Best Chicago Taquerias?

2007/02/21 16:27:34
Wondering what foodies consider to be the best tacos al pastor, carnitas, birria etc in Chicago?

I'm moving there wanting the best taco stand style tacos around, replete with 5inch 2x tortillas, radishes, escabeche and roasted jalapenos, fresh limon, and good horchata. Someplace where chile de arbol red sauce is considered the mild sauce.

Any great tamales to be found as well?

I stay away from places calling themselves "authentic" and charging $6+ for a generic taco plate garnished with shredded american-mexican quesadilla cheese.
RE: Best Chicago Taquerias? 2007/02/21 17:19:55
Chicago's Best Taqueria?

Some possible answers:

1. How much time have you got?
2. Open up the Yellow pages to "Taquerias", put on a blindfold, and point.

I haven't looked at your profile, so I don't know where you're coming from, but I can tell you I have never been to an "authentic" place in Chicago like you describe. The only thing I have not seen around these parts is radishes as a regular staple. Doesn't mean they're not there, they may not be offered unless you ask.

You'll find excellent al pastor all over town too. Tamales are easily found almost everywhere.

I'll give it some thought and try to get you more specifics soon. I wouldn't worry about it though, you'll find more than enough to eat in this town.

RE: Best Chicago Taquerias? 2007/02/21 17:24:28
Thanks Buddy,

I am originally from the Southwest, mainly Phoenix, AZ, and also spent quite some time living with family in Guadalajara, MX.

True about all the great food there--I was visiting my girlfriend there for a few weeks around X-mas and only once needed to think about Mexican food. I found all the other food to be quite deliriously fantastic.

I'll be looking around too and re-post with answers, especially after I move there next month.
RE: Best Chicago Taquerias? 2007/02/21 20:23:14
While there are hundreds, if not thousands of family owned Taquerias and other Mexican restaurants all over the city and suburbs, you should start your search by focusing on Chicago's two primary Mexican neighborhoods.

The Pilsen neighborhood is centered around 18th Street and Blue Island. In addition to the many eating facilities you will find a plethora of Mexican owned shops and businesses. A little further west on 19th Street is the Museum of Mexican Fine Arts, recently designated by the federal government as the National Museum of Mexican Fine Arts. The community has done an amazing job of building up a local park fieldhouse into a world class art museum.

Little Village branches out from 26th Street, west of California. You will find an environment similar to the Pilsen area with lots of small businesses and great ethnic atmosphere and flavor.

There are other, smaller Mexican enclaves, notably around Chicago and Ashland Avenues. Also north Clark street.

Even in my north suburban city of Des Plaines there is a heavy Mexican population with at least six different restaurants to feed them (and us), ranging from small taquerias to white table cloth places with full liquor service.

Let me know when you get to town and get settled. Once I know a specific neighborhood, I can make better recommendations.