Cafe El Tapatio

4.7
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165 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican

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Casual
The Parra family has owned and operated this cheerful restaurant for 34 years and make frequent trips to Mexico for menu ideas and cook up several family specialties. Beyond the standard tacos, burritos, and chimichangas are dishes such as crepas de pollo.
What 165 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DJ
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always love going to Cafe El Tapatio! Amazing good, great hospitality & service, and reasonably priced!

GF
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I’ve been going to El Tapatio for nearly 15 years. It has expanded and gotten larger, but the food is just as tasty as it was when I first started going. Love the chimichanga!!

d
Chicago
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience4

I enjoyed El Tapatio but I do think that there are better Mexican restaurants around. I think they do have a nice take on Mexican. The sinchronizada is fantastic!

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

AMAZING food and really cute location. My only complaint was the way our table was set, the waiter for the table behind us kept having to reach or get past my boyfriend so my boyfriend got a lot of unexpected booty. Otherwise, food was amazing, staff were great. Definitely going again in the future !!

OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience3

I ordered fajitas which should’ve come out sizzling hot. By the time I made my second taco it was cold. If you’ve had authentic Mexican or you’re Mexican you will leave fairly disappointed. One thing we enjoyed was the salsa but that was about it. This is food made more for an uncultured pallet

PE
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience2

They sat me by a door to the kitchen and assured me that no one would use that door. I was hit by it multiple times.

N
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is always delicious and the margaritas are tasty as well. Try the enchiladas and you won't be disappointed. Hard to beat the value. Only complaint is how popular it is, which isn't really a bad thing but on the weekends it can sometimes feel too crowded & loud because people are lined up waiting for a table right by many of the front tables.

j
Chicago
27 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

This was our first visit to Cafe El Tapatio. Had driven past this restaurant many times. I thought it was always a place that would not take reservations, but learned on Open Table, that they do take reservations. So we jumped at the chance, as we enjoy Mexican food. We were very pleased with our first visit. We had wonderful server who was very informed on the dishes and the ingredients. We did a selection of our typical dinners that we have in Mexican restaurants. So we started with the Queso fundido with the Chorizo. What amazed us is that it had no oil or grease, thus no drips as we ate it. We also had the chips and salsa, and the server brought us the mild salsa as well. I had the Crepes de Pollo, and this was delicious, my partner had his typical favorite, the Suizas Rojas. He found them to be very delicious as well. We finished with our test dessert, your house flan. This too was delicious and made in house. The only thing we felt it was a bit on the small side with the serving portion. We had mentioned to our server that this was our first visit, and she was just as excited as we were. She says we have to come back soon and try the other dishes, and we will!

l
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and staff were fantastic

A
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Had a reservation at 6:45, but wasnt seated till 730.

KR
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Amazing food! My new favorite Mexican restaurant.

l
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Our table wasn’t ready for almost 1/2 an hour but otherwise great.

OT
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

The hostess we chatting with each other for 2-3 minutes before acknowledging me and asking if I had a reservation. While I was early and expected to wait given my reservation time, they did a poor job of updating me on why the wait was extended and when we’d be seated. Things were fine once we sat down but it was a frustrating way to begin the night.

D
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, drinks and service!!

CR
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Jason is the best waiter!!

p
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Good food, good service!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always an amazing experience. From great service to the food. You can not beat this place!!!

BG
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Great food, nice people, will go back and recommend to friends.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The margaritas are so fresh and beyond delicious!

AB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall2food5service5ambience1

El Tapatio has a problem with Outside people stealing from their customers. We saw a woman have her wallet stolen from the table next to us. We were inside in the second room. The thief wandered through the restaurant for several minutes before picking a victim. No one stopped him. When it was over, the staff talked about how it has happened before on the patio. I wouldn’t bring family or friends and I suggest diners hold on to wallets and cell phones. Leave nothing on the table.

f
Chicago
80 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Cafe El Tapatio has a tasty drink selection and a deep menu. The food is very good and authentic Mexican. A cool neighborhood place.

N
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Fresh, authentic food with good menu selection and delicious margaritas. Recommend for nice night out or a celebration! Friendly service.

s
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it! The food was so yummy! The staff was super nice, the drinks were amazing, the atmosphere was also great. They also had stuff for kids to color, cups w/ lids for them, and a good kids menu!

KH
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A real neighborhood gem!

f
Chicago
80 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We tried Cale El Tapatio for the first time and really enjoyed our dinner. The salsa actually has some heat to it, which we liked, and the margaritas were very good. They have a deep menu, so there's plenty to choose from, and all of us liked our dinners very much. We will be going back.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Their margaritas are delicious!

C
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A true neighborhood gem that you could easily pass by. Take the time to check it out! The food is wonderful!!!

OT
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food! Higher quality and more creative dishes than your run of the mill Mexican comfort food restaurant, but at the same prices. Get a seat on the patio if it’s nice out.

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

A little slow to our requests throughout the meal

p
Chicago
68 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Excellent neighborhood authentic Mexican Restaurant. Good food, reasonable prices, great cocktails, and good service. A neighborhood gem, highly recommend if you like Mexican food.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience2

Incredibly obnoxious bachelor party ongoing during our meal with the attendees flirting with other guests and yelling at the top of their lungs. Made it hard to enjoy the meal.

G
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience2

The tables & overall appearance of inside is old & dirty. The bar top was sticky as I waited to order a drink while my table was getting cleaned. The menu looked interesting . I ordered 3 different tacos. Steak, pork & chicken. The food cane in 10 minutes. Tasted like it was heated in the micro wave & not made fresh. The steak taco was awful. Meat overdone & didn’t even look like steak. Everything was salty. Very disappointed & will never go back. Can’t understand good reviews!!

LB
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Very much enjoyed our meal. It was a lovely night so we opted to sit outside. The outside seating is on the street but sectioned off so it has a nice feel to it. Cocktails were great. The spicy margaritas have a definite kick! Food was great - queso fundido, nachos to start - all good. Everyone tried different entrees and they were all good. Service was a tad slow but we were not in a rush so it was fine.
Look forward to going back again.

OE
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great experience and service.

CW
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We requested to sit outside on the patio in our reservation and they immediately sat us at our table right when we got there. Great food, beautiful atmosphere and good service. My only complaint: the chips and salsa appetizer was free but way too spicy that we didn’t even eat much of the salsa.

SM
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Friendly, colorful & bright, with excellent food. Neighborhood gem!

f
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great portions, delish food. Specially the drinks!

GC
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a fabulous dining experience. We are looking forward to our next dining experience.

AP
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff was very kind and wanted to make the experience a fantastic one for our family. The food was really good all around and the salsa was perfectly spicy enough. We had a great time and I will definitely go back!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience2

This place sucked, the eggs were runny. The homemade chorizo was not home made and dry.