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Critics' pick
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Photograph: Jason Little
The pastries at Cafecito make it a top Cuban restaurant in Chicago.
South Loop

You don’t have to claim a bunk at the adjacent Hostel International to get your hands on one of this café’s ridiculously good Cuban sandwiches. Sure, sides of roasted eggplant, cannellini bean salad and briny artichokes are flavorful, but there’s no confusion over the star of the show: The Cubano’s crusty bread is toasted just right, its roast pork juicy, its pickles thick, and its mustard and gooey cheese plentiful. And once it’s devoured, only a potent café con leche will keep you from calling the café’s comfy couch home for the day.

Venue name: Cafecito
Address: 26 E Congress Pkwy

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7am-9pm; Sat, Sun 10am-6pm
Transport: El stop: Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Library; Red, Blue to Jackson.
Price: Average sandwich: $6
1 person listening