African American Restaurants in Chicago, Illinois

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Chicago has several well-known African American, or soul food, restaurants. Many of the traditional soul food dining institutions are on the city's South Side, where there is a large African American population; however, newer establishments serving soul food can be found throughout the city. Typical African American cuisine may include catfish, collard greens with meat, cornbread, yams, ribs, black-eyed peas and grits.

Army & Lou's

  • Established in 1945 by an African American family, Army & Lou's is a long-standing Chicago dining tradition on the city's South Side. The restaurant serves some of the freshest Southern cooking in the region and has been a gathering place for community members and local politicians, including Chicago's first African American mayor, Harold Washington. The environment and dress is casual. Local artists perform live jazz music every Friday and Saturday night. Every first Sunday of the month for the after-church crowd, a full buffet is available that includes croquettes, catfish, baby beef liver, eggs, ham and blackberry cobbler. There is also a private party room.

    Army & Lou's
    422 East 75th St.
    Chicago, IL 60619
    773-483-3100
    armyandlous.com

MacArthur's Restaurant

  • Another mainstay of Chicago's African American food scene is MacArthur's Restaurant, on the city's West Side. Large portions of short ribs, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese and collard greens are served at affordable prices. Opened in 1997, MacArthur's has become a community staple. The atmosphere is family friendly and a full catering menu is available.

    MacArthur's Restaurant
    5412 W. Madison St.
    Chicago, IL 60644
    773-261-2316
    macarthursrestaurant.com

Marvin's Restaurant

  • Marvin’s Restaurant, on the city's far West Side, offers traditional Southern and soul food. The owner is from the rural South, as is much of its clientele. Daily specials include turkey leg, pork neck bone stew, beef liver, ham hock and gumbo. The atmosphere is cozy with an old-school vibe, and plates are served on cafeteria trays. According to the Chicago News Cooperative, the restaurant is "in a neighborhood of shuttered buildings and graffiti-strewn rail cars," and is a "beacon for the working class and a favorite of the older crowd that feels at home here."

    Marvin's Restaurant
    901 S. Cicero Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60644
    773-261-4314

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  • Photo Credit ribs with green beans image by jovica antoski from Fotolia.com
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