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Best Mexican Restaurant Hiding in a Grocery Store 

Taqueria Ricardo

4429 W. Diversey
773-292-0400

One of Chicago’s food secrets is that many Latino supermercados have an authentic Mexican restaurant hidden inside. Usually it’s just a taco grill or a cafeteria line of guisados (stews)—but then there’s Taqueria Ricardo, attached to a grocery store of the same name on Diversey near Kostner. The riot of colorful tile work and rustic handmade signage inside indicates something more elaborate than a lunch counter, and so does the menu, which ranges from tacos al pastor (carved from a gyros-like spit) to the seafood soup caldo de siete mares. But the real star is the decidedly ramshackle wood-burning grill, where some of the best grilled chicken (and rabbit!) in town comes off trailing the unmistakable, delectable flavors of genuine wood smoke and crispy char.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)