Chicago is home to some of the best Mexican restaurants, with spicy eats found in small hole-in-the-wall spots to large, fun restaurants all over the city. From the best tacos to spicy pozole, these eateries will serve the tastiest Mexican meals. Check out this list of our favorite Mexican restaurants in Chicago, IL.
1. Uncle Julio’s – Chicago
855 W.North Ave Chicago, Illinois 60642
Uncle Julio’s, established in 1993, is among the top Mexican restaurants in Chicago . The Tex-Mex style menu has classic Mexican dishes such as tamales served with a Chile sauce or New Mexico red sauce, chicken & steak fajitas, filet mignon, and bacon-wrapped shrimp. The food is made with fresh ingredients, which keeps us going back. There are different flavored margaritas, with a favorite being the Margarita of the day, which is made of Lunazula Tequila, and St. Germain mixed with fresh seasonal fruit. We love the fact that their sauces are freshly made every day, and you can decide how spicy you want them to be. The mole is freshly made at the table and is another huge attraction of Uncle Julio’s.
2. 5 Rabanitos
1758 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608
5 Rabanitos is the ultimate definition of Mexican food, with an extensive menu offering over 3,500 food items on the menu. The mouth-watering options available include a great selection of vegetarian meals, a ton of taco selections, tortillas, and the meat dishes, done to perfection. The only problem with the Bring Your Bottle restaurant located in Pilsen is that all the food is really good and because of the variety of the menu, we keep going back to sample all the food options.
3. Sol De Mexico
3018 N Cicero Ave, Chicago, IL, 60641
Sol De Mexico is a piece of Mexico located on the commercial stretch of Cicero in Belmont-Cragin. The ambiance of the casual eatery is full-blown Mexican with elegant paintings, sculptures, and Mexican decorations. The Mexican music played softly puts you in a good mood as you choose from seasonal dishes on the menu. Sol De Mexico serves edible delights such as its famous lamb in an Oaxacan mole and an adobo marinated duck breast. The delicious, flavorful meals are prepared fresh from organically grown ingredients.
4. El Mariachi Tequila Bar & Grill
3906 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 60613
This family-run Mexican restaurant is the real deal, with two locations in Chicago, one in the Lakeview and East Lakeview areas. It is a great spot for large groups, casual alfresco dining and is always a good option when we are looking for a good time with family and friends. Some of the meals served in the home-style plates are the special house fajitas served with a chicken, shrimp, and beef combo. The guacamole, a house special, and pico de gallo are prepared fresh at the table, and we often choose how hot we want it. There are great vegetarian options and bottomless mimosas served with weekend brunch items.
5. Adobo Grill
215 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60610, United States
This upscale Mexican restaurant and tequila bar focuses on Oaxacan cuisine. The wide-ranged menu includes tantalizing entree options such as Ancho Relleno, a beef picadillo stuffed ancho pepper topped with sour cream, chipotle salsa, and Puerco beans. Options such as sopes surtidos served with mashed plantain in a rich guacamole negro. The vegetable or chicken enchiladas come with red or green guacamole, and their warm tortillas are filled with melted cheese and corn fungus and are rich in flavor. Adobo is loved for its drinks as well as food with a wide range of margaritas available.
6. Huaraches Dona Chio
1547 W Elmdale Ave, Chicago, IL 60660, United States
This tiny restaurant located in a residential building on a side street in Edgewater specializes in huaraches made from fresh masa. These come with a wide variety of toppings of a pastor, asada, and chorizo tinga, a delicately spiced marinated chicken, squash blossoms, and grilled poblanos with onion cactus and Mexican truffles mixed with whole kernel corn. There is also an option of green or red salsa, and the portions are filling. There are sopes, tacos, tortas, tostadas, burritos, and enchiladas also available, in addition to the huaraches. The small restaurant only has a handful of tables inside, but during the summer they expand to the patio.
7. Frontera Grill
445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654, United States
This sophisticated Rick Bayless restaurant serves fresh Mexican dishes with an upscale twist. The menu changes often, but the Mexican cuisine served is made from fresh, local ingredients which guarantee great flavor. The quesadillas are filled with chorizo, black beans, and queso fresco and served with a Veracruz salsa negra and the platillos fuertes, mostly a meat or seafood option dressed with a chili sauce. The meals come with a delectable yellow mole and the traditional green and red mole. Make sure to save room for dessert An excellent option is the Devil’s food cake with avocado mousse, strawberries two ways- fresh, squiggles, crispy hoja santa meringues, and other options depending on the menu of the day.
8. Mis Moles Restaurant & Tequila Bar
3661 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618, United States
Mole, as it is fondly referred to, is located in Irving Park. Chef Geno Bahena, the Master of Fine Mexican dining, established the restaurant which has fast become a favorite with its varieties of sauces, a different one served every day of the week. There is also a wide variety of mole, marillo, chichilo, rojo, verde, and negro, served with the eatery’s signature dishes of duck breast, shrimp, pork chop, tortillas made from scratch inhouse. The margaritas are served strong and sweet, and there is a wide variety to choose from.
9. Su Casa Mexican Restaurant
49 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611, United States
Su Casa Mexican Restaurant has a quaint mom-and-pop vibe with a reputation for really good margaritas. The menu has all the classics like enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, rice, and beans, which come in large quantities. The fifty-year-old restaurant has maintained its appeal with delicious Mexican food that is well priced and even a live band to boot.
10. Old Pueblo Cantina
1200 W Webster Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
The Old Pueblo Cantina menu has a wide variety of tasty choices. These include five varieties of Sonoran quesadillas, also known as cheese crisps such as shrimp and pineapple, queso with a chihuahua, cotija, and longhorn cheddar, green chile, and spicy chorizo. Start your meal off with an appetizer like some of their green chile crab dip. The cantina’s signature dish is the Sonoran Cheese Crisp, a quesadilla that comes in three varieties of your choosing.
11. Broken English
1400 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610
This taco pub in Old Town is radiating good vibes. The interior is colorful, fun, and inviting. They’ve got good music playing too which just adds to the fun. Start off with a tasty cocktail like the Coolcumber, Rosemary’s Baby, or the Hibiscus Ranch Water. To eat, start off with their fresh guac or elotes. For dinner, try their quesadilla, one of their many taco options, or some nachos. You can’t forget about dessert here either! You have to try their churro shot, it’s fun and delicious!
For more recommendations on where to eat and drink in the city, check out our Chicago page, here!
Editors Note: This article was originally published on July 8, 2021 and last updated on December 2, 2022. Please refer to restaurant websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information.