Chicago is a city known for its diverse food scene. From deep-dish pizza to hot dogs, Chicagoans take pride in their culinary delights.
One dish that has been gaining popularity in recent years is barbacoa. This traditional Mexican dish is made by slow-cooking meat until it becomes tender and flavorful.
Barbacoa is a dish that has been around for centuries and has been passed down through generations. The traditional method of cooking barbacoa involves digging a pit in the ground, lining it with agave leaves, and placing the meat on top.
The pit is then covered with more agave leaves and left to cook for several hours. The result is a tender and juicy meat that is full of flavor.
Chicago has a diverse population, and with that comes a variety of options for barbacoa. Whether you prefer it in a taco, burrito, or as a standalone dish, there are plenty of options to choose from.
From hole-in-the-wall taco stands to upscale restaurants, there is something for everyone.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the best places for barbacoa in Chicago. We will take a closer look at the history of the dish, the different variations available, and where to find the best barbacoa in the city.
So, get ready to explore the best of what Chicago has to offer when it comes to this traditional Mexican dish.
1. El Milagro Tortilla
El Milagro Tortilla is a must-visit place for barbacoa lovers. This authentic Mexican restaurant offers a variety of delicious dishes, including the best steak plate at the right price.
The food is filled with flavor and the portions are generous. The staff is friendly, and the rustic Mexican decor adds to the ambiance.
The tacos are a must-try, and the guisados de res dinner and beef stew are also highly recommended.
The restaurant is great for groups and offers a unique dining experience with plastic cubicles for each table. Don't miss out on this gem of a restaurant in the heart of the city.
XOCO is a counter-service Mexican restaurant known for its delicious barbacoa tacos. The food is fresh and prepared with attention to detail.
The menu offers diversified and unique options, including tortas and almost naked nachos with spicy poblanos and queso fresco.
The staff is nice and attentive, and the atmosphere is cozy and fun. The prices are reasonable for the quality of the food, and the portions are bigger than similar restaurants.
XOCO is a great place for a quick bite without having to make reservations.
3. 5 Rabanitos Restaurante & Taqueria
5 Rabanitos Restaurante & Taqueria is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious barbacoa in a vibrant and colorful setting.
The staff is friendly and the service is attentive. The menu offers a wide variety of authentic Mexican dishes, including vegetarian options.
The outdoor seating is perfect for enjoying the summer weather, and the indoor space is cozy and inviting.
The prices are reasonable for the quality of food and service provided. Don't miss out on this gem in the heart of a great Pilsen food scene.
4. Taqueria El Asadero
Taqueria El Asadero is a no-frills, cash-only Mexican staple that draws crowds with its flavorful barbacoa, carne asada, and al pastor tacos.
The homemade chips and salsa are a must-try, and the guacamole is outstanding. The staff is friendly and efficient, and the prices are reasonable.
The limited menu has all the basics, including rice, beans, and different meats. The small restaurant has a few tables and is open late, making it a great spot to grab a late-night bite.
If you're looking for authentic Mexican food in a casual setting, Taqueria El Asadero is the place to go.
5. Paco's Tacos
Paco's Tacos is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic Mexican barbacoa.
Their tacos are loaded with flavorful meat and are always made fresh. The staff is friendly and the restaurant is clean and tidy.
Don't miss out on the delicious rice and beans, and be sure to try their carnitas and chicharron tacos too.
Prices are reasonable for the quality and quantity of food. If you're in the mood for some of the best barbacoa in town, Paco's Tacos is the place to go.
6. Carnitas Don Pedro
Carnitas Don Pedro is a bustling Mexican restaurant that serves up traditional cuisine in a no-frills setting.
The staff is friendly and the food is delicious, with standout items like the firey barbacoa and flavorful carnitas.
Customers can also purchase their signature red and green salsas to take home.
With affordable prices and generous portions, Carnitas Don Pedro is a must-try spot for anyone looking for authentic Mexican fare.
7. Taqueria El Jardin
Taqueria El Jardin is a small hidden gem that serves up some of the best barbacoa in town. The family-owned restaurant is a local favorite for its authentic Mexican cuisine and quick service.
The menu features a variety of tacos, burritos, and tortas that are all made with fresh ingredients and packed with flavor.
Prices are affordable and portions are generous, making it a great spot for a quick bite or a casual dinner.
While the ambiance is nothing to write home about, the food is what really shines here. If you're in the mood for some delicious barbacoa, Taqueria El Jardin is definitely worth checking out.
8. Canton Regio
Canton Regio is a cozy BYOB spot that serves incredible barbacoa. The food is cooked to perfection and bursting with flavor.
The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure that every customer is satisfied.
The atmosphere is casual and rustic, perfect for a family outing or a night out with friends. The restaurant is cash-only, so make sure to bring some cash along.
If you're looking for a great place to enjoy some delicious barbacoa, Canton Regio is definitely worth a visit.
9. Nuevo Leon Restaurant
Nuevo Leon Restaurant is a colorful Mexican restaurant that offers delicious barbacoa. The restaurant has a cheerful, booth-lined space that is perfect for enjoying Mexican classics, including breakfast and daily specials.
The staff is attentive and provides top-notch customer service. The portions are generous, and the food is served hot and fresh.
The restaurant also offers free appetizers and desserts, making it a great value for money. The menu has a good variety of options, and the refried beans are a must-try.
If you're looking for a place to enjoy authentic Mexican food with great service, Nuevo Leon Restaurant is definitely worth a visit.
10. Taqueria El Heredero
Looking for some authentic Mexican barbacoa in town, head to Taqueria El Heredero.
This informal eatery is a hidden gem, serving classic Mexican staples like tacos and burritos.
The barbacoa is tender and flavorful, and the fresh tortillas and classic house salsas add to the overall experience.
The staff is friendly and the prices are affordable, making it a great spot for a quick and satisfying meal. Don't forget to BYOB, and be sure to try the other menu items as well.
11. Mary's Taqueria
Mary's Taqueria is a small family-owned restaurant that serves authentic Mexican barbacoa.
The food is consistently great and the service is fast and friendly. The menu has a variety of options, including tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.
The prices are fair, but bring cash as there is a fee for using cards. The restaurant is cozy and has a market in the back with essential household items.
This hidden gem is a must-visit for anyone craving delicious and fresh Mexican food.
12. Taqueria 5 De Mayo
Taqueria 5 De Mayo is a must-visit for barbacoa lovers. The meat is tender and full of flavor, making it the star of the show.
The carne asada is also worth a try, with a unique taste that sets it apart from other places.
The prices are affordable and the portions are generous. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere and friendly staff.
Don't miss out on this hidden gem for authentic Mexican food.
13. Birrieria La Tapatia De Ocotlan
Birrieria La Tapatia De Ocotlan is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious barbacoa and birria in town.
Their meat is juicy and flavorful, making every bite a delight.
The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure their customers are well taken care of.
The prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is perfect for a casual meal with friends or family. Don't miss out on this gem of a Mexican restaurant!
14. Los Chepes
Los Chepes is a Mexican restaurant and caterer known for its delicious barbacoa and handmade tortillas. The Carnitas are also a must-try dish.
The sauces add an extra layer of flavor to the food. Regular customers recommend trying the tepache, a fermented pineapple drink.
The place is clean and the staff are polite and attentive. Prices are reasonable, but parking can be difficult.
Whether for dine-in or takeout, Los Chepes is definitely worth a visit for those craving authentic Mexican cuisine.
15. El Taconazo
El Taconazo is a must-visit place for barbacoa lovers. The food is fresh and well seasoned, and the portions are generous.
The staff is friendly and accommodating, making customers feel welcomed and comfortable. The menu offers a variety of authentic Mexican dishes, including the best barbacoa tacos in town.
The atmosphere is festive and welcoming, perfect for a casual night out with friends or family.
The prices are fair, and the BYOB policy is a plus. If you're looking for delicious and authentic Mexican food, El Taconazo is the place to go.
16. Taquizas Don Rafa
Taquizas Don Rafa is a fantastic place for barbacoa.
With a wide variety of dishes to choose from, including tacos al pastor and asada steak, the food is authentic and well-seasoned.
The homemade tortillas are fresh and hot, and the buffet is both delicious and reasonably priced.
With a warm and welcoming atmosphere, Taquizas Don Rafa is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic Mexican cuisine.
17. Taco Pros
Looking for a great place for barbacoa in the city that won't break the bank, head over to Taco Pros.
This Mexican restaurant offers a wide variety of delicious tacos, burritos, and bowls to satisfy any craving.
The barbacoa house specialty taco is a must-try, and the flavorful salsas are sure to impress.
The friendly staff and fast service make for a great dining experience. Don't miss out on this hidden gem in the city for some of the best barbacoa around.
18. Taqueria Traspasada 2
Taqueria Traspasada 2 is a low-frills, counter-serve stop for tacos, tortas, burritos, and full dinners.
The barbacoa is soft and meltable, while the al pastor is perfect every time.
The birria is unique and the pork red pazole is fresh. The staff is friendly and the service is quick.
The place is cash only and has limited seating, but the food is worth it.