Mercado Cocina Cantina
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Very good food, good drinks. Glad it has reopened.
Bring back the curry shrimp and barbacoa tacos
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.
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.
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?
The food is very authentic and the cocktails are so good.
The food is pretty good.. it is quite expensive for what you get.
Not your average Mexican cuisine. Foodie fit. Fresh tasty Margaritas!
Great tasting food. Owner/chief has a one Michelin star from another restaurant. Highly recommend it!!
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.
Aurelio is a great bartender! Chicken mole - excellent!!
Portions are small but pricey. Some dishes were good but some were super salty.
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.
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
Terrific Taco Tuesday evening ! Bambinos (Fresh, round, sugared Donuts) with chocolate sauce were the perfect Finale’ to our meal !
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.
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
Overpriced and food was just fair, should close soon
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?!
Meh food. Way overpriced. Poor service. No reason to ever go or go back.
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.
Great bar atmosphere; refreshing and creative drinks; great Flavorful food with fresh ingredients
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Great service and amazing Mexican food in the north suburbs.
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
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.
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
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!
Way too noisy - thumping music was incompatible with a Mexican dining experience; hard surfaces felt like a cafeteria. Food and service were good.
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.
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.
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!
Excellent food and great service!
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.
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.
The menu was limited but we learned the chef changes the menu every couple of months to get the freshest and in season ingredients
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.