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La Unica

View Map1515 W. Devon Ave., Chicago
Tel: (773) 274-7788
Fax: (773) 274-7785
Details Find What Else Is Nearby La Unica User Reviews

Editorial Review of La Unica

I've never met a tamale I didn't love, and this Cuban cafeteria in the back of a full-service grocery store whips 'em out with the best of them. The firm, Cuban-style tamale is stuffed with tender bits of pork and soft green peppers, and comes covered in rich pork drippings. Lots of bite-size treats are on the menu for less than a few dollars (creamed ham croquettes, yucca covered in garlicky mojo, beef-stuffed empanadas) and the old-timers chillin' at the dozen or so tables seem to have a you-can-never-drink enough coffee attitude.

Those in the know order a strong cup to go and graze around the grocery store (pinata anyone?) while their pressed-for-ten-minutes Cuban sandwich is prepared. It's fascinating to simply watch who rolls into the sparsely decorated restaurant, like smiling butchers hauling huge slabs of meat. No matter the clientele, there's something in the grocery aisles for everyone, including a small hardware display. After loading up on groceries, walk a few paces and get a hot plate of homemade ox tail, smoked pork loin, beef tongue or stewed turkey leg. Just make sure to save room for some of the wildly sweet flan; it's a real steal at $1.49 per piece.

Average cost: <$10

Centerstage Reviewer: Misty Tosh

User Reviews

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8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Directions to La Unica

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La Unica was mentioned in these articles...

A Hearty Homecoming, 5/29/08
Upon her return to Chicago, Misty plans to feast on all the foods she's missed.

Hands-on Feasting, 12/24/07
After vowing to try somewhere new, Misty lands some affordable Indo/Pak cuisine.

South of the Border Slurping , 11/13/07
Latin American versions of chicken soup mix things up in your bowl.

Tamale Lust, 7/31/07
You may think you know tamales, but you don't. We've unwrapped the city's best bundles of goodness.

Checking Out Paradise, 7/9/07
Supermercado Chapala's tender carnitas, memorable guac and friendly patrons give Misty a taste of paradise.

Five Foods I'm Loving, 5/29/07
Misty sings praises of her current can't-live-without foods.

Spoonful of Paradise, 3/12/07
We can't all head to Isla Mujeres like Misty, but we can hit up for favorite international spots.

La Unica One for Me, 1/22/07
Misty craves Cuban tamales all the way home from South Africa.

Chicago Eats, North to South, 9/25/06
From Chinatown cookies to La Unica coffee, Misty was on the prowl last weekend.

Drinking in Cafe con Leche, 4/25/06
Misty's lunch is (of course) full of food...and charming conversation.

To the Market We Go, 4/23/06
Stuff your tummy and your shopping cart at these ethnic markets.

Munching Down Maxwell, 9/26/05
Chicago's big, bad Mexican street market wows.


chicago, metromix