Tucked inside Block 37, on the third floor, you will find Latinicity, a food hall and lounge serving Latin street food from 10 different food counters. Think of it as an upscale food court with top quality food and a restaurant-like atmosphere. Recently some of my girl friends and I gathered at Latinicity for a big Saturday lunch, and we tried a solid chunk of Latinicity’s 99+ menu items.
In some ways, Latinicity is similar to Eataly. There are several separate food counters, grocery items, and a full service restaurant. Unlike Eataly, there is communal seating, so that you and your friends and gather food from different counters and eat together. The chef describes the counters as being similar to food trucks, each having their own specialities and menus.
The counters include Torta & Cocas (cocas are flatbreads), Sushi & Ceviche, Chaufa – Wok (Chaufa is a Peruvian style stir fry – it’s excellent), Saladero Grill (a meat focused counter), Ensaladas (salads), Mariscos (seafood), Marchefe Taqueria (tacos, burritos, and bowls), Burguesa (burgers), Sopas (soups), Coffee Shop, and there is also a full bar.
After a quick tour of all the food counters, the girls and I divided and conquered each picking items from different counters to share. We assembled quite the spread of food, and this photo was just the start.
The Cocas (from Tortas & Cocas) were very good. The Wild Mushroom with caramelized onions, Truffle oil, and manchego is on the left, and the Braised Shortrib with veggies, chimichurri, and cotija cheese on the right were crisp on the bottom and each had a generous amount of toppings. The Wild Mushroom was my personal favorite – I love anything with mushrooms, cheese, and caramelized onions.
The empanadas from Saladero Grill were absolutely wonderful. I tried both the Smoked Corn and the Beef and Caramelized Onion empanadas. The smoked corn was creamy on the inside with a slightly smokey flavor while the beef empanada was rich and meaty with plenty of sweet caramelized onions. I could eat the corn empanadas daily.
Latinicity’s guacamole is available at multiple counters, and the portion is big and perfect for sharing. The guac itself is citrusy and not spicy.
The Croquettes de Bacalao, salt cod croquettes with garlic and potatoes from Moriscos were crunchy on the outside and light and almost creamy on the inside. The chef loves them so much that he brought them over to the table for us to taste.
The Pork Al Pastor and the Beef Barbacoa tacos are made with slowly cooked meats. The Al Pastor was topped with pineapple, cheese, and cilantro, while the beef taco has pickled onions, cheese, and cilantro. You can also customize the toppings.
Latinicity has composed salads created by the chefs, as well as the option for you to build your own salad. I didn’t even try the salad because I was really focused on carbs.
I loved the Lomo Saltado Chaufa. The stir fry made with homemade noodles had hanger steak, tomato, onion, cilantro, and soy jus with crispy fries on the side. I was unfamiliar with the Peruvian street food before this trip to Latinicity, but I think I am hooked now! I forgot to take a photo of the chaufa, but you can see it in the bottom of this photo that Lindsey took.
Our feast ended with tres leeches cake from the Coffee Shop. Just when we all thought that we were full, we couldn’t stop eating this moist cake.
And we washed it all down with cocktails from the bar. I tried the red sangria which was excellent. My friend Lindsey raved about the Passion Fruit Pisco Sour too!
Looking for a fun date night idea? There is an AMC on the fourth floor of Block 37, so you can dine at Latinicity and then head upstairs to see a movie. Or, if you work in the loop, Latinicity is a great place to swing by for lunch. If I worked in the loop I think I would be going to get empanadas everyday.
Latinicity can be found on the third floor of Block 37, at 108 North State Street. The Red and Blue Lines are accessible via the pedway, and the Brown Line is just a block away.