Chicago is a Midwest wonder, with a skyline that seemingly goes on forever and many attractions that, thanks to outstanding architecture, could have you feeling like you are on the East Coast or another country. Outside of The Loop, there are numerous neighborhoods, all with their individual charm. Since the mid 1990’s, there has been development and growth spurts spanning from downtown through the West and Northwest corridors in neighborhoods like West Loop, West Town, Ukrainian Village, Bucktown, and Logan Square. A very popular area that is filled with boutiques, coffeehouses, cafes, and restaurants is Wicker Park. Walking distance from the Division Blue Line subway stop is Antique Taco at 1360 N. Milwaukee Avenue, one of several eateries in the Wicker Park landscape that prepares some fantastic Mexican dishes.
This is neither a conventional taqueria nor a fast food restaurant. For example, customers may opt for a lunch consisting of strawberry ginger margaritas, guacamole and chips, keema empanadas, and garlic shrimp tacos. You order at the counter, find an available seat if you are dining in, and prepare for an enjoyable fast casual dining experience.
The guacamole is made in-house, which means that it is fresh coming to the table. The keema empanada is reminiscent of Indian keema samosas. Unlike a keema samosa, that contain seasoned lamb, the meat in the keema empanada is combined with a flavorful sauce. These are not small, cute empanadas, but rather large and filling. The shrimp tacos are worth repeat orders, as well. The addition of cauliflower elote and the creamy avocado basil salsa works perfectly in the recipe. And the strawberry ginger margaritas, which are not heavy on alcohol, are splendid for washing everything down.
Antique Taco has become one of the most popular restaurants in Wicker Park. The combination of great service and delicious food is a winning combination. Business opens at 11:30 AM on weekends and there is always a line forming at the door shortly after the first few customers enter. If you want to enjoy your meal inside, arrive early. One thing to note is that while Antique Taco may tout a Mexican menu, they add a twist to the menu items that make you want to try something new every time you visit. The name may hint at something old, but the new take on Mexican makes Antique Taco one restaurant to add to the top of your list.
Gino is a guest blogger on AptAmigo. To see more of his articles, check out Chicago Alphabet Soup.