10 Best Tacos in Chicago – It’s a Shell of a Party

best Al Pastor Tacos in Chicago

Randy Edwards / Flickr CC

I’ve always had a thing for tacos, but searching for the best tacos in Chicago wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. It wasn’t until I spent a couple weeks in Southern California– which lead me to eat tacos 12 out of the 14 days I was there, those dang happy hour deals– that I obtained an unsatisfiable craving for tacos. No matter how great they are, I want more. This longing for amazing tacos took me on a journey, in the name of science and satisfaction of course. These are my results, but who is your favorite Taco Everyday stop?

“Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much comfort, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made taco and a cold bottle of beer.”
Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

Best Tacos in Chicago :

Antique Taco

Fish tacos at Antique Taco in Chicago

Christie / Flickr CC

1360 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 687-8697

Antique Taco is one of the new-age taco restaurants Chicago has been housing. It is not a Mexican restaurant that also serves tacos, it is a restaurant that treats tacos like they are gold. They serve up a variety of gourmet tacos– some of the best being Grilled Ribeye, Cumin Lamb and Sweet & Spicy Chicken tacos.


3916 W 26th St, Chicago, IL 60623
(773) 762-3380

Tacos, tortas and shakes is what you’ll find here. One step through the door will overload your smell sensors with deliciousness. The Al Pastor is pretty much the item to snag here, along with any one of their shakes.

Big Star

1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 235-4039

Big Star may have a hipster ambience– which essentially means that they are up on the modern appeal, serve fancy taco creations and have a drink selection that extends beyond Corona. I am all for that. They have $3 whiskey shot specials that rotate on a daily basis and their pork belly tacos are truly some of the best tacos in Chicago.

some of the best tacos in Chicago at Big Star

T.Tseng / Flickr CC


3207 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 567-0202

The Al Pastor and chicken tacos will make your tastebuds rejoice. However, with crazy cheap enchiladas and quesadillas, it is hard for me to not recommend ordering those with your meal as well. Not much of a chicken person? No worries, their steak tacos are on point.


2815 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-6335

L’Patron seems to be the recommendation of most when you ask them what the best tacos in Chicago are– I’d be a hypocrite if I said that I disagreed. Essentially anything that you order will be satisfying, but if you want to be blown away, their rib eye (lomo) with caramelized onion tacos are on a whole other level.

Los Comales

tacos at Taqueria Los Comales Mexican Restaurant in Chicago

Courtesy of Taqueria Los Comales

Multiple Locations

Los Comales offers something special with their Lengua tacos. Don’t know what that is? Try it first, then Google it. It’s worth trying something new– tender, spiced right, delicious. Their Al Pastor also has some of the best pineapple accents in the city. Carne Asada, beef or chicken– they handle it all well.

Paco’s Tacos

4311 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60632
(773) 247-1613

Mmm, mmm– the Chicharon Taco (with red salsa) at Paco’s Tacos. That’s really all you need to know. This pork belly (think fattier, more delicious bacon) will be just what your appetite was craving. Their Carne Asada is also packed on in a very generous amount and cooked to perfection.

Rubi’s Tacos (Maxwell Street Market)

800 S Desplaines St, Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 745-4676

I consider Rubi’s Tacos to be a delicacy since you can only buy them on Sundays at the Maxwell Street Market. Since this is a one day a week offering, go early or bring friends to keep you company while you stand in the long line. There are many taco stands there, but one bite into their tortillas done up Al Pastor style and the long line will seem like only a hop, jump and a skip.

Taqueria Del San Jose

3253 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 225-7386

Not only do they have some of the best tacos in Chicago, but they are also BYOB– that’s always a reason to rejoice. Their list of tacos doesn’t disappoint. The Carne Asada dinner will leave you satisfied, yet craving more at the same time.

Velvet Taco

1110 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 763-2654

Velvet Taco is a relative newcomer to the Chicago taco scene, but they have made a very strong impact and definitely serve up some of the best tacos in Chicago. They offer tacos influenced by world cuisine– which you don’t typically find. A Chicago style hot dog, Indian food, or even seafood, have all made impacts on their taco offerings. The chicken tikka, for example, is one of their best tacos; it originated in South Asia and remains popular in Pakistan and India.

variety of tacos at velvet taco Chicago

Courtesy of Velvet Taco

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Ross Perkins

Ross Perkins is the Executive Editor & a connoisseur of all things enjoyable– at least in his mind. He is an avid traveler in the name of inspiring sights, music, food & cars. He is a published photographer & writer that is looking for any reason to get out and explore his surroundings.

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