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Guide - Restaurants - Mexican

Adobo Grill

1610 N Wells St, Piper's Alley, Chicago, IL 60610 312-266-7999

Description: OLD TOWN. You haven't tasted guacamole until you've had it at Adobo Grill. Made tableside, it includes the freshest ingredients chopped right in front of you. It's smooth and tangy and hard to beat. Well-made margaritas abound to accompany the famous guacamole. This very popular restaurant is located in the Piper's Alley building and draws a young, upwardly mobile crowd.
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Blue Agave

1050 N State St, at W Maple St, Chicago, IL 60610 312-335-8900

Description: GOLD COAST. Head south of the border at this popular Mexican restaurant/bar, where savory food and strong tequilas keep locals happy. The walls are adorned with colorful stuffed burros and large sombreros, and bright blue and yellow accents make for a festive environment. Cacti dot the room, and both the bar and the menu are well-stocked with authentic favorites. Burritos, enchiladas, and tacos can be washed down with any one of numerous Mexican beers offered.
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Don Juan's Restaurante

6730 N Northwest Hwy, Chicago, IL 60631 773-775-6438

Description: NORTHWEST. This Mexican eatery is simple and sparse, almost pub-like, without the typical trappings often associated with Mexican restaurants. The innovative, fresh cuisine promises exciting takes on old favorites like enchiladas and tacos. Daily specials are always showstoppers, as seen in six-chili Amish chicken or pepper-crusted filet mignon with blue cheese ravioli. You'll also find lots of tequilas to choose from, in addition to an extensive wine list.
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El Barco Mariscos

1035 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 773-486-6850

Description: WEST TOWN. A popular West Town destination, El Barco Mariscos is swarmed daily by denizens who can't get enough of the mid-scale Mexican seafood restaurant. Get here early because it tends to become packed. The menu encompasses fish, steak, and chicken dishes, and they're accompanied by limes and various hot sauces that reside on the table. Portions are huge and come with beans and rice. The alcohol flows, too, thanks to giant margaritas and bottles of Corona.
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Frontera Grill

445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60610 312-661-1434

Description: RIVER NORTH. This eatery, a more casual sibling to fantastic Topolobampo, is considered among the best restaurants in the country. The dining room boasts folk art and vivid colors inside and sunny sidewalk seating outside. The ever-changing menu offers artistic dishes from award-winning chef Rick Bayless, including stuffed poblano peppers, tamales, charcoal-cooked lamb, and desserts like almond cake and buttermilk-lime ice cream.
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La Pasadita

1140 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 773-278-2130

Description: UKRANIAN VILLAGE. "The Best Tacos in Town," touts the superlative on the eateries of this family-owned enterprise, most of which are located on the same block. The places are slightly different: Cheap, authentic, and tasty Mexican food.
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700 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202 847-328-2255

Description: EVANSTON. This restaurant serves up nouveau Mexican dishes along with a few traditional American ones as well. Notable menu items include the sautéed lemon sole, the pork with verdolagas, and the roasted 1/2 duck served in pipian sauce. The dining room is warm and welcoming with prints of Mexico lining the walls and potted plants dotting the room.
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Nuevo Leon

1515 W 18th St, between Ashland Ave & Laflin St, Chicago, IL 60608 312-421-1517

Description: WEST SIDE. This Pilsen area Mexican standby has been in the neighborhood for over 40 years. The basic Mexican food served here includes a home-style breakfast as well as late night eats. Try the pork ribs cooked in a zesty red sauce or baked chicken that's battered and served alongside potatoes and carrots. A jukebox that includes Spanish entries makes for a lively atmosphere.
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1252 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610 312-988-7811

Description: OLD TOWN. The wild decor of this contemporary Mexican restaurant is the first clue that chef Priscilla Satkoff is set to deliver wonderful cuisine to your table. Satkoff's passion for innovative flavors and fresh ingredients is evident in everything she creates. Grilled pork tenderloin and tequila halibut are house favorites. Bright yellow and blue walls, hot pink tablecloths, high ceilings, and Alejandro Romero paintings ­ along with personal attention from the owners ­ give the place a warm, inviting feeling.
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Tamales - A Mexican Joint

493 Central Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035 847-433-4070

Description: HIGHLAND PARK. Fulfill your cravings for south-of-the-border eats at this unpretentious, festive restaurant. Order a pitcher of passion fruit margaritas to enhance the flavor of spicy entrees, including barbecue chicken enchiladas, duck tacos, and burritos stuffed with salmon, black beans, and goat cheese. As you'd expect, tamales are noteworthy, packed with unexpected ingredients like mushrooms and red pepper sauce or pumpkin. Sidewalk seating allows for a more relaxed experience than does the often-crowded dining room.
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1814 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 773-384-4285

Description: WEST SIDE. This friendly Mexican eatery serves heaping helpings of homemade south-of-the-border fare. Try traditional huevos rancheros, any number of enchiladas, or chicken fajitas. Top-notch steaks sizzle as well and go perfectly with one of the specialty mole sauces and a margarita. The comfortable interior features a lovely ceiling mural and a fountain. You'll love the low prices, too!
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445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60610 312-661-1434

Description: RIVER NORTH. One of the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago according to many fervent admirers, Topolobampo manages to accommodate growing ranks of patrons. The menu changes every other week and always includes great dishes whipped up by famed chef Rick Bayless, who has been named "Chef of the Year" by the James Beard Society. The complimentary guacamole ­ no chips, only fresh vegetables for dipping ­ is stellar. After you've sampled it, try the chef's tasting dinner, which offers five courses of exotic creations like trout served in a corn husk and perfect carne asado.
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