There’s a lot of factors when it comes to a good fish taco. Not only does the quality of the fish matter (first and foremost) but how it’s cooked matters too. Toppings, of course, have a big impact on the flavor. All five of these restaurants (in addition to these restaurants) have mastered all aspects of the fish taco — even though they’re not all Mexican restaurants!
Photo Credit: Big Star Chicago via Facebook

Photo Credit: Big Star Chicago via Facebook

Big Star
1531 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 235-4039

When it comes to dining out at this Wicker Park establishment — whether you’re on the patio or indoors — you can’t go wrong with any of their tacos. Their meat ones may be some of the most popular, such as the pastor, but their taco de pescado, made as it is with a crispy beer-battered tilapia, is a delight to the tastebuds and sure to please your palate whether you’re a vegetarian or a carnivore. The taco also comes loaded with chipotle mayo, red onion, cabbage, cilantro and lime, the perfect combination.

Antique Taco
1360 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 687-8697

It’s all about the taco at another Wicker Park standby, and it’s flavors are just as big, bold and delicious as those that you find at the nearby Big Star. Plus, the tacos here are far from traditional at this festive restaurant. For starters, their crispy fish taco comes loaded with sriracha tarter sauce, giving this fish just the right amount of kick, as well as tempura, smoked cabbage, scallions and sesame. Tacos come in pairs and for two of these fishies you’ll be paying a reasonable $8.

(Photo Credit: L' Patron's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: L’ Patron’s Facebook)

2815 W. Diversey Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-6335

Everything is full of authentic flavor at this popular Logan Square restaurant, where even the tortilla is to die for. While just about every item on this menu is top-notch, the fish taco is particularly impressive. Get it battered in flakey deliciousness, or not — it’s your call at this cozy counter-service restaurant. Complement the fish taco with a range of other vegetarian eats as well, including shrimp tacos, guacamole and much, much more.

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108 W. Kinzie St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 329-9555

With Chef Patricio Sandoval at the helm of this market-driven taco (and tequila) restaurant, you know every last bite will be a taste of heaven. In addition to the restaurant’s Tacos for Strength, in which there’s a signature taco each month with a portion of proceeds benefiting No Kid Hungry, Mercadito offers an array of taco options. In terms of fish tacos, the estilo baja tacos are the perfect balance of crispy yet flaky, mahi mahi, paired with chipotle aioli and Mexican-style coleslaw. And with four tacos per serving, you won’t go home hungry.

GT Fish & Oyster
531 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 929-3501

This River North restaurant may not be a Mexican restaurant, but as its name implies, they specialize in fish and seafood in all its forms. That most definitely goes for their tacos as well. The fish used in the tacos varies depending on what’s in season, but chances are it’ll be topped with a crispy pork chicharron, garlic marinade and chipotle aioli to give it just the right amount of kick. The fish tacos are available on both the lunch and dinner menus.

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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 blogging about food, she’s working part-time at a culinary vacation company, The International Kitchen, based in the Windy City, as well as repping Younique cosmetics and skincare products. Some of her writing can be found at