Visiting University Village - Little Italy, or just looking to better appreciate what it has to offer? Get to know this Chicago neighborhood by browsing its most popular local businesses, from a Mexican spot to a Vietnamese restaurant.
Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top places to visit in University Village - Little Italy, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of neighborhood businesses. Read on for the results.
1. Mario's Italian Lemonade
Topping the list is Mario's Italian Lemonade, a spot to score shaved ice and desserts. Located at 1068 W. Taylor St. (between Aberdeen and Carpenter streets), it's the highest-rated business in the neighborhood, boasting 4.5 stars out of 572 reviews on Yelp.
The business specializes in lemonade prepared with fresh squeezed lemons. Flavors include blue raspberry, cantaloupe, chocolate, coconut and more.
2. Chilango Mexican Street Food
Next up is Mexican spot Chilango Mexican Street Food, situated at 1437 W. Taylor St. (between Laflin and Bishop streets). With 4.5 stars out of 499 reviews on Yelp, it's proven to be a local favorite.
The restaurant specializes in Mexican cuisine from tacos and empanadas to burritos and guacamole. On the menu, look for the chicken tortilla soup or the taco salad with a choice of protein.
3. Lotus Cafe & Bánh Mì Sandwiches
Vietnamese spot Lotus Cafe & Bánh Mì Sandwiches, which offers sandwiches and more, is another top choice. Yelpers give the business, located at 719 W. Maxwell St. (between Union Avenue and Halsted Street), 4.5 stars out of 456 reviews.
The cafe specializes in banh mi sandwiches and offers a variety of Vietnamese cuisine. On the menu, look for the honey grilled pork with honey lemon grass sauce or the curry chicken rice bowl with jasmine rice.
4. Khaosan and Taylor
Khaosan and Taylor, a Thai spot that offers salads and more, is another neighborhood go-to, with four stars out of 125 Yelp reviews. Head over to 1104 W. Taylor St. (between May and Aberdeen streets) to see for yourself.
The Thai restaurant serves salads, soups, curry dishes and more. On the menu, look for the deep-fried catfish with eggplant and green beans or the marinated pork skewers with sweet and sour tamarind sauce.