El Maya
El Maya

El Maya

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Phone: 773-878-1882
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday 5:00PM- 10:00PM
    Tuesday 5:00PM- 10:00PM
    Wednesday 5:00PM- 10:00PM
    Thursday 5:00PM- 10:00PM
    Friday 5:00PM- 11:00PM
    Saturday- 5:00PM- 11:00PM
    Sunday- Closed
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Javier Cruz
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: BYO Liquor, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Takeout

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Ashland Ave
  • Public Transit: Brown Line at Montrose
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from El Maya
Modern Mexican Cuisine. Don't forget your bottle of Tequila; we have fresh Margarita mix everyday.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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El Maya reviews from OpenTable diners
11 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
83% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (8)fit for foodies (5)great for outdoor dining (3)good for groups (3)hot spot (2)late-night find (1)kid-friendly (1)romantic (1)special occasion (1)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Superb, creative Mexican food, with excellent service, and thoughtful accomodation for BYO wine, tequila etc. The ambience is fun, if a bit noisy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing Gourmet Mexican food
    SuuzgVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We discovered this restaurant early this summer and have gone probably 8 times since. The food is amazing and creative. The people who work there are amazing! It is BYOB and there is a liquor store on the corner. They make the mixes for Sangria and Margaritas, so you just have to buy the alcohol. You have to try this restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Service, Great Food
    JonathanVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Amazed by this find, cant believe its not packed to the gills every night. Definitely will return
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrific "modern" Mexican
    RnCSantaFe
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Great food and service. Our party of adults and children ordered a variety of seafood and chicken entrees and shared them. All were excellent! We went early on a Friday evening, when it wasn't too busy, and had very attentive servers. We will definitely go there again.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Potential, but disappointing food.
    Chicago1023
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Disappointed. I live in the neighborhood and have wanted to try for awhile. I should have kept waiting. Went on a Sat night and it was empty (never a good sign). Had guacamole which was so so. Things got a lot worse for the main dish. I had the envuelto. The potatoes tasted like the were cooked the week before. The meat was so salty and tasted as if it had just been reheated in the microwave. It was really a disappointing dish. There is a lot of potential there to be a great addition to the neighborhood, but execution is not there yet unfortunately. The service was good and the atmosphere is nice. Just wish the food was fresher.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 6 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 19, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.7
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 121 reviews are from the El Maya reviews archive.
  • Authentic Mexican
    amateurchefVIP
    Dined on 5/13/2014
    This was my second dining experience at El Maya, and it was just as enjoyable as the first. The food is outstanding, and has a nice selection of menu choices. The BYOB also is great! I will continue to make this a regular place to visit.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding food, horrible service
    GreenScorpion
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    This was my 3rd El Maya dining experience. We sat down and pretty quickly were able to order our pitcher of margaritas and then ordered a mild guacamole and a Empanda Caseres for appetizers, but we then had to wait approx 15min to flag someone down to order our entrees. For our entrees we ordered the Piramides (my favorite), the Envuelto (steak), the Mocajete, and the Puc Chuc (pork loin). The food was spot-on and delicious. But then we ordered the pineapple upside down cake for dessert and it didn't come for at least 20min. My boyfriend finally was able to flag down someone and it was obvious they had forgotten about our dessert order. He asked for the check at the same time, but had to ask again when the dessert came.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicioso
    StatlerandWaldorf
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    The guacamole was chunky and fresh and Pechuga de Puebla was perfect. It was Cinco de Mayo so it was packed with some very large tables. People without reservations were waiting an hour but it would've been worth the wait. They don't have a bar but they do have Margarita Mix so bring your favorite tequila. Sangria might be a good idea for BYO also.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden gem
    Jenni
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Don't be put off by the uninviting exterior and lack of curb appeal. Come here for the delicious and well-prepared food. This is not a run-of-the-mill Mexican restaurant. The menu is small and creative (shrimp with pistachio mole was wonderful), and the staff is exceedingly helpful. Bonus -- it's BYOB.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    You really can't go wrong with anything on the menu, Ive been here many times and food and service are always consistently great. This place should be busy all the time! From the starters to dessert, delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful find!
    Avis
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    This is my new favorite place. Delicious food and excellent service. I will be back here again and again. I took my boyfriend here for his birthday and he loved it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • awesome flavors, generous
    diner
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    awesome flavors, generous portions, fun night out at great byob - spreading the word to all our friends!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Place
    Avis
    Dined on 3/17/2014
    I will come here again and again ---it is always fabulous! We came for my boyfriend's birthday and it was GREAT!
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Suprisinglty Very Good
    YourNeighborVIP
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    We were sort of shocked. Here we were, 100 yards from Mixteco - another neighborhood treasure - we found a worthy competitor. The food was all very good. My girlfriend had Salmon and I had the Flank Steak Special. The menu is not extensive but it is interesting. The BYOB approach at el Maya is very smart. At very reasonable prices, they sell virgin Sangria and virgin Margarettas. Both are just begging you to bring your own wine or tequila for an excellent dinner accompaniment.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dining
    Francisco
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    The only reason the do not get an outstanding overall is the lighting and heat, the temp was very hot inside and they definitely some dimmers to make the ambiance a little more inviting, fluorescent light is a no no for any restaurant
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Average Mexican
    Onislandtime
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    Loved the byob option. Service was fast and efficient. Food was mediocre. The place was pretty empty on a Thursday. Maybe that should have been a hint.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, mediocre service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    We had a 730 reservation for 6 on a Saturday night. It was busy but they were able to put a table together when we walked in. Service was extremely slow. We had to order our appetizers with the hostess. I don't think our server came over for a whole half hour. Appetizer- queso fundido was excellent! Everyone got a different entree and they were all yummy. I will definitely come back but on a weekday when it's slower.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great for Valentine's Day Dinner
    GreenScorpion
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I was able to make a reservation for Valentine's Day dinner at El Maya the day before on Open Table. It was definitely busy and the service was a little slow, but, as always the food was excellent. We ordered the fresh guacamole (be prepared, even the mild is still medium spicy), the Pyramide (shredded chicken w/ mole, a favorite from our first visit), and the Evuelto (one of the steak dishes, delicious). And then for dessert we had the tres leches which was the best tres leches I have ever had. We were already stuffed from the main meal and the margaritas, but we still managed to polish off the whole dessert between 2 people. We ended up giving the remainder of our pitcher of margarita to a group table.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious haute cuisine Mexican
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I couldn't believe how yummy ALL our courses were. It was our first trip to El Maya. We ordered queso fundido and mussels to start. Both were seasoned beautifully...not just your run of the mill seasoning but definitely Mexican. My salmon was exquisite, with a side of spinach, both delicious, and, again, wonderful spices. My husband loved his rib-eye. After 2 apps and 2 entrees (although I took most of my entree home, having filled up on the apps), we didn't try dessert. Best part? It's BYOB so we took a rose sparkler and a pinot noir for our Valentine's Day meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • fun delicious and surprising
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 2/11/2014
    had a great meal on a cold night. all food made with care and knocked it out of the park with their chocolate masa in a tamale. will return
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always a pleasure
    Drabi2
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    Everytime I've been to El Maya (several now) the food is great! Service is top notch and I leave so full and happy! Thank you El Maya for being a great restaraunt and putting up with our crazy gang. You are the best and I'll be back for more!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always excellent
    Ciccone
    Dined on 2/7/2014
    Never had anything but an excellent experience here on all points.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • excellent sauces
    AscherVIP
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    This restaurant gets overlooked because of Mixteco nearby. However, the staff are great, the food is very interesting and creative, and their sauces are wonderful. The decor is colorful and playful and the prices quite reasonable. IT is BYO also with no corkage charges. Our 5 year old daughter loves it there too, and often recommends we go. I strongly recommend checking it out.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    Went with a large group for dinner. Food and service were great! Would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistent food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    Always amazing food, maybe not the best for large groups. Way easier to get into than that other place across the st.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great for groups or date night
    MarkB
    Dined on 1/4/2014
    We live nearby and have been many times for a date night or with another couple. Recently we went to celebrate a birthday with a group of 16 and everything went great. Their margarita mix is dangerously delicious, and because you can bring your own Tequila it's even better on the bill. The staff is very friendly and attentive. Lastly, the chocolate tamale is the perfect ending to a great meal.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Neighbourhood Mexican
    Chicanoechick
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    I've been here a few times now - always with a large group. They are not only consistent with their service, but also with the food. It's byob and you can bring your own Tequila for their house mix of margaritas.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Slow Service, Mediocre Food
    occasionaldiner
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    Took two hours to get through a dinner with two people. Waited over 45 minutes between appetizer and entree. Lots of bone and cartilage in the chicken piramide. Freezing cold inside. Will not be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing
    Jimmbo
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    Executive Chef Jimmy is an amazing man. He is very attentive to the needs of the customer. We had a Vegan at dinner with us and he created a dinner just for him. The food is layered with flavor and great presentations. Has quickly become my favorite restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Need better service
    blondemezzo
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    We were there for 3 hours with about 45 minutes between courses. They brought out the wrong dish for one of my friends, but we went for it, because we didn't want to wait. They did comp us dessert - but what was funny about that, is that it added another 35 minutes to our already LONG dinner. Good food though. Maybe try it on a week night.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Outstanding
    Aerot
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    Great food and service at a very reasonable price, had out of town guests and they were very impressed. Have been several times and its always consistently good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden paradise.
    Jimmbo
    Dined on 11/2/2013
    Was completely surprised with this place. The food and service were amazing. Every person at the table cleaned their plates and every bite was as good as the first. Jimmy, the chef owner, came out and provided a history of the restaurant and ensured we were happy with our entrées. And it's BYOB!! Will definitely be back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Was a bit loud Friday night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 11/1/2013
    Was a bit loud Friday night but otherwise an excellent friendly and delicious experience and a great value. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Happy Birthday To Me!
    GreenScorpion
    Dined on 10/26/2013
    El Maya is definitely a hidden gem! I was able to go on OpenTable only a week before my birthday party and make a reservation for 20 people @ 8:15pm on the next Saturday. The restaurant was also very accomodating when my reservation turned into 22-25 people. The wait staff were also very nice and prompt in bringing more pitchers of margaritas. The freshmade guacamole was delicious (BEWARE even the mild is pretty spicy) and everyone loved their entrees. My favorite was the Salmon Del Sol, but EVERYTHING was delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A gem
    vicky
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    Great food, great service. One of the best mexican I've had. Fresh lime juice mixers. Loved it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • simply great food
    Spencer
    Dined on 9/28/2013
    Great place to come with friends. BYOB. No corkage. Beautifully prepared food, both for the eyes and especially for the stomach. Large portions. Definitely get a molcajete, plenty of sizzling hot food -- enough to share. Have a Ceviche del Dia, always good. The guacamole is spiced how you like it. Desserts are generous and tasty. Cannot recommend El Maya enough. Authentic regional Mexican food. And the service is friendly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good Mexican food
    JackieAVIP
    Dined on 9/28/2013
    Chose this place as we were looking for Mexican, and the OpenTable and Yelp reviews seemed real/genuine in their praise for the restaurant. Showing up at a place that is half-empty at 730p on a Saturday night gives pause, but it filled up shortly thereafter. And the food was excellent. Had salsa and chips, guacamole, empanda, enchiladas, and Mojachete. All very well done. Mojachete was easily the best dish. Friendly and attentive staff.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favorite spot in the city
    JonathanVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2013
    Amazing food, incredible service! Our favorite place for a night out as a couple or with a big group! Highly recommended!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 9/13/2013
    Don't understand why people are not queued out the door. Amazing food and great service, the only the slight negative it was relatively quiet for a Friday night. Ceviche and Mexican meatballs where a great tasty start, special pork chop and flank steak were even better for the main and then just when you thought it couldn't get any better the waiter recommended the most delicious Chocolate tamale cake thing. All along side the yummy BOYB of Tequila Margaritas for $80 dinner for two. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hidden Gem
    HowardAVIP
    Dined on 9/4/2013
    We loved this restaurant! The food was wonderful. The best "modern" Mexican food we've ever experienced. This is fun, relaxed, fine dining...what a nice combination. Remember to bring your own BYOB.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.