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Jan 26, 2010 02:19 PM

In Chicago for the weekend- Best Modern/Authentic Mexican Cuisine?

I will be traveling to Chicago and I am looking for some great modern/authentic mexican cuisine? Unfortunately the only day I will be there will be a Monday and all of Bayless restaurants are closed.
Any other suggestions?
Some whole in the wall mexican food would be fabulous as well!
Suggestions please!?

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  1. My favorite (along with the Bayless restaurants) is Mundial Cocina Mestiza, but unfortunately it too is closed on Mondays. I also like Mixteco Grill a lot, but - you guessed it - it's closed Mondays too (although Rustico Grill, Chef Arreola's new place, is open). So is Mexique. So is the Real Tenochtitlan. So is Fuego's location in the city, although their location in northwest suburban Arlington Heights is open. :(

    Fortunately, many other places serving modern regional Mexican cuisine are open on Mondays:

    Rustico Grill, in Chicago/Logan Square -
    FDM/Fonda Del Mar, in Chicago/North Center (on Lincoln) -
    Salpicon, in Chicago/Old Town -
    Chilam Balam, in Chicago/Lakeview -
    Los Moles, in Chicago/Lakeview -
    Fuego, in northwest suburban Arlington Heights -
    Xni-Pec, in west suburban Brookfield (I don't know whether or not they still have their original location in Cicero) -
    Amelia's Mestizo Grill, in Chicago/Back of the Yards -
    Adobo Grill, in Chicago/Old Town and Chicago/Wicker Park -

    1 Reply
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Thanks for such extensive info on openings & closings!
      Appreciate your input and will most definitely use your info!

    2. Restaurant Zaragoza - as original and unique, and high quality as it gets:

      It's a wonderful restaurant owned, staffed by the Zaragoza family offering a menu not often found in Chicago or probably not many if aby other cities in the USA.

      I don't think Xni-Pec is worth the effort to get to, but I haven't eaten in the recently opened, new location in Brookfield. Restaurants that are more popular with non-Mexicans than with people from that country always cause me concern (and such is the case with Xni-Pec) and though well-meaning I don't think the restaurant staff does a very good job . . . inconsistency seems the order of the day.

      Salpicon will give you the modern take on traditional Mexican dishes and it's convenient for people staying Downtown or on the near north side; it's probably more of a "Mexican" restaurant than the Bayless places.

      Have a great visit!

      1. Last night I made it to Chilam Balam - really excellent small plates. It reminded me a bit of the Bayless (Frontera/Topolobampo) style of cooking, with many interesting sauces, great flavor combinations, and excellent preparation. One of the best Mexican meals I've had in Chicago or elsewhere.

        Perhaps nsxtsy can comment on the chef's background - I don't know the "back story" on this place. It's a bit of a hike from downtown, but well worth the trip. Was surprisingly crowded on a Monday night, so I suspect it might be difficult later in the week?

        1 Reply
        1. re: RichInMV

          I haven't been there and only know what I've read about it. There's some info on the owners on their website at I have no idea how crowded it gets; you can always call ahead (or make a reservation, if they take them).