Tag: Chicago

If you are NEW to the Midwest…

If you are NEW to the Midwest…


Those of you who come from afar, this blog is especially for you. The Midwest region of the United States are not just corn field and soy bean plantations- hard to believe. But in the city of Chicago and other parts close to the city, it can be an absolute adventure for you!


As I have mentioned in my other blogs, the city is amazing. Downtown on Michigan Avenue is somewhat like Times Square in New Year, but less hectic and less taxis. You’ll still get the urban vibe and see stunning views of the skyscrapers, rivers, and all the people. (Refer to my previous blog regarding Chicago).

Outside of the bustling downtown area, we have beautiful neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Rogers Park (this is where Loyola is located!), Albany Park (this is where I live), Uptown, etc. When you are here for the Fall semester, you will take the class, UNIV 101, in which you will get to actually travel to these neighborhoods as one of your assignments!

If we zoom out even more, you may have more options for fun, including Medieval Times and Six Flags! Medieval Times is a wonderful place where you get to see live jousting with knights riding on horses. All of this is watched in the comforts of a meal you will be given- medieval style! According to their official site, ” Medieval Times’ noble guests feast on garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, sweet buttered corn, herb-basted potatoes, pastry of the Castle, coffee and two rounds of select beverages. A full-service bar is also available for adult guests. Vegetarian meals are available upon request.” Exciting, right?!

Six Flags is where you can feel all the adrenaline rush down your whole body. If your current area does not have Six Flags or you don’t know what it is, it is a well-known amusement park with some of the best and fastest roller-coasters. In addition, they have a great water-park with fun attractions for all ages. I love this place!

Last but not least, zoom out farther and the next place you could spend time at, is Wisconsin Dells. Upon meeting many people during my freshman orientation, I realized that a lot (A LOT) of people have never heard of what ‘Wisconsin Dells’ is. This place has a city of different water-parks. A CITY. There’s Kalahari, Great Wolf Lodge, Mt. Olympus, Noah’s Greak WaterPark, etc. In their downtown area, it is ALL attractions! There’s a Riley’s Believe or Not Exhibit, game areas, places where you can get boat tours on the rivers, helicopter tours, scary mazes, etc. This place is quite fun, if you have the time and can find some buddies to go along with. It takes roughly 4(ish) hours to drive from Chicago to Wisconsin Dells, but I am sure it is worth it if you can do it!

With that being said, go enjoy your summer! You have countless options to chose from and the fun never ends! You have 2 months to do whatever you want before you head back to school, so make this summer count! 

How to Make the Best Out of Your Summer

How to Make the Best Out of Your Summer

If you are in Chicago, take advantage of the city and all the places and events that are happening especially in the summer. Don’t simply sit around inside the house all day!


There are tons of museums to go to in Chicago. There is the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Science and Industry Museum, and so much more. Especially if you are a Illinois resident, you may even get discounts to parking and admittance.

The Shedd Aquarium is a wonderful place for people who love sea critters and fishes of all kinds. There are so many types of species of fish with so many colors, patterns, abilities, and more. It is completely mesmerizing to watch them swim so gracefully and beautifully. In addition, there are tons of shows for you to see, including a dolphin show. Who wouldn’t want to see that?!

The Field Museum is a cool place for those who like to take a travel to the past and see exotic cultures and the remnants of past civilizations. I remember visiting the Field Museum many times in elementary school during field trips. In particular, I loved the Egyptian exhibit the most. I loved seeing the real mummies, going through a fake pyramid and seeing all the little knick-knack things Egyptians had.

The Adler Planetarium is an interesting place for you to see and understand everything relating to the sky. It is quite eye-opening to realize how tiny we are compared to the universe. I went here this past Monday (Memorial Day) and had a blast (haha)! Besides the planetarium, it’s location is quite breathtaking. The entire Chicago skyline can be seen beautifully from here!

The Science and Industry Museum is hands-down my most favorite museum. Though it is a bit of a drive from the central downtown area, it is worth it. It is very interactive and full of exhibits to see–maybe even in one day, you might not even get to see all of the exhibits! My favorite exhibit is the U-505 Submarine, which is an actual German vessel used in World War II. I think it is pretty cool!

Millennium Park is an awesome place to chill around. On particular days, there are events like concerts and movie nights that happen in the park too. All FREE! Just sit back and relax on the grass and enjoy the free entertainment and background view of the skyscrapers. At night, the city is lit so nicely, so try to stay into the night!

Navy Pier is another wonderful place for people of all ages! There is a children’s museum and tons of activities to do there. The actual pier just had reconstruction and now looks very modern and enjoyable to the eye. The actual Ferris Wheel was recently redone and now stands higher than before and features better gondolas for your comfort.

If you are like me and live in Chicago, and have been to a lot of the typical attractions countless times, there are other fun places to go.

Foster beach is a good place. It is place to chill out with a picnic on the grass, go kite-flying, take a swim in the lake, play volleyball on the sand, and more.

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There are a ton of other places like the Lincolnwood Mall, Village Crossing, Old Orchard, and other places that have shopping malls, movie theaters, and restaurants.

Nevertheless, your summer should be full of the things to do. Especially in the city of Chicago, you can never be bored.

Perks to Chicago Living

Perks to Chicago Living


Alright, so Loyola University is one of your options for attending school alongside a whole list of other schools across the state and/or country. What sets Chicago apart from any other location?

Chicago is one of the most unique and famous cities on the globe. This is the birthplace of so many things- the Ferris wheel, skyscraper, atomic bomb, remote control, TV radio, and so much more. Famous (contemporary) people have lived in this city too, including Oprah, Barack Obama, Kanye West, Michael Jordan, and more. Maybe this gives you some sort of impression that Chicago is pretty interesting and important city!

Maybe I haven’t sold you yet, on this city. Well in Chicago, especially in downtown, you have the opportunity to see all the stores of famous brands, all in one street- Michigan Avenue. This is considered the Magnificent Mile for a reason! Stores like Bloonmingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Prada, Tiffany & Co., and obviously so much else. If you are me, you brag about these stores and simply do window shopping because you know your entire life savings can’t even afford a single item from one of the these stores. (Yes, things can get expensive!) Besides the retail stores, the views of impressive skyscrapers above your head, bustling cars on the streets, and sounds of urban life will be thrilling for you.

After that much energy, you may want to relax and get away from so much detail and sounds. Within walking distance, there is Millennium Park, a contemporary green-space with the Maggie Daley playground and famous Bean (No, do not call it the Cloud Gate- it does not look like a cloud nor resembles what ANY cloud looks like).


To be brief, Chicago is very active city. Our CTA (public transportation system) is always up and running. On an average weekday, 1.6 million rides are taken on the CTA, transporting people to work, kids to school, and tourists around the city for fun. You can expect that the food around here can be very diverse and really good (depending on where you go). With that being said, come with an adventurous food palate and be ready to taste the world in style!


On a more academic note, many companies and organizations are based in Chicago with offices throughout the city, especially in downtown. It is more likely to get a job opportunity or internship here. I know of many friends in Loyola’s School of Business who have already got a internship here in Chicago and are all set after graduation.


Scared that you’ll get bored of something…anything? Fear not, Chicago is not boring. Weather is one factor. You’ll experience all 4 seasons to their extremity- single digit temps in winter, bipolar weather in the spring, 3 digit temps in the summer, and mountains of piled leaves in the fall. You can tell I have good experiences with the weather. Seasonal holidays also keep you in spirit- there’s at least one to every month. If you still are in boredom (like me, after years of this..), celebrate Fridays when you finally get to celebrate the weekend, free of school and school  responsibilities. 🙂

Chicago is a fantastic place to be. Loyola University is located in this city and it is quite amazing to go to school here and experience a live city like no other. Everything is at your fingertips; things are not far away if you need ANYTHING. There’s always things to do, people to meet, and places to keep you entertained.


Want a Break From Classes? Time to Get in the Christmas Spirit!

Want a Break From Classes? Time to Get in the Christmas Spirit!

If you’re anything like me and you’re stressing about class registration and exams, you’re looking for a break to not think about classes at all. Chicago has that fix for everyone before–and after–Thanksgiving Break: Christkindlmarket! Running every day from this weekend, November 18th, to December 24th.

The Christkindlmarket has been a Chicago tradition since 1996, with its design inspired by the 16th century Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany. Boasting both local and international German vendors, besides trinkets, Christmas ornaments, and wooden clocks, it’s a hotbed of traditional German culture, food, and spirits.

With choirs singing Christmas songs as well as a traditional German brass band (depending on which day you attend), there’s never a gloomy day, even when the polar vortex rolls through. If food is what you’re looking through, there’s a number of European sweets, chocolates, and pastries, famed gingerbread (which is easily one of my favorites), to Bratwurst, soft pretzels, potato pancakes, crepes, and sauerkraut. Hot chocolate, cider, and beer (If you’re 21+), flows from every food vendor like a waterfall.

With admission being free, it’s great for college students, and definitely where every Chicagoan can come together and celebrate holiday cheer, no matter who they are.

If you’re looking for Christmas cheer and a good time with a couple friends (or a special someone), it can easily be a great place to spend a couple hours browsing all the shops, snacking on a brat-burger, and making some great memories.

Christkindlmarket runs every day from Nov. 18th to Dec. 24th, on the Daley Plaza (Exit at State/Lake on the Red Line, walk south to Washington St., then walk west (headed away from Macy’s), and you’ll run into it in just a couple blocks!) The market opens daily at 11 am, closes at 8 pm Sunday-Thursday, then at 9 pm Friday and Saturday. See you there!

Life Outside of Loyola

Life Outside of Loyola


For those who do not know me by now, I am a commuter student. I live in Albany Park, which is about 45 minutes to an hour away (depending on rush hour times and whether or not there is a baseball game at Wrigley Field).  Besides the academic life at Loyola and talking about all the things that Loyola has to offer, I want to direct my attention to life outside of Loyola and what things I do that are not Loyola-affiliated. 

Like I have mentioned before, the single, most distinct characteristic that separates students is whether or not you live on campus or live at home with your family. Again, this is a big factor. Commuters live their lives very different. Those who live on campus participate in a lot of LUC events and hang with their friends for dinner or for an outing by going downtown. 

I, like other students, have other responsibilities and other obligations I have to meet. My home life and academic life are split up entirely. 

My weekdays, Monday through Friday, are generally dedicated to schoolwork and any extracurriculars I am a part of. These component you should have a basic idea of already through my previous post as well as my fellow bloggers’ posts.

Weekends and Friday nights are pretty hectic.

Friday nights are spent at laundromats, washing, drying, and folding clothes for a family of 4. After, maybe go to a family member’s house and eat dinner there.

Saturday is spent going to the grocery store or supermarket to restock our fridge and make meals for the following week. We usually go to 2-3 stores because some places do not have the things we are looking for. Buying food generally takes up all of the morning. When we return home, we get started on cooking and/or I get started on my school work (which can be a lot!). By 4pm, I’m out of the house again and on my way to church for choir practice (no, I don’t singing nor am I a very good singer; I play the cello). 5:30pm mass lasts an hour or so. Some Saturdays, my choirs may have weddings or funerals or other events that I have to be at too, and when you factor in rehearsal times, my Saturday nights are quite busy.


Sunday is the busiest. 9:30am is when I have my weekly meeting for the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement (a church group for kids), where we talk about what we will teach the kids this week and what events we need to take care of in the future. From 10am to 11:30am, I alongside some my friends, teach and play with the kids. 11:30am mass.

Sometimes, my cello lessons at Loyola are on the weekend too, so that means I have to commute to Loyola with my cello either Saturday afternoon or Sunday late afternoon.

Either way, it is easy to see that life outside Loyola, especially for me as a LUC student and Chicago resident, can be busy and filled with so many things to do. There is certainly never a dull moment during the week and there is never a time when I am not being unproductive or couch-potato-like.

In a way, I do enjoy this lifestyle because there is a greater purpose to my life rather than doing nothing. In addition, most of the things I do outside of school are to support my family or support a good cause- this makes me feel like my time and effort are worth something.

Life outside of Loyola can be very fun and thrilling. We live in one of the greatest cities, so take advantage of it and get involved in everything that Chicago has to offer!


Come on! Feel the Illinoise!

Come on! Feel the Illinoise!

As a Rambler, we have the city of Chicago at our fingertips. Our U-Passes can take us anywhere our hearts desire. But with a city so large, how do you have fun without breaking your budget? As a DJ for 88.7 WLUW, Loyola’s radio station located at the Water Tower Campus, the job has opened up my eyes to a plethora of new music, from both Chicago natives, and bands that constantly stop in Chicago as they tour around America.

Before working at WLUW, I only knew of a couple local bands that played shows in the city, because of my own searches and talking to people at Loyola. But since then, working at WLUW, I’ve had my eyes opened up to so many new bands, who play shows that never cost more than $25. Seeing local bands like Twin Peaks (Who’re Rogers Park natives) to up-and-coming artists like Hoops, who make their homes at great venues all around the city.

But even if you don’t know some great underground artists, checking out WLUW while doing your homework or hanging out with your friends is a great way for you to listen to a whole different world of music without feeling the pressure of actively searching for that new music. Don’t have an FM radio like a lot of people? You can still tune in at wluw.org and listen through the mp3 stream. From there, so many doors open up as you see cheap shows all across Chicago, seeing a different side of Chicago, one that you might find a community in.

Don’t wanna stray too far away from campus? Once a month the ((dop)) puts on an Open Mic Night for Ramblers to share their talent, giving you the chance of meeting some skilled students with their own musical project.


If music is a passion of your’s like it is mine, getting involved in Chicago’s active music scene is entirely at your fingertips, and there are resources here at Loyola to help!


Loyola’s Multicultural Greek Council

Loyola’s Multicultural Greek Council


It seems like every American knows about sororities and fraternities, and the not-always-positive image of them that exists because of movies like Neighbors and Legally Blonde. People see them as white, full of, well, the type of people whose appropriate adjectives I can’t type in my position as an employee for my school. Of course, most of it is untrue and illogical. There are always exceptions, but Greek life as a whole has been changing over the past twenty years for the better and better.


So, you might be aware of those sort of stereotypical sororities and fraternities, but did you know there is also many, many Greek-letter organizations that are not historically white? Alpha Phi Alpha was created in 1906, the first black fraternity in America. From then on, Greek organizations have been created and oriented more multi-culturally. They’re all similar to Panhellenic groups, but with a few differences that span across them all.

Multicultural Greek Organizations have traditions like stepping, strolling, calls, and reveal shows of new members that all contribute to the community of multiculturalism and pride in the organization. The Try Guys of Buzzfeed recently learned Stepping with UC’s Alpha Phi Alpha Chapter, and you can check it out right here. They also don’t have a combined Recruitment Weekend like Panhellenic and IFC organizations do, but rather usually hold free events over a course of two weeks.


Loyola has it’s own Multicultural Greek Council. None of them are exclusively for members of one race or ethnicity or another, but rather reflect why they were founded and seek to continue those values. And usually, they’re a lot smaller than the 150+ members in other sororities and fraternities.

We have Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc, as well as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, and Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. Delta Phi Lambda is the only Asian-interest sorority on campus, while Lambda Theta Alpha is predominantly Latina. Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta are both historically African-American, but that doesn’t mean that if you aren’t, you can’t join!

As for fraternities, we’ve got Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and Alpha Psi Lambda National, Inc., which is a co-ed Latinx fraternity. Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi are historically African-American as well.


I know what you’re thinking – that’s a lot of words and groups that mean nothing to you right now. Loyola has a policy that means you can’t join a sorority or fraternity your first semester freshman year, no matter which, so there’s no need to go comparing everyone on campus right now.

But this is my advice to you: keep your eyes open and your mind even more so. Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself ‘multi-cultural,’ you’re not excluded. You might just find a something new – whether it’s a whole new family, a changing experience, or a new favorite food.

(that’s something I love a lot about Loyola. All the groups are selling food 24/7. score for me, the churro-lover.)


Registering For Classes – What’s that like?

Registering For Classes – What’s that like?


One of the biggest aspect of colleges is class. Unexpected, right? Not nearly so much as you would think. There are also other essential components to the college experience, but class is pretty high up there on the list, definitely a tie for first with whatever you love. After all, it’s kind of the reason you’re at college – or the reason you get to complete it.

In the movies, there’s barely any representation of classes that you go to, or if there is, they take way less precedence that the drama between characters. Admittedly, a movie about an ordinary college class would not be very exciting. But classes are! Since you have freedom to choose which class you want, you can take anything that you need, love, or want to pursue.

There’s just one catch: you might not get into it on your first try. (It’s not as scary as it seems, I promise you.)

I just want to share with you all about the class registration process, because it can get pretty crazy. I know it always causes me panic, as a very schedule-oriented person, so I fix that by making alternate schedules upon alternate schedules, calculating what to do if I don’t get into this class or that. We have something called the Four-Year Plan, a layout on Excel that provides an easy layout for planning all of your classes, if you’re like me and want to check that out.


The way our registration works can seem weird, but it makes sense. Depending on your credit hours, you get to have registration priority, or if you are in a program that requires you to take classes in a specific order or amount, such as Honors.

Registration takes place entirely online, unless you need to talk to an advisor about something specifically – they can override things and pretty much have magical schedule powers. Before registration even opens, however, you can put classes into your ‘shopping cart’ after picking out the time, teacher, and class that is offered that best works with you. That way, when you do get to register, you don’t have to waste precious time scanning through the inventory – you can just click ‘enroll’ and you’re set!


Unless, of course, your class is filled by people with an earlier registration time than you. For freshman classes, that’s very unlikely, but it gets more common the longer you’re here. It’s all dependent on credits – so, credit Seniors get first pick, then Juniors, Sophomores, and so on. It’s pretty neat because many people come into college with transfer credits from AP classes so they could be a credit Sophomore while still being a freshman, allowing for earlier registration. Very cool.

Really, as an incoming freshman, you shouldn’t worry about getting into classes too much. You might hear this piece of advice a lot, but I’ll tell it again: don’t take 8 am classes. Later in your college career the professor becomes more important than the time, but I have seen so many freshmen regret their decision to take an early class. Just trust me.

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Being an Out-of-State Student at LUC

Being an Out-of-State Student at LUC

In looking at colleges, you might have considered a public school what with reciprocal or in-state tuition, compared to a private school like Loyola. That was definitely the pull for me away from Loyola, but all the other things brought me back!


I’m from Minnesota. But here at Loyola, I have friends from California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and all the states in-between. We came here not because it was cheapest but because it’s where we belong, and where we’re happy. (Also, going to private school is interesting when you’ve been a public-school kid all your life.)

Of course, I do have friends from the Chicago area, or from nearer states like Wisconsin and Michigan. And though I’m not as far away as, say, New Jersey, the distance does present some obstacles- and some opportunities. If you’re hesitant about a school because of its distance, let me tell you: it will be okay.


First off, your experience is what you make of it. I call my parents once a week (and/or if something really exciting happens), but I have friends that call twice a week, three times a week, or only once in a while when they remember. Some take the train back home for breaks, or don’t go back at all. Me, I take the plane – it might not seem so, but you can definitely find cheap flights at my distance. And the school provides a U-PASS allowing for unrestricted transport on the L, so I don’t have to be shelling out for an uber each time. And there’s plenty of opportunity to go home or have people come here, whatever suits you – from Parent’s Weekend to Easter Break, it’s pretty nice.

Second, they’re well aware of travel costs. If you’re a really far-away student, over the summer you can ask to be assigned to the very last Orientation with the Honors and International students that takes place right before the rest of the school moves-in, so you don’t have to make two trips. You might not know this, but you can also request extended stay (though not infinite) in the dorms over summer break, or stay here over winter break should you please as well.


Third, being from a distance makes Chicago all the more fun to explore! Going into this year, I knew very few things about this fair city. Navy Pier, yeah, and Chinatown, the Mag Mile, and like, there are some cool towers and cool zoos. Not that I didn’t absolutely adore it regardless, but now I feel really accomplished when I can picture where the neighborhoods are on the Red Line or estimate how far away something is, or even be walking downtown and actually know where to go instead of just consulting the skies.


Of course I’ll advise taking everything into account when you’re picking a college, but this is just to say that distance, at Loyola, is not the biggest or most important factor. The deadline to decide is May 1, so think carefully!

Chicago & Vietnamese Cuisine

Chicago & Vietnamese Cuisine


Who doesn’t love food? Almost everyone enjoys trying out new, ethnic food and here in our lovely city of Chicago, there are so many interesting restaurants at every street and corner with Zagat reviews, Grubhub options, etc. I can assure you that you will have an adventure of a lifetime and make your taste buds travel around the world in style. 

Specifically, I will be blogging on Vietnamese food because Viet-Town is only 4 train stops away from Loyola’s Lakeshore campus and because if you didn’t know already, I am Vietnamese.


Getting off of the Argyle train station, you will be immediately see Vietnamese supermarkets and small restaurants such as Viet Hoa Plaza, Cafe Hoang, Uptown Pho, Pho Xe Lua, Nha Hang Hai Yen, Pho 777, Hoa Nam, Lucks Food, Vinh Phat Express,  Pho Loan, Chi Quon Bakery, Hong Xuong Bakery, and Pho Xe Tang, just to name a few (all located on 1 street). Although you probably do not understand the names of these places, at least one word should stick out to you: Pho!pho-au-fois-gras-32330


Pho (pronounced: fuh?) is one of the most famous dishes that even non-Vietnamese people usually know about and/or have tried it out. Pho is a delicious noodle soup with an aromatic broth, topped off with meatballs, beef brisket, green onions,  with as dash of Sriracha sauce (optional) and Hoisin sauce (optional). (Man, I sound like a chef!). This soup dish is very popular among everyone and if you haven’t tried it out, GO TRY SOME PHO SOON!


Turning on left on Argyle, you will encounter many other Viet stores. Tai Nam, largest Viet supermarket in Chicago is located here as well. We have salons, nail/beauty stores, insurance offices, video stores, and so much more. The places are: Ba Le, Pho Viet, Le’s Pho, Kung Fu Tea (not Viet I know), Furama Restaurant, Thuong Xa My A, Lee Nail Supply, Silver Seafood, etc. 


Ba Le (Nhu Lan and St. Henry (Pho May)) are well-known Viet places (French influenced) where you can get Banh Mi. This term is something non-Viets should also be familiar with. Banh mi is basically a sandwich that uses fresh baked french baguette and in the interior, include pate, a variety of meat slices, pickled carrots and daikon, and a selection of fresh herbs like cilantro. It is a delectable lunchtime snack that will satisfy your taste buds.

(Advice: I recommend visiting St. Henry for banh mi first!)


Of course not all Viet stores are agglomerated in one place. There are other good places for Viet food too such as Nhu Lan (located on Western), Hoang Long (located on Lincoln),  and Pho Nam Lua (located on McCormick Blvd). I highly recommend Pho Nam Lua; they just opened and they have the best food and the best price (as a college student, “best price” is really what I mean!)


Anyways, let’s talk Vietnamese Cuisine!

So you now know what pho and banh mi are, but that’s just the basics of Viet food compatible for a first-time Viet-food eater. Let’s go further and get to the good stuff.

Goi Cuon! (Spring rolls!) Goi cuon is a favorite of mine because it is a very clean, simple dish with an assortment of herbs, cooked pork belly slices, shrimp, and dipped in a tasty sauce! At home, it is fun to make. Ingredients are laid out on the table and you get to make your own spring roll to eat.


Banh trang nuong! (Rice paper with toppings!) As far as I can tell, this is a new type of Viet dish that is the healthier, Vietnamese equivalent to American pizza. Personally, I have never tried this before, but my friends have and they like this a lot!

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Bun Bo Hue! (Beef noodle soup!) Similar to pho, Bun Bo Hue consists of vermicelli noodles, beef shank & brisket , agglomerated pig’s blood,  lemongrass, and other spices. The broth has a little spice in it and has a smooth, clean texture. It is also very aromatic as well!


Banh Xeo! (Vietnamese pancake/crepes!) Banh Xeo looks exactly like a fancy omelette, however, there are no eggs! Just like pancakes, banh xeo is made from batter and fried on a pan. Toppings are added on such as shrimp, meat, and green onion. To finish it off, we can add mint, lettuce, bean sprouts, and other fresh herbs! When eaten, you dip the banh xeo into some fish sauce to enhance the flavor.


Banh Chung/Banh Tet (Lunar New Year Cakes)! These cakes are eaten traditionally during the lunar new year season (January-February). They consist of layers of pork belly, surrounded by mung-bean paste and a special type of rice. The whole thing is wrapped together in banana leaves and boiled in water for a long period of time. Banh chung/banh tet is commonly eaten with pickled carrots and daikon too!

(St.Henry makes good banh chung/banh tet!)

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Ca Phe Sua Da! (Vietnamese Coffee!) This coffee is made special using sweet condensed milk. It is good as a hot beverage, but many people I know enjoy the iced-coffee version. It is a tad bit stronger than American style coffee, but it does its job to keep you awake and active during the day!

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Hopefully this post was appealing to read and maybe made you salivate once or twice. Vietnamese food is good and Chicago is a wonderful city to explore and eat well! Give Viet food a try!