Mexican restaurant in Chicago are everywhere. It seems there is one on every block, each with their own version of what Mexican should or could be. I grew up in the South, and I have to admit the Mexican restaurants in Chicago are different than the casual down home varieties found in the Southern states. The salsa is different. I usually find hot salsa in Chicago and mild salsa in the South. The differences don’t stop there. All in all though in a city as large as Chicago it was not hard to find some great Mexican restuarnats that offer up quality, authentic, Mexican food that has me coming back time and time again. Here are my top three picks for Mexican restaurants in Chicago.
Nuevo Leon Restaurant was the first stop on my hunt for great Mexican food in Chicago, well first after a great little family place up by the airport called Pepe’s. Nuevo Leon Restaurant won me over because right when you sit down they lay out two different salsas for you to try: regular and hot. The hot is firey, just a warning. I like hot food, but this salsa was for the real heat lovers. Good salsa will keep me coming back to any Mexican restaurant and the salsa was great here. The food is traditional Mexican and super cheap. The waitresses were wearing little blue dresses accented with white, which I have never seen anywhere before. The atmosphere is authentic as well as the food. Nuevo Leon Restaurant is located at 1515 West 18th Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60608. They can be reached at (312) 421-1517.
Salpicon is located at 1252 North Wells Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60610. They served up a little more fancy version of Mexican that was very tasty. Although I was on the hunt for some great hole in the wall Mom and Pop type joints; I was won over by the great food at Salpicon. My better half was won over by the massive tequila menu. Personally I had a margarita so that I did not have to drink my tequila straight! If you love tequila though, their massive selection is labeled as sipping tequilas, so this might be the spot for you! The restaurant is colorful and the staff was very nice. I had the Black Angus tenderloin dish, which is something I have never eaten at a Mexican restaurant before. It was fabulous. I had to fight my fiancÃ?Â© off with my fork to keep him from eating most of it. Salpicon can be reached at (312) 988-7811.
Mi Tierra Mexican Restaurant is located in the Lakeview area of Chicago. They serve up great Mexican food for cheap prices. The atmosphere is colorful and just what I love to expect from a Mexican restaurant. Terra cotta floors, little Mexican knick-knacks, and lots of colorful tableware was fun and set the mood. It must be a neighborhood favorite because it was packed. I went at lunchtime and there were only a couple open tables. I had a chicken enchilada and a cheese enchilada. They were just what I had hoped for. Traditional old Mexican American style food with no surprises. Mexican food is the ultimate comfort food for me and I was very happy to find Mi Tierra Mexican Restaurant. They are open Monday through Thursday 11am to 11pm, Fridays until 2am, Saturdays until 3:30am, and Sundays until 2am. If the food had not won me over the hours of operation would have. Where can you find great Mexican food at 3am? Mi Tierra Mexican Restaurant is located at 1039 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60657. Call in for take out orders at (773) 929-7955.