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So, you still haven’t tried Cantina 1910. And before you know it, that new Rick Bayless spot will be open in Wicker Park. Admittedly, this so-many-tacos, so-little-time thing is an issue. (The thought of uneaten guacamole...shivers.) But don’t panic. We’ve cut through the clutter to find the must-try restaurants from Chicago’s Mexican-eatery boom.


Cantina 1910

About that Cantina. The awesome thing is that the dishes--which represent various regions of Mexico--are made using ingredients from Midwestern farms. So you can bet on those masa dumplings with cauliflower and spaghetti squash being fresh. And you may want seconds on the garlicky fish with fermented red cabbage.

5025 N. Clark St.; 773-506-1910 or


Dos Urban Cantina

Guys. It’s time to branch out from the basic fish taco. And this seafood-centric spot is just the place to do it. Here’s what we suggest: the sea urchin with tomatillo-green-apple salsa, the grilled salmon with pistachio sauce or the raw scallops with chia seeds and roasted sweet potatoes. Oh, and there are plenty of veggie options, too. (Eggplant sope, we see you.)

2829 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-661-6452 or


Rojo Gusano

There are four specialties at this casual spot, and three of them are booze. So here?s how to break it down. First, place your requisite order for tacos. (The mixed-mushroom and chicken-verde varieties will do just fine.) Then take your pick of tequila, mezcal or bourbon cocktails. Repeat.  

3830 W. Lawrence Ave.; 773-539-4398 or


The Mexican

Listen, we’re not lushes (we swear). But we need to direct your attention to the boozy horchata at this colorful Lincoln Park spot. It’s a bit like spiked eggnog but with so much more cinnamon. And it pairs beautifully with the smoked-brisket enchiladas.

1967 N. Halsted St.; 312-460-3200 or

Chicago Tribune

Ixcateo Grill

This place is B.Y.O.B., but there’s something even more exciting happening in its kitchen. Chef Anselmo Ramirez, formerly of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, is whipping up street-food-inspired feasts. And if you pass up the mole sauce here--which douses everything from roasted chicken to wood-grilled duck--you’re loco.

3402 W. Montrose Ave.; 773-539-5887 or

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