12 Best Mexican Restaurants in Chicago, IL [2023 Updated]

Have a hankering for Mexican tonight? Go authentic for some excellent home-style Mexican food. Sounds good, but what good restaurants are out there? Take your tastebuds to find the truth, as we give you the ten best Mexican restaurants in Chicago. There’s a place for every budget.


$$ | 312-723-2131 | WEBSITE


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Pronounced (SHO-ko), Rick Bayless’s XOCO means “little sister” in the Aztec language. We know street vendors sometimes have the best food around, which XOCO does—bringing Mexican street vendor food to a quaint café setting.

They do it so well, too, by offering melt in your mouth empanadas, tortas (Mexican sandwiches), caldos (meal-in-bowl broths), tlayuda, freshly made churros, Mexican hot chocolate, and more. Open Tuesdays – Saturdays, they serve lunch and dinner, offering dine-in, carry-out, or delivery by Grubhub or Doordash.


Carnitas Uruapan

$ | 312-226-2654 | WEBSITE


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Get a taste of Mexican comfort food by trying Carnitas Uruapan’s famous Carnitas. What are Carnitas? Carnitas are pork that has been slowly cooked for 2 hours, creating a crispy outside and juicy inside, then placed on a corn tortilla taco shell.

You can order these babies by the pound ( it comes with corn tortilla shells and a salsa Verde sauce to make your taco.) or by the taco. They also offer amazing freshly made Chicharrones, aka pork rinds, that are a real special treat. Currently, they carry out only—no dine-in.


Mi Tocaya Antojería

$$ | 872-315-3947 | WEBSITE


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Mi Tocaya means “my namesake,” a term of endearment used in Spanish when referring to someone who has the same name as you. Relatively new to the restaurant market, Mi Tocaya Antojeria brings lesser-known Mexican cuisines to their menu, reflecting their Mexican heritage.

Dive into old Mexican recipes made modern. For an appetizer, go for the Broccolini en Nogada, an upbeat take on Mexico’s beloved Chiles en Nogada. Have the main course, with Queso Fundido con Birria, is an incorporated take on a century’s old recipe.


Leña Brava

$$$ | 312-733-1975 | WEBSITE


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Delicious and hip Lena Brava serves seafood-style Mexican cuisine over an open wood fire. Reminiscent to the Baja California Norte in Mexico.

Enjoy Cochinita Pibil Empanadas featuring slow-cooked Yucatan pork, habanero aioli dipping sauce with pickled red onions, or Camarones en mojo de a jo, Mexican grilled shrimp with charred chayote squash, herbaceous green garlic, and mojo Mexican white rice with a welcoming glass of mezcal for the whole experience.


La Josie

$$ | 312-929-2900 | WEBSITE


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The 2021 Michelin Bib Gourmand winner La Josie features enclosed heated patio roof seating with its own agave bar. La Josie is an upscale yet casual Mexican restaurant that brings the old traditional flavors of Mexico to modern-day times.

Enjoy tacos, burritos, enchiladas like never before. Give the Asada Tampiquena a try. It’s an enchilada with outer skirt steak, queso fresco, crema rajas poblanas, and mole cheese. At La Josie, you can dine-in or carry out.



$$$ | 131-2329-9555 | WEBSITE


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If we are offering the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago, we can not make a list without Mercadito. Housing the title as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago, Mercadito caters to those who have elevated taste buds as it upscales Mexican cuisine to sophisticated standards.

Their upscale tacos include the Al Pastor, the Camaron, Carne, Estilo Baja, and chicken. For their Poblano mac and cheese, they incorporate a creamy queso Fundido. Mercadito also has a bar that features more than 75 mezcals with an on-hand Mixologist to cultivate cocktails. They offer dine-in, carry-out, and contactless delivery.


Birrieria Zaragoza

$$ | 773-523-3700 | WEBSITE

Birrieria Zaragoza

The Zaragoza family has been serving Birria, a Jalisco delicacy, for over a decade. An ancient Los Altos recipe Birria is a traditional stew of spices and goat meat. They are pretty proud of their approach and ingredients, including goats from their own farm.

Seasoned and cooked for several hours, resulting in juicy and soft flesh (patrons can select from a variety of meat selections, including goat head and tripe), and served with a tomato consommé, crimson mole, homemade tortillas, and a variety of garnishes (onions, cilantro, chilies, and lime).



$$$$ | 131-2661-1434 | WEBSITE


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Topolobampois is another one of Rick Bayless’s restaurants, and it has won 9 awards. It is considered his most sophisticated and premium restaurant dishing out redefined Mexican cuisine. Did we mention that President Barack Obama and his family frequent Topolobampois the most? Why not order from the Mosquera (sustainable seafood bar) or one of the platillos fuertes (typically a protein—hen, lamb, lobster—dressed in a complicated, chili-based sauce) while utilizing whichever produce that is in season.

They make sure you get the best products of the season. Because of the continually shifting menu, it isn’t easy to precisely forecast what will be available on any given day—but with Bayless’s name attached, you know it is worth the surprise.


5 Rabanitos

$ | 312-285-2710 | WEBSITE


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Former XOCO chef Alfonso Sotelo hosts the kitchen of 5 Rabanitos, which means radishes in Spanish, and pretty much every dish is garnished with radish slices as his little trademark. While not much to look at on the outside, the inside is warm and welcoming, with Spanish romantic ballads lulling you in to eat.

5 Rabanitos, affordable prices help you enjoy an authentic Mexican food feast that fits a king from your starters, such as Ceviche de Cerdo, avocado, and tomatillo lime salsa served with tender calamari and shrimp.

To incredible upscale yet affordable entrees that include Pescado Al Pibil, fish wrapped in banana leaves then marinated with black beans, rajas, red pickled onions, avocado and cilantro, and the Carne En Su Jugo, steak in a tomatillo serrano cilantro broth with pinto beans, bacon, and avocado.


Ricano’s Restaurant

$$ | 312-666-7253 | WEBSITE


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Ricano’s is perfect for family dining with great traditional/ classic Mexican food; burgers, burritos, and sandwiches. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available here, and they are praised for their freshly made chips and salsa. While not much in decor, Ricano’s makes up for its delicious food and large dinner plates.

They will have you go home well fed. They offer indoor and outside patio seating, so request the outdoor patio seating if the weather permits. It is tranquil and quaintly decorated with a lovely little water fountain and a Virgin De Guadalupe statue. They host dine-in, delivery, and takeout.


Pancho Pistolas Authentic Mexican Restaurant

$$ | 312-225-8808 | WEBSITE


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Located in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, Pistolas boldly serves a contemporary twist on authentic Mexican food, all in a casual dining experience featuring outdoor patio seating for the summer months.

Their specialties include the yummy Carne Asada o Pollo a la Tampiqueña, which is a chargrilled outer skirt steak (or chargrilled chicken breast) prepared and served with a cheese enchilada, rice, beans, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, and grilled scallions.

Top dessert off with a Mexican favorite: fried ice cream, featuring vanilla ice cream coated with cornflake crumbs, spiced with cinnamon sugar, and flash-fried for a decadent treat.


Adelitas Mexican Restaurant

$$ | 773-801-1212 | WEBSITE

A hidden gem among the Latina restaurants, Adelita’s welcomes you with open arms and good authentic Mexican food that takes you by surprise coming to this humble little restaurant. You get delivered a complimentary cup of onion soup that licks the bowl good, and you won’t find it on the menu.

Enjoy decadent and flavorful dishes like Carne Asada that feature pork with pineapple salsa and chicken enjoyed with guacamole. Adelita’s most impressive thing is how effortlessly they know how to blend flavors to create your favorite Mexican meal, but it is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before.

Decorated in Mexican history, you kind of get an education while you eat. Every Sunday after 12:30, they host live music with BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer). Let’s also not forget Taco Tuesdays, where their Al Pastor, Chorizo, Veggie, and chicken tacos are all only $2.25.


12 Best Mexican Restaurants in Chicago:

  1. XOCO
  2. Carnitas Uruapan
  3. Mi Tocaya Antojería
  4. Leña Brava
  5. La Josie
  6. Mercadito
  7. Birrieria Zaragoza
  8. Topolobampo
  9. 5 Rabanitos
  10. Ricano’s Restaurant
  11. Pancho Pistolas Authentic Mexican Restaurant
  12. Adelitas Mexican Restaurant

Best Mexican Restaurants in Chicago

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About Restaurant Observer

Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.