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The Chicago Traveler

La Pasadita

by Matt B on August 7th, 2007

La Pasadita may not look like much on the outside, but it’s been making Chicagoans happy and full for years. With amazing food and a lively atmosphere, this Ashland Avenue spot has been the topic of many debates, being possibly one of the best taquerias in the city.

“My father opened the restaurant in 1976,” says co-owner Rene Espinoza. “He had a dream; he wanted to open a restaurant that can serve everyone. You’re talking about carpenters, you’re talking about lawyers, it didn’t matter to him. He wanted to serve good food and fresh.” The restaurant has become an incredible success, able to open three different branches… but they’re all on the same block! Why? Well, these folks are of the notion that you can’t have too much of a good thing. When the restaurant is crowded, customers looking for the delicious tacos served at La Pasadita have been known to drive around the block several times in the hopes that someone has left and made room. Now that’s loyalty. Some will even go so far as to send someone from the car inside to pick up the food while the driver continues to circle the block. All for a taste of the excellent Mexican food.

There are hundreds of these little hole-in-the-wall Mexican places in the city. What makes La Pasadita so unique? By far, it has to be the food. From morning to late-night, you’ll often see some of Chicago’s Finest (the Chicago Police Department) stopping in for a bite, a true sign of quality. The skirt steak tacos are filled with perfectly seared and seasoned meat, chopped onion, and cilantro. It may sound simple, but the flavor in undeniable. Wash it all down with horchata (rice drink which often includes milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla) or Jarritos (a popular brand of Mexican soda made in several fruit flavors).

If you’re out late at night and coming out of the bars and clubs with friends (like Evil Olive right around the corner), the restaurant is the perfect place to stop and pick up some quick, cheap eats. At only $1.85 per taco, you can fill up for under $10.

La Pasadita ($): 1140 N Ashland Ave; 773-278-0384
Sun - Thurs: 9:30 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
Fri - Sat: 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 a.m.
Street parking difficult, free lot in back
Public trans: Bus # 9, X9, 56, 70 or Blue Line train (Division)

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POSTED IN: Restaurants

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