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El Maya
El Maya

El Maya Details

  • 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMexican
Diner Reviews
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "awesome flavors, generous portions, fun night out at great byob - spreading the word to all our friends!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "I will come here again and again ---it is always fabulous! We came for my boyfriend's birthday and it was GREAT!"
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "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"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "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"
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Never had anything but an excellent experience here on all points."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Went with a large group for dinner. Food and service were great! Would definitely go back."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Always amazing food, maybe not the best for large groups. Way easier to get into than that other place across the st."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 12/7/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "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"
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "Was a bit loud Friday night but otherwise an excellent friendly and delicious experience and a great value. We will be back."
    Dined on 11/1/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 10/26/2013
  • "Great food, great service. One of the best mexican I've had. Fresh lime juice mixers. Loved it."
    Dined on 10/18/2013
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 9/28/2013
  • "Amazing food, incredible service! Our favorite place for a night out as a couple or with a big group! Highly recommended!"
    Dined on 9/20/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 9/13/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 9/4/2013
  • "I've eaten here several times now. Food is great. Byob tequila for good margarita pitchers. Chocolate tamale desert real,y good!"
    Dined on 9/1/2013
  • "Came here with a large group and ordered basically everything on the menu, everything was outstanding. Desserts are not to passed up either!"
    Dined on 8/24/2013
  • "This was recommended to me by a client. The food was AMAZING"
    Dined on 8/17/2013
  • "Sat outside on the large sidewalk in front. It is plain but not too noisy. Excellent guacamole and it comes in three levels of spiciness. The margareta mix is pretty good and they will add in your own tequila for you. We had two different shrimp dishes and both were very good, but the one in the molcajete was our fav. Nice and attentive waiter."
    Dined on 8/17/2013
  • "I was pleasantly surprised by El Maya. There are a lot of great Mexican restaurants in Chicago and I would put El Maya as one of my top 5. We had the Queso Fundido appetizer and it was the best I've ever had!! I had the Tequila shrimp special which was really good, but my husband the Piramide and is still talking about it. We shared the chocolate Tamale for desert and it was amazing. It was BYOB which helps with keeping the cost down. I'm excited to go back and try more of the menu."
    Dined on 8/17/2013