Follow Dining on a Dime host Lucas Peterson this week as he heads to an unassuming place on the near north side of Chicago: Mogadishu Somali Restaurant. It’s a spot particularly popular with cab drivers, who flock to Mogadishu for home-cooked East African cuisine every day for lunch.
Due to Somalia’s location on the Horn of Africa and its history as a hub for trade, Somalian food is a mash-up of many different cultures and influences. An injera-like flatbread is a nod to Ethiopian cuisine, but pasta is also common, a remnant of Italy’s imperialist presence on the continent. Basmati rice, milk tea, and camel meat (which was unfortunately not available on the day Peterson visited) are common staples. Peterson tries both a traditional Somali breakfast and lunch; after the meal, he even scores a Somali nickname from the restaurant’s clientele.