A couple years ago I vacationed in Costa Rica, and though I quickly learned giant spiders and unidentifiable lizards weren’t my thing, the trip did solidify my love affair with Costa Rican cuisine.
Luckily I was able to find the same flavorful fulfillment in Chi-town when I stumbled upon a modest looking hacienda serving the same traditional home-cooked Costa Rican fare I so savored. Irazu (named after the highest volcano in Costa Rica), is a true hole-in-the-wall joint, serving tasty and cheap food. The menu is loaded with creative culinary dishes including Chicharron (deep fried pork with boiled yucca), Chile Relleno (poblano pepper stuffed with cheese), Pepito sandwiches (rib eye steak, sautéed onions, cheese, beans and Lizano sauce), Onioned Steak, and Arroz con Huevo. For more of the norm, you can also enjoy steak tacos (only $1.95), an award-winning vegetarian burritos, as well as Milanesa and Chicken Sandwiches.
I also recommend checking out their fresh juice shakes in flavors like mora (blackberry), parcha (passion fruit), and pina (pineapple).
Irazu is the only Costa Rican restaurant in Chicago and the food is down-right delicious, especially for the price. Plus it’s BYOB. This is a great spot for an expensive, no frills dinner out with friends or a casual and fun date.
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