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Best Taqueria in Chicago

dinnerbell Aug 26, 2008 08:32 AM

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.

  1. t
    trader123abc Aug 26, 2008 09:48 AM

    This place was great! Locations all over Chicago area.
    http://www.loscomales.com/

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

    14 Replies
    1. re: trader123abc
      abf005 Aug 26, 2008 05:24 PM

      Los Comales is terible!!

      This thread discusses the BEST in Chicago: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/424655

      This thread discusses the best in Lake County IL just to the north:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/456329

      1. re: abf005
        g
        gordeaux Aug 26, 2008 07:48 PM

        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
        773-772-9804

        Taqueria el Asadero
        2213 W. Montrose Ave.
        Chicago

        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
        773-545-858

        Xni-Pec Restaurant
        5135 W 25th ST
        Cicero, IL
        708-652-8680

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

        ==================
        For a little more upscale, and full service, I like these two:
        Sol de Mexico
        3018 N. Cicero
        773-282-4119

        Fonda Del Mar
        3749 W. Fullerton Ave.
        773-489-3748

        1. re: gordeaux
          a
          amoncada Aug 27, 2008 09:02 AM

          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
            t
            trader123abc Aug 27, 2008 10:04 AM

            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
              g
              gordeaux Aug 27, 2008 12:58 PM

              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
                a
                amoncada Aug 28, 2008 07:24 AM

                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
              Scylla Aug 27, 2008 01:15 PM

              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
                g
                gordeaux Aug 27, 2008 05:09 PM

                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
                  a
                  amoncada Aug 28, 2008 07:30 AM

                  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
                    g
                    gordeaux Aug 28, 2008 12:19 PM

                    Hmmm...
                    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
                      abf005 Aug 29, 2008 08:30 AM

                      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
                        abf005 Aug 29, 2008 11:33 AM

                        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
                          a
                          amoncada Aug 29, 2008 11:41 AM

                          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 Tablas...so 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.
                          http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/lx2F_A...

                          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
                        Scylla Sep 2, 2008 08:17 AM

                        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. Chew on That Aug 27, 2008 01:58 PM

                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.

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