Three Must-Try Dishes At Maxwell Street Market

Highlights from Chicago's Mexican street-food hub

Maxwell Street Market, that Sunday-morning wonderland of thrift-store fodder and Mexican street food, is Chicago's oldest year-round outdoor market.

That said, when the weather drops below 40 degrees, some vendors pack up their planchas until warmer days.

The five-block stretch, with its scents of fresh tortillas and carne asada wafting over tables of used electronics and faux Crocs, is the market's third incarnation–and one of Chicago's most delicious destinations (and the best place to fill up for well under $10). Go now to try three of our favorite dishes, each too good to wait until spring.

Consomme de Birria from El Guero Sip a large Styrofoam cup of goat soup ($2.50 with meat, $1.75 without) while strolling around the market. The savory broth is seasoned with hot sauce, lime juice and a sprinkle of fresh white onion and cilantro.

Huitlacoche Gorditas from Green House Steaks There is a slew of filling choices for these savory fried cornmeal shells. Ask for two in one: jet-black huitlacoche cooked with onions and corn, and potatoes with chorizo (pictured, $3).

Tinga Huaraches from Huaraches Chilango The base of these Mexico City-style huaraches is a thin oval of fried masa stuffed with black beans. Ask for it with salsa verde and tinga de pollo–pulled chicken in a chili-tomato broth ($4.50). They're smaller than other huaraches at the market, but are fresh and wildly flavorful (hence the constant line).

Maxwell Street Market, Desplaines St. (between Harrison St. and Roosevelt Rd.); Sundays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.