4 Places to Get African Food in Chicago

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Chicago’s diverse population makes the food scene quite like no other. You can find authentic dishes from countries across almost every continent. We all know there’s an abundance of Italian, Greek, and Mexican restaurants, but did you know about the many African cuisines you can find across the city? 

DEMERA ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT

4801 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60640

My first introduction to not only Chicago’s African restaurants, but also Ethiopian cuisine, did not disappoint. Out of the dozen or so restaurants across the city, Demera is my #1, hands down. The service is outstanding, and the food keeps me coming back. They also serve a house honey wine that is like no other!

Dishes to try: Beef/Tuna Sambussa, Demera Selata, Doro Wot, Lega Tibs

Image result for demera ethiopian
image credit: Chicago Tribune

YASSA AFRICAN RESTAURANT

3511 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60653

Yassa is another one of my favorite places in the city, plus it’s in Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood. This restaurant features many Senegalese dishes popular throughout West Africa. My friend and I first visited when we found a Groupon, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. They definitely don’t skimp out on the food here, nor on the grease and spices. I don’t recommend eating a heavy meal before trying to be active, because the itis will definitely kick in!

Dishes to try: Yassa Chicken, Thiebou Ganaar, Maffe, Djolof Rice, Aloco

yassa african restaurant african food chicago




NANDO’S PERI-PERI

Several Chicago Locations

Have you ever heard of Afro-Portuguese cuisine? Me neither, before learning about this place! Nando’s is a South African chain fusing native flavors with foreign dishes of those who colonized settled in their land. Peri-Peri, derives from the Swahili word pili-pili, the pepper featured in many of this restaurant’s sauces. There are several locations across Chicago, from Hyde Park (South Side) to Rogers Park (North Side), and everywhere in between!

Dishes to try: Peri-Peri Chicken, The Thigh & Mighty Sandwich, Portobello Mushroom with Halloumi Wrap

image credit: Nando’s Peri Peri

LALIBELA RESTAURANT

5633 N Ashland Ave Chicago, IL 60660

Yes, another Ethiopian restaurant – my second favorite in the city! A bit off the beaten path from most of its Uptown competitors, I really enjoyed the undiscovered nature of this place. The food is amazing, and the location is adorable. If you ever want to venture outside of Broadway for a taste of Ethiopia, I highly recommend this place. Read my full review of the restaurant here!

Dishes to try: Yesiga Sambusa,  Lalibela Selata,  Lalibela Special Tibs,  Doro Alicha

Ethiopian food platter with injera

 

What’s your favorite restaurant in Chicago?

About Lauren Victoria 92 Articles
Lauren is a Chicago native and budget traveler obsessed with foreign languages, neuropsychology, dancing, and applesauce. She recently quit her full-time job in social services to be a human English dictionary in Madrid, Spain.