1515 W. 18th St., Chicago
This Mexican restaurant serves up authentic fare, complete with waitresses dressed in traditional clothing. Try the Enchiladas Suizas: three corn tortillas topped with red chile, green tomatillo, or mole sauce, filled with your choice of meat, and smothered in cheese. Served with rice and beans, you can’t go wrong for $6. But bring cash if you go. They don’t accept credit cards.
Uncle Julio’s Hacienda
855 W. North Ave., Chicago
At Uncle Julio’s, the homemade chips and salsa are to die for! Try traditional favorites like tacos and tamales, or opt for something a little more risqué like quail or frog legs. Thirsty? Order the Swirl: a frozen concoction of layered margarita and homemade sangria.
El Barco Mariscos
1035 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago
Specializing in seafood, this West Town restaurant resembles a ship in its décor and features nearly a dozen life-sized blue marlins hanging from the ceiling. The menu has a variety of options with shrimp, fish, crab and octopus. Try the red snapper in a garlic, wine and cilantro sauce. Wash it down with a tasty margarita; a pitcher is less than $10.
700 W. 31st St., Chicago
Located in Bridgeport, this cozy restaurant serves yummy margaritas, along with traditional Mexican favorites. Sox fan? Watch the game while noshing on chips and guacamole. Try the Fajita Wrap with chicken or steak. It’s huge, tasty and filling for less than $9.
445 N. Clark St., Chicago
For an elegant twist on Mexican fare, try celebrity chef Rick Bayless’ restaurant. The monthly changing menu features dishes like lime-marinated Hawaiian albacore ceviche, braised pork shoulder and pan-roasted duck. Ingredients are often organic and custom-grown.
2528 S. Kedzie Ave., Chicago
Located in Little Village, this family-owned restaurant really makes you feel like you are in Mexico. With live entertainment, including Mariachi bands on weekends, this venue is perfect for hanging with family or spending time with friends. Try the signature dish: Parillada de Lujo. It’s a tabletop grill sizzling with giant shrimp, carne asada, beef short ribs, pork chops, chicken, Mexican chorizo, green onions and cheese. It’s served with pico de gallo, beans and tortillas.
Yasmin Tara Rammohan