As far as I'm concerned, Atotonilco serves only al pastor. When it's on, it's one of the best versions around—crispy, caramelized, and charged with chiles.
'Chicago Tacos' on Serious Eats
Doesn't matter if I'm at an Irish pub or a barbecue restaurant, if I see a taco on the menu I have to order it, which explained why I was at Brand BBQ Market in Logan Square with a plate of pulled pork tacos in front of me.
Do tacos from a Michelin starred restaurant taste different? When Mexique landed a star a few weeks ago, I finally had the chance to find out.
Usually, I'm in the minimalist taco camp. I like a place that can execute a filling and serve it on warm and pliant tortillas. But that's not what Flo does best. No, here you should go big.
La Oaxaqueña may serve some excellent mole, but the restaurant also knows how to grill. In fact, if you see a menu item that spends time over live fire, by all means, order it.
Masa Azul has always been a great place to drink. But thanks to new chef Jonathon Zaragoza, it's now serving some excellent food, too.
What Big &Little's lacks in technical taco making prowess, it makes up in genuine creativity. No dish or flavor combination is too out there or too bizarre to be transformed into a taco, be it a bánh mì, sweet and sour chicken, or a lamb gyro. And they have lots and lots of options to choose from.
Del Toro is the kind of place one likes to get comfortable and stay for awhile, even if the burrito happens to be the best thing on the menu.
I've made my stance on straight chorizo tacos pretty clear. Sure, the Mexican sausage is a flavor bomb, bringing fat, spice, and heat to anything it touches, but left unfiltered and all alone, chorizo runs wild over your tongue, obliterating everything else. So why is 2 Amigos version such a delicious exception?
Oh, Mercadito. Why do you make things so hard? While your tacos are consistently delicious, I still seem to dread each visit.
A few years ago if you asked me about fish tacos in Chicago, I would have gone silent, blanked, and probably gotten a little depressed that there weren't many options. But thanks to mostly new joints, there is now an impressive fried fish scene in Chicago, one that I can't wait to show off.
As us spicy food addicts know, there is a line between pleasure and pain, and we like to be teased. No taqueria knows that line quite as well as El Pueblito. For some, the salsas here might as well be pure fire. But if you enjoy that dance, it can be captivating.
Cantina Laredo is a gleaming, gargantuan place—all hard edges, sleek seating, and subdued lighting. Considering I usually spend my time in humble taquerias, this was like walking into an alternative universe.
Yes, I did visit Huaraches Doña Chio without ordering a huarache. It's nothing against the sandal-shaped piece of masa (which I love), but I had a grand theory I wanted to test out: if this place prepared the huaraches to order using fresh masa, wouldn't there be a high probability that it would do the same with tortillas?
As I've already mentioned, Rocky's Tacos isn't the most aptly named taqueria. How else do you explain a menu with around 78 different versions of the sandwich? But that doesn't mean you should completely overlook the taco options.
It may be called Rocky's Tacos, but this Roger Park joint is really a torta haven. I mean, where else in town will you face a menu of 78 uniquely named variations of the Mexican sandwich on the menu?
Walk into any of the most well-known carnitas places in Chicago, and you won't see a menu or be given a rundown of the daily specials. Instead, you'll be asked how many pounds of fried pork you want. Luckily, Carnitas Uruapan in Pilsen solves that problem by offering a carnitas taco on its everyday menu.
My only ordering advice when visiting Las Asadas is this: if it comes from a cow, you probably want to order it. Sure, there are plenty of other contenders for the steak taco crown in Chicago, but Las Asadas is up there with the best.
El Barco Mariscos is housed in what looks like an enormous boat, and inside enormous fish hang from the ceiling just waiting to bump the heads of the very tall. It is a place to celebrate, and gimmicks aside, it feels good to be there.
I'll travel anywhere and endure any hardship to experience a great taco. But even after trying all of Flaco's offerings, I couldn't find one worthy taco in the bunch.