Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Jul 20, 2010 05:58 PM

taqueria/taco trucks

Going in 2 weeks for my first visit to Chicago and I love tacos and although I will be enjoying many of Chi towns favorites, I need a taco fix. I love small mom and pop taquerias and self contained taco trucks.I will be staying around the Miracle mile area but if you have a spot you think is worth a visit, please let me know.Although I don't plan o rent a car because I don't think I need one for a 5 day trip do I?. Thanks for any help you can give me.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you like steak. Not garbage, chewy, pre-chopped and then sauteed in a pile on a griddle steak, but flame grilled skirt steak, then my suggestion would be to head to Las Asadas on the 2000 block of Western. They do a decent barbacoa, they sell a ton of lengua, but I go for the steak. Did I mention the steak?

    If you want a little more nitty-gritty, here's a place that might have the best tacos of all kinds in the city:
    Carniceria Y Taqueria Tierra Caliente
    1400 N Ashland
    Chicago, IL

    It's a little joint in the back of a tiny grocery store, and everything they make is great. Try the steak and the pastor for starters.

    There are hundreds of Mom & Pop taquerias around town, everyone has their favorite.I much prefer fire grilled skirt steak than the griddle sauteed steak that most of the places slop out with no pride.

    1. >> I don't plan o rent a car because I don't think I need one for a 5 day trip do I?

      No. For what it would cost you to rent a car and park it, you could pay for two round-trip cab rides anywhere in the city each day. Better still, though, take public transit, which will get you anywhere in the city for a little over two bucks. Of course, there are also a lot of foods within walking distance too.

      1. Food trucks are a sore point here in Chicago and they're not as much a part of the local food culture as they might be in several other cities. The city (Chicago) has been a tough-sell when it comes to approving them. Small restaurants are a dime a dozen in the Pilsen, La Villita and Rogers Park neighborhoods. Head to 18th St. (Halsted St. to Damen Ave), 26th St. (Western Ave. to Kostner) or Clark St. (Devon Ave. to Rogers) and you'll trip over, collectively, probably a hundred or more small Mexican restaurants selling tacos or other Mexican foods. Public transportation is easy, efficient and relatively inexpensive and will get you to these neighborhood gems.

        1. This city has hundreds (maybe thousands) of storefront taquerias, but you will have to get away from Michigan Avenue to find them. Many of the best taquerias are located inside Mexican grocery stores. I suggest a trip to the weekend-only open-air Maxwell St. Market, which features a bunch of mostly Mexican "mom and pop" food stalls among the tables of bulk tube socks and cheap cell phone chargers. Although many of the booths appear somewhat ramshackle, the market is run by the city, so the food vendors must pass regular and rigorous dept. of health inspections.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Roger Spark

            I second Roger_Spark's rec for the Maxwell Street open market (actually, it's no longer on Maxwell street, it's now at Roosevelt and Des Plaines, just east of the Kennedy expressway). There are several great taco/tamale/torta/sope/huarache stands. I find that a few of these streetside mom and pop stands are far better than most storefront taquerias. STREET FOOD RULES!!

            Also try Taqueria El Asadero at Montrose and Lincoln Avenue's OR Las Asadas (ask for the roasted black salsa, YUM!!!) on Western Avenue just north of Armitage, for the best char-grilled steak tacos and burrito's in the city!!!

            Taqueria El Asadero
            2213 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

            1. re: Roger Spark

              >> the weekend-only open-air Maxwell St. Market

              Maxwell Street Market is open only on Sundays, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

              1. re: nsxtasy

                Thanks for all the great posts, I will be making a few stops and as always I take pics of all the food I eat and the people that are nice enough to serve it. Food trucks are great when you can find them and I know many in NYC,, California, Austin, Denver and just expected that Chicago would have plenty, Who knew. I will post my finds, thanks again from tacobloggo

            2. I agree that you'll find some great tacos at the Maxwell Street Market, especially really good al pastor and handmade tortillas (make sure you find the big ones). However, near there, in Pilsen, there is El Milagro (1923 South Blue Island Avenue, Chicago, IL 60608-3014), where you should look into the steak tacos (there's literally a steak in the taco). However, some of the best al pastor I've ever had was at a grocery/tiny taqueria on Ashland & Blackhawk (Wicker Park) called Tierra Caliente, absolutely divine, this is where you should go.

              1 Reply
              1. re: gracie22

                I will make Maxwell Street Market one of my stops, thanks again from tacobloggo