If you are of Czech heritage, you certainly understand the joy of a great Czech style meal. Even if you’re not, a visit to one of these wonderful Chicagoland restaurants will have you singing the praises of Czech food and drink. Here’s a list of a few of our favorites…
The greater Chicago area has one of the largest Czech and Bohemian heritage populations in America. It’s no surprise then that you will find numerous culinary gems in and around Chicago celebrating these cultures.
Most of the Czech population in Chicago is located in the near western suburbs. Suburban villages like Berwyn, Stickney, Cicero, and Brookfield all host large Czech, Slovak, and Bohemian heritage communities. Located about 20 minutes west of downtown Chicago, these suburbs are home to three of the best Czech restaurants in America. Let’s take a closer look…
Klas Restaurant: Cicero
Klas is the grand daddy of all of these wonderful restaurants, having opened its doors in 1922. It’s a huge place and has hosted numerous dignitaries over the years.
These days, Klas is open on weekends and for banquets during the week. The interior is a treasure trove of antiques and authentic items from Bohemia and the Czech Republic. And the only thing more authentic than the decor is the food!
The dumplings here are other worldly, as is the goulash and any of the pork dishes. This is a great place to kick back and enjoy a wonderful meal with friends and family, and to soak up some local history as well.
Czech Plaza: Berwyn
Just minutes away from Klas, in the next suburb west actually, is Czech Plaza, an authentic destination for home cooked food for almost 50 years. It is conveniently located on Cermak Road, making it easy to reach from anywhere in the Chicago area.
The beautiful bar area is a destination in itself, but you will want to focus on the great food. Served in large portions at ultra reasonable prices, it may just become one of your favorites.
We are big fans of the Bohemian meatloaf here. Although we don’t know the recipe, we believe it to be a combination of ground pork and beef. It’s hearty, mildly spiced, and worth going out of your way for. Another good choice is the Farmers Platter, a sampling of several dishes on the menu, and perfect for those who are unfamiliar with the cuisine.
Moldau Restaurant: Brookfield
About 10 short minutes west of Berwyn is the village of Brookfield, bisected by busy Ogden Avenue. Ogden runs all the way from downtown Chicago out to west central Illinois, also going by the name Route 34. It is one of the main commercial strips in Brookfield, and where you’ll find Moldau Restaurant.
Moldau has long been one of our favorites, being just minutes from our high school alma mater. It’s a small place, but big on flavor. The hours here are early and the place usually closes by about 8 p.m., so plan on an early dinner
Any of the pork platters are outstanding at Moldau. Roast pork with sauerkraut and dumplings is as good as it gets! Save room for dessert and coffee. It comes with the meal, as is the tradition in these restaurants, but it’s really easy to fill up before hand.