Meet the Chef
From the very first time I visited Sol’s On Sheridan, I knew immediately it would become one of my favorite places to hang out. The vibe is chill, the music is good, and the food is even better. Sol, the restaurant owner, is the epitome of welcoming. Her laugh is infectious and honestly, it’s not hard to see why people keep coming back.
Sol’s parents have been restaurant owners in Korea for over twenty years. Like a lot of kids who’ve grown up in restaurants, she’s helped out there ever since she was young (10). But initially, Sol never actually saw herself going into the restaurant business. After college, she planned on continuing to graduate school. But that all changed when she came here to the US to visit her brother.
As she traveled around (New York, DC, Chicago) she noticed that there were plenty of Chinese and Japanese restaurants, but hardly any Korean ones. “It made me really sad to see,” she told a friend and I while we chatted after our meal. When Sol got back to Korea she decided to work to save up enough money and open her own place. Although her first restaurant was in Wisconsin, lucky for us she loved Chicago so much during her visit that she decided to set up shop here! Sol’s on Sheridan celebrated its first anniversary this year in April.
Meet the food
We got both the Honey Soy and the Sweet & Spicy Garlic. If you’ve never had Korean Fried Chicken you’re truly missing out. The double frying keeps it juicy on the inside but crispy and delicious on the outside. It’s one of my favorite things to order when I’m out at Korean restaurants.
But nothing compares to Sol’s bingsu.
You can find bingsu (usually patbingsu) at other places around Chicago, but none as good as at Sol’s. Having brought her bingsu machine all the way from Korea, the taste is much more authentic; like snow instead of shaved ice. Right now she offers four flavors: traditional Patbingsu (red bean), Oreo Bingsu, Matcha Bingsu (Green Tea) and Mango Bingsu. Proper bingsu is soft, creamy, and sweet. The perfect summer treat!
A talk with Eunsol
At the end of the night, we got a chance to sit down with Sol and talk a little about running a Korean restaurant in Chicago.
What’s your favorite thing to cook?
Oh, favorite thing? Stews (찌개). Korean stews. I’m really good with stews actually. So this winter we’re gonna do a lot of stews. They’re so good in the winter right?
E.n: I’m disgustingly excited because I love jjigae.
For those who might be new to it, what do you want people to know about Korean food?
You know sometimes when you go to Chinese restaurants, you don’t really wanna try something new. I mean for me, I can’t handle the spices. But Korean food, I think it’s really easy to get into it.
The menu is delicious but also super simple. How did you choose what to put on your menu?
I just wanted to have what I can do good. Some places have really huge menus, but I don’t think they can make everything good because it’s so huge. How do they keep everything fresh and [tasting] right? So I wanted to keep it really simple. I go to [the] grocery every single day. I prep everything every day.
4715 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640
Sunday through Tuesday; 5 PM – 9 PM
What to try:
The KFC (Korean fried chicken) is amazing. Sticky sweet and crunchy, it’s hard not to like. Also, try the bingsu. You can go traditional and get the 팥빙수 (read: pat bingsu) complete with delicious red beans. Or maybe get fancy and try the Oreo bingsu!
Have you discovered any awesome eats lately?