Savory or sweet? Fried or baked? There are so many delicious choices when it comes to Empanadas. Historically, Empanadas came from Spain and Portugal and were originally classified as “the working man’s food” and stuffed with seafood. These days, you can find just about anything in these easy-to-carry pockets of dough. From meat to cinnamon-covered apples, these empanada spots across the city satisfy your cravings, no matter what they are. Also, don’t forget to check out our Tamale guide if you enjoy wrapped goodies!
2850 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657
3715 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
2045 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
5411 Empanadas has three locations across Chicago, and for good reason! Their expansive menu features empanadas with fillings like the all-time favorite onions, beef, and diced potatoes and decadent options like bacon, dates, and goat cheese. When enjoying one of their crispy empanadas, one of the most important aspects of the meal is what you dip it in. With excellent, tangy sauces like chimichurri and red hot sauce, your choice of empanada will only be elevated by the mixtures of herbs and spices.
90 Miles Cuban Cafe
2540 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
In 1980, the Gonzalez family made their way to the US on a shrimp boat to Key West, which is, you guessed it, 90 miles from Cuba. After working their way up to Chicago, 90 Miles Cuban Cafe was founded. Since keeping close to the cultural roots of Cuba is a huge part of the Gonzalez family’s mission, you’ll find the same authenticity in their food. On this menu you’ll of course find empanadas. With filling choices like mozzarella, shrimp, or their empanada of the month. You can get your empanadas in orders of 1, 3, or 6, and like they say, go big or go home!
Irazu Costa Rican Dining
1865 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
As we continue on our tour de empanadas, we move south of Cuba to Irazu Costa Rican Dining. Since 1990, the Cerdas-Salazar family has been serving up traditional Costa Rican cuisine including delicious empanadas, tacos, and sandwiches. The tough decision comes when you need to decide what to fill your empanada with: spinach and cheese, beef and potato, jalapeño and cheese, and plantains. And, remember to bring a bottle of your favorite liquor to wash down your meal because Irazu also offers BYO pitchers of piña coladas, limeade pitchers, and their seasonal varieties.
Inside Revival Food Hall, 125 S Clark St, Chicago, IL 60603
With multiple locations, an extensive menu, and filling styles inspired by the cooking of Mexico City, Lito’s Empanadas is a standout in the city when it comes to delicious bites. Here, you can eat empanadas for any meal, which is only due partly to the shops opening mid-morning. With the bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast empanada, kick your morning off right with the most important meal. Looking for an afternoon pick-me-up? Try one of the dessert-style empanadas like banana and Nutella or apples and cinnamon.
Empanada Mama & The Pie Man
2933 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
Since empanadas are technically just hand pies, this next spot is the perfect place to get the best of both worlds. At Empanada Mama & The Pie Man, you might ask the age-old, Shakespearean question, “what’s in a name”? But here, the answer is right in front of you: empanadas and pies! Featuring full menus of both savory and sweet options of mouthwatering baked goods, you can choose a meat-filled empanada for your main meal and a tart fruit-filled pie to save for later!
2566 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
Been craving an empanada but recently switched to a plant-based diet? Look no further than Fons Empanadas! These plant powered dough pockets are full of exciting flavors, fresh ingredients, and natural color. Made with versatile fruits and veggies like jackfruit, fragrant onions, mushrooms, and the ever-versatile potatoes. From the fillings to the dough, everything here is plant based. Ingredients like chia seeds, spinach, and tomatoes. So whether it’s for you or your vegan bestie, a trip to Fons for empanadas is a must.
1450 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
Just when we thought ThreeHouse couldn’t get any better, they added a cocktail menu. Intertwined with the classic drinks are house classics like a Henny Colada and spiked Frescas. For the perfect combination of sweet and savory, be sure to order their empanadas. Braised beef, chicken tinga, and potato and cheese make up their empanada offerings, and they pair perfectly with their other menu items like the fried chicken sandwich and brisket Cuban. So, get ready and head out to help ThreeHouse celebrate their Re-Grand Opening because the real party is just beginning!
Featured Image: Lito’s Empanadas