Usually, people venture out to Wicker Park for its hipster vibes and culture, with its quirky book shops, thrift stores, paint-your-own-shoes stores, and more. When my boyfriend and I made a special trip to Wicker Park for the day, little did we know that we were also about to embark on a food-filled adventure.
Our first stop when we arrived at Wicker Park was lunch. We did some quick research beforehand and settled on En Hakkore, which is self-described as having "counter-serve Korean classics & tacos, plus sandwiches & sushi in an eclectic space." The cute chalkboard menu, Asian sodas (Milkis, anyone?), and bright space created a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
We ordered one classic and one reinvented dish: the spicy pork bibimbap and Korean BBQ beef paratha tacos. The bibimbap came in a huge bowl piled high with fresh carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, beets, bean sprouts, and lots of other healthy ingredients. It was topped off with pork so juicy, spicy, and flavorful that I didn't even need any extra sauce with my bibimbap.
The crunchy texture of the veggies, warmth of the rice, and flavors of the pork blended together in some sort of perfect harmony, and I struggled to finish my huge bowl of bibimbap. It was definitely a good value for what I paid (~$10), and my boyfriend and I agreed that we would order it again.
Although Korean beef tacos seem like an odd combination, I was absolutely in love with them. We both thought that it beat out the bibimbap. The beef of course had that classic Korean BBQ flavor, but it was fused with En Hakkore sauce, which is similar to thousand island dressing. Topped off with spicy gochujang sauce, the tacos were packed full of flavor.
The best part of the tacos was not the beef, though. The secret was their version of the tortilla: paratha bread. Slightly thicker than your usual tortilla, the paratha bread was buttery, warm, and slightly flaky, adding texture to the taco. The tacos were also quite large, and I would've eaten two orders on my own if I could.
Stomachs full, we exited the restaurant satisfied. We wandered around for a few hours and visited boutiques and bookstores. Soon enough, the inevitable happened: we saw Stan's Donuts. The huge pink sign beckoned us to come inside, and we soon found ourselves standing in line for their famous donuts.
We had trouble deciding which donuts to choose, so we bought four different ones to try (no, we are not pigs). Our favorite was the banana Biscoff pocket, which was dense with Biscoff (described to me as "cookie butter"), something you wouldn't normally be able to find at your local donut shop.
We also tried the maple long john, maple bacon donut, and plain biscoff donut. These donuts were especially suited for our ultra sweet tooth palate, and we munched on them as we looked out at the busy streets of Wicker Park.
Mindy's Hot Chocolate
After spending hours at Ragstock shopping for clothes, we decided to end our day with even more food. Since I had an À La Card for Mindy's Hot Chocolate, we decided to order some hot chocolate before heading home.
When you get hot chocolate at Mindy's, you will experience hot chocolate like you never have before. Arriving in a huge mug, the chocolate is rich and creamy and so thick that you'll feel like you've gained five pounds drinking a cup (in a good way, of course).
There were many flavors to choose from, so we tried the half and half (1/2 dark hot chocolate, 1/2 espresso) and the black and tan (1/3 hot fudge, 2/3 medium hot chocolate). Homemade marshmallows rounded out the sweetness with its smooth, creamy texture. On a cold day, it was the perfect companion to warm us up.
If you ever find yourself in Wicker Park, be sure to hit up En Hakkore, Stan's, Mindy's, or any of the many other restaurants Wicker Park has to offer. Happy eating!