Big Star, Chicago: Tacos and Whiskey in the Windy City

Fri, 9 January 2015
Big Star Taco restaurant in Chicago


CITY, COUNTRY: Wicker Park – Chicago, IL USA


BEST FOR: Groups

RECOMMENDED DAY AND TIME TO VISIT: A sunny summer weekend afternoon (for sprawling patio seating) or a late Saturday winter night for a casual meal with friends.

AVERAGE PRICE PER P/MEAL: Cash only, $12-$20 + drinks (they have a Bible of whiskeys ranging from $6-$25)

ATMOSPHERE: Boisterous and casual, but trendy

AVERAGE WAITING TIME FOR MEAL: 45 minutes to an hour to sit, 5 to 10 minutes for food

BEST STARTERS: The Queso Fundido, salty melted cheese garnished with herbs and house-made chorizo served with fresh tortillas (but also excellent with tortilla chips).

BEST MAINS: Taco al pastor – grilled pineapple and cilantro provided a burst of flavour alongside soft, juicy spit roasted pork shoulder. Tostada de hongos, or stewed mushrooms, comes with goat cheese and summer greens.

BEST DESSERTS: No dessert on the menu.

WHAT DOES THE DRINK MENU OFFER: A never-ending list of whiskeys, tequila, local beers and staff draft selections, and classic cocktails including margaritas (which you can get in a pitcher for $37).


WHO GOES THERE? Young Chicagoans looking for a fun and cheap dinner and foodies following the ventures of chef Paul Kahan.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Happening and fun late night taco joint with great drinks.

WHERE IS IT? 1531 N Damen, Chicago, IL 60622, +1 (773) 235-4039,

Words by Christine O’Leary Photo courtesy of Big Star

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