Hours: Lunch, dinner: Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday
Open late: Friday & Saturday till 11
Antique-chic Wicker Park taqueria with a select farm-to-table menu and cocktails.
Antique Taco, a counter-service concept from husband-and-wife duo Rick (chef) and Ashley (designer) Ortiz, marries upmarket tacos to a "vintage" aesthetic incorporating a smattering of reclaimed items for sale. I was prepared to be thoroughly annoyed by this, but it's less twee than you might expect, leaving plenty of space to contemplate Ortiz's appealing menu of tacos and specialty items. These are tacos prepared with precision and care, and you can see how their relatively high price point ($7-$8 for a pair) is justified: across the board, they're incredibly fresh and beautifully garnished with bright greens, vivid pickles, and pastel splashes of crema. But for all their beauty and freshness, they're too delicately seasoned—even the salsa verde on the table seems restrained. The shrimp taco was one of my favorites, filled with small, sweet, snappy shrimp dressed in a creamy corn and bean salsa. Another good one is the "market mushroom," topped with kale, pickled red onion, and a surprisingly unassertive escabeche, yet nonetheless appealingly greasy. Things get decadent when it comes to the carnitas taco—topped with bacon!—and the rib eye, with big cubes of cheese that put it in the realm of cheese steak. And while the fish taco is overbreaded, nicely fried cheese curds are positioned not below but atop thick, sweetish chili to prevent their sogging. Also on the board: a masa biscuit with lobster gravy, a mole meatball sandwich, tortilla soup, horchata milkshakes, house-made paletas, a chocolate-marshmallow-stuffed pop tart, and to drink, canned beer, aguas frescas (which can be spiked with vodka), and a rosemary margarita. Read more >>
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, Discover