17 Best Chicago Tacos Accessible Via Mass Transit

Hola, mi gente!   After careful research, I give to you my picks for the “17 Best Chicago Tacos Accessible Via Mass Transit.”  That’s a lot of hot sauce and napkins, folks!  It was my pleasure. Enjoy!

*Click on the links provided for full blog reviews and directions.

[Editors Note:  This post was originally published on October 27, 2015.  This update includes 6 additional taco recommendations which bring the total to seventeen.  Those are highlighted in RED].

 

Carnitas Uruapan  

 

Carnitas is the specialty here and it’s the best you will find in Chicago.  Buy it by the taco or by the pound and don’t forget the chicharrones! 

 

 

Best Chicago Tacos Carnitas Uruapan specialsValue Meal for $6.50 is a great way to go!

 

Birrieria Zaragoza 

 

If you love goat, then you cannot miss out on this place which makes goat the order of the day. I love it by the platter with the special consomme for extra comfort. 

 

 

Best Chicago Tacos Birrieria Zaragoza's taco plate

Goat tacos are the specialty at Birrieria Zaragoza

 

 

Rubi’s at Maxwell Street Market

 

Maxwell Street Market is a long-standing tradition in Chicago.  It is only open on Sunday, so get there early in the morning to avoid the long lines.  Rubi’s has the very best al pastor and calabaza (squash blossom) tacos in town.

 

 

Best Chicago Tacos Rubi's Tacos at Maxwell Street Market

The steak, al pastor and squash blossom (calabaza) tacos from Rubi’s Tacos @ Maxwell Street Market

 

 

L’Patron  

 

The lomo encebollado (ribeye & onions) is a “must-do” here and the salsa is super fresh.

 

 

Best Chicago Tacos L'Patron

Left to right: Lomo Encebollado (ribeye & onion), Tilapia, Shrimp

 

 

Antique Taco 

 

I highly recommend the garlic shrimp taco with cauliflower elote, crispy kale, and avocado basil salsa

 

 

Best Chicago Tacos Antique Taco's garlic shrimp taco

 

Antique Taco has locations in Wicker Park, Bridgeport and at Revival Food Hall.

 

Del Seoul 

 

This place specializes in Korean Street BBQ.  The blackened tofu taco was a delicious surprise and I also recommend the sesame-chili shrimp and the kalbi (short rib) tacos. 

 

 

Best Chicago Tacos Del Seoul's tofu taco

Del Seoul’s blackened tofu taco 

 

5 Rabanitos

 

This Pilsen gem is one of the very best Mexican restaurants in Chicago.  I highly recommend the pibil (slow-cooked, marinated pork) with pickled onions, habanero, and radishes.  The carne asada tacos are pretty awesome, too.  If you want to round off your meal, get the pozole soup. Wash it all down with their daily flavored water.  The cucumber-mint water was very refreshing.

 

5 Rabanitos is located 1 block west of the 18th St. ‘L’ stop on the Pink Line. (1758 W. 18th St.)

 

Best Chicago Tacos 5 Rabanitos

Pibil (shredded pork) and carne asada tacos

 

 

Velvet Taco 

 

Stand-outs at Velvet Taco are the shrimp and grits and falafel tacos.  

 

 

Best Chicago Tacos Velvet Taco

Shrimp ‘n Grits Taco

 

 

Del Toro 

 

Classic tacos are what makes Del Toro great.  Get the puerco (pork) adobado and grilled shrimp tacos.  

 

 

Best Chicago Tacos Del Toro in Pilsen

Carne asada, pork and grilled shrimp tacos at Del Toro

 

 

Bar Takito 

 

This West Loop spot features tacos inspired by the flavors of Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru.  The specially seasoned tortillas are a draw here,  I loved the pork belly tacos.  

 

 

 

Best Chicago Tacos Bar Takito

 

 

Latinicity

 

Latinicity is a zesty food hall on Chicago’s State St. which specializes in cuisine from various Latin American countries, Spain and Portugal.  The tacos here are always delicious.  Grab a few an enjoy the party atmosphere and the view overlooking The Loop!

 

Best Chicago tacos Latinicity

Latinicity food hall in Chicago

 

Buzz Bait Taqueria

 

This quaint seafood-centric taqueria is located in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood.  I loved the crispy cod tacos because they were very fresh, crispy and filling.  Nicely done!  Next time, I will be checking out the margaritas.

 

 

 

Best Chicago Tacos Buzz Bait Taqueria

 

 

Taco Joint

 

This River North spot in Chicago is a bit of an obsession with me.  I love steak fajitas, the Baja fish tacos, and the pozole tacos.

 

Best Chicago Tacos Taco Joint

The steak fajitas and Baja fish tacos at Taco Joint are my favorites.

Taco Joint is at 158 W. Ontario, 3 blocks west and 2 blocks north of the Grand ‘L’ stop on the Red Line.

 

Broken English

 

This joint, steps from Millennium Park, is the latest addition to Chicago’s taco scene.  I was pleasantly surprised at how flavorful the shrimp and swordfish tacos are and the plates are pretty, too!  Broken English is located at 75 E. Lake Street. Take the Brown, Orange, Purple, Green or Pink Lines to the Randolph/Wabash ‘L’ stop. 

 

Chicago's Best Tacos Broken English Tacos

 

En Hakkore

Del Seoul is not the only great Korean taco joint in Chicago.  You can add En Hakkore in Bucktown to the list.  I stopped into this bright spot to check out the eats and I was thrilled to find that the price was terrific, the flavors were amazing and the portions were huge. The tacos come two to an order and I chose the special tofu-kimchi and the spicy-pork tacos. The special flour tortillas served here have a thicker texture to support the ingredients and they taste different than your average flour tortillas.  I could not convince the owner to tell me her secret but I am happy to have it be kept a mystery.  Fabulous!!  

 

Best Chicago Tacos En Hakkore

Tofu-kimchi and spicy pork tacos at En Hakkore

 

En Hakkore is located at 1840  N. Damen, just 2 blocks north of the Damen ‘L’ stop, on the Blue Line.

 

Arturo’s Tacos

 

If you are wondering where you can find some late-night tacos, Arturo’s Tacos in Bucktown is open 24 hours!  They have a separate breakfast menu and there is much more than tacos available for your dining pleasure!  However, the 3 taco dinner with rice and beans is a steal. You are free to choose whichever tacos you like in this order and I like the carne asada and al pastor best.  Your server will bring you complimentary chips and pico de gallo which are very good, indeed!    The small ramekin of pico de gallo might not look like it’s “all that” but it is surprisingly bright and spicy.

 

Best Chicago Tacos Arturo's Tacos Bucktown

3 Taco Dinner is served all day and night at Arturo’s Tacos in Bucktown.

Arturo’s Tacos is located at 2001 N. Western Ave, just one block north of the Western ‘L’ stop, on the Blue Line.

 

 

Jarabe Mexican Street Food

 

The Little Italy section of Chicago is not only a residential neighborhood, it is home to the University of Illinois at Chicago (U.I.C.).  So, where there are droves of young people, there had better be a decent taco joint around which is wallet-friendly.  Jarabe is a really refreshing option in this part of town.  I really enjoyed the al pastor tacos, as well as the vegetarian burrito made with mushrooms sauteed in garlic with cabbage and avocado.  The salsas are delicious with enough heat.

 

 

Best Chicago Tacos Jarabe Mexican Street Food

 

 

Best Chicago Tacos Jarabe Mexican Street Food

Garlic-mushroom burrito with cabbage and avocado at Jarabe

 

Jarabe is located at 2255 W. Taylor St., just a few blocks south of the Western ‘L’ stop on the Blue Line (Forest Park branch).  Alternatively, take the #12 Roosevelt bus to Oakley Blvd and walk 2 blocks north to Jarabe.

 

You’re all set, folks!  Get up, get out and hit the rails to grab these 17 Best Chicago Tacos whether it’s Taco Tuesday or any other day of the week.

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA trains and buses to these 17 Best Chicago Tacos.  Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking.  Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!

  • Cailly Lynne

    I’ve been meaning to check out Carnitas Uruapan ever since I saw them on Best Tacos in America – can’t wait to check out your review!

    • Hi, Cailly. Try and go during the week because lines on weekends are long.

    • Sooo good! Avoid weekend lines by getting there super early or going on a weekday. Enjoy!

  • OMG, I’m so hungry now! These all look fantastic! What a job you had, but someone’s gotta do it, right?! I’ve never been to Chicago, but this is so enticing!

  • Sarah

    This is like a list of restaurants I need to try! I’ve been dying to go to Antique Taco since I tried their food at Chicago Gourmet!