There’s no such thing as “Taco Tuesdays” at family-run taquerias that dot Pilsen, Little Village and other not-as-of-yet-infiltrated-by-hipsters areas of the city. If you’re living, working or shopping in the heart of the city, however, and visions of carne asada, al pastor or chile relleno tacos start doing the cha-cha in your head, you have to hope it’s Tuesday to get these deals.
La Cocina Logan Square
2901 N. Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
One of the few places in the city, or probably the Midwest, to get vegan tacos with flavor, La Cocina also goes full meat with chorizo, al pastor, chicken and steak tacos. The BYOB restaurant offers a Taco Tuesday deal that is absurdly wonderful – $1 tacos. At this price, meat eaters can even attempt a taco made with seitan and not have any buyer’s remorse. The homemade salsa is authentically spicy and other specials ($1.99 tostadas on Friday or sopes on Saturday) make this a must stop in the neighborhood.
325 W. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60654
What it is lacking in size is made up for in big (or grande) flavor. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, the price of Chef Chico Vilchez’s delicious tiny tacos are cut in half. Try queso with pepper jack, mozzarella, roasted poblano; barbecued lamb with organic agave, avocado salsa; grilled beef tenderloin with spicy tomatillo salsa; shrimp and scallops with avocado, lime and romaine lettuce; and chimichurri chicken with pepper jack cheese and nopales. Tacos are normally $4.95 each.
Related: Best Guacamole In Chicago
Taqueria El Primo
4317 N. Elston Ave.
Chicago, IL 60641
The kitchen at this Albany Park spot turns out a baker’s dozen of taco varieties, each for $1, on Tuesdays. There are the expected – skirt steak, pork, chorizo and chicken – as well as the unusual such as Milanesa (breaded steak), lamb, ham, egg, avocado, pepper and cheese, grilled veggies and the mysterious innards of tongue and tripe. Regulars like the quick, friendly service, generous portions and some of the more uncommon items such as pork chops in red or green sauce, steak with cactus and onions and seafood and Mexican breakfast selections. There’s another location at 3500 W. Montrose.
El Famous Burrito
7047 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60626
The name says “burrito” but locals swarm in on Tuesdays (and Sundays) for tacos for a buck. Although the Rogers Park restaurant has plenty of competition in the area, regulars adore the colossal and cheap burritos, creamy horchata, vegetarian options, just-smashed guacamole and fresh churros. The dollar tacos include chicken, steak, beef and pork varieties and service could not be quicker, a plus for the ravenous.
108 W. Kinzie St.
Chicago, IL 60654
So they’re not a dollar each, but two tacos for $5.50 in this neighborhood is a steal. And when you hear about the choices, you’ll stop rolling your eyes. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and after 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, choose from wonderful concoctions like pancita (chile rubbed pork belly, roasted apples, rosemary, creamy tomatillo salsa, chicharrón); blackened cobia with cabbage-jalapeño slaw and spicy aioli; shrimp with roasted garlic, avocado and chipotle mojo; crispy beer-battered mahi mahi with chipotle aioli and Mexican-style coleslaw; and hongos that have wild mushrooms, tomato sofrito, queso fresco, salsa roja and crispy potato. Your two tacos must be same type and the offer is valid at the main bar and lounge only.
Related: Best Breakfast Burritos In Chicago
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.