Four taco crawls
Take a tour of 23 taquerias in four Chicago neighborhoods.
Carnitas Don Pedro
With meats sold by the pound, Don Pedro does a bang-up carryout business on carnitas, especially with an adjacent parking lot. Weekdays you can score the carnitas as tacos, sold for $1.50 a pop. 1113 W 18th St (312-829-4757).
Taqueria La Casa Del Pueblo
We pass by eight types of tamales in favor of perusing steam tables of taco fillings for a game of pointing and trying. The standout is the puerco adobo: earthy, sweet and lightly spicy chili sauce clinging to nibs of fatty pork. 1810 S Blue Island Ave (312-421-4664).
Tacos filled with made-to-order chile relleno are draws enough, but it’s the little extras that endear: bucket-size salty-spicy micheladas, a trio of distinct and delicious salsas, and frosty piña coladas garnished with fresh fruit. 1836 S Blue Island Ave (312-226-9697).
Taqueria el Milagro
The menu at this tortilleria’s taqueria is identical to its Little Village sibling, but this location excels at carne asada. Even at only a quarter-inch thick, the salty, charred skirt steak stays juicy, piled onto the tortillas in wide slices atop rice and beans and topped with cabbage slaw. 1923 S Blue Island Ave (312-433-7620).
Here, we prefer our tacos filled with the housemade chorizo—lean but flavorful from roasted chilies and garlic. It’s ground coarse and flattened out like sausage patties, ideal with a squeeze of lime and a heap of jalapeño-packed pico de gallo. 1808 S Ashland Ave (312-666-5180).
Typically tables order carnitas by the plate, with tortillas, salsas, charred jalapeño and pickled carrots alongside. Uruapan offers single tacos as well. The weekend specialty: brain tacos, tortillas filled with a creamy, crumbly mixture that looks like scrambled eggs and tastes like greasy chicken, fried to a crisp and sold five for $2. 1725 W 18th St (312-226-2654).