29 July 2011

Street Food Friday: 5411 Empanadas

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Chicago, Food

Okay, I’ll admit it, I get empanadas and tamales confused. The only way I remember is the connotation of empanadas to Hot Pockets. No kidding.

Anyhow, I’m finally back with a Street Food Friday post (just before I hit the road again) and this time, we’re covering empanadas, the hot little pockets of deliciousness making their way around Chicago in the 5411 Empanada truck.

Let’s take a closer look!

Name: 5411 Empanadas

Twitter handle: @5411empanadas

Website: http://5411empanadas.com

What is it: Gourmet empanadas, baked, not fried and just perfect little pockets of deliciousness. Founded by three Argentine friends, the empanadas bring this dish’s Buenos Aires’ popularity to Chicago (via catering and truck) with bites that can be served for lunch or at a party.

Love the color of this truck :)

What I ate: I’ve tried all of the empanadas on the truck and definitely have my favorites. Usually 2-3 fill you up (I once bought 4 and had a wicked stomach ache from deliciousness) so I rotate between the spinach and cheese, ham and cheese and caramelized onion. There recent addition of a Nutella and banana empanada will now work its way in to rotation too!

Cute little ham and cheese!

Mr. Beef

What else is on the menu: The truck also has beef (which is tasty), barbecue chicken (which is okay) and sweet corn (which is also good but a little bland). Really, you cannot go wrong with anything.

Verdict: Clearly by my language in this post, I’m a fan. And this is the ONLY truck I’ve seen yet in Chicago with a standing line about 20 people long waiting for the truck before it shows up. Sure, the trucks in Chicago still get a crowd but this one, you have to get out there early. I’ve learned the hard way.

Check out the other recent Street Food Friday posts on Doni, Gretchen and Lacey’s blogs. You can learn more about Portland’s 5th and Stark, New York’s Big D’s Grub Truck and Austin’s Torchy Tacos.

Are you a big empanada fan? Or do you have anything fun planned this weekend? TGIF!


  1. Erini says:

    OMG I LOVE THIS TRUCK!! It was at Tour de Fat in Palmer Park a few weeks ago, and I’ve been obsessed with it since! Not only does the food taste amazing, the truck is designed well too.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Where I’m from, empanadas (and tamales!) are a big, big deal! Yum, yum, yum.

  3. Lisa says:

    This is by far my favorite food truck. Onion empanada is to die for. Try the chimichurri sauce too!

  4. Erin says:

    I’ve never had an empanada but I did try an arepa for the first time last week. It was really good!

  5. I’ve never tried empanadas! Those sound good though :) Where I live in MN, we don’t have food trucks, but there’s a hotdog stand during the summers downtown and I know he’s a big hit! When I worked at the bank, you could smell it and it was kinda yum!

    And TGIF is right! I’m taking advantage of my brother’s gf being gone so we can hang out. It’s rare, so I gotta snatch up the opportunity when I can! Have a great wknd!

  6. Jill says:

    This looks so good! I’ve never once tried street food in Chicago.. adding it right now to my list of things to accomplish this summer :)

  7. so–i’m going to be in Chicago in a few weeks and I’m hoping on Friday we can hit up 1 food truck (before our very EARLY dinner reservation at Girl & the Goat)…so if we can only try one–which do you recommend?! :)