11 Awesome Veggie Tacos in Chicago

[Photographs: Nick Kindelsperger]

There is beauty in the veggie taco. That was one of the many surprises uncovered during my two trips to Mexico. While meaty options were far more prevalent, vegetable fillings abounded, and they were often the most colorful and enticing option. I've been on the hunt for similar tacos here ever since.

When done right, veggie tacos should feature fillings that are tender but still crisp, with a bracing sauce, a good heat, and some natural sweetness to round things out. When they are bad, which happens far more often in Chicago than I'd like to admit, they are mushy, bland, and greasy. Veggie tacos are easily the most inconsistent filling to order. Fortunately, while taquerias have taken longer to get on the vegetable bandwagon here, there are now enough options to feast heartily without every touching meat.

I should stop and point out the growing trend of Mexican restaurants offering fake meat alternatives for vegetarians. You won't find any of that here. I'm not completely against the practice, but I still don't think they can compete with the best of these meat-free options.

Click on the slideshow, or check out the picks below. If you have any veggie tacos you think should have made the cut, leave a comment below!