[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

When I decided to put together a list of some of the best fish tacos in Chicago, I knew Big & Little's deserved a visit. This is a place that knows the fine art of battering and frying better than just about any place in town, and the chance that it would serve a great fried fish taco was high. What I wasn't expecting was that there would be so many of them. Spread over the main menu and the daily specials menu, there were something like ten different fish tacos, which wasn't even counting the many other seafood options. I tried as many as I could.

Yet, even with so many fish tacos on my table, there was no way I could reasonably pass up the chance to try a soft shell crab taco ($7.50). As you can tell, it's easy to see why most places don't do this. The whole soft shell crab completely overwhelms the tortilla, making it especially hard to eat without half the contents falling back to the basket. But what it lacks in structural integrity, it makes up for in good natured fun. The batter is crispy, but not too thick as to cover up the sweet crab. And the two sauces (one sweet, the other spicy) accentuate each overloaded and ridiculous bite.

Big & Littles

860 North Orleans Street, Chicago, IL 60610 (map)


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