Our History

Founded by Rafael Cruz Sr., this family restaurant opened its doors in 1952 on the corner of Madison and Laflin in Chicago. Back then, it was a different era for the growing Puerto Rican community in Chicago. Puerto Rican men, who many times left their families and migrated to Chicago seeking work, longed for a taste of their estranged island. It was here, at Café Central, where they were able to feed their soul with some Puerto Rican comfort food. read more

Café Central serves breakfast, a daily soup, lunch and dinner. Notable items on the menu include the Jibarito Sandwich (your choice of meat sandwiched between fried plantain slices instead of bread), Mofongo (green plantain ball stuffed with garlic fried pork rinds) Asopao (soup with rice) and the famous Arroz con Gandules (rice and pigeon peas).  Customers can also mix and match different types of rice and meats to create their own “custom dish”. Café Central is a diner style family establishment with an extensive selection of tropical juices and sodas. To finish things off, Café Central offers great tasting desserts, so don't be scared and indulge in their home made flan or the tasty guava shells with white cheese. 

1437 W. Chicago Ave. Chicago, IL
Tel: 312.243.6776,

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