Dining

Taco Belles

7 of the best tacos in town

We might be 1,500 miles from the Mexican border, but there are a lot of great tacos just an L ride away. From cherished 100-year-old traditional recipes to modern tweaks drizzled in Sriracha-flavored tartar sauce, here are seven of our local favorites.

Big Star in Wicker Park
The taco al pastor ($3) with marinated, spit-roasted pork shoulder, grilled pineapple, grilled onion and cilantro pairs well with a dulce de leche milkshake ($4) at Paul Kahan's Tex-Mex haven.

L'Patron in Logan Square
Always bustling, and for good reason: the pescado tacos ($2.49) are packed with beer-battered tilapia and topped with roasted Serrano aioli, cabbage and pico de gallo.

Cemitas Puebla in Humboldt Park
Tacos Arabes ($2.75) are stuffed with spit-roasted pork and onions and wrapped in a thick, pita-esque tortilla, a nod to the restaurant's Lebanese-influenced Puebla cuisine.

Birrieria Zaragoza in Archer Heights
Based on a century-old recipe, the Birria Tatemada taco ($2.75) showcases steamed and roasted goat meat rubbed with an ancho chile-based red mole sauce, served on a house-made corn tortilla and topped with fresh accouterments, like onions, roasted chiles and cilantro.

Carnicerias Guanajuato in Wicker Park
Within an unassuming grocery lies one of Wicker Park's best kept secrets: a tiny taqueria slinging ultra beefy carne asada tacos ($1.75) that cost little more than a candy bar.

Antique Taco in Wicker Park
This counter service taco shop is home to a couple of the best seafood tacos in town, including the crispy fish tempura taco ($4) with Sriracha-tartar sauce, smoked cabbage, chives and sesame oil.

Mixteco Grill in Lakeview
A Frontera Grill veteran brings a gourmet touch to the bold flavors of Mexico's Oaxacan region. Splurge on the tacos de asada ($7.50) with grilled steak, avocado-tomatillo salsa, grilled red onion and queso fresco on soft flour tortillas.

Big Star 1531 N. Damen Ave. Chicago IL 60622 773-235-4039 L'Patron 2815 W. Diversey Ave. Chicago IL 60639 773-252-6335 Cemita Pubela 3619 W. North Ave. Chicago IL 60647 773-772-8435 Birrieria Zaragoza 4852 S. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60632 773-523-3700 Carnicerias Guanajuato 1436 N. Ashland Ave. Chicago IL 60622 773-772-5266 Antique Taco 1360 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago IL 60622 773-687-8697 Mixteco Grill 1601 W. Montrose Ave. Chicago IL 60617 773-868-1601

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