Dalin Dohrn

Chicago has a diverse range of food and activities to explore this summer.

All over the map: Explore something new this summer

June 1, 2022

Chicago is the perfect place to try new food and activities or revisit old favorites. This summer, go explore to see and learn about the various cultures the city has to offer, experience new activities, try new tastes and see unfamiliar sights and attractions. Beyond your neighborhood boundaries, you might discover something that will become a new tradition.

Tasting Chicago’s flavors: Here’s what’s on the menu

Chicago is full of interesting cuisines, all exhibiting different tastes and coming from different cultural backgrounds. Summer is the perfect time to explore a new neighborhood or fare, savoring the city’s flavors in different ways. Here’s Midway’s guide to a full three-course meal’s worth of must-try menu items.



Patatas Bravas, spiced potatoes layered with Manchego cheese and scallions from Tapas Valencia (Kiran Collins)

Tapas Valencia: Patatas Bravas

Can’t miss: Spiced potatoes layered with Manchego cheese and scallions, the Spanish dish is simple but refined. The subtle kick of the spice cuts through the fatty flavor of the cheese, while the crisped potato skins give way to the soft, creamy center. Mild, but with just enough heat to make the back of your throat tingle. Location: 1530 S. State St.

Rajun Cajun: Vegetable Samosas

Can’t miss: The traditional South Asian savory appetizer is fluffy, crispy and delicious. Packed with potatoes, peas and spices, these are a perfect snack or accompaniment. Other menu items are filling, flavorful and authentic. Beware of intense spiciness within the dishes. Location: 1459 E. 53rd St.

Saucy Porka: Bacos

Can’t miss: Sweet, seasoned pork tucked neatly into a bao bun, this Asian-Latin fusion appetizer packs a lot of flavor into a small bun. Topped with an Asian slaw and finished with braised pork, they make the perfect appetizer. Location: 1164 E. 55th St.



Birria de Res Tacos, beef-filled tacos from Tortillería y Taquerias Atotonilco (Milo Platz-Walker)

Tortillería y Taquerias Atotonilco: Birria de Res Tacos

Can’t miss: A flavorful and filling traditional Mexican dish, these crispy, beef-filled tacos make a perfect savory dish for any time of the day. The seasoned meat pairs perfectly with the spicy salsa provided with the food. Location: 1637 S. Blue Island Ave.

Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen: Corned Beef Sandwich

Can’t miss: A massive pile of tender beef packed between two halves of an onion roll, the sandwich, a Jewish deli classic, is almost intimidating. Fatty yet somewhat sweet, every bite of the beef is flavor packed, while the slight acidity of the onion roll brightens up the taste. Thoroughly satisfying but not overwhelming. Location: 1141 S. Jefferson St.

Caribbean Jerk Joint: Jerk Chicken

Can’t Miss: A bed of flavorful, fragrant rice beneath 3 large pieces of juicy jerk chicken, this large platter makes a perfect entree for anyone with a large appetite. The smoky flavor of the rice and jerk sauce pairs perfectly with the perfectly cooked chicken. Location: 1400 E 47th St.



Mochi donuts from Mochinut (Katie Sasamoto-Kurisu)

Mochinut: Mochi donut

Can’t miss: Choose any mochinut flavor, topping or glaze (varies daily). The main ingredient, sticky sweet rice flour, is also used in the typical Japanese dessert mochi and gives the donuts their unique texture. Each has a crisp, golden brown exterior with a soft, chewy inside that tastes buttery and sweet. Location: 1139 W. Taylor St.

Forno Rosso: Coppa Pistachio

Can’t miss: The Coppa Pistachio, an Italian dessert, is a decadent mix of custard, chocolate and pistachio gelato topped with praline pistachios. The velvety smoothness of the gelato is given some textural variety by the crystallized pistachios, while the mellow pistachio flavor balances the sweeter custard and chocolate. Location: 1048 W. Randolph St.

The Crepe Shop: Wild Berry Cheesecake Crepe

Can’t miss: The crepe is lightly topped with powdered sugar, which offers a balance of sweetness. The soft, pillowy outside is filled with blueberry, raspberry, blackberry and cheesecake cream. The restaurant offers nine crepes: five sweet and four savory. Location: 2934 N. Broadway

Murals, museum express culture, stories

TRUE COLORS. The murals represent various styles of art along a railroad embankment. (Evan Lok)

The Hubbard Street Murals should be on your bucket list for this summer. Featuring art from artists around the world, and stretching 11 blocks along a railroad embankment at West Hubbard Street and North Ogden Avenue in the Fulton Market/River West neighborhood area, the murals feature some of the most stunning street artwork in Chicago. It was started in the 1970s as a space for street artists to express their creativity, but has now grown into an open-air art gallery for all who want to contribute.



ENGAGING EXHIBITS. The DuSable Museum exhibits African American history distinctively. (Victoria Washington)

A popular Lower School field trip, the DuSable Museum of African American History should make your list of places to revisit this summer for engaging stories in unconventional formats. New exhibits include short films and virtual exhibits. Equiano Stories, which can be viewed through Instagram, are a series of films depicting the life of Olaudah Equiano, who was kidnapped from his home in Essaka and sold into slavery in 1756. Equiano tells his story as if he documented them on his Instagram.

Parks provide free cultural fun


Olivia Adams

FUN IN THE PARK. Grant Park will host many cultural events.

Get active in other cultures through movies and music with free movies and live music in parks around Chicago. The events listed run from June to August.


Movies in the Park

June 21 at Washington Park, 5531 S. King Dr. “Black Panther” will screen from 8:30-10:44 p.m. in the Sunken Garden behind the DuSable Museum of African American History. Recently appointed T’Challa, king of the fictional kingdom Wakanda, must protect his kingdom from an outsider, Eric Killmonger.

July 8 at Douglass Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Dr. “Encanto” will screen from 8:30-10:12 p.m. This follows a teenage girl in the mountains of Colombia trying to find magical powers to fit into the rest of her family.

July 12 at Mozart Park, 2036, N. Avers Ave. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will screen from 8:30-10:42 p.m. This 2021 movie follows Shang-Chi and his best friend Katy as they must look for Shang-Chi’s sister, Xialing, so they can confront Shang-Chi’s past.



June 9-12, Chicago Blues Festival, 201 E. Randolph St. If you are open to new music, head to Millennium Park to hear blues artiusts perform June 9-12, at Chicago’s annual Blues Festival. Past featured artists have been Bonnie Raitt, Ray Charles and
Buddy Guy.

June 25-26, Pride in the Park, 337 E. Randolph St. Celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month by going to Pride in the Park held in Grant Park, showcasing live music, drag performances and local food.

June 9-12, Puerto Rican People’s Parade, 1440 N. Humboldt Blvd. Celebrate Humboldt Park’s 43rd annual Puerto Rican People’s Parade. This festival includes live Puerto Rican music complemented with a carnival and Puerto Rican-style food and drinks.

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