In years past, the words "Food Hall" conjured up images of cafeteria-style aesthetics with gloppy pizza and soggy iceberg. In downtown Chicago, that phrase now means diners can choose from a wide variety of excellent options. A prime example of this is Latinicity.
This particular concept is the brainchild of Chef Richard Sandoval, a successful restaurateur who has multiple restaurants around the world, including Baptiste and Bottle and Noyane in Chicago, as well as Pueblo, which is located inside Latinicity.
Showcasing the cuisine of Latin America, this food hall is located on the third floor of Block 37 above Chicago's busy Loop. There are eight kitchens offering takes on street food, a full bar and lounge, a coffee cafe, and a Mexican restaurant:
Burgers, hotdogs and fries get a little Latin kick with flavorful sauces, cheeses and breads.
Peruvian-style stir fry blended with Asian flavors.
Build your own salad with fresh ingredients and artisan dressings.
Fresh seafood, including a raw bar, prepared with Latin cooking styles and ingredients.
SALADERO LATIN GRILL
Brazilian steaks, roasted chicken and a variety of sides.
SUSHI & CEVICHE BAR
Choose between ceviche, sushi, poke or discover a combination of the three.
A design-your-own Mexican restaurant lets you choose your perfect combination for tacos, burritos and bowls.
TORTAS & MOLLETES
These artisanal Latin sandwiches start with open-faced sandwhiches and are filled with ingredients like crispy chicken, carne asada and melted cheeses.
What separates Latinicity from other food halls is that, instead of renting out kitchens to different vendors, they run the entire space. At our Chef's Table event, Chef Marcos Flores said this means they're all under one direction, and that means a consistency of quality.
Our guests virtually visited multiple countries with a culinary tour. "We try to combine all these flavors and other cultures from South America under one roof," said Chef Marcos. This includes their beverage program, with options like a Peruvian prickly pear chilcano, traditional Braizilian caipirinha, the Mexican margarita, and Argentina's Tincho, a refreshing glass of sweet red wine with a squeeze of lime.
Acclaimed Chef Pablo Salas, who's been at the helm of Pueblo since October, also joined us and started us off with his Taquitos de Papa, which were crispy potato-filled taquitos with crema, Queso Anejo, and salsa verde. That, and the other delicious courses, are pictured below.
You'll definitely want to visit this exciting destination soon. Check out happy hour between 4 to 6pm Monday - Saturday for great drink specials, and don't miss their bottomless brunch every Sunday from 11am to 3pm. At only $19.99, it's a steal!
TLTip: Dine at Latinicity and only pay $5 for all-day parking at Block 37
They've also got monthly, hands-on cooking classes (for just $40 + tax), so you can take the magic of Latinicity home with you.
Taquitos de Papas
crispy potato filled taquitos / crema
Queso Anejo / salsa verde
Shrimp Ceviche with Habanero Broth
Avocado/ Orange segment/ Cilantro/Pickled Onion
Grilled apples, pears & slow roasted beets
apple-serrano dressing / goat cheese
POLLO EN PIPIAN VERDE
Garlic marinated grilled chicken breast/ Pipian Verde
chayote-potato mash/ grilled knob onions
Achiote Marinated/ Arugula & Heart of Palm
Grilled Skirt Steak
Chimichurri Sauce & Purple Mash Potato
Latinicity, in 60 seconds (more or less)
Latinicity is located on the 3rd floor of 108 N State St in Block 37