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Aug 26, 2008 08:32 AM

Best Taqueria in Chicago

I spent a little while searching and didn't in find a post that really answered my question so here it goes:

I'm looking for authoritative suggestions from people who really know their mexican food about the best/most authentic taquerias and/or mexican restuarants in the city of Chicago. I'll be in chicago for a few days after spending a a year in South America without real mexican food and want to make sure I choose well.

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  1. This place was great! Locations all over Chicago area.

    Do not be fooled by the number of locations!
    Let me know what you think

    14 Replies
    1. re: trader123abc

      Los Comales is terible!!

      This thread discusses the BEST in Chicago:

      This thread discusses the best in Lake County IL just to the north:

      1. re: abf005

        I agree that Los Comales is horrible, does have its merits (according to its fans.)

        I kinda think that in Chicago, most taquerias are one trick ponies. Some taquerias try to do several things well, but really fall short. For this reason, I go to different taquerias for different things. If I were you, here's where I'd hit. These are my opinions, of course, other peeps will have varying opinions:

        For Char grilled juicy skirt steak tacos:
        Las Asadas
        2072 N Western Ave
        Chicago, IL 60647
        (773) 235-5538

        Carniceria Y Taqueria Tierra Caliente (formerly Carniceria Leon)
        1400 N Ashland
        Chicago, IL

        Taqueria el Asadero
        2213 W. Montrose Ave.

        A caveat of these places will be that you should go during peak times to ENSURE fresh meat hot off the grill. That's just how it is.

        I'm not a huge fan of al pastor, but one place I do like it is at
        Restaurant Atotonilco
        3916 W. 26th St

        For full service yet extremely casual restaurants that do several things REALLY well:
        Taqueria La Oaxaqueña
        3382 N. Milwaukee

        Xni-Pec Restaurant
        5135 W 25th ST
        Cicero, IL

        La Quebrada
        4859 W Roosevelt Rd
        (708) 780-6976

        For a little more upscale, and full service, I like these two:
        Sol de Mexico
        3018 N. Cicero

        Fonda Del Mar
        3749 W. Fullerton Ave.

        1. re: gordeaux

          doorbell; stick with gordeaux's recs!! You will not be disapointed! The char-grilled steak tacos (be sure to get them fresh off the grill) from Las Asadas and Taqueria El Asadero are tough to beat...seriously fantastic!!

          Agreed, Los Comales is terrible!!! The meat is fatty and chewy!! YUK!

          Fonda Del Mar is pretty good, although a bit overrated in my opinion, expensive too.

          1. re: amoncada

            Well, I guess I have had better luck at Los Comales. I was just at the one in Niles and the meat was not fatty at all! Cook just right.
            The place was packed with all Hispanic family's, I was the only gringo in the joint!.

            1. re: trader123abc

              I have a co-worker who deos enjoy the suadero at the Los Comales in Niles. Trader123abc - what do you like from there?
              It is possible that certain days are much better than others, but my issue with them is their carne asada prep. They griddle saute steak for their tacos. I much prefer steak cooked on an open flame. Sauteed steak just isn't my thing.

              1. re: trader123abc

                Los Comales has a strong Hispanic following, but that doesn't make it any better. There is a clear difference in the quality of meat and the way in which it is cooked. Los Comales does not grill their meat like Las Asadas or Taqueria El Asadero does.

            2. re: gordeaux

              Totally agree with you about Las Asadas (and am glad to see that I'm not the only fan!) They have the juiciest, most flavorful skirt steak tacos I've ever had.

              We live in the northwest 'burbs and when we're in town one of our favorite stops is John's Pizza, which is across the parking lot from Las Asadas. When we're done at John's we always bring home tacos from Las Asadas. My brother was appalled by the gluttony of it all one time we met him there! (He's not a chowhound, so he doesn't understand!)

              I like La Rosita in Crystal Lake, also. Their tacos are pretty tasty, but they don't hold a candle to Las Asadas.

              1. re: Scylla

                Although it might be a hike from you, there is a Las Asadas in Des Plaines on Rand, and River road. It's every bit as good, I can assure you. I work out that way, and go for lunch quite often. Sometimes, I will see the same workers as the one on Western. There's also one on Oakton and 83. Not sure if you were aware of these other ones. If you are in the NW burbs, maybe these will float your boat if you didn't know they were there.

                1. re: Scylla

                  In keeping with the, "gluttony" theme, walk accross the street from Las Asadas to the Peruvian restaurant; Pollo Salvaje (formerly Cancun Restaurant). The Peruvian style rotisserie chicken and chicken (pork ones are too greasy) tamales are outstanding!!
                  Why stop at Pizza and tacos when you can have Peruvian chicken too!!

                  1. re: amoncada

                    When Amoncada talks, everyone should listen. I've gotta try this place now. Thanks for the intel! Tacos, and tamales sounds like a great lunch. I might grab a dozen, and then go to Las Asadas, and offer the workers there a tamale when I order my tacos.

                    1. re: gordeaux

                      I'm there!! You two rock!

                      Is the Peruvian chicken anything like a Mexican Roticeria style, I've not had it before.

                      1. re: abf005

                        OK I did it!! All this talking about La Asadas had my mouth watering and since I am in Northbrook today I had to do it.

                        amoncada & gordeaux - You two were dead on! This is without a doubt one of the best burritos I've ever had ANYWHERE!

                        As I rounded the bend on Rt. 45, I was thinking "where the heck is Lee St?" and that’s when it hit me! The scent of char grilled meat... I knew I was close! Right next to the McDonalds #1 Museum, sits one of the most inconspicuous places turning out some of the best food anywhere.

                        I opted for the "super burrito" which has rice, beans & avocado inside as well. Tremendous!! Great flavor, fresh ingredients and uncomplicated perfection.

                        Thanks guys I only hope I that I can recommend a place to you that will make you as happy, as you did me for me today-

                        1. re: abf005

                          Nope, not like the Mexican roticeria style.

                          The seasoning/mojo on POLLO SALVAJE'S Peruvian rotisserie chicken is VERY similar to the seasoning on the Colombian churrasco pounded chicken at Las it's really flavorful, one of the very best I've ever tasted!!
                          I suggest getting it fresh off of the rotisserie. I had the very last of the chicken on my last visit and it was on the dry side :(.

                          Pollo Salvaje (NO VISABLE SIGN...formerly Mariscos Cancun)
                          2011 N. Western at Armitage
                          Chicago, IL

                          Here are a few photo's from yelp.

                          I gotta tell ya, the interior is seriously cool (unchanged from Mariscos Cancun) in this place!!! Really clean too!! The colorful interior reminds me of a typical beachtown restaurant from Central or South America.

                          gordeaux, the tamales at are larger and more expensive than the Mexican variety. A dozen will set you back a bit. Again, I felt that the pork tamal was too greasy. We much peferred the chicken tamal.

                      2. re: amoncada

                        Ooh! Thanks, amoncada! You're speaking my language! ;-) I'll definitely have to try Pollo Salvaje as well.

                        And thanks for letting me know about Las Asadas' other location, gordeaux. I've seen it, but wasn't sure whether it was the same owners (or as good). I work in Northfield, so I head that way quite often. Maybe I'll surprise the family with Las Asadas tacos tonight!

              2. Thanks everyone for the recs. As a fellow Chicagoan, it's always great to read where everyone else likes to eat and I was in need of a good Mexican place.