Drop Pin • Juany Riesco

Chicago personality and restaurant owner Juan Riesco aka Juany Worldwide is known in the city for being behind the counter at Nini's Deli, a West Loop gem that blends Lebanese dishes with Cuban delights. The cafe con leche along with the breakfast sandwiches are worthy of an Instagram food post and a gallon of drool. On top of his food world, Juany also skates and sells streetwear; most recently, shirts and hats with the slogan "Chicago Native: We Grew Here, You Flew Here." For this week's Drop Pin, I spoke with the energized 23-year-old about his three favorite restaurants around the Windy City (not including his own beloved Nini's). Also, be sure to check out Juany speaking at SoHo House (alongside Bucketfeet founder Aaron Firestone and artist Kristina Pedersen) on Monday, October 26, as part of the ongoing Yung Creatives series.

Keep up with Juany:  Twitter // Instagram

Hing Kee


Growing up i never really ventured into Chinatown. Something about the novel-like menus and fried ducks hanging from windows just didn't make the neighborhood too attractive to me. Now as an adult, thanks to my good friend Aapple (who is born/raised in China/Taiwan), I have been recently introduced to the yummy goodness Chicago’s Chinese corridor has to offer.  Hing Kee is the closest thing to traditional Chinese food in our city limits, says Aapple. Last time I went with her we tried the soup dumplings and Korean style short ribs. I truly have never eaten anything like the soup dumplings.  They are soft, pick them up carefully or they'll break and you’ll ruin the magic, place it in ur spoon - bite off the top, slowly drink the soup inside (CAUTION: SOUP IS SUPER HOT) then let some steam out and eat the remaining piece of dumpling. The inside is a chunk of crab meat and the handmade dumplings basically melt in your mouth. Everything i’ve tried here is straight fire and it’s extremely reasonably priced. The price for four heads was roughly $55   {^_^}

Chicken Shop


If i could categorize my palette into one genre it would definitely be “sweet and salty”. Ever since I was a kid i found myself gravitating towards sweet-meat (pause) options on menus. So naturally, I was introduced to the chicken and waffles combination as a youngin’ and have been on a quest for my fave in Chicago for quite some time now. Yes, I’ve tried Roscoe's, yes i’ve tried Honey Butter in Avondale and YES I truly believe that Chicken Shop on Green Street has all of those places beat with their chicken and waffles dish. I also should mention that Longman & Eagle has a darn good chicken and waffles (they add bb ham pieces to their waffle batter), but still I prefer Chicken Shop’s. Their waffle is substantial and the chicken skin is light, but incredibly crisp. They also do a seasonal pea soup that is so good i ditch my spoon and straight up bring the bowl to face and drink. Gosh I love that stuff.  

Pacos Tacos


I always find it funny when people ask me, “who do you think has the best tacos in chicago!?” I mean, c’mon dawg, i’m half mexican so you already knowwwww the best tacos in the Chi are at my momma’s crib! No, but really. However, when my parents aren’t cooking, I like to smash out at Paco’s. I’m not from out south so when Big Robby Valentino, my ace squid, put me on my life was truly changed. The meat is cooked right in front of you by a dude who looks like he could be my uncle and the tortillas come out steaming, heated up on the same greasy grill the meat was cooking on. I like the spot because it’s extremely fast and to the point.  The tacos come to your table within the same few minutes that you ordered, topped with nothing besides cebolla AND cilantro. For those who don’t know, cebolla AND cilantro to the taco game is like mustard and relish to the hot dog world - the only acceptable additional ingredient on classic tacos outside these two is DEF avocado and MAYBE cheese or sour cream, but they're not really needed.