Over the past month or so, you’ve developed cool new skills like boiling water, microwaving rice, and eating beans out of a can. Time to put those hard-earned skills to rest and take a night off with things like mole enchiladas, tlatlayas, carnitas, and tacos al pastor. Here are 19 great Chicago Mexican restaurants that are currently open for takeout and delivery.
This is our favorite Mexican restaurant in the city, so we’re happy to report that - after being closed for several weeks - 5 Rabanitos reopened with a special carryout menu. And thankfully, it looks suspiciously just like their regular menu. This means a lot of delicious things for you to choose from, with a great selection of tacos, enchiladas, fantastic carne asada, and an ahogada torta with carnitas that happens to be one of the best sandwiches in Chicago, period.
More great news: this restaurant in McKinley Park is owned by the same people as 5 Rabanitos, and the food is just as good. The menu is similar, with tacos, entrees (like an enchilada topped with a rich mole), and that same ahogada torta. But there are some differences, like a roasted vegetable tlatlaya that manages to stay magically crispy, so you can have optimum enjoyment while sitting on your couch.
Ordering the huaraches at Dona Chio in Edgewater is a great idea. But anything here that involves their housemade masa is delicious. In other words, you also want the tacos, sopes, and mole enchiladas. You get to pick your toppings (with options like pastor, steak, or calabaza), plus your salsa (red or green), and there’s really no wrong decision. That said, we hedge our bets and order both salsas. It’s all about hoarding right now.
Canton Regio is a Mexican steakhouse that’s really great at grilling things, which means you should order steaks, skewers, and things like fajitas from here. Everything is always well-seasoned and perfectly cooked, plus this place also makes its own flour tortillas. And one of the best things about eating fajitas at home? You won’t hold a tiny table hostage with a giant sizzling cast-iron platter and little dishes holding all your fajita fixings. Well, probably not.
This spot does one thing and does it very well. And as the name suggests, that would be carnitas, which you can get in a taco or by the pound, and it comes with fantastic homemade tortillas on the side. The only decision you’ll have to make here is whether to choose the rib, belly, or shoulder (we say shoulder). Also good to know - Carnitas Uruapan donates over 200 meals a week to healthcare workers.
Surprise, Don Pedro Carnitas in Pilsen also focuses on carnitas. Order the carnitas platter, which comes with pork that’s perfectly crispy from being fried in its own fat, along with tortillas and chicharrones so you can make a bunch of tacos. But also make sure to get the tacos guisado, filled with a stew made from - surprise - pork.
Thanks to overall longevity, and Food Network’s love affair with Rick Bayless, Frontera is Chicago’s best-known Mexican restaurant. It’s been around since 1987, and the Mexican food is still delicious. Right now they’re offering dishes like carne asada, enchiladas, and a family-style taco platter for carryout and delivery. Bonus, they have great margarita kits to-go with both tequila and mezcal.
We’re big fans of Sol De Mexico in Belmont-Cragin. The food here is great, and they have a rotating menu that changes seasonally. You’ll find things like sweet tamales with chilaca cream, lamb in Oaxacan mole, and adobo-marinated duck breast. And fun fact: the owner’s mother was a nanny for Rick Bayless’ children. How’s that for your virtual trivia night?
Lena Brava is an upscale Mexican spot in the West Loop and right now they’re offering family-style meals. Everything is meant to feed two to four people, with things like short ribs, shrimp with butter-roasted plantains, and whole and half roasted chickens. They also have a variety of take-and-bake enchiladas.
This restaurant specializes in seafood. And what you want to order here is the shellfish - specifically the prawns (which come in a delicious, spicy broth that you should soak up with fries) and lobster (which has a seafood stuffing). All the sauce and shells can get messy, so consider eating in your bathtub.
We pretty much only get takeout at El Katcheton in Belmont-Cragin, so as far as we’re concerned not much has changed. The best things here are the specialty tacos - like the Lomo filled with skirt steak, beans, cheese, and rice, or the Kacheton - a mixture of tripe and chorizo with cheese, grilled peppers, and onions. These tacos are made with perfectly-grilled handmade tortillas and each one is large enough to feel like a full meal.
This great restaurant in Pilsen has a long menu (tortas, gorditas, enchiladas, huaraches, and more), and it’s all available for carryout and delivery. Feel free to order any of the above, but we want to direct your attention to the Taco Encarbonado. It’s made with charred ribeye on a large handmade tortilla, along with grilled onions, jalapeno, and beans. It’s delicious and something you need in your life.
If you’re looking for a weekday (or any day really - wait, what day is it?) Mexican breakfast, order from El Chubasco in Pilsen. They do magical things with eggs, like chilaquiles, huevos albanil (eggs in molcajete sauce), and huevos con nopales. But don’t make the mistake of overlooking the lunch and dinner menus, especially the tacos that are made with small and light handmade tortillas.
El Rincon is in Archer Heights, with a short menu full of quesadillas, tacos, and burritos. Order those things with chorizo (crispy, with a great amount of spice), arrachera, or the cecina. And while everything tastes great, it’s the green salsa that stands out here. It’s deep and spicy, and, like a condiment version of Rob Gronkowsi, makes everything around it even better.
There are a lot of restaurants with great tacos on this list. But if you want carne asada, Taqueria El Asadero in Ravenswood makes the best in the whole city. The meat is crispy, and so flavorful on its own that nothing needs to be added. Including the green salsa from El Rincon.
El Nuevo Mexicano
There’s one thing we always have to order from El Nueva Mexicano: the plantain enchiladas. That doesn’t mean that the rest of the food here isn’t very good - they have chimichangas, which are extremely delicious. But it’s the siren song of rich mole and sweet plantains that calls to us and cannot be ignored. Yes, we know how dramatic that sounds.
Birrieria Zaragoza in Archer Heights makes ordering very easy because they specialize in one thing: goat. The meat is tender and juicy, and has just the right amount of funkiness that’s nicely balanced out by their delicious salsa. And it comes with their handmade tortillas, which are the best goat delivery system.
Primo Chuki’s is a Mexican spot on the border of Ravenswood and Uptown, and this place has great caldos (perfect for the continous hangover you’ve had since March 18th), tortas, and tacos. And one of the best things here is their spicy al pastor. No, they won’t deliver an entire trompo (the rotating spit) to your house, but it’s still really good.
Healthy Substance sounds like the nutrition pellets we’ll be eating in Future Chicago, after the hoarders have permanently disrupted our food supply. But this is actually the name of a great vegan Mexican spot in Garfield Ridge. The menu has tacos, chilaquiles, burritos, and tamales, along with sandwiches and baked goods. Everything from the shredded cashew cheese to the spicy al pastor, chorizo, and steak is made in house, and none of it feels overprocessed.