Foodies Chicago: Cafe LaGuardia

Cuban family tradition finds a home in Bucktown

Chicago is a city full of many Latino cultures, but when it comes to Cubans, only 8,000 call the city home.

But despite that relatively small number, the island's culinary culture is well-represented, and leading the way is Bucktown's Cafe LaGuardia (2111 W. Armitage Ave.).

"My dad always said we had to introduce America to Cuba, and the way to do that is to open up this restaurant,"

Carlos' father started the family's culinary tradition by opening a combined restaurant, grocery store and bar in the town of Baino, just outside of Havana in the 1950s. The business closed its doors a decade later, refusing to operate under the new communist rules.

The family moved to the U.S. in the 1970s, and carried on the tradition by eventually opening a Chicago version of Cafe LaGuardia.

"Good food, we treat you like family and you can just enjoy yourself," La Guardia says.

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