For fast food in Markham's Markham neighborhood, check out the burger menu at White Castle.
The restaurant also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of White Castle to your next party or event.
Pull into one of the many parking spaces nearby if you choose to drive to the restaurant.
You won't need to save up for a trip to White Castle — most meals cost less than $15.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at White Castle, so come by whenever it fits your schedule.
Whether you're a party animal or an early riser, the restaurant will be open to serve you 24 hours a day.
Remember White Castle next time you're craving a hearty burger in seconds flat. A quick delicious meal is right around the corner.
So swing by White Castle the next time you need a quick and tasty dining option for lunch or dinner.
Need a taco fix in a hurry? Taco Bell will fill your belly pronto (and keep your wallet happy too).
Taco Bell welcomes all kinds of diets, so gluten-free, low-fat, and vegan diners will find many tasty options to choose from on the menu.
Bring your whole brood to this restaurant, where families can dig in to tasty and kid-friendly fare together.
For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
Parking can be a pain in the neck, but it's as available as ever near the restaurant.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Taco Bell is a great dining option for any time of day.
Quick and easy is the name of the game when it comes to Mexican food at Taco Bell.
When you live on the go, you shouldn't have to settle for low quality. Pick up some deluxe fast food from Taco Bell today.
Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits' chicken — cooked just the way you like it — is a must-try in Markham's Markham area.
Great place to bring the whole family with great food and a business casual dress code.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits' tasty dishes at your next party.
Restaurant customers can take advantage of the nearby parking options.
Cut out the sky-high price tags, add incredible flavor and an awesome menu and what do you get? Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits is the answer to finding great food at even better prices!
The portions at Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits are sizable and beyond delicious, so there's no reason not to stop by soon.
Chicken is anything but boring at Exsenator's Bar-B-Que.
Both the young and the young-at-heart will dig the family-oriented menu and ambience at this restaurant.
Need to get out of the house? Order and pick up from this restaurant.
You can also serve food from Exsenator's Bar-B-Que at your next party — the restaurant offers catering.
At Exsenator's Bar-B-Que, diners can score a guaranteed parking spot close to the restaurant.
Exsenator's Bar-B-Que s moderately-priced platters and top-notch taste bring foodies back to Exsenator's Bar-B-Que time and time again.
Isn't it time you ditched simple fast-food chicken and took advantage of Exsenator's Bar-B-Que's delicious offerings?
Just because you're rushing doesn't mean you have to miss out on a delicious meal — Markham's Johnny's Wee Nee Wagon will fill you up in a hurry.
Johnny's Wee Nee Wagon is a local restaurant that accommodates both large and small groups.
Outdoor seating is ready for diners on those warm summer days.
You can also grab your grub to go.
Dine at Johnny's Wee Nee Wagon and keep your car safely parked in a nearby lot.
For those who prefer to travel by bike, Johnny's Wee Nee Wagon is a great option due to its generous bike parking options.
When you have a big appetite, but little time, be sure to stop by Johnny's Wee Nee Wagon for your next meal.
Don't let your hectic schedule get in the way of a tasty meal — head over to Markham's McDonald's for an ultra-fast lunch or dinner.
Low-fat, gluten-free and anything else you've been looking for waits here.
McDonald's is a prime location to dine with a group.
Catering services are also available.
At McDonald's, drivers will appreciate the ample parking options in the area.
Spend your morning, afternoon, or evening at McDonald's, where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
If you only have time for a quick lunch break, make your way over to McDonald's and get your food in a jiffy.
Cindy Espinosa has cooked almost every dish on the menu at Nellie’s (2458 W. Division St.), the Humboldt Park luncheonette she co-owns with her husband, Pablo. Yet she’s never attempted mofongo, a dish of mashed fried plantains that’s a Puerto Rican tradition.
“I see it being made,” she said. “I know how it’s made, but I’ve never tried it.”
It’s easy to see why. The cooking process, which I watched unfold in Nellie’s kitchen, is pretty involved, with a lot of hand-mashing and frying. “It’s more of a Friday-night dinner type of thing,” Pablo said. “You might eat it once a month at home.”
Yet the final result—a dome of fried plantain that diners can moisten with a dip into housemade chicken broth—is worth the work. Here’s how Cindy and Pablo’s cook, Carmen, makes it.
Carmen first peels and chops green plantains, the same fruits used in the restaurant’s jibaritos and tostones. According to Pablo, the restaurant goes through a crate of about 50 green plantains every week.
Then Carmen tosses them into a deep-fryer with some chopped tocino, or pork lard. When the lard has cooked down to a salty, crispy crunch, she dumps it and the plantains into a type of mortar and pestle called a pilon. “Every Puerto Rican household should have one,” Cindy said. The pilon’s concave bottom is what gives a serving of mofongo its distinctive dome-like shape.
In Puerto Rico, you see “all types of sizes” of pilon, Pablo said. That includes some as large as a butter churn, which sit on the floor. Nellie’s is a tabletop model, about 6 inches tall, wooden, and covered in carvings. It makes only one portion of mofongo at a time, which can make things hectic for Carmen on a busy weekend day. (All that mashing “takes an arm,” Cindy said.)
Making mofongo to order gives the staff flexibility to tailor each serving. For instance, Carmen can leave out the tocino to make a vegetarian version of the dish. (Both Espinozas have been vegetarian for a year and a half.) Other versions on the menu include iterations with shrimp in place of tocino or with a mound of chicken, shrimp, or steak nestled inside the dome. Mofongo can also be a side order to fried chicken (chicharron de pollo) or fried pork.
I get to sample the classic, main-course version.
The mofongo dome appears next to a small silver tureen filled with housemade chicken broth for dipping. There is still a big chunk of meat and bone floating in it, as well as a big, soft carrot that I devour, savoring its umami flavors. Moistened with a little broth, the green plantains lose their fibrous dryness to become melt-in-your-mouth comfort food; the bits of tocino provide an occasional kick of salt.
I send a mental thank-you to Carmen’s arm for providing this food. I hope it was worth the work.
Photo credit: Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
To many Chicagoans, the neighborhoods south of Roosevelt Road seem to be a culinary wasteland. To Jimalita Tillman, Chicago native and executive director of the Harold Washington Cultural Center and Performing Arts Theatre (4701 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.), fine-dining opportunities definitely exist on the South Side—if you give them a chance.
Because many of these restaurants depend on word of mouth, Tillman said, the advertising budgets of their more northern competitors often trump their oral marketing, and so she often spends “all day” giving South Side restaurant recommendations to area visitors and theater-goers.
“There are many great places [to eat] throughout these areas,” she said. “It really depends on what you’re in the mood for.”
And if you're in the mood for a little musical and cultural Chicago history to pair with your meal, you don't have to travel far from the landmark arts center. The Harold Washington Cultural Center, in the former location of the historical Regal Theater where the likes of Ella Fitzgerald once performed, is right in the heart of the Black Metropolis—a region marked by the culture and Southern-inspired music scene that developed during the Great Migration. Today, Bronzeville is still flavored with leftovers from its swinging past.
To savor alongside your meal, we paired each of Tillman’s restaurant recommendations with a few musical, historical, and cultural tidbits.
4655 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Chicago, IL 60653
It’s the quick and personable service that makes this gourmet hot-dog eatery a standout, Tillman said. Of course, Chef Cliff Rome serves the usual Chicago-style hot dog, but it’s the varied wiener and burger options he creates that color H-Dogs’ menu with the fine-dining flair he perfected while studying in Paris. The Healthy Hound—a grilled veggie dog with sprouts, roasted peppers, red onions, and cucumbers—sits alongside salmon burgers, turducken sausages, and portobello-mushroom sandwiches without the least bit of tattletaling or fighting over who had the mustard first. Sweet-potato or truffle fries complete the gourmet-on-the-go experience.
Bite of History: The gourmet hot-dog diner sits in a historical building that was once known as 47th Street Marketplace. Before a 2010 fire destroyed the building, it was considered a symbol of the revitalization of Bronzeville and housed Tillman’s Spoken Word Cafe—one of the original hosts of HBO’s Def Poetry series hosted by hip-hop artist and actor Mos Def.
2. Pearl’s Place
3901 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60653
“I’m a breakfast head,” said Tillman—as are many in the crowd of diners waiting to get inside for brunch on any given Sunday. The kitchen cooks up a mix of Southern and soul food—yes, there’s a difference—but Pearl’s Place sprinkles it with the right amount of creole flavor. After sampling Pearl’s juicy yet crispy fried chicken, sautéed salmon croquettes, or all-day breakfasts of vegetable omelets or homestyle pancakes, it seems only right to finish with a bite or two of peach cobbler or sweet-potato pie.
Bite of History: The interior decor, with album jackets and vinyl records lining the walls, features a photo story of the neighborhood’s jazz and blues history with jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Lena Horne—all of whom graced the stage at the Regal Theater during Bronzeville’s musical heyday.
3. Norman’s Bistro
1001 E. 43rd St., Chicago, IL, 60653
The bistro’s entrees—including vegetable confetti ravioli, smoked cranberry salmon, and the Great Duck burger—offer an upscale taste-bud experience at “South Side prices,” Tillman said. From the food to the decor, presentation is an art in this sleek and classy spot featuring creole-inspired American food with a Brazilian flair. In the exposed-brick, art-filled wine bar, sommeliers pour from an extensive list of wines. Separate from the dining room, the intimate setting of the bar creates an ideal spot for the happy-hour crowd.
Bite of Culture: On Sundays at 9 p.m., the bistro hosts a live jazz jam session. Or make an appointment and walk over to Gallery Guichard—housed in a turn-of-the-20th-century Italiante row house—to peruse its African-diaspora art and blown glass, sculptures, and photography by local as well as international artists.
Photography by Andrew Nawrocki.
Clockwise from top: Birria in action—rich, briny consommé and tender goat meat, stewed for hours with bay leaves, cinnamon, and other spices. // Ceramic bowls absorb the birria's heat, keeping the broth warm throughout meals. // When Rick Bayless recommended Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan to "Esquire" magazine, he described the eatery’s birria as "full of flavor, incredibly homey and satisfying."
In Ocotlán in Jalisco, Mexico, the temperature rarely dips below 40 degrees. That's mild by Chicago standards; however, when the Reyes family immigrated 2,000 miles from Ocotlán to Chicago, they brought with them a recipe that would prove thoroughly compatible with the colder weather. That recipe is birria—a savory stew made by simmering goat meat for hours with herbs and spices. On a cold day in mid-March, I made a trek across town to the family's Pilsen restaurant, Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan, to taste it myself.
As soon as I entered the eatery, I smelled the warm, rich aroma of simmering goat meat. Goats were also present in the decor: miniature replicas decorated shelves and cupboards, and a mounted goat head kept watch over the booths, a toothpick dangling humorously from its lips.
After I ordered birria at the counter, a server presented me with three dishes. The smallest held pickled onions and lime wedges, which are traditional birria condiments, and an oblong basket cradled warm, fresh tortillas. The largest bowl brimmed with rich, briny consommé, chopped onions and cilantro, and hunks of tender goat meat.
The first spoonful of broth tasted bright and smoky with hints of ancho peppers and cinnamon. I separated a piece of goat meat with light pressure from my spoon. Leaner than beef, the meat still had pieces of bone inside, which infused the meat with the flavor of their marrow. The crisp onions and fragrant cilantro stood out against the birria's savory elements to create a harmony of flavors that was especially comforting on a cold day.