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🇵🇷 Inside the jibarito’s Humboldt Park history

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


🇵🇷 History of the Jibarito

Chicagoans will come together for the Puerto Rican Fest and Parade this weekend in Humboldt Park with art, music, and food. 

And we’ll be celebrating with one of the city’s best foods: jibaritos, the fried plantain sandwiches stuffed with thinly sliced meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and garlic aioli 🤤

The origin story of the jibarito is a little squishy, but the sandwich has West Side roots and was popularized by Chicago’s Puerto Rican community. 

Juan C. “Pete” Figueroa was inspired to recreate the sandwich in the 1990s after reading about a version of it in El Vocero, a newspaper in Puerto Rico, according to Thrillist

He made the dish for his father, who suggested he serve it to customers at the original Borinquen Restaurant in Humboldt Park. That decision led to lines out the door and helped put the eatery on the map, the Tribune reported. 

Jibaritos are popular today across the city and country. Sure, they might not be as well-known as Chicago foods like deep-dish pizza or hot dogs, but there’s a whole genre of underhyped foods from the 312

Where to find a jibarito in the city? Here are a few suggestions.

Que Rico!
📍 Back of the Yards
🍽️ Pork jibarito

The Jibarito Stop 
📍 Pilsen
🍽️ Veggie, vegan jibaritos

Papa’s Cache Sabroso
📍 Humboldt Park
🍽️ Chicken jibarito

Jibaritos on Harlem
📍 Dunning
🍽️ Seafood jibarito

Janellie’s Kitchen
📍 Humboldt Park
🍽️ Jibarito sliders

Borinquen Lounge
📍 North Center
🍽️ Steak jibarito

🎧 Joshua Smyser-DeLeon of the “Paseo Podcast” tells us about the history of Puerto Ricans in Chicago and the love he has for his culture ahead of this weekend’s fest.


Sponsored by Active Transportation Alliance: Register for Bike the Drive Presented by Fifth Third Bank

Active Transportation Alliance is excited to announce that registration for the 21st annual Bike the Drive presented by Fifth Third Bank is officially open! 

This year’s ride on a car-free DuSable Lake Shore Drive will be Sept. 4 at 6:30 a.m. — instead of 5:30 a.m. Youth tickets are $18, and adult tickets start at $48. 

🚲 Register at 53bikethedrive.org today before prices rise! 

📰 Newsfeed

Machete-wielding robber charged. A 35-year-old man faces armed robbery charges related to attacks in Avondale. [Block Club]

Keeping alder’s seat in the fam? Nearly 20 people are vying to represent the 24th Ward as alder, which Michael Scott Jr. vacated. His sister Monique, a Park District supervisor, is an applicant. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has to fill the West Side seat by Aug. 6. [WTTW]

Local Starbucks union wins, losses. Workers at the Hyde Park location voted to unionize Tuesday, the first South Side location of the coffee chain to join the national movement. The Loop and Logan Square locations lost their elections this week. [Hyde Park Herald]

One Summer job apps close Friday. Chicagoans ages 14–24 can apply for paid positions in healthcare, tech, media, and finance. [City of Chicago]

Transport tastebuds back to 1893 World’s Fair. Fulton Market restaurant Next is putting its (pricey) spin on foods and drinks that debuted at the fair like Cracker Jack, hot dogs, and Pabst Blue Ribbon. [WGN]


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Pic 1: A Black man, white woman, and Latinx woman with masks pose in front of a City Cat Chicago sign. Pic 2: The same people give a presentation to a group of people.
City Cast’s Jacoby Cochran, Carrie Shepherd, and Simone Alicea and attendees at Chi Hack Night at the Civic Opera Building Tuesday. (Chi Hack Night / City Cast)

Thanks to our friends who came to Chi Hack Night Tuesday. We shared what we’ve learned since we launched, and how we’ve integrated into Chicago’s media scene.

But if you missed us, that’s OK! You can rewatch the event, or catch City Cast’s Jacoby Cochran zipping, zapping, and zooming all over Chicago.

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June 20: Congressional public safety forum at First Presbyterian Church
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Where would you like to meet us next? Trivia at a bar? Tabling a booth at a street fest? Volunteering at a park? Reply, and let us know!


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