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Dec 12, 2007 01:05 PM

Authentic Mexican - Not Nuevo Leon

So, I was wondering if anyone could recommend a really authentic Mexican restaurant. I like Nuevo Leon, and have been there several times, but was looking for something new. Thanks

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  1. Not too far from Nuevo Leon is one of my very favorite Mexican restaurants in the city, La Casa de Samuel. Here's a link to descriptions of LCdS's food, with some pictures: The venison dish -- Cecina de Venado -- is my absolute favorite, but everything is good, right down to the freshly made tortillas.

    If you want great moles, head to Sol de Mexico on the northwest side. I believe Carlos, the owner, is Geno Bahena's brother-in-law, and I believe Geno's mom makes the moles (and I believe even taught Rick Bayless how to make some of the moles). Overall, Sol de Mexico is my very favorite Mexican restaurant in Chicago -- ask for a mole sampler and enjoy them with the freshly made corn tortillas.

    If you want more tips, I would highly suggest paging through the following two threads, developed a little while back when a California hound visited Chicago and sought recommendations and then wrote up a review: and

    3 Replies
    1. re: BRB

      BRB: Hey, very interesting link to Casa de Samuel. The Milwaukee avenue location is right around the corner from my office. Do the carne asada tacos from Casa de Samuel hold up to Las Asadas tacos right around the corner?

      1. re: amoncada

        I have only been to La Casa de Samuel on Cermak . . . I have heard that the other locations are not as good, but I don't know first hand. But Samuel's carne asada is fantastic, and their tortillas are homemade . . . watch them being made in the front window. But again, that's on Cermak and I have not been to the .

        As for Las Asadas, I have to admit that it's been a while since I've been there . . . a long while . . . although I recall liking the carne asada there quite a bit, but when in that neighborhood, I tend to stick mostly to La Pasadita.

        Maybe it's time for a head to head to head comparison of the three. :)

        1. re: BRB

          The La Casa de Samuel in Waukegan not only wasn't very good, it closed earlier this year.

          This summer at the same address Mi Fiesta opened, and IMO its much better. As far as I'm concerned, if the other locations of La Casa de Samuel are anything like the former Waukegan location was, then they aren't even close to being in the same league as La Pasadita.

    2. Sol de Mexico. It's on Cicero just south of Belmont. Absolutely the best Mexican I think I've ever had.

      1 Reply
      1. re: blondie60614

        Sol de Mexico is very, very good.. the food has better sazon than Topolobampo... I could even see it surviving in Mexico City. I like the Quail in Chipotle sauce myself.

        I like Casa de Samuel.... in addition to the Cecina... the Charilitos (whole deep fried small fish) hit the spot.

      2. Two that have not been mentioned yet for you:

        La Quebrada. Homemade tortillas.
        4859 W. Roosevelt Rd.
        Cicero, IL 60804.
        Regional Yucatecan fare (with homemade tortillas to boot as well!):
        Xni-Pec Restaurant
        5135 W 25th ST
        Cicero, IL

        1. I'm a fan of Los Nopales on Western Ave. BYOB too! Closed Mondays.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chicagowinediva

            Good call . . . I'm a big fan too.

          2. You'll find lots of great recommendations in the topic at

            FWIW, I'm not a big fan of Sol de Mexico. I like moles, but I found their execution rather bland and just not overwhelming. If you're really looking for authentic, creative Mexican cuisine, IMHO the food's far, far better at Flamingo's Seafood in Mount Prospect.