Latin American cuisine: Check out 5 fresh offerings in Chicago

El Tequilas Bar and Grill. | Photo: M L./Yelp

Interested in trying some new Latin American spots in Chicago? You're in luck: we've found the freshest businesses to fill the bill. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you're in the mood for Latin American food.

Casa De Luna


5481 N. Northwest Highway, Gladstone Park
Photo: Michelle U./Yelp

Casa De Luna is a Mexican eatery offering traditional cuisine. On the menu, you'll find nachos and tamales as appetizers; quesadillas con rajas with Mexican cheese, onions and poblano peppers as an entree; and tequila cocktails like the Azul Margarita with blue curacao and lime.

Yelp users are generally positive about Casa De Luna, which currently holds four stars out of seven reviews on the site.

Yelper Ann B., who reviewed the restaurant on June 8, wrote, "Wow! Wonderful food. Next girls night out. Obviously it is new and still working out the process, but the staff was so nice and the owner was bringing out food to the tables. Nice touch!"

Edna V. noted, "Great good, great drinks, staff is super friendly, cozy ambiance! Overall completely satisfied! Will be returning soon!"

Casa De Luna is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Zombie Taco


530 N. LaSalle Dr., River North
Photo: zombie taco/Yelp

Zombie Taco features a 24/7 pickup window and dining services at the adjacent Bar Moxy. The small pickup window is limited to five or six menu options such as the signature Zombie Burrito, which combines pork confit, adobo grilled chicken, charred corn, black beans, pico de gallo and slaw in a flour tortilla sourced from Pilsen's El Popo.

The menu runs from breakfast to the wee hours, with chicken chorizo breakfast tacos and Passion House coffee in the a.m., and Korean beef, carnitas and Baja-style fish tacos in the p.m.

Given its location within the Moxy, a millennial-targeted boutique hotel from Marriott, Zombie Taco also "features plenty of USB plugs for workers during the day and a mural full of Chicago references," according to Eater Chicago.

Zombie Taco currently holds 3.5 stars out of 14 reviews on Yelp, indicating fair reviews.

Yelper Trisha A., who was one of the first users to visit the taco spot on June 1, wrote, "Great for snacks and late-night eats, Zombie Taco has it all. I also saw some salads, mini alcohol bottles, delicious looking doughnut-croissants, and cute merch."

Corey S. noted, "Pros: service is great, food is delicious (jalapeno bacon taco is insane). The coffee is a bit expensive but it is the hotel and you can refill as many times as you want."

Zombie Taco is open 24 hours a day.

Lito's Empanadas


131 N. Clinton St., Near West
Photo: kristin l./Yelp

Lito's Empanadas has been serving up its empanadas for over a decade and recently moved into the French Market. Expect goodies like chorizo and cheese and Nutella and banana. Sauce options go from mild to wild including a mayo-based sweet sauce to the pepper-based serrano.

With a four-star rating out of four reviews on Yelp, Lito's Empanadas has been getting positive attention.

Yelper Kristen L., who reviewed the newcomer on May 19, wrote, "These empanadas make a good little snack! We had the spinach and cheese and the beef and rice empanadas. I thought the spinach and cheese empanada was really tasty! There was a lot of spinach!"

Shevon R. noted, "This location is in the French Market connected to Ogilvie Transportation Center. Tried it for the first time. Lots of flavors to choose from like spinach and cheese, caramel apple, etc."

Lito's Empanadas is open from 7 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Saturday. (It's closed on Sunday.)

Tomatillo Taco-Ville


2943 W. Irving Park Road, Irving Park
Photo: Belinda A./Yelp
Tomatillo Taco-Ville is a Mexican spot serving up tacos with carne asada, al pastor, carnitas, beef tongue, steak, chicken and more. The generous menu also includes breakfast fare, burritos, tortas and entrees. Check out the three taco dinner with rice and beans, a steak burrito or the pork tortas with rice, beans, sour cream and avocado.

Tomatillo Taco-Ville currently holds 4.5 stars out of 23 reviews on Yelp, indicating good reviews.

Yelper Edgardo R., who reviewed the restaurant on May 27, wrote, "Service is great. The food is delicious. Super clean. My fiance thought it was cute and loved their ChocoFlan. She got a steak taco bowl and I got the tacos de lengua that you must try!"

Lizz K. noted, "First time eating here was pretty good. Nothing groundbreaking or spectacular, but good."

Tomatillo Taco-Ville is open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

El Tequilas Bar and Grill


2826 N. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview
Photo: m l./Yelp

El Tequilas Bar and Grill is a Mexican restaurant that comes courtesy of Freddy Perez, a Chicagoan born in Mexico. The family-owned business brings influences from Veracruz and Acapulco to the menu, according to the business' website.

Look for the Fiesta Ensalada, grilled chicken and black bean corn relish drizzled with ranch salsa dressing; the Salmon A La Parilla with salmon, rice, black bean relish and seasonal vegetables; and the Mar y Terra, grilled steak and shrimp served with rice and beans.

El Tequilas Bar and Grill currently holds four stars out of 21 reviews on Yelp, indicating good reviews.

Yelper Alex R., who reviewed the eatery on June 8, wrote, "Amazing steak. Stopped here quickly for a break while working. Will be going back and recommending to friends and co-workers."

Yelper Mike R. wrote, "We started at the bar and had a few great variations of a margarita, as well as a mezcal cocktail. Chips and tres salsas were homemade, very original and delicious."

El Tequilas Bar and Grill is open from 4 p.m.-2 a.m. on weekdays, 11-3 a.m. on Saturday, and 11-2 a.m. on Sunday.
Related Topics:
foodHoodline