Editor's Note: This one is fairly self-explanatory, but here we go: Chicago Tacos explores the good, the bad, and the truly exceptional taco options in the Windy City--one taqueria at a time.

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[Photographs: Nick Kindelsperger]

DeColores

1626 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60608 (map); 312-226-9886; decolor.us‎
Must Try: Taquitos de Papa
Cost: $6.95 for four
Other Options: Tacos al Pastor ($9.50 for three)

Only a restaurant that doubles as an art gallery could kick out taquitos de papa as simply gorgeous as these. I mean, taquitos de papa are just corn tortillas stuffed with mashed potatoes that are folded over and fried. Don't get me wrong; I happen to love them. But at DeColores in Pilsen, they are listed on the menu as "colorful taquitas," and that's no joke.

But the toppings aren't just for decoration. Thin strands of squash, sugar beets, carrots, and choyote look beautiful, but also lighten each bite while also lending some subtle sweetness. The queso fresco sprinkled on top is a nice touch, but I'm more into the acidic and slightly spicy tomato citrus sauce around the base.

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The regular tacos aren't quite as picture perfect, but they do prove that there are some serious cooks in the kitchen. That's especially true of the al pastor, which doesn't come from a pit, but still arrives juicy and intricately flavored. It's only rival in the griddled marinated pork game is probably Taqueria Moran's adobado.

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The steak taco (on the left) is much more balanced than some of the over the top (read: greasy) versions I've had lately. But that doesn't mean it is tame. The meat gets a great sear, and yet still remains juicy. The rajas and queso taco (on the right) has a little too much of the latter, which kind of obscures the flavor of the former. Still, this is all relative. At any other restaurant, these would be worth ordering.

DeColores Galeria Y Sabores

1626 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60608 (map)
312-226-9886
decolor.us‎

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