Best Exotic Food at the Taste of Chicago

June 28, 2011 2:00 PM

Taste Of Chicago


Taste Of Chicago


One of the most famous events that Chicago puts on every year is the Taste of Chicago. Millions flock to taste the food that makes Chicago famous. However, this summer, if you’re looking to expand your horizons past Polish sausages, deep dish pizza and delicious Rainbow Cones, then check out these restaurant booths for the best of exotic food.


If you’re really looking for something different this summer, head over to Iyanze’s booth where they’ll be serving African food. Have a go at trying jollof and oxtail. Oxtail is the culinary name for tail of cattle and is usually slow cooked. Jollof is a rice dish that usually has tomatoes and tomato paste in it. Not quite ready to make the leap to oxtail? They are also offering sautéed beef with coconut rice.

Booth 2:
Southwest Corner of E. Monroe Dr. and Columbus Dr.

Parrot Cage


Parrot Cage

Debuting at the Taste this year, the Parrot Cage Restaurant is a creation of the Washburne Culinary Institute of Kennedy-King College. The Washburne is one of the best and oldest cooking schools in the country. On their menu they’ll be serving turkey meatloaf “cupcakes.” Or if you prefer the real thing, you can try the red velvet cupcake afterwards.

Booth 52:
On Columbus Dr. between Balbo Dr. and Congress Dr.

Vee-Vee’s African Restaurant

If you want to try more African food, head over to VeeVee’s booth. They’ll be offering sautéed goat meat with either jollof rice or fried plantain. If you’re not too adventurous, and the idea of goat meat isn’t appetizing, they are also serving up red beans and rice with grilled jerk chicken.

Booth 26:
Southeast corner of Jackson Dr. and Columbus Dr.



Starfruit Café

If you’re looking for something to wash down all of the interesting meat you’ll be eating, go to the Starfruit Café to try their frozen kefir. Kefir, named for the Turkish word meaning good feeling, is a frozen treat similar to yogurt but instead of having only two to three probiotics it has ten. Many neuropathic doctors think this is a great natural cure for digestive troubles, which might be exactly what you’ll need after eating all that food. Try the birthday cake flavor with two toppings or have a choice of strawberry, pomegranate or original.

Booth 55:
On Columbus Dr. near Balbo Dr.




If you’d like to try what they call on their website a “melding of contemporary Indian and Latin American cuisines” then walk over to this booth. For dessert they’re serving a ginger dusted crisp apple fritter with mango cardamom sauce. Or before you try the dessert, you can eat a pulled beef sandwich with crisped onion and mint mayo.

Booth 6:
On Columbus Dr. in between E. Monroe Dr. and Jackson Dr.

Rachel Azark is a writer and lives on Chicago’s northwest side. Read more of her work on her blog

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