pretty young. But if they keep serving food this good, they’ll solidify their spot in the pantheon with a little luck from the Chicago restaurant gods. Take your little one for a mixta, some bacalao and an alcapurria. Wash the whole thing down with a Malta and then have some tembleque for dessert! It’s okay if you don’t know what those things are yet. They are freakin’ awesome, trust me.

Honorable mentions:

Demera – Ethiopian

4801 N Broadway

Chicago IL 60640

Ever heard of Injera bread?

Taste of Lebanon – Lebanese

1509 W Foster

Chicago IL 60640

The lentil soup gets rave reviews.

Khyber Pass – Indian

3113 N Halsted

Chicago IL 60657

I am all about a good lunch buffet.

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