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Best Tortillas in Chicago?

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  • pnin Aug 26, 2007 08:31 PM
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Hi everybody, I just moved to Chicago and am already finding this board an outstanding resource. Here's a question I haven't seen answered: I cook a lot of Mexican food at home and am looking for the absolute best tortillas in the city. Suggestions for both corn and flour tortillas are welcome. Thanks!

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  1. My favorite flour tortillas are the handmade ones available by the dozen near the cash register at Nuevo Leon in Pilsen.

    For corn, your best bet is one of the carnicerias around town that advertises tortillas hecho a mano or, at a lower price point, El Milagro.

    2 Replies
    1. re: gleam

      Thanks, gleam -- I'll check out Nuevo Leon and report back...

      1. re: gleam

        Also, there is a tortilla factory about 2-3 blocks east of Nuevo Leon on 18th st. I think 1/2 a kilo is about 75 cents.

      2. September's Gourmet magazine has an article about Mexican food (and tortillerias) in Chicago- you may want to pick it up:)

        1. There's no need to trek all over the city! Any of 1000's of Mercado's around the city and suburbs will have fresh tortillas delivered straight from the tortillerias daily. Just touch any of tortillas inside the boxes to get to the warmest (freshest) ones. Personally I prefer El Milagros or Del Rey's.

          1 Reply
          1. re: abf005

            Yes, agree completely, thousands of markets around the city have great fresh tortillas.

          2. Supermercado Morelia at Cicero and Diversey gets several deliveries a day from local tortillerias, but they also make their own fresh tortillas. They are packed in unmarked plastic bags and are usually stacked on a tray above the counter where they sell Carnitas and Barbacoa (along the east wall).

            1. Wow, thanks everybody -- I'm looking forward to exploring the many options.

              1. I agree with those who've recommended El Milagro for corn. But even better, if you have the time, is making your own. You don't say what neighborhood you're in, but I know that Tony's Finer Foods on Fullerton and Central Park (Logan Square) carries fresh masa para tortillas. I'm sure there must be markets in other neighborhoods that carry it as well. Certainly more time consuming, but soooo much better!

                1. Anyone know what place ship tortillas nationwide?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sitalove

                    Just move to Chicago---we are wall-to-wall with tortillas and pierogies.

                  2. For home use, El Milagro tortillas wins hands down! I've been eating them and the incredible tortilla chips for 40 year/ all of my life. Check out the storefront totilleria and separate taqueria (excellent full menu without all the greasiness like Nuevo Leon) on Blue Island and 19th street in Pilsen.

                    The husband and wife founders started with homemade tacos and tortillas on a taco cart in Pilsen. My parents used to buy thier tacos and tortillas from the push cart like 50 years ago. What I love about thier products is that they don't contain all sorts of additives like some other brands, ie Bandera (absolutely delicious but full of additives typical of nationally distributed food products) from Dallas, Tx.

                    1. best hand made tortilla can be purchased at Trader Joes , the hand made flour and wheat are phenomenal

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tortillahound

                        I second that, the tortillas at Trader Joes are pretty good. I loved the white flour tortillas on my quesadillas and burritos. Yum!

                      2. Rick Bayless claims that Chicago has more tortillarias than Mexico City. I've found that most grocery stores (even Jewel) sell local corn and flour tortillas that are usually very fresh.

                        1. The El Milagro brand is the next best thing to the, straight-off-the-comal fresh made ones served at a few restaurants and taquerias in town.

                          The El Milagro corn and flour tortillas and tortilla chips are the best in town, there's no comparison. Most grocery stores in the Chicago area get frequent shipments,,.yep, while they're still warm, YUM!!

                          1. The best tortilleria and best masa was Del Rey Tortilleria in the Chicago Illinois

                            1. El Milagro. I prefer the corn and they are all over the city for as little as 35 cents a dozen. Often if you slide your hand between the packages you will feel that they are still warm. You might like to visit their little factory on 26th street because not only do they sell fresh tortillas and masa but there is a small restaurant adjacent, nice for having lunch. Todo muy fresco. The 60 Blue Island bus leaves from the northwest corner of State & Madison, the bus shelter alongside Sears---will take you to the door of El Milagro, 3050 W 26th. Their website (Taqueria El Milagro or Tortilleria El Milagro) has delicious details.

                              1. Pnin, welcome to Chicago. Don't know what part of the city you are in but if you cook Mexican you will love Tony's Finer Foods, a small local chain of BIG Hispanic supermarkets. At Tony's you can get a huge variety of Mexican tortillas, cheeses, chorizo, Mexican-style cuts of fresh meats, produce (nopales, papaya, other fruits, tropical root vegetables), spices and herbs, teas like jamaica, dry grocery items by the aisle-ful (beans, cornmeal, canned items), frozen prepared items, frozen discs of dough for making empanadas, masa, hojas para tamales, etc. Tony's is the ONLY outlet GOYA supplies with their frozen tropical nectar concentrates in 12-oz cans, not the plastic bag pulps---comes in guava, passionfruit, and soursop. Also a full line of Hispanic brands of coffee. The stores are a treasure---look up locations online.

                                Also, Pnin, if winter ever ends, the Maxwell Street Market on Sundays has ladies who hand-make tortillas.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Querencia

                                  Pnin's original post was in 2007 so I hope that by now he/she has found sources for tortillas and other Mexican staples! (Not your fault Querencia; the post has been dormant for 2+ years before being revived earlier this week.)

                                  1. re: masha

                                    I figure othe newer people will read the OP and have the same need.

                                    1. re: Querencia

                                      Understood, Q. I was just reacting to the first part of your comments that "welcomed" the OP to Chicago.