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Where to Find Tantalizing African Cuisine in Chicago

There’s no shortage of African cuisine in Chicago, but it’s often been overlooked or misunderstood by American diners. As interest in African culture grows across the globe, however, more people are expressing interest in African cuisine, and Chicago affords great options for delicious exploration. Badara “Badou” Diakhate is the owner/chef behind this Rogers Park restaurant specializing in Senegalese fare with a few soul food dishes, too. His specialty is a jambalaya of okra cooked in a thick tomato sauce with onion, shrimp, and smoked turkey. There’s also boulette, a Senegalese beef patty accompanied by braised collard greens, and bissap, a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage of hibiscus, anis, vanilla, and mint. Long before Chicago had a food truck scene, Vee Vee’s was on the road with traditional West African fare that was snapped up by hungry taxi drivers during lunchtime. The Rogers Park restaurant has also been a long-time staple at the Taste of Chicago, making it one of the most recognized African restaurants in the city.