3 new businesses to check out in Irving Park

Ready to find out about the newest restaurant and retail additions to Irving Park? From a CTA-themed taqueria to Chicago's first cider house, read on to see the newest destinations to open their doors in this Chicago neighborhood.

Chicago Taco Authority

4219 W. Irving Park Rd. (between Keeler Ave & Tripp Ave.)

Photo: Michael G./Yelp

Inspired by the Windy City's favorite transit agency, owner Jose Bustos recently opened the Chicago Taco Authority. The new taqueria offers street-style Mexican fare in a setting complete with a life-size train and transit memorabilia.

On the menu, look for taco offerings like al pastor, fish and spicy shredded chicken. Specialty tacos include the chile relleno, brisket taco and the "Sweet Hog" with Coca Cola-braised pork, jalapeno coleslaw and onion strings.

For sides, look for ceviche, chips and guacamole, tortilla soup and queso fundido with oven-baked Oaxaca cheese and chorizo.

Chicago Taco Authority's current Yelp rating of four stars out of 41 reviews indicates the newcomer is finding its way, but it's still early days.

Yelper Gerry A., who reviewed Chicago Taco Authority on January 10th, wrote: "Since it's new in the neighborhood, I decided to give them a try. Wow, pretty good. I tried steak tacos, elote cup and guacamole side and chips. Tacos had good flavor."

And Mike B. wrote: "Welcome to the neighborhood! And thank you for coming to open up this place. Best tacos I have had in Chicago for a third of the price. Quality ingredients in every taco. This isn't Taco Bell, that's for sure. "

Chicago Taco Authority is open Wednesday-Saturday from 11am-10pm, and Sunday-Tuesday from 11am-9pm.

Eris Brewery And Cider House

4240 W. Irving Park Rd. (between Keeler Ave & Tripp Ave.)

Photo: Bri A./Yelp

Located in a former church and Masonic temple, Eris Brewery and Cider House is Chicago's first cider house, courtesy of co-owners Michelle Foik and Katy Pizza.

Eris features an extensive menu of house-made ciders and beers, as well as upscale pub food courtesy of veteran executive chef Jonathan Trubow (Mrs. Murphy, Sons Irish Bistro).

On the food menu, expect to see dishes such as root vegetable hash in a brown sugar vinaigrette with caramelized pearl onion and micro greens, steak frites, and braised short-rib accompanied by white bean and sausage cassoulet and an herb salad.

Eris Brewery and Cider House currently holds 4.5 stars out of 32 reviews on Yelp, indicating good reviews.

Yelper Amy O., who reviewed Eris Brewery and Cider House on February 16th, wrote: "When I think about Eris Chicago, I am instantly reminded of the quote often attributed to Goethe, 'Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.' This women owned and operated business sets the bar high."

Mayola M. noted: "The beer was excellent. They have some very interesting choice of brews and I am so excited to come back to taste some more. Hopefully they have a nice outdoor space for when mother nature is kinder to us Chicagoans."

Yelper Paul D. wrote: "The in-house brewed beer and cider menu is pretty extensive, and they offer a small portion size which was great for sampling. Food arrived quickly and was delicious - we sampled the burger, the Cobb salad and the pork tenderloin, all done to perfection."

Eris Brewery and Cider House is open Monday-Thursday from 11am-1am, Friday and Saturday from 11am-2am, and Sunday from 11am-midnight.

Surge Coffee Bar & Billiards

3241 W. Montrose Ave. (between Pulaski Rd & Keystone Ave.)

Photo: Roy T./Yelp

After Marie's Golden Cue space closed down last March, Surge Coffee Bar & Billiards moved into the location. Along with billiards, the spot doubles as a coffee shop and cocktail bar.

For food, expect to see gastropub fare like personal naan bread pizzas, crispy quesadillas with grilled onions and jalapenos, and a selection of burgers and sandwiches.

For drinks, offerings include a list of rotating beers on draft, brews in the bottle or can, and a various wines. Signature cocktails--such as the "Firing Squad" with tequila, pomegranate, chipotle, lime and bitters--are also on the menu. (You can check out the full menu here.)

Surge Coffee Bar & Billiards's current rating of 4.5 stars out of 18 reviews on Yelp indicates positive attention from users.

Yelper Angie C. said: "Just stopped in this morning to get a coffee before starting my day. The iced dirty chai tastes amazing! My boyfriend's mocha was equally as great. We were extremely impressed that they used actual pieces of chocolate instead of syrup to make it. Though we didn't get a pastry, they had a great assortment!"

And Prabodh M. wrote: "Great place for hanging out with friends! They have around 10 pool tables to play with your friends. The food is great too. We tried the mozzarella garlic naan pizza and the fry basket. Both were amazingly tasty."

Surge Coffee Bar & Billiards is open Friday and Saturday from 7am-2am, and Sunday-Thursday from 7am-1am.