Jan 26 2023

Spanish Flavor in the Windy City: Chicago Gastroguide

Chicagoans warmly embrace the flavors of Spain, so it’s time we checked out the certified Restaurants From Spain across the windy city - enter the Chicago Gastroguide!

The name Chicago translates loosely as “smelly onion”, derived from a native garlic plant that grew all along the Chicago river. It’s no wonder then that Chicagoans warmly embrace all the aromatic flavors Spanish cuisine has to offer at their certified Restaurants From Spain. So pull up a stool and let’s check out the tapas scene across the Windy City. 

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba 

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba opened in 1985 and has been serving an array of tasty tapas, pintxos and paella to its Lincoln Park punters ever since. Spacious and welcoming, it’s ideal for groups, with plenty of sharing options. Aside from its staple Spanish seafood and meats, it also has an impressive vegetarian offering. 

Must-try: Ibérico croquetas with sherry aioli

Lil’ Ba-Ba-Reeba! 

The little sister venue to its Cafe counterpart, Lil’ Ba-Ba-Reeba over in River North caters to the bustling dining scene there, with its main dining room reminiscent of an old Spanish bodega. Relax and soak up the vibe with some tapas and sangria - made to share!

Must-try: Tortilla española made-to-order

Jaleo by José Andrés 

Creating its own ruckus in the same River North district of Chicago, Jaleo by José Andrés https://joseandres.com/ is one of four such concepts across the country by the celebrated chef. The flamboyant, vintage diner-esque style is a fun backdrop to an innovative menu, which captures the essence of Spanish cuisine from across the regions.

Must-try: Jaleo Classics Tasting Menu

Mama Delia 

Part restaurant, sherry bar and ultramarino store combined, Mama Delia is a daydream of Spanish dining, as concocted by Bonhomme Group and partner chef Marcos Campos. Its many elegant-yet-kooky nooks inspire you to try the hyper-seasonal dishes on the menu - which, by the way, is themed after Almodóvar movies. Marrying tradition with modern twists, expect chocolate and jamón or scallops with Galician seaweed cream and XO.

Must-try: Paella Valenciana (by the Valencian chef)