Friday, June 7, 2019

Currency Exchange Cafe

-Grubbing in Chicago
Food, Coffee, and Soul on the Southside

Sorry if I sound like a skipping record sometimes but here's another one that's long been on my list. Currency Exchange Cafe is one of the most instgrammable cafes in Chicago but it's not in one of the city's most instagrammed areas. It's located on Garfield Blvd just a stones throw from Washington Park. They've been around for about five years but just recently (2018) underwent a menu change.

 Locals Favorite in Washington Park

The decision to take the culinary aspect of the restaurant in a new direction wasn't made by a single owner. Instead it was made by the head of a nonprofit foundation that owns the place. The foundation is driven by a local artist so the Currency Exchange Cafe is one of the more aesthetically pleasing places around town. In an effort to drive local economy they train and employ those from the neighborhood. The locals seem to be helping out by simply stopping by for food and or coffee.

 Hangover Wing Dings

First things first I wish it wasn't the first thing I noticed but this restaurant was much more diverse than most found on the Northside. The University of Chicago isn't far and that helps but the fact remains this city is segregated. Fixing that is nothing that can be easily accomplished but simple acts like supporting local businesses in lesser traveled neighborhoods will hopefully put money into that neighborhood. When Currency Exchange redid their menu they brought in a local chef from a place called Peach's thus now it goes by Peach's Currency Exchange Cafe. The menu is small which allows the local born chef to source quality stuff. I tried the Hangover Plate which is five fresh fried wing dings, two eggs of my choice, and some cheesy grits on the side. Also on the side was a cup of homemade sweet and spicy sauce that really hit the spot. For her the signature dish. A bowl of shrimp and cheese grits with garlic cream sauce, bacon, mushrooms, tomato, scallions, garlic toast.

Shrimp and Grits at Currency Exchange Cafe 

Currency Exchange Cafe
305 E Garfield Blvd
Chicago, IL 60637
(312) 300-4471


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