Do you ever pretend to look at the menu each time you visit a restaurant, yet you already know what you’re going to order? If you reside in the windy city or are in town visiting for a weekend – check out some of the delicioso Mexican restaurants we’ve tried (and highly recommend).
Give me all the tacos! Our wallets would be thicker if we didn’t order Papacito’s so often. It’s irresistible and rather affordable so why stop now?! We’ve walked into the restaurant near closing time and they stayed open without rushing us – that my friends is some quality customer service.
The Black Bean Taco Plate on flour tortillas is my go to. Every now and then I’ll request avocado slices on the tacos as well (I know… the guac is extra). Little containers of salsa and salsa verde are also provided with the meal.
Jeff orders the Chorizo and Eggs with corn tortillas. This order also comes with breakfast potatoes. He dreams of this meal on a regular basis.
Both meals come with rice & beans + free chips and salsa! The salsa is unlike any other salsa I’ve ever had and I would do anything to obtain that recipe or something similar!
Nicest employees ever and the customer service is great!
Barrio – Churros
Cantina Laredo – $$
I’ve probably had more margaritas here than any other place combined. Cantina has a fantastic Happy Hour from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm from Monday-Friday. The liquor is basically free in my opinion.
They give you free chips & salsa for the table.
Guacamole – delicious and they make it right in front of you on a little wheel cart! You can choose your level of spiciness.
Queso Blanco- Order this the moment you step foot into the restaurant. I’m serious. By far the best queso I have ever had. It is like drinking silk in cheese form. Unbelievable. I need more of this in my life (my body disagrees).
Chicken Tacos (without the chicken). The three tacos are filling and full of flavor.
Avocado Enchilada – Flavorful, filling, and unique.
Steak Fajita Tacos – Corn tortillas with grilled skirt steak, avocado, charred corn, pico de gallo, cilantro, sour cream and Monterrey jack (according to menu)
Traditional tacos – Crispy tacos with seared ground sirloin, lettuce, cheddar cheese and tomato (according to menu)
Friendly and helpful staff. Food and drinks are highly recommended.
Barrio – $$$
Barrio is close to work which always keeps me coming back for more. They even have a little shop connected, Bodega, that sells tacos, outstanding churros, coffee & tea, liquors, and miscellaneous items. The shop is perfect for snapping one of those trendy shots for an instagram post (see a few pics below)! They have a nice and unique bar and the place is usually active throughout the day during peak times.
Charred Corn & Kale Empanada – Not a huge empanada fan but these were one of my favorite items on the menu. Cute little purple pockets bursting with warmth and flavor.
Cornbread – OMG, need more of this in my life! In fact, this has inspired me to make a fresh batch this weekend! The agave sea salt butter melted on top does wonders.
Guacamole & Roasted Sweet Potato Guacamole – Both are worth reaching for seconds! I personally enjoy the sweet potato taste and the pieces of bacon are big enough to avoid if you’re not a fan. Standard, but delicious guac. (Make sure to ask for the spicy chips).
Vege Tacos – I usually ask them to create a bean/avocado based taco and they’re always more than willing to do so.
Steak Tacos – Multiple people i’ve eaten with have had these and said they were delicious. The meat was perfectly cooked and tasteful.
Churros – YUM! Each time i’ve been here (way too many times) the churros have been on point. I’ve had them in nugget shapes, large rings, or the classic churro form. The churros are accompanied with 3 sauces that change sometimes. So far I’ve had the vanilla bean, matcha, and chocolate; however, the churros are great on their own – if you don’t want to get saucey.
Try them all (not all at once people). I’ve had margaritas, spicy margaritas, and even a drink with a pineapple stalk! They have a drink menu to cater to anyone.
I’ve been here so many times and the staff has always been so kind and accommodating!
Mercadito – SS
I’ve had all three types of guacamole. Each had a very unique flavor but in a good way. This place tends to serve smaller servings so I recommend ordering a bunch of different apps and sharing.
I ordered the pollo taco without the pollo (chicken). I also ordered a side of the green rice casserole and boy was it tasty! It was topped with a small amount of cheese and served in a cast iron skillet.
Both the chips & guacamole and chips & pico de gallo are worth a try! The chips have a nice seasoning.
Panko Crusted Avocado Tacos – I shed a tear every night because these are no longer on the menu. Even my meat loving boyfriend thought these were delicious. The tacos were filled with mango salsa, chipotle crema, cotija cheese, and panko crusted avocados. I’ll share my mock recipe in the near future.
Gobi Manchurian Bowl (rice & bean) – This was a ‘create your own bowl’ which was unexpectedly very delicious and spicy (my heartburn was not happy with me)! The base of this was fried spiced cauliflower. The rest of the ingredients I added are listed above in the avocado taco description. Overall, I would get it again and got 2 meals out of it!
Jeff has had pretty much had every meat/fish taco on the menu – his favorite being the Crispy Shrimp Taco.
All photos belong to me. Please do not replicate.