I finally tried the new cafeteria style restaurant, Latinicity. If you search it, you will find mixed reviews of the place. I personally enjoyed it.
Latinicity is the Latin American counterpart to Eataly. It is found on State Street, in the mall-type building labeled Block 37. When I first walked in I thought the space looked tiny, but once you take a left, the cafeteria turns into a neighborhood feel. By that, I mean it feels like you are walking down a street with different vendors. The vendors (or counters, as they call them) serve sandwiches (tortas), salads, tacos, burgers, seafood, ceviche, sushi, chaufa wok, soups, a grill, a cafe, and a full bar.
The two things I thought were great ideas that they don’t do at Eataly are:
1. They give you a credit card. You can get something from different counters, and pay only once at the end.
2. They have open seating in the back so you aren’t stuck eating at one counter.
As for the food, I went straight to the taco bar. I am pretty basic when it comes to tacos. I like carne asada on a corn tortilla with cilantro and onions. I tried the carne asada, the pork carnitas, and the barbacoa. I was sharing, so we decided to add guacamole to them (extra $2.00), and some cheese. We also decided to split the chori-frita burger (if you haven’t tried chorizo, you need to). Both were very good, and I don’t understand why there were bad reviews. Of course, I didn’t try anything with seafood (I’ve never been a fan of ceviche, sorry dad).
The drinks at the bar were overpriced and didn’t have much taste, but I feel like most drinks in downtown Chicago are overpriced. The cafe offered desserts as well, but neither fried ice cream nor horchata. I did see Mexican donuts, but it was almost 10 p.m., and I figured they wouldn’t be fresh. I decided to pass.
Latinicity also had a small market where you could buy chorizo sausage, any flavor Jarritos, different kinds of beans, paella mixes, and tortilla warmers.
While it may not be as big as Eataly, I think Latinicity is a great place to try if you are in the mood for Latin American food but don’t have the time to travel. The atmosphere is a great place to relax and eat while taking a break from studying before finals start in 4 weeks.