Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
Titus Ruscitti
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1. Taqueria San Matias 3005 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (Near North Side)

Any place that's serving up different types of combined meats and cooking it all together with bacon, diced peppers, and lots of cheese (known as alambres), is the place you want to be. Luckily, Taqueria San Matias is doing the delicious deed, but in taco form; the Taco Alambres are delicious, unique, and a steady source of returning customers.

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2. Birrieria Zaragoza 4852 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60632 (South Chicago)

This cozy South Side counter-serve is owned by a friendly family that's bringing Chicago a beloved regional specialty from Jalisco, Mexico: spicy, braised goat, or "birria." The grass-fed, locally sourced goat is the one and only meat you'll find in this unfussy, orange-accented space, where it's served in tacos, quesadillas, and by-the-pound. The move is to order a large plate of birria, swimming in a tomato-based consomme and served with freshly made tortillas and hot fire-roasted salsa on the side.

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3. Taqueria La Zacatecana 3024 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Avondale)

This taqueria serves great carne asada tacos that you should definitely get with the salsa verde.

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4. Tacos Erendira 3207 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608 (Bridgeport Sox)

This is a Chicago favorite that offers mouth watering pork stew, chicken, and steak tacos. Don't miss their salsa either.

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5. Estrella Negra 2346 W Fullerton, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

A veggie-friendly Mexican spot with killer goat cheese quesadillas and a BYOB option.

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6. Authentaco 1141 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

With a focus on traditional ingredients, Felipe Caro (of Picante and Delish Diner) brings authentic Mexican fare to Wicker Park at this modern spot on North Ashland.

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7. Cookies & Carnitas 5759 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60660 (Edgewater)

Cookies & Carnitas serve exactly what you think they would... plus sandwiches, pizza, tacos, salads, and the Dirk Diggler: an obscenely long, specially made kosher dog served with Mexican-style relish.

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8. Cemitas Puebla 3619 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Humboldt Park)

Cemitas Puebla is known for those eponymous sandwiches, and other traditional Mexican dishes and pastries round out the menu.

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9. El Potosí 3710 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Irving Park)

This Irving Park mom and pop taco shack looks like it belongs somewhere along a Southern California coast. Sometimes you just need a quick fix and they offer that in all of their tasty (and cheap!) tacos. Pro tip: go for the chorizo and egg number.

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10. BIG & little's 860 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60610 (Near North Side)

BIG & little's is Chicago's one-stop wonder for fish 'n chips. There are also po'boys, truffle fries, burgers, and.... need we keep going? Just get there.

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11. Del Seoul 2568 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Inspired by the Korean taco craze that's become a food truck staple across the land, DS is bringing that street ethos to a takeout-focused brick 'n mortar joint covered in food cart-esque sheet metal and three flat-screens touting the menu, so finally TVs'll actually help you stuff your face in front of them.

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12. La Cabana De Don Luis 5157 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (Lincoln Square)

If you like spice, then this Lincoln Square spot is for you. They feature a variety of Mexican faves -- marinated to perfection -- from tacos and tortas, to enchiladas and fajitas.

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13. De Pasada 1517 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607

The must-try item at De Pasada in University Village is the Super Taco, loaded with carne asada and topped with everything. These are best consumed after a night of barhopping up and down Taylor.

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14. Taqueria Los Barrilitos 3518 W 25th St, Chicago, IL 60623

Little Village's Taqueria Los Barrilitos is one of Chicago's best taco spots; their tacos al pastor are one of the most crave-worthy items in the city. Perfectly seasoned bits of meat get shaved off as you order. Pro tip: Top it with some of their house-made pickled onion with habanero to take it to the next level.

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15. L'Patron Tacos 3749 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

If you thought you could only get decent Mexican street food south of the border, think again – for Chicagoans, it’s as easy as a trip to Logan Square. The market-driven menu at L’Patron includes highlights like carne asada and the signature la gringa, a tortilla with al pastor, Chihuahua cheese, pineapple, and a side of rice and beans. While seating is available, this counter-service taqueria is a lunch hotspot, so get there early to snag a seat and chow down.

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16. La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant 3333 W 111th St, Chicago, IL 60655

This far South Side favorite has a few interesting taco options on its menu, including the Sombrero. It's made with steak that's simmered in a spicy sauce, bacon, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro. The tortilla gets a little dip in red enchilada sauce, making for a very pleasing taco with real spice in each bite.

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17. La Lagartija Taqueria 132 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60607

If you're heading to a game at the United Center and need to eat beforehand, the shrimp tacos here are some of the better crustacean tacos you'll come across. Three pieces get a dip in a Negro Modelo batter before being perfectly fried. When you're wishing you were at that little oceanside taco shack you visited in Mexico, but instead have to go to work all week -- that's another good time to head here for a quick fix.

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18. Mom's Old Recipe Mexican Restaurant 5760 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60646 (Norwood Park)

Come to Mom's Old Recipe for the tacos acorazados. Two homemade, open-faced corn tortillas are topped with rice and strips of breaded steak, and come served with special potatoes made with jalapeño peppers. Topped with a creamy honey chipotle mayo, the only challenge is eating these without a knife and fork.

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19. Carnitas Uruapan 1725 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608 (Pilsen)

You can find carnitas at almost every Mexican supermarket and taqueria in town, but when you want the real thing, head over to Pilsen and enjoying them at this family-owned spot that has basically nothing else on their menu.

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20. El Taco Feliz Taqueria 5439 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60641 (Portage Park)

Fresh ingredients used in dishes made from scratch result in deliciousness like the cochinita estilo Guerrero. Five different types of dried chiles marinate a pork roast which cooks until it's fall-apart tender. It's the first meat mentioned in the taco section of the menu. It's also the owner's Grandma's famous recipe, which she used to sell street-side back in Guerrero. The final result is both sweet and spicy.

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21. GT Fish & Oyster 531 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654 (Near North Side)

Helmed by Michelin-starred chef Guiseppe Tentori, this fine dining restaurant in River North is the place to go for anything seafood-related. GT serves fish shack-style eats like lobster rolls, fish and chips, and oyster po' boys alongside way more luxurious items like caviar and seafood towers. The beautifully-designed space includes a date-worthy oyster bar and a private dining room with a whale mural. Though Friday and Saturday nights are GT's peak hours, the restaurant has stellar weekday lunch and weekend brunch service.

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22. Rocky's Tacos 7043 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60626

The specialty tacos from this torta-driven spot can be quite satisfying... if you're even feeling up to the challenge. Steak, bacon, and ham sit atop a literal bed of cheese, joined by grilled onions and cactus. You'll get this served in platter form ($10) with rice and beans, plus tortillas on the side.

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23. Carmela's Taqueria 1206 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60640 (Uptown)

The first sign you should be looking for when it comes to good al pastor is a trompo spinning with marinated pork meat on it. And Carmela's has exactly that.

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24. Taqueria Traspasada 811 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Avondale)

This Avondale spot might not look like much from the outside, but once you bite into their chicharron burrito with salsa verde, nothing else matters.

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25. Bar Takito 201 N Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60607 (West Loop)

Takito Kitchen’s Latin-inspired spin-off flaunts a lengthy concrete bar and graffiti decor by local street artists. The house-made tortillas infused with Negro freaking Modelo are a must-try.

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26. Zacatacos 3949 W 71st St, Chicago, IL 60629 (South Chicago)

This West Lawn spot has authentic Mexican grub, with an old-school vibe.

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27. Antique Taco 1360 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

Antique Taco's a brick-n-mortar mash-up of an upscale taqueria and a Cracker Barrel, sporting barnwood tables, mismatched china and, of course, for-sale antiques ranging from glassware to old Jays potato chip tins. The fare includes housemade tortillas with Slagel Farm ribeye and boozy agua fresca.