Best Upscale Mexican Restaurants Chicago: A Guide to Fine Dining in the Windy City

Best Upscale Mexican Restaurants Chicago: A Guide to Fine Dining in the Windy City

Short answer best upscale Mexican restaurants Chicago: Some of the best upscale Mexican restaurants in Chicago include Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, and Lena Brava. Other highly-rated options are Mi Tocaya Antojería and Cruz Blanca Brewery & Taquería.

Exploring the Best Upscale Mexican Restaurants in Chicago: A Comprehensive Guide

Chicago is a vibrant and diverse city bursting with different cultures, cuisines and ways of life. One cuisine that has found its home in Chicago is the rich flavors of Mexican food. Whether it’s a street taco or a full Mexican meal with all the fixings, there are plenty of options available to satisfy any cravings for authentic Mexican food. However, for those looking to enjoy Mexican cuisine with an upscale twist, the Windy City definitely has no shortage of restaurants to choose from. So, if you’re just as excited about exploring the best upscale Mexican restaurants as we are, then buckle up! We’re about to take you on a comprehensive journey through some of the top spots in Chicago.

1. Frontera Grill

First on our list is Frontera Grill. Located in River North, this restaurant serves up innovative takes on classic regional dishes from Mexico. Their menu boasts everything from slow-cooked pork shoulder served with grilled pineapple salsa to mezcal-rubbed chicken breast topped with roasted serrano salsa – all made using locally sourced ingredients. The chefs here are known for taking great care in preparing each dish – offering diners an authentic taste of Mexico.


Next up is XOCO! Also located in River North, this restaurant prides itself on being a modern taqueria where street style tacos meet fine dining ambiance. Helmed by chef Rick Bayless who has been at forefront of bringing authentic Mexican flavors and tastes into American cooking over the past decade or so – XOCO offers guests uniquely flavored gourmet tacos made using fresh and sustainable ingredients.

3.Cantina Laredo

Cantina Laredo is located near Michigan Avenue and offers a charming oasis within the busy city center where traditional meets fusion flavors come together beautifully to heighten your palate experience like never before!. This restaurant specializes in tableside preparations such as guacamole which makes your entire meal process feel like a true team effort.

4. Mercadito

If you’re looking for a trendy spot in River North, be sure to check out Mercadito. Their menu features contemporary twists on traditional Mexican cuisine and is known for its elevated selection of tequilas from different regions across Mexico. Some standout dishes include the Tacos de Cabrito (goat tacos) and Enchiladas de Pollo Yucatecas (chicken enchiladas), which diners can enjoy while taking in the eclectic, modern decor of the restaurant.

5. La Josie

Last but not least – La Josie! Situated in West Loop, this upscale restaurant is all about classic Mexican dishes that are expertly executed with unparalleled flair and creativity. From the rich flavors of their guacamole-esquite charred corn-sweet potato-avocado mix to their renowned braised short rib-stuffed chile relleno – there’s something for everyone here.

In conclusion, when it comes to exploring the best Upscale Mexican Restaurants in Chicago: Frontera Grill ,XOCO,Cantina Laredo,Mercadito,Lajosie top our list as some of the most delicious spots to grab an amazing meal based on our extensive research. Each restaurant has its own unique vibe and specialty dishes that showcase an array of regional flavors from Mexico . Whether you’re seeking street-style tacos or trying exotic fusion styles – Chicago’s dining scene won’t disappoint!

How to Find and Enjoy the Best Upscale Mexican Restaurants in Chicago

Mexican cuisine has become increasingly popular across America in recent years. And Chicago is no exception – the city boasts a thriving food scene that includes some outstanding upscale Mexican restaurants. If you’re looking to enjoy an authentic Mexican meal with a modern twist, then read on for our guide on how to find and enjoy the best upscale Mexican restaurants in Chicago!

1. Check out online reviews and ratings: Start your search by looking into online reviews and ratings of Mexican restaurants in Chicago. Websites such as Yelp, Tripadvisor, or Zomato are great places to start. Look for restaurants with high overall ratings, but also read through individual reviews highlighting particular dishes or aspects of the restaurant that stood out.

2. Ask for recommendations: Ask your friends, coworkers, or acquaintances if they have any favorite Mexican spots in town. There’s nothing quite like word-of-mouth recommendations from people whose taste you trust!

3. Look for unique menus: Upscale Mexican restaurants are known for their creative take on traditional dishes – so look for menus with innovative and exciting ingredients combinations that give an elevated twist to classic flavors.

4. Consider location: Chicago is a sprawling city with plenty of trendy neighborhoods where you can find great authentic experiences while enjoying the ambience of different surroundings such as Pilsen or Logan Square.

5. Don’t forget about cocktails: For an extra-special evening out, look for upscale Mexican restaurants that offer unique cocktail menus featuring traditional mezcal-based drinks and tequila concoctions.

Now that we’ve given you our tips on how to find the best upscale Mexican establishments in Chicago let’s talk about how to fully enjoy them:

1.Savor every flavor- From salsas made from scratch paired with fresh chips to mains cooked over open flames; every bite at these eateries is a celebration of bold flavors.

2.Cocktails- Make sure you indulge yourself in one (or two!) types of cocktails from their bar menu to tie in a great evening of eating and drinking altogether!

3.Ambience- Upscale Mexican restaurants have some of the most beautiful decor that will transport you to Mexico even though you are miles away.

4.Service- From waiting staff to managers these upscale restaurants take pride in their genuinely friendly and attentive service, which ties together your incredible experience at these restaurants.

In conclusion, finding and enjoying the best upscale Mexican restaurants in Chicago is all about exploring what the city has to offer. With a bit of research, an open mind, and an appreciation for excellent food and drink – you’re sure to discover some fantastic hidden gems worth returning for. So why not grab your family or friends today and start exploring the exquisite tastes of Mexico here in Chicagoland?

Step-by-Step Guide to Discovering the Top Upscale Mexican Restaurants in Chicago

When it comes to finding the best upscale Mexican restaurants in Chicago, there are several factors that you need to consider. From authentic flavors and ingredients to impeccable service and ambiance, there is a lot that goes into crafting the perfect dining experience.

To help you navigate your way through the crowded culinary scene of the Windy City, we have put together this step-by-step guide to discovering the top upscale Mexican restaurants in Chicago.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Start by doing some research online to find out which upscale Mexican restaurants are currently trending in Chicago. Look for reviews and ratings on popular food blogs and review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Reviews. Pay attention not only to overall ratings but also feedback from customers on individual dishes, ambiance, service quality, and value for money.

Don’t shy away from asking friends or family members who live in Chicago for their recommendations – word of mouth can be a great resource when it comes to discovering hidden gems.

Step 2: Check Out The Menu

Once you’ve identified a few promising restaurants, take some time to browse through their menus online. Look for innovative dishes that go beyond the usual suspects like tacos and quesadillas while showcasing regional flavors from Mexico’s diverse culinary landscape. Make sure they also offer vegetarian or vegan options if you or someone in your party has dietary restrictions.

Also, pay attention to the drinks menu – do they have an extensive selection of mezcal or tequila-based cocktails? Is their wine list curated carefully with offerings that pair well with Mexican cuisine?

Step 3: Consider The Ambiance

An upscale Mexican restaurant should impress diners as much visually as gastronomically. Does it feature traditional decor such as colorful tiles, wrought iron accents or intricate patterns? How about ambient lighting that sets the mood perfectly for an evening meal?

Other aspects such as seating arrangements (indoors vs outdoors) music choices all add up in creating a memorable experience.

Step 4: Go For Quality Service

Excellent service is essential in making the dining experience as enjoyable as possible. Check for reviews that mention exceptional service, customer-friendly staff that has knowledge about the menu and can offer suggestions for pairing drinks with dishes to enhance the dining experience.

Step 5: Try the Taco Test

When all else fails, there’s always a tried-and-true way of testing if an upscale Mexican restaurant truly delivers – tacos! Order some traditional tacos and see how they stack up against other Mexican restaurants (or even better, other cuisines)


Finding the best upscale Mexican restaurant in Chicago can be a daunting task, but by following these guidelines, you’re sure to narrow down your search to those that will deliver a memorable culinary experience. Take time to research and learn more about each restaurant’s menu offerings, ambiance, services offered until you find one perfect enough for your next dinner outing.

FAQs About the Best Upscale Mexican Restaurants in Chicago Answered

Chicago has a vibrant food scene, with a wide range of restaurant options catering to various cuisines and tastes. For those who enjoy Mexican cuisine, the city offers an impressive selection of upscale Mexican restaurants to choose from. As such, it is not uncommon for diners to have a few questions about what these establishments have to offer. Here are some FAQs answered:

Q: What is the typical atmosphere like in upscale Mexican restaurants in Chicago?

A: Upscale Mexican restaurants in Chicago generally offer an inviting ambiance with warm lighting, rustic decor and a cozy feel. The vibe is usually relaxed yet elegant, making it perfect for an intimate dinner or gathering with friends.

Q: What type of dishes can I expect on the menu at an upscale Mexican restaurant?

A: Upscale Mexican restaurants in Chicago typically serve elevated versions of traditional dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, tamales along with innovative approaches that showcase regional specialties from across Mexico. Expect exquisite preparations using fresh ingredients and bold flavors in every dish served.

Q: Are there vegan or vegetarian options available at high-end Mexican restaurants?

A: Yes! Many contemporary high-end Mexican restaurants now offer menus that cater to specific dietary requirements such as vegetarian and vegan diets. Options include plant-based protein sources like tofu or tempeh served alongside flavorsome sauces made from mole’s spice blend.

Q: Are reservations required for upscale dining establishments?

A: It’s wise to call ahead to make reservations since most upscale dining spots tend to fill up quickly.

Q: Is there a dress code for these types of restaurants?

A: Dress codes vary from casual chic (smart jeans – no rips) smart casual (slacks/pants/khakis/skirt) but it’s always best practice to call ahead.

In conclusion, upscale dining establishments serving traditional elevated Mexican fare are becoming increasingly popular in Chicago’s food scene.Explore different options until you find the upscale Mexican restaurant that speaks to your palate and overall dining experience. With options ranging from classic favorites to innovative takes on traditional cuisine, you’re sure to find an elevated culinary experience at these establishments.

Savoring High-end Mexican Cuisine: Top Picks for Upscale Dining in Chicago

Chicago has become a hub for world-class dining, and Mexican cuisine has certainly not been left behind. In fact, the city’s love affair with Mexican delicacies has taken an upscale turn, with high-end restaurants popping up all over town. From fresh seafood ceviches to chicken mole dishes saturated in rich flavors, the Chicago restaurant scene brings you everything your taste-buds could possibly crave.

Here are some of the best upscale Mexican restaurants you shouldn’t miss when visiting Chicago:

1. Topolobampo

Chef Rick Bayless guides this award-winning restaurant that offers a captivating dining experience through its sophisticated traditionally inspired dishes. Its enchanting atmosphere infused with Latin American elements sets the tone for their meticulously prepared food and wine pairings. Their signature dish ‘Mole Poblano’, featuring chicken slow-cooked in smoky chilies, chocolate and other spices served alongside traditional platters is an absolute must-try.

2. Leña Brava

Helmed by Chef Rick Bayless’ daughter Lanie, this contemporary Mexican eatery ignites your senses with its uber-fresh seafood-based dishes including octopus ceviche Nikkei style featuring soy sauce and fresh lime juice marinade accompanied by avocado and radishes on top of house-made hot chips made using 100% blue cornmeal while it’s sister restaurant café adjacent to it Frontera Grill offers more casual dining options.

3. Bar Sótano

This bar located near O’Hare airport may be known for its mezcal cocktails but it features like-minded recipes embodied within its inventive menu dominated by small plates including lamb Barbacoa tacos served street-style garnishes such as guacamole and chilies justifying its claim as one of Chicago’s most innovative eateries among all.

4. Mi Tocaya Antojería

Mexican-born chef Diana Dávila channels her heritage into every dish at Mi Tocaya Antojería. The dishes here redefine tradition with unexpected flavor combos featuring new takes on quintessential staples including tacos, The ‘Chapulines’ taco, piled high with crunchy dried grasshoppers and elevated by salsa borracha has become a fan favorite.

5. Dos Urban Cantina

Dos Urban Cantina features a design that reflects the continued evolution of Mexican cuisine in an upscale atmosphere along with serving masterfully crafted Mexican-inspired cocktails and staple plates all made using locally-sourced produce from small farms nearby. Their noteworthy dish is tender brisket served alongside crispy potatoes over salsa verde topped off with fresh radishes adding texture & crunch to this masterpiece.

6. Xoco

A casual spot by Chef Rick Bayless, this café-style eatery offers both quick bites like empanadas bursting with savory fillings and more filling options like the Carnitas slow-roasted pork sandwich on bolillo bread served up alongside refreshing hibiscus water making it one of Mexico City’s best street joints—all within walking distance of celebrated food market at River North.

Chicago should never be underestimated when it comes to its culinary landscapes where diners can indulge their cravings for exquisitely prepared high-end Mexican cuisine. Not only does Chicago offer stunning cultural beauty but now guests can savor the culinary decadence of flavorful steak fajitas while enjoying the gorgeous cityscape after their meal in cozy modern spaces filled with warm hospitality; so book your tables soon because these eateries are famous for reservations being hard to snag due to demand!

Uncovering Hidden Gems: The Ultimate List of Upscale Mexican Restaurants in Chicago

Chicago may have a reputation for being the home of deep-dish pizza and hot dogs, but it also has an array of stylish Mexican restaurants that offer upscale dining experiences. If you’re looking to experience rich traditional flavors in chic surroundings, look no further than our Ultimate List of Upscale Mexican Restaurants in Chicago!

1. Mi Tocaya Antojería: Located in Logan Square, this refined restaurant offers modern takes on classic Mexican dishes. Chef Diana Davila infuses her culinary explorations with hints from all over Mexico for a complex taste. Try signature dishes such as mole de olla or barbacoa tacos.

2. Topolo: This famed River North restaurant is a long-standing fixture for gourmet contemporary Mexican cuisine. Chef Rick Bayless creates innovative upscale interpretations of authentic flavors and ingredients with dishes including pumpkin seed-crusted Sea Bass & Quail stuffed with slow-roasted pork and plantain cakes.

3. Leña Brava: With an emphasis on coastal-style seafood, Leña Brava brings robust Latin American influences and tantalizing options to Fulton Market area. Favorite dishes include tuna wrapped in escamoles (ant larvae) guacamole or fried cod with some earthy flavor.

4. Dos Urban Cantina: Nestled among numerous storefronts, set in the neighborhood of Logan Square this restaurant raises questions about what Mexican food can be. The chef team opened up their own spot to experiment with ingredient combinations that took cues from both sides of the border while serving tasty renditions like “ugly salsa.”

5. Ixcateco Grill: Uptown’s charming bistro offering explores recipes inspired by owner Anselmo Ramirez’s family history by offering pre-Hispanic regional flavors for guests’ palates. Memorable plates include black mole-soaked duck leg confit or chile de árbol-rubbed beef tenderloin tartare.

6. Quiote: The chef of Quiote has done his homework and created a space that encourages exploration. Their ‘chef’s choice’ tasting menu is offered at two prix fixes and regularly updates based on the availability & seasonality of ingredients making for festive offerings serving dishes such as red chile, Romaine hearts with grilled shrimp or muscovy duck confit.

7. Elske: While many of these restaurants focus exclusively on Mexican cuisines, Elske near West Loop offers Nordic-inspired plates alongside a supporting cast of signature South-of-the-Border Mediterranean soups using seasonal ingredients in tempting ways. Come for dishes like roasted pork shoulder with mole sauce and smoked beets.

8. Mi Tocaya Antojería: With an approachable atmosphere and affordable pricing, this Logan Square block stands out for their gourmet Mexican street food ideal to share with large groups. Chef Diana Davila’s menu delivers sparkle right down to the colored tortillas which look as lively as they taste.

Chicago may have plenty of pizza hotspots, but these top-line Mexican restaurants will leave you overwhelmed by how much remarkable flavor remains beneath the surface layers of Chicago’s culinary scene! So next time you plan your dinner outing choose a place from our Ultimate List and allow yourself to be swept away by upscale traditional Mexican cuisine in super stylish environs!