Many of restaurants in Pilsen celebrate the neighborhood’s rich Mexican culture and history. There are several taquerias and Mexican restaurants clustered along 18th Street between Ashland and Halsted.
In addition to authentic Mexican food, Pilsen has lively pubs, music venues, and one of Chicago’s oldest Italian restaurants.
Last updated: March 2022
Restaurants in Pilsen:
We have indicated which restaurants in Pilsen serve breakfast/brunch and/or lunch in addition to dinner.
Located in the same building as concert venue Thalia Hall, Dusek’s Tavern serves a balance of pub food and sophisticated new American cuisine. The menu has buffalo chicken wings and oysters, beef tartare and bbq pork rinds. When it comes to entrees they have dishes like a double cheeseburger, pork schnitzel, and a dry aged rib eye. The space is upscale and inviting; it is a fitting place for a date or a pre-concert bite.
Birreria Reyes de Ocotlan
This spot specializes in birria tacos that are made with a cheese quesadilla shell filled with two consumé soaked tortillas, chile de arbors, guajillo chile peppers, and meat (beef or chicken). Once assembled, the taco is dipped in the consumé and fried. This restaurant is cash-only and is open from 11 am until 7 pm on Tuesdays through Fridays and from 1 pm until 7 pm on weekends.
Taqueria el Milagro
A casual cafeteria style Mexican joint that is a perfect place for a quick bite. The menu has tacos, tamales, tortas, flautas, quesadillas, and burritos. It’s no frills but satisfying.
A bar, restaurant, and music venue with a chicken named Conchita that lives on the roof. The menu has lots of appetizers like fried ravioli, nachos, wings, empanadas, and fried pickles plus soups, salads, sandwiches, and pizzas.
La Vaca Margarita Bar
La Vaca serves margaritas and tacos in a hip 21+ cantina. In addition to a dozen different tacos, the menu has sharable dips and snacks, fajitas, and large main dishes like carne asada and enchiladas. Dinner is served nightly, it’s open until at least 12:30 am every night, and brunch is available on weekends.
Mexican, Breakfast, Lunch
Los Comales serves authentic Mexican tacos, tortas, tostadas, and burritos plus a small breakfast menu in the mornings. It’s open from 8 am until 1 am daily. Lunchtime specials are just $11.50 and include your choice of three tacos, three quesadillas, two tostadas, a torta, or a burrito with rice, beans, and a drink.
Mexican, Kid-friendly, Vegetarian
A BYOB restaurant by XOCO alum Chef Alfonso Sotelo serving beautiful composed authentic Mexican cuisine. Choose from ceviches, tacos, tortas, and main courses like barbacoa beef, carne asada, chicken milanesa, and enchiladas de mole. An outdoor patio provides views of the Senkoe mural on the side of the restaurant’s exterior. The menu has several mouthwatering vegetarian options.
Pleasant House Pub
A pub serving savory vegetable and meat Royal Pies and British inspired pub food. The menu of Royal Pies includes steak & ale, chicken balti, mushroom & kale, and a vegan pie filled with vegetables in a spiced tomato sauce. The pub menu has items like a burger, bangers and mash, and a fried chicken sandwich. The weekend brunch menu has a full English breakfast, a brunch burger, and lunch fare. Lunch is served on weekdays, brunch is on the weekends, and dinner is nightly (except for Mondays when they are closed).
A small batch craft brewery serving seasonal globally influenced cuisine like pork adobo, spicy chicken parmesan, pork lumpia, and several burgers. Dinner is served nightly and brunch is served on weekends.
Originally opened by Bella Bruna in 1933, this is the third-oldest Italian restaurant in Chicago. The menu has all the classics including lasagna, ravioli, spaghetti al pomodoro, linguine all vongole, stuffed shells, fettuccine Alfredo, eggplant parmesan, chicken saltimbocca, veal scaloppine, and chicken marsala. Bella Bruna’s original roast chicken is still served on Sundays. Lunch and dinner are served daily.
Vietnamese, Fine Dining
A Michelin Bib Gourmand winner from 2017-2022, HaiSous is one of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in Pilsen. The restaurant is known for tasting menus that examine Vietnamese history. Currently, the menu explores Chinese-Vietnamese cuisine and the flavors that emerged from the ruling Chinese Dynasties over the past 1000 years. The tasting menu is offers Thursdays through Sundays for $65.
Dang Good Wings
A sister restaurant to HaiSous which is next door, Dang Good Wings serves fried wings in four different sauces (caramelized fish sauce, sweet and spicy sriracha, Thai chili buffalo, and Saigon’s barbecue) plus fries, waffles, coffee, beer, and cocktails.
Mexican, Breakfast, Lunch, Vegan/Vegetarian, Kid-friendly
A traditional and affordable Mexican restaurant known for their mole. The menu is huge and even has an entire plant-based section offering plant-based meats. La Esperanza serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Fridays to Sundays, is closed Tuesdays, and serves breakfast and lunch the rest of the week.
Honky Tonk BBQ
A family-run rustic eatery serving from scratch Memphis-style wood roasted barbecue and hosting live music. The menu has smoked pork, brisket, chicken, ribs, and rib tips and sides including macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, candied yams, coleslaw, beans, greens, and portobello mushrooms.
The letters S.K.Y. spell out the initials of Chef Stephen Gillander’s wife/restaurant co-owner. The menu at S.K.Y. is contemporary American with Asian influences. The menu has black truffle croquettes, Maine lobster dumplings, hamachi sashimi, fried chicken, and foie gras bibimbap.
A comfortable rustic restaurant serving craft cocktails and casual Mexican food. The menu has an even mix of starters like queso fundido, tetelas, and elote, tacos, and larger entrees including mole lamb chops, quesabirria, and chicken flautas.
A restaurant with a huge amount of outdoor space saving Latin inspired street food. The menu has lots of small plates like hummus, flautas, queso fundido, tamales, ceviche, and nachos plus tacos and entrees including a burger, carne asada, and chicken enchiladas. Pilsen Yards hosts live music every Thursday and DJ sets every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For a cocktail, check out their hidden cocktail bar, The Alderman.
This take-out only restaurant has been serving carnitas and chicharrones since 1975. The menu is small and pork-centric. The famed pork carnitas can be ordered by the taco or by the pound. Carnitas Uruapan does not serve dinner, they are open from 7 am until 5 pm on weekends and from 10 am until 4 pm on weekdays.
A diner-style cafe serving globally inspired Mexican food. The menu has tacos, tlacoyos, and burritos with a choice of meat, seafood, or vegetables. Other items include fried chicken, quesadilla, tortas, and burgers.
Del Toro serves casual Mexican food like tacos, burritos, and tortas along with tequilas and mezcal.