Chicago Empanada Mama Making Debut in West Town

The new restaurant is expected to open sometime in April 2023
Chicago Empanada Mama Making Debut in West Town
Photo: Official
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A brand new restaurant called Chicago Empanada Mama is making its debut in West Town, located at 1703 W Chicago Ave.

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This woman-owned and operated business is answering the call for craft coffee, hand-made empanadas, and craft cocktails. Owner Inez Melendez recently applied for a liquor license in anticipation of opening her new restaurant in April 2023, according to the company’s website. On top of the delicious empanadas, customers can expect salads, Arroz con gandules (also known as Puerto Rican rice and beans), ceviche, and much more. These recipes are all inspired by her mother’s cooking.

“Empanadas have always been and remain that special item on the table that means family will be gathering,” according to the company’s website. “Empanadas are rich, savory hand-made pies made filled with delicious savory ingredients, folded into light, flaky crust that is deep fried or air-fried to perfection.”

On top of being inspired by her mother’s cooking, Melendez, who was born and raised in Chicago, takes pride in her parent’s Caribbean heritage, both coming from Puerto Rico. There, her mother’s food was the talk of the town. She hopes to honor her mother’s cooking and family’s heritage with this new restaurant. Customers are encouraged to come in the morning for coffee or stay late for a cocktail. This is not to be confused with Empanada Mama & The Pie Man, located in Lake View East at 2933 N Broadway.

Chicago Empanada Mama Making Debut in West Town
Photo: Official

Joey Reams

Born in San Diego, Joey moved to San Francisco to study Music Journalism at San Francisco State University. There, he worked for several publications, including The Culture Trip and RIFF Magazine, and served as the News Editor at Golden Gate Xpress. Joey previously worked as the News Assignment Editor for Pasadena Now. When he’s not working, you can find him exploring new cities, finding delicious food, and having fun at concerts.
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