Did you know that Chicago is the top tortilla producer in the United States? It’s kind of insane, but that helps to explain how we’ve got such amazing taquerias. We got our hands greasy and chowed down on the city’s finest Mexican food. Here are the 10 tastiest tacos in Chicago:


5925 S Pulaski Rd

(773) 582-9701

o-1Steve W. via Yelp
The best thing about a chain restaurant is that it’s always there when you need it, and Zacatacos blends that convenience with the authenticity and reliability of a local establishment. From Gorditas, to tortas, and more the grilled meat makes all the difference. Need a recommendation? The Steak tacos are some of the best you will find in the city.

Pacos Tacos

4311 S Archer Ave

(773) 247-1613

o-2Danny K via Yelp
Paco’s Tacos is the reason people say looks can be deceiving, but this whole in the wall diner is much more than meets the eye. If you need more than my word for it, check out their yelp, linked above to read multiple reviewers calling their food the best tacos I’ve ever had in my life.

El Milagro

13050 W 26th St

(730) 579-6120

o-3Claudia S. via Yelp
Serving authentic local Mexican food at it’s finest, El Milagro offers massive portion sizes at truly affordable prices. Any real lover of Mexican food has to stop in to try a taco so massive it’s bigger than some customers hands filled with more flavor than you can imagine. Looking for something a little different? Check out their Beef Stew Taco. Their tortillas are so good, you can even find them in the grocery, but to get them fresh you better head to the store.

Pancho Pistolas

700 W 31st St

(312) 225-8808

oLucas C. via Yelp
Most of the delicious restaurants on this list share one trait, speed, and convenience, however for when you’re looking for something that will give you a more traditional sit-down dining experience Pancho Pistolas is the perfect choice for you. And for an extra treat, they have some of the best Mexican desserts you’ll find.

Tallboy Taco

325 W Huron, River North

(312) 488-4917

Tallboy Taco is one of many delicious restaurants owned by restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You. Tallboy Tacos is located in one of the main business epicenters of Chicago—River North. The name simply but eloquently explains exactly what you can expect:­ tallboys of beer and delicious tacos.

Our recommendation: The fish taco. Their tortillas feature hand­-ground masa.

www.facebook.com_Tallboy-Taco-625853697527649_photos_streamTallboy Taco via Facebook

Velvet Taco

1110 N State St, Near North Side

(312) 763-2654

Velvet Taco has three locations in Texas, but the newest branch is situated along Chicago’s Gold Coast. They make everything from scratch including slow roasted chicken and corn. No meal is complete without a margarita, which features sorbet for the perfect texture and flavor.

Our recommendation: Backdoor chicken to­go. It’s a $20 meal deal with a whole rotisserie chicken, elote style corn, tortillas, and pico de gallo.

www.facebook.com_VelvetTaco_photos_streamVelvet Taco via Facebook

Taco Joint

158 W Ontario St, River North and 1969 N Halsted St, Lincoln Park

Taco Joint succeeds by having prime locations in both River North and Lincoln Park. If you’re claustrophobic, you may want to avoid the Lincoln Park location… it’s very cozy! They serve basic but delicious tacos and margaritas. This is the place you’d want to go for a sit­down dinner or event.

Our recommendation: Whatever’s on the “Taco del Dia” menu when you go to visit. You can’t normally get these specials!

www.facebook.com_eattacojoint_photos_streamTaco Joint via Facebook

Big Star

1531 N Damen, Wicker Park

(773) 235-4039

Big Star is a prime location across the street from the Damen Blue Line in Wicker Park, and it’s also adjacent to the famous cocktail lounge, Violet Hour. As such, you can go at any time, on any day of the week, and still have to wait at least 30 minutes to be seated. Never fear! Craving Big Star tacos but don’t have time to wait? They have a to­-go order window that will get the job done.

Our recommendation: Taco de Pollo Pibil. Big Star’s tacos take classic flavors and mix in the unexpected. In this case, that means banana leaves!

www.facebook.com_BigStarChicago_photos_streamBig Star via Facebook

Antique Taco

1360 N Milwaukee Ave, West Town

(773) 687-8697

Antique Taco is another Wicker Park taqueria that almost always has a line out the door. The good news is that the line moves fast. You place your order at the counter and share seating with other patrons. Their margaritas feature interesting infusions like rosemary. The decorations are reminiscent of DIY Pinterest projects, adding a homey element to the place.

Our recommendation: Can’t go wrong with any of them. Pair tacos with the rosemary margarita. First make sure to start with the chili cheese curds.

www.antiquetaco.com_pictures_Antique Taco

Taco in a Bag

4603 N Lincoln Ave, Lincoln Square

(773) 250-2437

Taco in a Bag is a fairly new establishment in Ravenswood. They take the “walking taco” concept popular at football games and high school lunches to another level. This place is perfect if you’re gluten-­free, but still want an amazing “taco” experience.

Our recommendation: The Angry Bird, but the other options are equally tempting.

www.facebook.com_theoriginaltacoinabag_photos_streamTaco in a Bag via Facebook

Cemitas Puebla

817 W Fulton Market, West Loop and 3129 W Armitage Ave, Logan Square

Cemitas Puebla is an interesting Mexican restaurant has two locations: West Loop and their newest restaurant in Logan Square. Though their tacos are amazing, what you really need to try is their “Cemitas,” or sandwiches featuring many of the same flavors as they put into their tacos.

Our recommendation: The taco arabe­ spit roasted pork and onions, OR the cemita with the same flavors.

https___www.facebook.com_Cemitas-Puebla-368116943941_photos_streamCemitas via Facebook

Taco Burrito King

Over a dozen locations across the Chicago area

Taco Burrito King is a chain of what’s been described as the best-drunk tacos (and Mexican food in general). They also have amazing sopes which are fried corn patties filled with delicious meats, spices, and veggies.

Our recommendation: Does it really matter? You’re drunk. Enjoy.

www.facebook.com_TacoBurritoKing_photos_streamTaco Burrito King via Flickr

Big & Little’s

1034 W Belmont, Lakeview & 860 N Orleans, River North & 1310 N Milwaukee, Wicker Park

Big & Little’s is a CASH ONLY restaurant that’s been featured on Diners, Drive­In’s, and Dives. They have locations in Lincoln Park, River North, and now Wicker Park. They may be most famous for their po boy sandwiches, but you can’t go wrong with their delicious tacos. Here’s an idea—get both!

Our recommendation: One of their many seafood tacos. You can trust that they’ll do a great job.

www.facebook.com_bignlittles_photos_streamBig & Littles via Facebook

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So there you have it…the best taco joints in Chicago. What would you add to this list?

Updated by Joshua Kristoff in 2017.

[Featured Image: Tallboy Taco via Flickr]