Pilsen is best known as the cultural center of Chicago's Mexican population, which partly explains why it contains the most diverse and delicious collection of Mexican restaurants in the city, from beloved old-school institutions like Nuevo Leon to trendy new spots like Del Toro. (That's not to mention all the other great non-edible cultural attractions, including the National Museum of Mexican Art, which is free and awesome, by the way.) But before I make too many sweeping generalizations, know that Pilsen stubbornly resists an easy definition. As you may have noticed, the name is a holdover from when the area was inhabited by Czech immigrants (which were followed by other Eastern Europeans) and recently the Chicago Arts District popped up on its eastern edge.
So I'll stop trying to describe the neighborhood and get to the business of showing off the many incredible cheap eats that you can find within. I'll be the first to admit that I missed some places, so if you know any that I need to visit, please let me know!
- Birria at Birreria Reyes de Ocotlan
- Res Taco at Birreria Reyes de Ocotlan
- Slice of Coconut Tres Leche Cake at Kristoffer's Cafe
- Mexican Tamale at Kristoffer's Cafe
- Grilled Steak Taco at Taqueria El Milagro
- Tamale at La Casa Del Pueblo
- Carnitas Mixtas from Carnitas Don Pedro
- Italian Beef Tamale at Dia de Los Tamales
- Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwich at Il Vicinato's
- Festival Cookie at Chocolat Uzma Sharif
- Carnitas Taco at Carnitas Uruapan
- Colorful Taquitos de Papa at DeColores
- Tacos de Sabinas at Nuevo Leon
- Crispy Pig Ears at Nightwood
- Little Hotties at Take Me Out
- Breakfast Donuts at Pl-zeň
- Deluxe Tots at Skylark
- Torta Cubano at La Cebollita Grill
- Burrito de Carne Asada at Del Toro
- Green BLT Sandwich at Honky Tonk BBQ
- Grilled Portobello Sandwich at Simone's
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