By Elizabeth SanFilippo
Whether the dish is the Mexican or Americanized Tex-Mex version, fajitas typically consist of gloriously grilled meats with a heaping scoop of veggies. Each sizzling plate comes with a side of tortillas. In other words, consider fajitas a make-your-own tacos platter, which almost always includes way too much food for one sitting. Then again, fajitas, or more accurately faja, means girdle or belt in Spanish; so loosen that belt and prepare for a feast.
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15 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654
Hours: Tues to Fri – 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sat – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sun and Mon – Closed
The plates of Texas-style fajitas at Dos Diablos are absolutely massive, hence the higher price tags. Prices start at $17.95 for chicken fajitas (for one person) and go up to $35.95 (for two people). Patrons can choose among chicken, steak, shrimp or simply veggies to top their plates. If you’re not willing to toss down $17.95, stop by on a Wednesday after 8 p.m. for chicken and veggie fajitas at half price. Regardless of your fajitas fixings choices, all piping-hot plates come with warm flour tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo, rice and beans. After washing down your fajitas with a margarita, don’t forget to ride the mechanical bull.
1835 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
Hours: Mon to Tues – 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Wed to Fri – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sat – 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun – 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
With the enormous plate of fajitas at Las Palmas, feel free to share this dish — if you’re willing to split all that delicious meat and veggies. Your sizzling choice of meat or veggies is topped with the usual peppers, but also the unique inclusion of carrots. Sides include pico de gallo, black refried beans, Chihuahua cheese, crema Mexicana and, of course, tortillas. For the vegetarians, Las Palmas is also well-skilled in serving up a dish of portabella mushroom fajitas. Make sure to grab a margarita and sit on the wonderful patio as you enjoy your Mexican feast.
1132 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
Hours: Mon to Thurs, Sun – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Fri and Sat – 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.
No matter which location you choose along Ashland Avenue, you’re sure to get a stellar steaming dish of fajitas at La Pasadita. While there are three storefronts, La Pasadita shares kitchen space between all restaurants. Whether its lunch time or a post-bar snack after one too many drinks, this hole-in-the-wall serves some of the biggest and best fajita dishes in Chicago. Try something new and go with the beef-tongue fajitas. Once you get past the realization that you’re eating tongue, it can be extremely tasty.
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700 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60616
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
This Bridgeport, family-run Mexican joint follows tradition. All menu items are based off family recipes, including the reasonably priced fajitas starting at $12.95. Get either chicken or outer skirt steak, or simply combine the two for the best of both worlds. All fajitas are topped with tomato, green peppers and onions and served with sides of rice and beans, making for a hefty meal. Or, choose the Bistec a la Mexicana, which is outer skirt steak with onions and jalapeño peppers in a ranchero sauce for just $11.95. The latter dish packs a bit more bite and tons of flavor.
1307 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri and Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun – 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Zapatista’s three Chicagoland locations all largely feature Fajitas De Molcajete. Choose among pollo (chicken), carne asada (steak), camaron (shrimp), tilapia, zucchini, squash, mushrooms or bell peppers as your fajita dish’s main item. All fajitas come in a very hot lava stone, also known as a molcajete, that keeps the meal piping hot. Smothered in a delectable sauce, these fajitas are perfect and reasonable with prices starting at $13.99. Happy hours are offered each weekday, so consider indulging in some discounted drinks while you’re there.
Related: Best Mexican Restaurants in Chicago
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.