A curious thing happened when Latinicity opened its doors late last year. Similar to Eataly before it, Chicagoans descended upon the Latin food hall en masse, so much so that the complex was all but depleted of food after opening weekend. It boded well for the ambitious concept, which boasts multiple food stalls, a full-service restaurant, a bar, a coffee shop, a market and even an art gallery. But in the months to follow, crowds ebbed and a general air of discontent waved over Latinicity. Sure, it still draws lines during the weekday lunch rush, largely due to its central location in the heart of the Loop, but Latinicity should be packing them in for dinner and drinks as well. Perhaps in reaction to the surge of food halls popping up all over the country, it became almost trendy to rebel and nitpick Latinicity. It’s unfortunate, because this dismisses the groundbreaking work the food hall is accomplishing in the Loop, almost single-handedly beckoning a new era of dining in a neighborhood notoriously lacking in diversity, nightlife and dining options beyond mediocre fast-casual lunches. We’re here to defend Latinicity and champion it for all the good it’s doing.
Must Order: The Choripan hot dog from the Burguesa stall is utterly habit-forming. It’s the type of sandwich that completely monopolizes your lunch plans, made with a a griddled Argentine-style sausage, Provolone, aïoli and a verdant green herb chimichurri. Elsewhere, the Sopas stall makes a particularly mean tortilla soup and the arroz aeropuerto from Chaufa-Wok is a delicious mix of crispy noodles, fried rice, meats, seafood and chaufa sauce.
108 N. State St.; 312-795-4444