Taste delicious bites at the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago.

Travelers who consider themselves foodies often try and find the top restaurants in every city they visit. In Chicago, you’ll find an array of amazing dining venues offering a variety of cuisine types. Though you might imagine amazing deep-dish pizza when you think of Chicago, this city also has lots of other foods. If you love Mexican food, you should definitely head to the windy city. The location contains a number of dining spots serving this type of cuisine, making it easy to find top-notch dishes. With so many options in Chicago, you might not know where to start your foodie adventure. That’s why we’ve created a list of the ten best Mexican restaurants in Chicago. You’ll never go hungry again after reading our list.

Things to Consider Before Dining

Atmosphere

Before you decide to embark on a foodie tour, you might want to consider a few things. For instance, the restaurants you visit will maintain different kinds of atmospheres. This means that not every traveler will find each dining spot they encounter to be their ideal restaurant. Some travelers prefer quieter spots that allow them to eat in peace. Others enjoy feeling surrounded by noise and energy, thus preferring exciting, busy restaurants. Similarly, those who will be traveling in different groups may have varying needs when it comes to dining venues. Travelers with young children may require a more soothing atmosphere in order to keep their kids calm. On the other hand, some adults might want to spend time at bars and locations where they can let loose. As such, the atmosphere of a restaurant remains an important factor when deciding places to eat.

If you come to Chicago, you’ll discover numerous kinds of restaurants with a variety of atmospheres. Certain restaurants will maintain lively atmospheres, while others will feel more intimate and calming. Accordingly, travelers should choose restaurants that appeal to their dining preferences. Almost every kind of traveler has the opportunity to find a dining spot they love while in Chicago. Congruently, the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago offer various types of atmospheres to travelers.

Type of Cuisine

Every traveler differs on their favorite types of cuisine. At the same time, when you’re visiting new destinations, trying out new flavors remains an essential activity. This means that travelers should always attempt to expand their taste buds when traveling to amazing destinations. With so many tastes found in all corners of the world, you’ll never run out of delicious plates to try.

Chicago contains some of the best restaurants in the U.S. However, if you’re tired of eating deep-dish pizza, you should consider heading to a Mexican restaurant. The best Mexican restaurants in Chicago serve customers an array of tasty dishes. From traditional plates to more contemporary dishes, you’ll be sure to discover a new favorite meal at these spots. You might think that you’ve tried Mexican food previously and know exactly how it tastes. Yet, these restaurants will offer you plates you may have never tried before. Even if you order a familiar dish, the taste may remain unique as well as delicious. No matter where you go in the city, you will find yourself nearby some amazing Mexican dining spots. Just keep an open mind and consider ordering foods that seem unfamiliar.

Cost

Those traveling on a strict budget understand how much the cost of food can quickly add up. Expensive dishes may cause your wallet to empty faster than you’d like. Couple the expense of food with accommodations and transportation, and you’ll have spent a ton on your trip. While some travelers enjoy spending tons of money on food, others might prefer to stick to their budgets. This means you should consider your priorities when it comes to food costs during your travels. Every destination will contain cheap as well as pricey dining spots. You simply need to research your chosen location prior to visiting in order to find your ideal restaurants. That way, you’ll know exactly where to go before you’ve even arrived.

The best Mexican restaurants in Chicago offer differing price points to travelers. In the city, you can discover numerous dining spots that provide inexpensive meals. When you’ve found the cheapest bites to eat in Chicago, you’ll be able to save tons of money. Of course, certain travelers might want to enjoy a more gourmet dining experience. In these cases, travelers may want to visit gourmet restaurants serving pricier meals. If you know your priorities when it comes to your food budget, you’ll have amazing meals while saving money.

Time of Day

Most restaurants you visit will provide differing kinds of meals at certain times of the day. If you want a tasty breakfast, you’ll find restaurants serving that fare during the morning. Those interested in a lazy brunch can discover spots offering breakfast and lunch meals in the early afternoon. Similarly, lengthier lunches and dinners may be served at alternative dining locations. In this manner, travelers should think about the time of day they will be eating when searching for restaurants. Though many spots may serve food all day long, others might only serve at select times. Additionally, the atmospheres in these restaurants may differ depending on the hour. This means you’ll find the experience of eating differing at varying times of day, even in the same restaurant.

Travelers hoping to eat at the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago will find the spots differing depending on the hour. For example, one dining venue might serve amazing breakfast food, but only very early in the morning. Another location may provide lengthy gourmet meals after 5pm. At the same time, the time of day will change the atmosphere and service inside these restaurants. You might find yourself in a crowded spot at lunch time, or a quiet destination for breakfast. Overall, the time of day you decide to eat will lead to different dining experiences.

Here is our list of the ten best Mexican restaurants in Chicago.

1. La Chaparrita

best mexican restaurants in Chicago - La Chaparrita

Credit: Chaparrita / Facebook

Price Range: $ | Phone: [(773) 254-0975] | Email: [lachaparrita.grocery1@yahoo.com]

At La Chaparrita, travelers can nosh on plates of delicious tacos de fritangas. Simple plates like these will provide customers with the taste they crave when it comes to Mexican food. Other dishes like beefy suadero and longaniza sausage will also satisfy travelers with a craving for meat. Those on a budget may find this restaurant a great place to eat, as the prices remain very reasonable. The taco stand doesn’t serve tacos above $2. As such, you’ll get to enjoy a tasty lunch of crispy, golden tacos without emptying your wallet. Travelers should also note that this spot accepts cash only.

2. 5 Rabanitos

best mexican restaurants in Chicago - 5 Rabanitos

Credit: 5 Rabanitos / Facebook

Price Range: $ | Phone: [(312) 285-2710] | 

When you come to 5 Rabanitos, you’ll have the opportunity to try one of the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago. As its name means radishes, customers will often receive the food on their plates. Beyond radishes though, travelers may get to taste incredibly flavorful dishes, like comforting tacos. These tacos also remain extremely inexpensive, coming in at only $2.25. Other items such as ceviche verde and avocado lime salsa taste delicious and unique. If you enjoy eating sweet treats after your meal, consider buying a mug of champurrado, a spicy hot chocolate.

3. Leña Brava

best mexican restaurants in Chicago - Leña Brava

Credit: Leña Brava / Facebook

Price Range: $$ | Phone: [(312) 733-1975] | Email: [email address]

Leña Brava represents one of the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago. This spot combines various kinds of cuisine to make truly complex and unique dishes. Influences from Japan and Baja make the Mexican plates taste different from those at other restaurants. Those who enjoy fish will especially appreciate the foods served here. The restaurant grills many kinds of fish on an open flame, providing extremely flavorful bites. Cold as well as hot dishes abound, with items like aguachiles and braised shortrib. Your mouth will have fun tasting the different temperatures and flavors as you eat.

4. Cafe Tola

best mexican restaurants in Chicago - Cafe Tola

Credit: Cafe Tola / Facebook

Price Range: $ | Phone: [(773) 687-8428] | Email: [cafetola@gmail.com]

Travelers looking for top-notch empanadas when they come to Chicago should stop by Café Tola. This example of the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago maintains a reputation for serving amazing empanadas. Those hoping to stay all day will be able to do so, as the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When you eat at this restaurant, you’ll also remain nearby many interesting shops. Once you’ve finished your meal, you may get to visit the stores and purchase some unique souvenirs. Accordingly, Café Tola remains extremely convenient for those visiting Chicago.

5. Carnitas Uruapan

best mexican restaurants in Chicago - Carnitas Uruapan

Credit: Carnitas / Facebook

Price Range: $ | Phone: [(312) 226-2654] | Email: [marcos@carnitasuruapanchi.com]

As its name suggests, this Mexican restaurant serves amazing carnitas. Carnitas Uruapan serves pork carnitas that taste juicy and fresh. You’ll receive corn tortillas and spicy salsa to go along with the pork. This ensures you can craft your own dish exactly the way you’d like it. If you want another pork-related snack, consider purchasing an order pork rinds. These warm bites will add a little crunch for you to enjoy after a carnitas meal. After dining here, travelers will understand why the restaurant remains known for serving the best carnitas in Chicago.

6. Ixcateco Grill

best mexican restaurants in Chicago - Ixcateco Grill

Credit: Ixcateco / Facebook

Price Range: $$ | Phone: [773-539-5887] | 

Those hoping to enjoy a casual meal while still appreciating authentic cuisine will want to visit Ixcateco Grill. This spot maintains a low-key atmosphere, allowing guests to eat in peace and quiet. However, the décor, with its colorful and vibrant appearance, provides an enchanting backdrop while you eat. Southern Mexican cuisine remains the food of choice here, so you’ll receive truly authentic meals. You can order all your favorite Mexican dishes, like delicious carne asada and chicken mole. After your savory meal, you could finish with sweet flan or tres leches cake.

7. Topolobampo

best mexican restaurants in Chicago - Topolobampo

Credit: Topolobampo / Facebook

Price Range: $$$ | Phone: [(312) 661-1434] | 

Any travelers interested in trying gourmet plates may want to book a reservation at Topolobampo. The Chicago restaurant has been earning a Michelin star since 2015, thanks to its excellent cuisine and service. This means that those looking for casual, cheap dives may want to look elsewhere. However, if you do choose to eat here, you’ll have an unforgettable dining experience. Fresh seafood, such as oysters, as well as dishes like ceviche will make your mouth water. Though the restaurant continually changes their menu according to the season, travelers will always find something worth trying. Travelers who want to splurge on amazing dishes should consider eating at this restaurant when they visit Chicago.

8. Xoco

best mexican restaurants in Chicago - Xoco

Credit: Xoco / Facebook

Price Range: $$ | Phone: [(312) 661-1434] | 

Xoco remains one of the most popular spots on our list of the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago. Here, you can enjoy fare at almost any time of day. Those who wake up early to explore the city may enjoy a breakfast meal at Xoco. Dishes such as egg empanadas and sugary churros will provide a tasty way to start your day. If you plan to stop by for lunch, know that you may have to wait in a long line. The location becomes extremely popular during this time. Dinner also means crowds, though you the delicious chicken soup will make up for the hectic atmosphere.  

9. Birrieria Zaragoza

best mexican restaurants in Chicago - Birrieria Zaragoza

Credit: Birrieria Zaragoza / Facebook

Price Range: $ | Phone: [(773) 523-3700] | 

Travelers hoping to try something they’ve never tasted before should consider visiting Birrieria Zaragoza. As one of the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago, this location serves uniquely tasty dishes. The Birriera Zaragoa specializes in serving goat stew, a dish many travelers may not have tasted previously. This means that adventurous travelers might want to order a bowl of soup at this dining venue. You can also order other plates that utilize goat meat, such as the goat tacos. Additional menu items include tacos filled with beef cheeks as well as tongue tacos.  

10. Mi Tocaya Antojería

best mexican restaurants in Chicago - Mi Tocaya Antojería

Credit: Mi Tocaya / Facebook

Price Range: $$ | Phone: [(872) 315-3947] | Email: [info@mitocaya.com]

When you arrive at Mi Tocaya Antojería, you may immediately feel comfortable, thanks to the site’s cozy atmosphere. Decorations in the form of plants on the windowsills and colorfully painted walls add to the quaint setting. Popular menu items at Mi Tocaya Antojería include Campechino with al pastor, which remains tasty and ideal for light bites. Be sure to try a refreshing margarita, as the tart drink remains delicious alongside your food. Once you eat a meal here, you’ll know exactly why it represents one of the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago.

Eat your way through the city by visiting the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago.

When you come to Chicago, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of amazing restaurants. Since the location contains numerous top-notch dining venues, finding the ideal places to eat can be challenging. Those who enjoy Mexican food may have difficulties discovering the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago. From gourmet locations to cheaper spots, travelers will encounter a variety of dining venues. However, with our article, you can find your ideal place to enjoy a meal. Instead of wandering without any direction, you can head straight to your perfect Mexican restaurant in Chicago.

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Meghan loves writing in all forms. In her free time, she alternates between reading and daydreaming about publishing her own novels someday. While she’s only visited two countries, she wants to travel around the world, with France and Spain the first sites on her list. Before that happens, though, she plans on adopting at least one dog from a local animal shelter.

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