Chicago loves putting restaurants in alleys. Maybe because (unlike New York, where garbage is proudly displayed on the street) we just have so many of them. Bar Sotano is a cocktail bar in the alley behind Frontera Grill, and it’s owned by the same team. So it’s not surprising that the Mexican food here is great. The menu has a mix of bar snacks (like habanero-glazed fried chicken bites), plus entrees like a burger and a wagyu steak with pureed sunchoke. Which is probably one of the best steaks you’ll have the chance to eat in an alley.
More spots in River NorthSee more
We wanted to hate it, but we can’t. RPM Steak can hang with the Chicago steakhouse classics any day.
Shaw’s Crab House
Shaw’s is like the seafood version of a steakhouse. Come for a nicer dinner and order all the oyster, crab, and lobster.
More Mexican spotsSee more
5 Rabanitos is a casual BYOB restaurant in Pilsen serving seriously great Mexican food.
Antique Taco is a homey spot for any casual meal in Wicker Park. Definitely eat tacos and maybe even buy yourself some antique furniture.
Suggested by our writers
Frontera Grill is the most famous Mexican restaurant in Chicago. It’s a classic spot that’s doing excellent food in a casual sit-down place.
Beatnik is a restaurant and cocktail lounge in West Town serving average food in a beautiful environment.
Xoco is a casual Mexican street food spot from the man himself, Rick Bayless. It's a good move for an easy meal.
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