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Five Great ... Places for Tacos in the Western Suburbs

Tomorow is Cinco de Mayo, which the History Channel tells me originally celebrated the Mexican army's victory over France in an 1862 battle. In the United States, it's become a day to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage. But here at Go West Young Mom, I figured it was also an awesome excuse to list some restaurants in Chicago's western suburbs where you can nab a great taco -- anytime of year.

Photo by tvancort on Flickr.This list is totally unscientific, put together from my own experience, recommendations from friends on Facebook and tips from followers on Twitter. 

* Bien Trucha: It's the little restaurant that's gotten some big press, including Chicago Magazine telling city-dwellers that the 40-mile drive to Geneva was worth it for the skirt steak and chorizo tacos. Bien Trucha was the overwhelming favorite in my casual poll, too, although nearly everyone who mentioned it also added it was a place to be enjoyed "without kids!" Bien Trucha doesn't take reservations and the wait can be long, but good things come to those who wait, right? Plus, the hostesses take your cell phone number and you can hit another nearby restaurant to grab a drink until your table is ready. Bien Trucha is located at 410 W. State St. in Geneva. 

El Faro: When a restaurant lists "lengua" (aka tongue) on the menu among your taco protein choices, you know you're in an authentic spot. El Faro is located in downtown Elgin at 9 N. State St. I love this place, even if I've never tried the lengua tacos.

* El Taco Grande: A nice family-owned restaurant at 6 N. River St. in Batavia. 

l* Pancho's Restaurant: My friend Natalie says "if you want mariachi to go with great tacos," try Pancho's, located at 700 E. New York Street in Aurora. According to its website, a live mariachi band plays every Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

*  Jalisco Tacos: When I asked my friend's sister, a proud Aurora native, for her recommendation, she practically shouted at me "Jalisco Tacos!" Natalie seconded, "Nothing fancy, just good." It has two locations -- 947 W. Galena Blvd. and 560 High St., both in Aurora.

The above restaurants got the most mentions, but here are a few more that friends recommended:

El Coco Loco at 205 Main St. in West Chicago

La Rosita Grocery Store at 131 N. Main St. in Crystal Lake

El Puente at 112 E. Main St. in St. Charles

Jose Maria's at 730 E. State St. in Geneva

Zacatacos Restaurant & Taqueria Was named by the Chicago Tribune as having one of the "top five" tacos. Locations include 6224 W. Cermak Road in Berwyn, 2837 S. Harlem Ave. in Berwyen and 109 W. Boughton Road in Bolingbrook. 

La Quinta de los Reyes at 6431 Cermak Road in Berwyn

Front Street Cantina at 577 South Third St. in Geneva

Don't see your favorite spot mentioned here? Add it in the comments section!

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Reader Comments (4)

I like Chapala Taco in Montgomery on Route 30 right off Orchard Road.

May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

Jalisco also has a location in St. Charles. But the two best taco places in St. Charles are missing from your list - Jalapeno Grille and Poblano Pepper Grill. Don't let the looks of Jalapeno Grille fool you - the food is great. And google reviews of Poblano Pepper Grill. You won't find a more authentic restaurant anywhere near as good as this. Plus - the owners are wonderful.

May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

We really love Poblano Pepper Grille in St. Charles. Very authentic and, as a previous comment said, the owners are so kind and wonderful. The food is the best! Also, I had heard that Bien Trucha didn't take reservations, but my husband and I went to try it and they asked if we had reservations. We replied no and she said she wasn't sure she could fit us in. Are they reservation-only now? I'd like to try it, but am confused...

May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterK Streepey

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll have to do some first-hand research; I especiallly can't wait to try Poblano Pepper Grille in St. Charles ... I didn't even know it was there.

K ... I haven't been to Bien Trucha in a while, but back when I went, it certainly didn't accept reservations, and the website says it still doesn't. Weird! Honestly, as great as the food is and even though we live in Geneva, we never get there ... my husband just refuses to wait that long for a table!

May 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterTara Burghart

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