Love Always Wins at Carnivale

Fri. July 16, 2021 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Carnivale, located at 702 West Fulton Market Street in Chicago, Illinois, opened in 2005 with much fanfare with a Latin American menu and over-the-top decor. Not much has changed over the years as far as the cuisine with solid steak offerings, such as the arrachera skirt steak and gaucho ribeye. A staple there has always been the ropa vieja that translates to "old clothes" and is actually fresh braised beef with queso fresco over sweet plantains. I will tell you the taste never grows old and only seems to be even better under the talented eye of Chef Carlos Garza.

The coconut shrimp is also another delicious appetizer served at the establishment with an aji panca glaze that is simply out of this world.

I have never had an empanada there that I didn't like and the crispy calamari never disappoints. I worked at Carnivale for a short time as a bartender and muddled an average of 100 mojitos nightly. The staff works extremely hard every day, but makes it look easy.

Carnivale has always been about putting on a show for spectators. It's a place to be seen and impress your friends with a festive atmosphere, wild furnishings and eye-popping artwork.

Speaking of art, a new, outdoor mural debuted recently at Carnivale titled Love Always Wins. It is dedicated to the artist's wife with her resemblance painted on it. It's a welcome replacement from the some of the past paintings on the west side of Carnivale's outside wall, such as the way too casual paint splatter can mural. This represents the spirit of the place better and is an important addition to the venue as spectators can see this advertisement of Carnivale from the street and nearby highway.

Look for more new happenings at and start planning a visit today!