Big Star is one of those neighborhood restaurants that is an absolute summer must for Chicago locals. Their patio (which they have recently expanded) is one of the best in the city and you can’t beat their tacos and margaritas!
This past weekend Kevin and I spent a good part of the afternoon eating and drinking on their patio with my brother and sister-in-law who were visiting from out of town. While there I realized I had yet to review one of my favorite summer hangouts so that is what I am doing today!
The afternoon started with their Classic Margarita while snacking on their Chips and Salsa. Margaritas are $8 OR if you’re with a large group, you can order a pitcher for $37 which is perfect for a hot summer day!
The chips come with two salsas: verde and chipotle. The verde provides a little bit of heat without being overpowering while the chipotle has a nice smoky flavor.
We also tried the Queso Fundido which is melted chihuahua cheese, poblano peppers, and housemade chorizo served with fresh tortillas. I’m personally not a big fan of queso fundido and still do not understand why it is impossible to find regular queso anywhere in the city of Chicago! That being said if you do like queso fundido then you probably would like this, but it is just a tad too greasy for my liking.
Now onto the (big) star of the show – tacos! Big Star has nine different tacos on their menu and each ones comes as a single taco per order. I usually order two tacos and am good to go especially after filling up on chips and salsa. The tacos are served family style as they are brought out to the table. During this particular visit, our table tried the Taco Al Pastor (pork shoulder and grilled pineapple), Taco De Pescado (beer battered tilapia, cabbage, and chipotle mayo), Taco De Pollo Pibil (citrus marinated chicken and pickled red onion), and Taco De Papas Con Rajas (potatoes and chipotle peppers).
As you can see the corn tortillas are packed full of meat and they are not shy with the toppings! My absolute favorite is the Al Pastor which has a nice sweet flavor from the grilled pineapple. I also really love the fish taco which comes with a HUGE piece of tilapia and a spicy chipotle mayo.
If you have not yet visited Big Star, do yourself and favor and plan your next Sunday Funday at this Wicker Park gem. Like I said, the patio is quite popular in the summer so wait times may be long. If that’s the case and you don’t want to wait, they also have a take out window where you can order tacos to go.
Big Star is located at 1532 N. Damen in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood