Whether you are on the move or want to relax and indulge yourself, Hispanic food is always a great choice. Chipotle is great and all, but I decided it was time to abandon my normal routine and take advantage of the all the great Latin restaurants around Chicago. So without further ado, here’s my list of Chicago’s top 5 Latin restaurants.
Cemitas Puebla-Fulton Market
Getting featured on Guy Fierri’s Diners Drive Inns and Dives show is no easy feat. Yet again Cemitas Puebla in Fulton Market is not your typical taqueria. While most Latin restaurants would specialize in tacos or burritos, Cemitas Puebla is known for a Puebla influenced menu item called a Cemita.
At a glance a Cemita looks like a Torta, but unlike the torta, the cemita is made with a sesame seed roll with Oaxacan cheese, avocado, chipotle sauce and a choice of meat such as milanesa (breaded pork loin) a restaurant favorite.
Along with the great food, Cemitas Puebla (the Fulton Market location) has distinctive art such as the white skulls along the wall and a giant coke a cola logo made from army figures. They are open from Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm and Friday to Saturday 11 am to 10:30 am.
Mixteco Grill - Ravenswood
Looking for a place for date night? Mixteco in Ravenswood is the place for you. Everything in the restaurant stands out from Hispanic pop art along the walls to the authentic Oaxaca cuisine. Everyone who goes to this restaurant raves about the mole sauce.
Rather than getting take out, you should really sit down and embellish yourself in some authentic Oaxacan cuisine. Although this place is a bit more expensive than your average Hispanic restaurant, the delicious food will make it worth your while. Their hours are Monday-Thursday 5pm-10 pm, Friday-Saturday 5pm-11pm, Sunday 4pm-9pm, and their Brunch hours from Saturday and Sunday 10am-2:30pm.
El Nuevo Mexicano - Boystown
Just like Mixteco, El Nuevo Mexicano in Boystown is another great place to sit down and enjoy your evening. The paintings and objects along the rustic brick walls create a quaint atmosphere, and the food won’t disappoint either.
Their menu consists of Tex Mex cuisine with local favorites such as enchiladas con mole, flautas, tacos and the flaky beef empanada. There is both indoor and outdoor seating for the warm summer nights. However it is a small place so you may need to put your name on the waitlist but no fear, you can go grab drinks at Jakes/Dukes of Perth across the street while you wait. Their hours are Sunday to Thursday 11:30am-9:00pm and Friday to Saturday 11:30am-10:00pm.
Ay Ay Picante - Portage Park
If you are looking for another culinary adventure, Ay Ay Picante in Portage Park is a place you need to visit. They are a mom and pop restaurant known for serving exceptional Peruvian cuisine.
The beautiful Nazca line walls and pan flute music make it's a great place to go with your family for an authentic Peruvian experience. Try out the grilled seafood and meats, filet mignon and the criollo dishes to the get the most out of your meal. The Churasco and calamari are especially delicious, and the vegetarians out their will love their Papa a la Huancaina (Potatoes smothered in creamy spicy sauce). Their hours are Sunday to Thursday 11:00am-10:30pm and Friday and Saturday 11:00am-11:30p.
Café El Tapatio - Boystown
Café El Tapatio in Boystown has been around for over 4 decades, making itself a landmark in the neighborhood. Featured on Chicago’s Best, they are best known for their Mexican BBQ fusion. They also have a vegetarian menu that’s not to be underestimated. The restaurant is a few blocks away from Wrigley Field so it is a great place to eat before or after a game watching the world champions. Their hours are 11:00am-9:00pm daily.
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