Category: Chicago Dining

Local Fave Restaurant: Yeowoosai

Local Fave Restaurant: Yeowoosai

Oh yes, I’m back with another Asian restaurant recommendation!

It’s entirely because I mostly just go out to eat at Asian restaurants, since that’s a cuisine I can’t really cook at home (yet). Yeowoosai is a student favorite because it’s really family-style, it’s not too expensive, and it’s a short Lyft ride away!

Sometimes, it’s just nice to not have to walk somewhere.

Yeowoosai is delicious and fantastic. I went with all three of my roommates – we went because one of my roommates, a HUGE foodie, had never been yet! The thing is, Yeowoosai doubles as a bar on the weekends, but we went on a Monday night and it was just us. The owner is always there too, cooking, serving, and so on, and he’s really cool and easy to talk to. Plus there’s karaoke! We didn’t do it, but it’s good to keep in mind.

We ordered SO MUCH and it was GREAT. We got kimchi fried rice, two flavors of popcorn chicken (yesss! Korean fried chicken is AMAZING!) and la-beokki, rice cakes on top of ramen. I was too busy devouring them with my eyes and drooling as I waited for it to cool (didn’t wait long enough) to take pictures, but here are some pictures from the Yelp page. 

Y U M.

We left with full stomachs and leftovers for the next day, happy and so sated, as we usually do. If you’re a student on campus, you can’t miss the experience. Bring lots of your friends so you can try everything!

Here’s the link to their yelp page, if you want to get your mouth watering! I can’t say enough good things about their food – it reminded me exactly of my trip to South Korea this summer, so you know it’s good!




Such a ‘Bler: Giving Thanks

Such a ‘Bler: Giving Thanks

Last thanksgiving, my boyfriend Jacob visited, and we were invited over by a lovely family-friend Vietnamese couple for lunch. They made us a whole spread of Vietnamese delights and it felt like we were back home for a few hours.

He visited again this year, tagging his roommate Kent along as well, and we had our first Friendsgiving. One of my closest friends on campus Maddie and her boyfriend Nick cooked up a huge dinner, with an actually turkey and everything! We were also joined by my roommate Amanda, who though was up to her ears in finals revision was able to pass to watch me try cranberry sauce with mashed potatoes for the first time.

Jacob, Kent and I brought a bit of our own tradition by – spring rolls. Earlier that day, we went grocery shopping in Argyle – essentially the Vietnamese district of Chicago – and then spent the afternoon preparing. Our friends really enjoyed the treat!

I still can’t decide which part of this whole experience I love most. The incredible food, being surrounded by my favourite people, the warmth or how it all came together though we each came from such different parts of the world. Maddie is from California, Nick is from Ohio and Amanda is from Chicago. Jacob, Kent and I are all from Hanoi, Vietnam but very different districts. But for this special occasion, we were together, watching the boys play Overwatch on the TV and digging into another slice of pumpkin pie.

I am grateful.




Friendsgiving Season

Friendsgiving Season

Students are heading home for the holidays, but before we do that, many of us indulge in a little trend called Friendsgiving!

If you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically Thanksgiving – but with your friends, instead of your family. Although in a lot of cases your friends ARE your family, some people go home and some stay, some are from the same suburbs and some are from further away. It’s not uncommon to see students walking to and fro with tupperwares, pots and pans, and other things on the nights of the weekend before Thanksgiving break. They’re all going to Friendsgivings!

Most people celebrate Friendsgiving by doing a potluck-style dinner, and everyone brings one aspect of a meal. It can be Thanksgiving-type meal: mashed potatoes, corn bread, turkey, more turkey, perhaps some green beans and so on, but it doesn’t have to be.

This year I was delighted to find myself celebrating not one big Friendsgiving but two! One of them was with my friends I made during my time in Beijing (although not all of them, given that many are at schools around the country… or still in Beijing), and the other was my friends from Rome and freshman/sophomore year, since a lot of them came to Rome or knew people from Rome. I didn’t host either of them, but was all too happy to take corn hotdish (aka corn stuff) to the first and mashed potatoes to the other. Both easy and delicious!

Not only that, but the university and clubs also like to put on Thanksgiving-style events. My sorority, Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., does our annual Unity Feast, where donating food to a food shelf nets you all you can eat from us, catered by Boston Market, which is a resturant that specializes in American comfort food. The Vegan society does Vegan Thanksgiving from a local restaurant called Chicago Diner where everything is Thanksgiving food but vegan, and so on.

(This plate is not from the Vegan Thanksgiving but from my Beijing Friendsgiving, in case you were concerned about the meat there.)

I wasn’t able to make it out to the Vegan Thanksgiving myself, but my friends both Vegan and not went and said they had a great time! Even if you don’t celebrate this holiday, Thanksgiving is a great time at Loyola because of the sudden wealth of food events that pop up, and how the usual annual giving tradition and consideration of those less fortunate than us recurs. Loyola year-round thinks about the poor and those with less oppportunity, but it’s when Chicago starts to get cold and windier that we too really buckle down on our philanthropic efforts.


Happy holidays, everyone!


Local Fave Restaurant: Nha Hong Vietnam

Local Fave Restaurant: Nha Hong Vietnam

You know how I’m always thinking about food?

Well, I’ve got another restaurant recommendation for you all! This one is not so local, but it’s near and dear to my heart.

Nha Hong Vietnam is a local restaurant in the Argyle neighborhood of Chicago – only about 15 minutes by the L – and about a five minute walk from there. Argyle is known as Little Vietnam, but Nha Hong has got to be my favorite restaurant in the whole area.

This past weekend I went there with my roommate (don’t tell her I’ve posted this pic) and it was, as ever, so good. I haven’t been there in two years, because of being abroad, and I missed the taste of delicious and cheap pho!

(Admittedly, I do have another roommate who is Vietnamese who makes her own pho, but there’s something about the way they make it at Nha Hong and the atmosphere that makes it just fun, even though it does cost more money than free.)

The restaurant is family-run and whenever someone goes there and the grandfather of the family is not there, my groupchats get a flurry of worried messages about his health. It’s not very large of a space, so you either have to go there not at peak hours or be willing to wait, but it’s so worth it. They used to give you free ice cream after your meal too, but last time I went they didn’t, so I wonder if they stopped that… or they don’t do that in the wintertime!

Their cheapest dish is about $3, and I swear they must have over 200 items on their menu. If I didn’t go there specifically for the pho, I’d no doubt be overwhelmed! Pho runs you about $8, which is a lovely price for a big bowl of warmth, happiness, and a full stomach.

If you have a hankering for Vietnamese food or find yourself by the Argyle stop, go to them! Campus has lots of good restaurants nearby, more of which I promise I’ll write about, but I just have to recommend Nha Hong. Check out their yelp page here. Yum!

Cheer for Ol’ Loyola

Cheer for Ol’ Loyola

I have to say, I’m absolutely in love with this campus. I enjoyed my study abroad experiences in both Beijing and Rome, but neither of the campuses were as absolutely gorgeous as our Lake Shore Campus. (When I left Beijing, the campus was so torn up due to construction a normal five minute walk to the classrooms took fifteen. Unless you took a shortcut through a long, long stretch of mud and dirt!)

We have construction of our own here now – what was once a pathway of trees that would turn the most vivid shade of red on campus and a sports field is now turning into the Alf, a new athletic center – but for the most part the campus is still breathtaking in little ways. I have been stopping to look at the leaves turning color and taking pictures, or just marveling at our Information Commons and how it looks with the blue sky. So I thought I’d share some of them with you all! I’m no professional photographer, not in the least, but any pictures couldn’t really do justice to the sights anyway.

I hope this picture conveys the soft, fall-like atmosphere that the trees make. We call ourselves a green campus, but the only thing green these days are the little trees (as you’ll see in the next picture), the bushes, and the grass. The larger trees have all burst into colors magnificently.

Not too be too much of a mom here, but this red is just gorgeous. Every day on my walk to and from classes, I’m blown away. I’m sad it won’t last for too long, but I have to appreciate it while it lasts. Fall weather is my favorite to dress for because I can wear layers without having to cover myself up with a heavy coat, and also I absolutely love all of my fall clothes.

Whether you are visiting soon, visiting recently, or just looking at pictures of campus online, I certainly hope you don’t think Loyola is just another boring college campus. With our diverse architecture and fantastic groundskeepers, I might be a little biased, but we’re definitely one of the most beautiful schools out there.

Street Food? Free Food? Yes please!

Street Food? Free Food? Yes please!

One of the hallmarks of a college student, as is the true stereotype, is our presence at most anything offering us free food. This was very visible last week at the Indian Student Association’s Indian Street Food Dinner, where many students waited in line for thirty minutes to an hour to get in the door! It was hosted in one half of our Multipurpose Room in our Damen Student Center. Although it cost money for anyone who wasn’t a current Loyola University Chicago student, it seemed as if most there were, in fact, students from all walks of life. Over 400 people RSVP’d on the facebook event they made, but it seemed many more went that had heard about it through word-of-mouth – the fastest way to hear about free food opportunities.

I arrived with some of my friends at about 6:50, hoping we would be relatively near the front of the line. Nope! The line stretched from the room’s entrance through the whole second floor of the student center, all the way down the stairs, and that’s where we waited. And waited. And waited. We finally got in around 7:45, and to be honest we were a little worried if there would be food left! But there was plenty. From what was labeled (I think) ‘Chicken 63’ to pani puri to naan and butter chicken, there was loads of food. Warm and delicious, we were worried our plates would be too weak to hold all of the food they piled on there. Even though the line was long and the room was crowded with people laughing, enjoying themselves, and gorging on excellent food, my friends and I were able to find space at a table to fit us all and enjoy the powerpoint going on about members of the Indian Student Association, watch the line shuffle past us, and chat easily. I wish I could show you a picture of the food I ate, but in truth, I was much too busy chowing down to think about pulling out my phone!

The food was absolutely excellent and totally worth the wait! I’m glad I went, not only for the free food but the chance to see the ISA at work and hang out with my friends. Loyola hopes to see more popular events like this from ISA, and not just because it was free food – we love it when organizations are able to get the student community together and enjoying ourselves!

Let’s Take this Moment to Reflect Take Four

Let’s Take this Moment to Reflect Take Four

May 1st, is the day that high school seniors look most forward to during their time in their high school career. You’ve been pondering the idea of what is the best option for you; academically, financially, etc. and you want to be sure that you make the right choice for you. The weeks prior, you may have been visiting all the schools you already got accepted into to see the campus again, one last time, before you put down your deposit. After all, today is college decision day!

It is natural to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and unsure if you are making the right choice. But you should know, that you are making the choice, and in your gut you know it will be the right decision. I was in your place three years ago. I had narrowed down my list from 8 schools to 3 schools. With these three schools, Loyola being one of them, I conducted a SWOT analysis. For those who don’t know, a SWOT analysis is frequently used with advertising and marketing where you analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a certain scenario. After completing this exercise, I realized that going to Loyola University Chicago would be the best university for me to attend. I have not looked back or ever regretted my decision to enroll at the school.

From my time in college, here have been some of my highlights of my journey, so far:


  • Being a part of the Interdisciplinary Honors College: Here, I learned a truly diverse style of education that incorporated Loyola’s culture of educating the entire person. From learning classic epics like The Iliad and The Aeneid to learning about the adjustment of Hmong culture in an American hospital to learning about the Augusto Pinochet regime and the advertising campaign that aided in bringing him down; I have truly developed and enhanced my worldview.
  • Work Experience: Building connections and relationships with fellow classmates and faculty members is always important. My sophomore year of college, I was fortunate enough to get a job as a Peer Advisor for First and Second Year Advising. This was the same time that I found a job as a blogger and a member of the social media team in the Undergraduate Admissions office. During my junior year, I kept my work as a blogger as I took all of you up the CTA red line to explore different neighborhoods throughout the city of Chicago. I was able to get a job as the Marketing Program Research Assistant where I helped plan events, create curriculum, and assist in special projects for Marketing faculty. This job has been truly fulfilling as I continually build connections and learn new tools and skills.
  • Declaring an Advertising/Public Relations major: During the beginning of my junior year, I declared a major in Advertising and Public Relations. This was to add on to my International Studies and Marketing minors. It is with this major that got me to recognize what I want to do when I graduate college, becoming an advertising strategist. By being the branch between right brain and left brain (account and creative), strategy covers the best of both worlds. By enhancing my worldview with relevant coursework in Marketing (international/political marketing, consumer behavior) and International Studies (encountering Latin America/Asia, People of Latin America), I will be able to provide a global perspective. This is because all people deserve to be represented equally and properly, so they too can see themselves in ads.
  • Studying Abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica: During the summer between my sophomore and junior year, I joined the USAC program to study abroad in the city of Heredia, Costa Rica; a city 20 minutes away from the capital of San Jose. Here, I studied Tropical Conservation and Development as well as learned some cooking skills in Latin American Cuisine. I was able to make a ton of friends from different universities (with surprisingly no Chicago or Loyola students). I got to explore the rainforest (with a guide of course); went on a river boat exploring various ecosystems (with snakes, crocodiles, and sloths); zip-lined across the highest and longest zipline in Latin America; and went to the black sand beaches on the Atlantic side of the country at Puerto Viejo. However, my favorite experience (besides all the good food), was my welcoming and loving host family, Mama Yolanda and Papa Humberto, who made me feel like I was their own son. Mama Yolanda would accompany me for almost every meal, take me on excursions to the open air markets (and help me haggle for the very best price), and did my laundry and ironing everyday. I am so fortunate to have both of these wonderful people in my life and we are still on touch with WhatsApp and are Facebook friends as well!
  • Amazing Friends: During my time throughout university, I have been truly lucky to have an amazing group of friends that I can depend on. From my first friend in college, Norm, who reached out to me during the end of my senior year of high school. I’ll just say we bonded easily over tea and broadway musicals. It also helped that we were in the same international studies class during our freshman year. There is also my friends Fran, Barb, and Gayatri, the “brunch bunch”. I was friends with Fran and Barb because of the honors program and was introduced to their roommate Gayatri, with our mutual love for Indian food. I have also forged incredible friendships from my Loyola 360, Alternative Break Immersion in Washington DC, my other classes, Wind Ensemble, and Kapwa (Filipino Student Organization). From moments like these, I have been able to create new friendships and find inspiring mentors during my time here at Loyola.


Plans for my Senior Year of College:

  • I have become an Account Executive at Inigo Communications, a student run Advertising/Public Relations agency here at the School of Communications.
  • Besides being a Research Assistant for the Marketing Department, I will also become a Teaching Assistant (TA) for the Fundamentals of Marketing course. Both positions will be for next year.
  • I will be taking the last few courses in my major and have finished up my marketing/international studies minors by fall. I will be taking courses in Media Planning, Political Marketing, Special Topics in Advertising/Public Relations, Moral Responsibility Capstone, and Peoples of Latin America.
  • I will be all set to graduate for May 2019!

Thank you all again for an amazing two years! I hope I have provided you with all the tips for making your Loyola experience a fun one, gave you enough restaurants to explore as you go throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods, and so much more. As you make your final decision of where you want to go to college, please know that a Loyola education is like no other. By educating the entire person, you will be able to go forth and set the world on fire.

All of this, will allow you, to live Life El-evated.    

Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Howard

Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Howard

This is Howard. Doors open on the left at Howard. Transfer to Purple and Yellow lines at Howard. This is the end of the red line. Hey everyone, welcome back to the tenth and final installment of Explore Chicago CTA Edition! As always, I’m your student blogger and happy eater, Miguel Molina! Today, we are going to be having some fun with both eats and treats on the CTA red line’s most northern terminus. Be sure to bring your student ID card, ventra card (u-pass), trusty walking shoes and as always, a hungry belly. So come on, let’s go out and explore!

Getting to Howard:

Unlike the other sites on the Red Line, I would not recommend taking the Loyola intercampus shuttle bus. Howard is only two stops away from Loyola’s Lakeshore campus. Because of this, here are the two quick ways to get to the neighborhood. First, the easiest way. You can take the CTA Red Line train from Loyola up north toward Howard. The trip down will take you around 5-6 minutes at most. Secondly, you can always take an Uber or a Lyft to take you from Loyola’s Lakeshore Campus. This would take you around the same amount of time as taking the CTA. But for an even more scenic and leisure way, you can walk on Sheridan Road and It’s only a few blocks north of campus.This is especially true for those warm and sunny summer days that we will be having soon!

Places to Satisfy Your Cravings:

  • Sol Cafe: Looking for a coffee shop that is both hip and full of life and energy? Look no further than the Sol Cafe. Close to the Howard Station, this cafe has a true fusion of the different cultures and identities that populate the Rogers Park neighborhood. From Tortas (Latin American sandwiches) to Jerk Bowls (Caribbean style cuisine); this place has a bunch of unique takes on traditional flavors. If you are looking for something to perk you up, the Sol Cafe offers a variety of different coffee and teas that a mixologist would come up with. The atmosphere here is relaxed and chic with great artwork, open floor plan, and is a great place to hang out with your friends. To check out more about this venue, please check out their website at:
  • Ethiopian Diamond: Seeking a unique and flavorful experience for you and your friends? Be sure to try Ethiopian cuisine! Yes, the Rogers Park community has a big population of Ethiopian and other eastern and western African immigrants. According to many of my adventurous friends, Ethiopian cuisine can be best described as a cross between Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. Luckily, the place has options that can be both mild and really spicy (depending on your tolerance to heat on your tongue). When you are here, be sure to try their coffee (which is super strong, potent, and thick) and their lamb dishes (which are super flavorful). And as always, make sure to eat with your right hand, it’s respectful and traditional. If you want to learn more about this restaurant, be sure to check out:

Thank you all very much for taking the time to read my blog as I took you from Chicago’s Chinatown up to the Rogers Park neighborhood. We had plenty of wonderful eats along the way, sights to see, books to read; all along our route. Until next time! Doors Closing.


It’s Spring: Chicago’s Ice Cream Shop’s

It’s Spring: Chicago’s Ice Cream Shop’s

As the weather is getting warmer (despite the few snowy days that we have had this week), the wind breakers are being brought out of storage, the boots are being put back in your room, and you are ready for the spring weather! With all this wonderful weather we are having, it is time for all of us to grab an ice cream/gelato and appreciate it. For this special post, I will be taking you to some of the specialty ice cream shops that are easily accessible for Loyola students. So, sit back, and enjoy your ice cream before it melts away.


  • Lickity Split: You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! Need a place to satisfy your sweet tooth? Head over to Lickity Split and treat yourself to some sundaes. Whether you want a frozen custard (with tasty toppings), concretes (thick and creamy goodness), or are looking for a shake or a malt; your up for some quality sweetness! This is a great place to hangout with your friends, a date, or by yourself! To look at what this place offers, check out their menu here:
  • Amorino: What’s more beautiful than a gelato flower with a topping of a crafted macaron? At this specialty gelato shop, you are able to create a delicate gelato rose with any of your favorite gelato combinations. You can choose your cone (or cup) and satisfy your craving. I would definitely recommend sampling their salted caramel (which is smooth and rich) and their tiramisu (strong, slightly bitter, and with a full flavor). You can sample as many flavors as your stomach craves before making your final decision. Regardless of what you choose, you will surely be satisfied!
  • Gordo’s Homemade Ice Cream Bars: Near Loyola’s Lakeshore Campus, on Granville Avenue, be prepared for a feast for your eyes at Gordo’s Homemade Ice Cream Bars. From classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry and unique flavors like avocado banana, hibiscus tea, or orange chili spice; this shop will fascinate you with their selections. You then pick a dip for your ice cream, toppings, and sprinkles. If ice cream bars are not your thing, the restaurant also offers a bunch of different coffee and tea options. To check out all their choices, be sure to see the menu here:


Still hungry and looking for more places to visit? Be sure to tune in April 24th as we go on our last stop on the red line and start to explore more at Howard. 

Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Morse

Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Morse

This is Morse. Doors open on the left at Morse. This is a red line train to Howard. Hey everyone, welcome back to the tenth installment of Explore Chicago CTA Edition! As always, I’m your student blogger and excited eater, Miguel Molina! As you may have noticed, we are two stops away from reaching the end of the red line at the northside. Today, we are going to be having some fun with both eats and treats up at the CTA’s Morse stop. Be sure to bring your student ID card, ventra card (u-pass), trusty walking shoes and as always, a hungry belly. So come on, let’s go out and explore!

Getting to Morse:

Unlike the other sites on the Red Line, I would not recommend taking the Loyola intercampus shuttle bus. Granville is only a stop north of Loyola. You heard that right, only one stop away. Because of this, here are the two quick ways to get to the neighborhood. First, the easiest way. You can take the CTA Red Line train from Loyola up south toward Howard toward Morse (it has its own stop). The trip down will take you around 1-2 minutes at most. Secondly, you can always take an Uber or a Lyft to take you from Loyola’s Lakeshore Campus. This would take you around the same amount of time as taking the CTA. But for an even more scenic and leisure way, you can walk on Sheridan Road and It’s only a few blocks north of campus.

Restaurants and Cafes to Check Out:


  • The Heartland Cafe: Like the name of the cafe suggests, the food from this cafe comes from the heartland of the United States. This provides locally sourced, organic food options to its patrons. The cafe is an example of what many call a “farm to table” style restaurant. The cafe is also in the “heart” of Rogers Park catering to both locals and visitors alike. While the restaurant is known for its plentiful vegetarian and vegan options, if you are looking for the meat, it’s good to know that the meat is locally sourced and carefully curated. Along with its many food options, the cafe is known as being a center for political canvassing, voter registration, and other political gatherings. Likewise, at any given night, there are spoken word events and open mic for people to express themselves and share their art with others. For more information about the Heartland Cafe, check out:
  • Midnight Mac and Cheeserie: When I think of mac and cheese, I immediately think back on my childhood with a box of Kraft mac and cheese in a bowl, with me having a big grin on my face. If you have these same memories, check out this speciality shop for you to relive your youth again. You have a choice of 1 pound or 2.5 pounds of cheesy goodness and then you can customize your pasta with different types of cheeses, veggies, meats, and other extra toppings. You can never go wrong with more and more cheese! To check out the menu, check out the link at:


Still hungry and looking for more to visit? Be sure to tune in April 24th as we go on our last stop on the red line and start to explore more at Howard on this edition of Explore Chicago CTA Edition. Doors closing.