Mercado Cocina Cantina

4.1
160 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
In cities around the world, the food market is a vast, bustling place; home to expert butchers, fishmongers, and producers. It’s where you find the freshest ingredients and regional specialties.
Every culture’s inspiration begins at the Market – from the bustling street food in Mexico City, to the traditional spices and moles from Oaxaca, to the ancient cooking methods of the Yucatan.
At Mercado, we stand by this philosophy when finding inspiration for each of our dishes. Chef Yanni's cuisine features a modern and progressive approach, utilizing the freshest ingredients the market has to offer, yet always paying respect and celebrating the traditions of old.
What 160 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.0
service
3.9
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipeatauthority
Chicago
66 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Nothing special!! Guacamole and chips good. Fajitas too oily!! Enchiladas all one kind. Would not alter. Lots of mole’ sauce. No complimentary birthday treat. Restaurant was literally empty! Chairs metal and uncomfortable!! Server nice and attentive!!

BL
vipBethL
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

I had the mushroom and goat cheese tacos, they were very good. The black beans had great flavor, but they were very soupy. The rice was on the mushy side. Our server was great, place was fairly empty. I’ll definitely try it again.

M
vipMunsin
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Ehhh- it was ok. Salsa was not good. Tasted like ketchup. The drinks were not good. Very small and expensive. The food was at best mediocre. We won’t be going back. Service was very nice tho.

m
vipmadame1971
Chicago
96 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We were pleasantly surprised tonight. We came with no expectations and left very satisfied. The guacamole was excellent. The chips were tasty but very thin so we had to use forks to scoop up the guacamole to avoid breaking the chips. The salad was great. Strawberries, plums, candied nuts and a great raspberry vinaigrette were tossed with spring greens. The lamb was outstanding as was the carne asada. The only disappointment was the chicken enchiladas. The mole sauce was very good, but the filling lacked flavor. We will definitely return!

CM
CarolM
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience4

Really disappointing. I think it is new management as I had been coming regularly last year, and I did not recognize any staff. Classic margarita was lots if ice and not the same, too much lime. Expensive and not worth it. I am vegetarian and my favorite menu item is no longer available. The veggie fajitas were expensive red and green sautéed peppers. They used to have a fabulous coconut rice. Now it is a Mexican rice with peas and carrots. Not impressed. Service was also very slow. You should not have to ask for your bill when the restaurant is not busy and you see staff, not checking on you. Really disappointed and don’t plan to go back.

D
vipfoodwineDvine
Chicago
38 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Food was delicious and creative. Server was nice but not very attentive. We had to chase her down a couple of times. When we got our coffee, which we specifically asked for with cream and sugar, she brought just the coffee and dessert was finished before we could find her to bring the cream and sugar, even though we had asked for it again when she put the coffee on the table.

X
vipXraylfh
Chicago
100 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Very good food, good drinks. Glad it has reopened.

M
vipMs16
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Bring back the curry shrimp and barbacoa tacos

PK
vipPKFoodie
Chicago
83 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Wow, wow, wow. If you seek the usual Tex-Mex fare that passes for Mexican food in most places, you will be disappointed. If you desire fresh, authentic food from Mexico, go here. It’s not a bargain, but the preparations are excellent and the moles are rich and flavorful. The lamb Barbacoa is my favorite, and my spouse really enjoyed the chicken mole enchiladas. The ceviche was spot on , and the cocktails are creative and tasty. I had “One Night in Oaxaca”, and my partner enjoyed the spicy chichirita (sp?). We’ve been here twice, and Mercado Cochina Cantina has earned a place as our regular favorite.

D
vipDebbie
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

overall, very good entrees and really good drinks. Some items were a little over priced like the guacamole. But I would go back, it had a nice vibe and ambiance.

CS
vipCaryS
New England
10 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience3

The Chicken & Mole was at best fair. When we received the bill the entree was $1.00 more than on the menu. I had the server correct but it makes me wonder how often this happens?

MG
vipMelissaG
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is very authentic and the cocktails are so good.

MM
MelissaM
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

The food is pretty good.. it is quite expensive for what you get.

B
vipBedwitched
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Not your average Mexican cuisine. Foodie fit. Fresh tasty Margaritas!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great tasting food. Owner/chief has a one Michelin star from another restaurant. Highly recommend it!!

JL
JeannieL
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

I enjoyed the chicken al pastor and the guacamole was great. Also, very good margaritas. Good food, great service, nice atmosphere, a bit noisy but could still hold a conversation.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Aurelio is a great bartender! Chicken mole - excellent!!

B
Blackbunny
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Portions are small but pricey. Some dishes were good but some were super salty.

JE
vipJEnB
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was delicious and interesting. The drinks were inventive. It was busy but quiet enough to not shout. I am very likely to recommend this to all of my friends.

TF
TrishF
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my first time at this restaurant. The atmosphere was very hip and they have a really cool bar area. The food was excellent! Very fresh and well presented
The only issue I had was with the metal seats which are 90% of this restaurant. They were uncomfortable to sit on for me and my two friends
Other than that the staff was very welcoming and attentive. Highly recommend

DE
DEB114
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific Taco Tuesday evening ! Bambinos (Fresh, round, sugared Donuts) with chocolate sauce were the perfect Finale’ to our meal !

g
vipglenviewboy
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Hope you do well, but not close to what downtown Chicago Mexican restaurants have to offer. Let’s be candid - suburban restaurants in general pale in comparison to what Chicago restaurants have to offer.

DB
DrBob
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Food and service good. one of the best Marguarita's I've ever had. Lighting very low. Had to use the flashlight on my phone to read the menu

LA
vipLARRYC
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall1food1service3ambience2

Overpriced and food was just fair, should close soon

Mercado Cocina Cantina
Responded on October 18, 2019

Wow LARRY C Thank you, I think... We are a small independent owned and operated business. Our employees work hard to support their families. Your comment sounds spiteful. Sorry if you didn't care for what we do, but to wish ill will on a small business is not right. We didn't mean to make you so miserable - Was your bad day really worth attacking our livelihood?!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience2

Meh food. Way overpriced. Poor service. No reason to ever go or go back.

Mercado Cocina Cantina
Responded on October 18, 2019

Thank You. We are sad to hear of your displeasure. We will share the service comment with the team to better prepare. Our prices are in line with the market and all items are made from scratch daily. With the costs of fresh product, labor, taxes..etc. constantly escalating, regrettably we have to charge accordingly. If you care to share some specific feed back to help us better understand feel free to call me at the restaurant (847) 904-2386 - Richard Hope you change your mind and revisit.

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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great bar atmosphere; refreshing and creative drinks; great Flavorful food with fresh ingredients

EM
vipEMcKChicago
Chicago
63 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

The menu is interesting, definitely a cut above the usual Tex Mex. The execution was mixed at our table. The chicken and mole was good, as was the lamb barbacoa, but the cochinita pibil was way too salty. Any other flavors were overwhelmed by the salt. Service was friendly but spotty. We were celebrating a birthday and were interested in dessert, but apparently our waitress was anxious to leave, because she brought us our check without even asking us whether we wanted dessert. When we did ask about that and coffee, she said that they only had creme brulee and no coffee. We foolishly ordered the creme brulee, and it came burnt. I might recommend this restaurant to a friend who lived nearby, but we do not, and it was not worth the trip.

Mercado Cocina Cantina
Responded on October 18, 2019

EMcKChicago - Thank you for your review. It pains me to hear about your experience. I am sorry we fell short in a few areas. We will share this with our team and be sure these details do not go unnoticed. We do hope you will give us another opportunity to show you a better side of Mercado Cheers, Richard

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g
vipghollander
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Great food in an unexpected location, a strip mall across the street from the Metra station. Expect more than the usual suspects from the menu although there are some pretty fabulous versions of classic taqueria dishes, too.

Mercado Cocina Cantina
Responded on October 18, 2019

ghollander - Thank You for your kind words. Chef Yanni works hard to find the right balance between the classics and her progressive style. Thank you for taking notice. We hope you come back soon to enjoy our weekly specials and seasonal menu changes. Cheers, Team Mercado

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e
vipeagle2000
Chicago
133 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is not only fantastic but plated so beautifully.
I would like to see a vegetarian taco/burrito on the dinner menu and an option to add a fresh fish, not seafood, as a protein.
The flounder special was outstanding.
Thanks!

Mercado Cocina Cantina
Responded on October 18, 2019

eagle2000 - Thank you for such a great review. We will share your comments with the chef for inspiration and direction. Agree - The flounder as well as all our fish dishes have been a great hits. Stay tuned, there is more to come! Hope to see you back again. Cheers! Team Mercado

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PA
vipPaulaA
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and amazing Mexican food in the north suburbs.

Mercado Cocina Cantina
Responded on October 18, 2019

PaulaA - Thank you for taking the time to offer an amazing review. We are happy to hear that you had an enjoyable experience with us here at Mercado. Please comeback and see what Chef Yanni is doing for our fall menu. Hope to see you soon. Team Mercado

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SF
ShelleyF
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience2

The food was good, but the ambiance not so great and it felt as if they were doing us a favor serving us~! The tacos on a Tuesday were yummy, but the drinks were not so great and expensive. So, a lunch there might be a better choice.

Mercado Cocina Cantina
Responded on October 18, 2019

ShlleyF - Thank you for taking the time to review us after your experience. We will be sure to share your comments with the team to make them aware of our hospitality and beverage program. We normally do not get many complaints on our beverage program, but perhaps we had an off day. We will own it. We do hope you will give us another opportunity to better impress you. Yes, Taco Tuesday is great! Thanks Again for the feedback, we cannot get better at what we do without it. Cheers! Team Mercado

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RN
RoseN
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Welcoming and delicious. It started with a fantastic margarita during happy hour that led to a 2 hour gathering at a table with friends, food and fun! The chips were warm, salsa tangy and the guac was smooth with a kick of jalapeno at the end. We all had just about every taco on the menu and they were all winners. Would love to see a little more variety of entrees in the menu, but I will return, and soon!

B
Boomer
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience1

Way too noisy - thumping music was incompatible with a Mexican dining experience; hard surfaces felt like a cafeteria. Food and service were good.

t
viptravelbug
Chicago
38 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

We went here for my dad‘s birthday with a group of eight people. The wait staff was very nice, but the service was spotty. Sometimes there were three or four waiters in the area and other times I couldn’t find anyone. I had to walk my bill to the bar in order to pay it. The menu is on the smaller side for a Mexican restaurant. The food is not typical of other Mexican restaurants. I had a tuna tartare tostada which had an interesting flavor, didn’t love it. The guacamole came with goat cheese and pistachios on top, would not order that again. The homemade tortilla chips and salsa were excellent, tortillas served nice and warm. The Bombolinos for dessert were not served warm and the crème brûlée was not very good. The shrimp appetizer was excellent, The sauce is delicious. I will give this restaurant another try in a few months.

RK
RonaldK
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Perhaps they were having an off night this past Taco Tuesday. I had read great things about this restaurant and had high expectations. The service was close to nonexistent. It took us forever to be greeted, forever to get a menu, forever to get our tacos. We were never asked if we would like drinks, etc. We had to flag down someone to get a check and then it was a not the check for our table. The tacos were ok at best. The busboy was good, but he seemed to be the only one on the ball. On the food, we had a fried oyster taco...the sauce on it completely overpowered the oysters. There really wasn't much good I could say about this experience.

BK
BillK
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

The food seemed a little expensive, but the waitress couldn't get the bills correct. There must have been only 4 tables filled. She over charged us for drinks( we paid those separately) and then gave us someone elses bill with drinks...... Good idea to look over your bill when you get it!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and great service!

n
vipneilk
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

We were disappointed with the food. Not hot, small portions, higher than expected prices , poor service. Limited menu. They need to do a lot of work to make this restaurant a success.

B
vipBrunnehilde
Chicago
100 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Awesome, attractive conversation-friendly neighborhood spot. NOT your grandparents' Tex-Mex shredded protein/flour tortilla/cheddar cheese/refried beans enchiladas/tacos/burritos joint. Oh, we like those too, but Mercado takes a different approach. Familiar items are still on the menu, but with a much more authentic flavor profile highlighted by creative additions and attractive presentations. Great margaritas that reflect Chef's imaginative approach to her cuisine. We'd skipped lunch, so we sampled four small plates and two entrees, all of them fresh and tasty. The special seasonal guacamole is not to be missed. Again, not the guac you've grown accustomed to, but a blend of flavors and textures unlike any other. Other reviewers have complained about high prices, small portions, and the limited menu. We found none to be a problem. Most portions were quite generous; we took parts of our entrees home. Prices reflect the quality of ingredients and preparation and are reasonable for what you get. Tho the menu is not an encyclopedic as some Mexican restaurants, there is plenty of variety. We look forward to returning to sample other dishes of interest. This isn't just another Glen chain restaurant, but a refined and innovative take on Mexican cuisine. Service was earnest and attentive. Our only (minor) complaint was failure to refill water glasses as the restaurant got busier.

CS
ChrisS
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The menu was limited but we learned the chef changes the menu every couple of months to get the freshest and in season ingredients

FAQs

Mercado Cocina Cantina offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (847) 904-2386.

Mercado Cocina Cantina is rated 4.1 stars by 160 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.