*This article was originally written by Jennifer Johnson for Little Lake County.
It was time. I needed to be coaxed out of my proverbial “taco” shell. You see, I’m spoiled in the way of tacos; I can find both authentic and gourmet tacos within a short distance from my home. So I called upon readers and eaters all around Lake County for new taco recommendations. And for the love of tacos, the crowd reported. Some assignments I take on for purely selfish reasons — this may be one. Read on to find out what restaurants made the list of top 20 taco eateries in Lake County.
Best Taco Eateries in Lake County
1. Puerto Acapulco
1814 E. Belvidere Rd., Grayslake | (847) 223-3505
Celebrate Taco Tuesday here every week with $1 tacos (chicken and ground beef only)!
2. Burrito Express
220 Hawthorn Village Commons, Vernon Hills | (224) 424-4649
Burrito Express cooks up several varieties of tacos, too. Ole!
3. Carlos’s Mexican Grill
2 W. Grand Ave. #111, Fox Lake | (847) 973-9446
This strip mall storefront dishes out budget-friendly, fresh, authentic Mexican food.
4. Don Chuy
700 N. Diamond Lake Rd., Mundelein | (224) 433-3889
This place is known for carnitas but also serves delicious, affordable tacos and taco platters.
5. Dos Amigos
101 W. Rockland Rd., Libertyville | (224) 206-7282
Choose from 10 different styles of tacos here, or try the four-taco plate. This storefront delight offers a surprisingly sophisticated, made-from-scratch menu.
6. El Barrio
1122 N. Diamond Lake Rd., Mundelein | (847) 566-0475
Enjoy authentic, Mexican food created with traditional Arebelo family recipes here. Watch the website for special events such as tastings and tequila dinners.
7. Grande Jake’s Authentic Mexican Grill
2122 Grand Avenue, Lindenhurst | (847) 265-1411
Take your choice of 17 (!) different taco varieties. The depth of the menu is impressive, and the food here is consistently delicious.
8. La Casa de Isaac & Moishe
2014 1st St., Highland Park | (847) 433-7400
Both the taquitos de pato (duck) with mango relish appetizer and the fish tacos are recommended here.
9. Lomeli’s Rosticeria
1316 Cedar Lake Rd., Round Lake Beach
Tacos are tempting and inexpensive at this Tex-Mex restaurant, and even with nine styles available, a meal won’t break the bank.
10. Los Comales
809 W. Rollins Rd., Round Lake Heights | (847) 740-2606
Tasty tacos are created 11 different ways here, but be sure to reserve room for churros for dessert.
11. Las Palmas
26228 Route 83, Mundelein | (847) 393-7088
Generous taco entrees served on brightly colored Fiestaware make meals extra fun here. Try a three-taco meal or a combination platter. And don’t miss the shrimp cocktail appetizer.
12. Main Street Tacos
327 N. Main St., Wauconda | (847) 526-8586
Known for fresh and tasty food, it is also very affordable. Six styles of tacos are served here.
13. Mean Wiener
532 Sheridan Rd., Highwood | (847) 266-1411
Don’t be fooled by the name. This restaurant offers a complete Mexican grill menu in addition to the “standard” American grill items.
14. Milwalky Taco
605 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | (224) 513-5766
Eleven styles of upscale tacos and a huge tequila selection make this place irresistible. Check the “specials” menu; Taco Tuesday features half-priced margaritas and two carnitas tacos. Read more about Milwalky Taco here.
15. The Other Door
30 E. Center Ave, Lake Bluff | (847) 295-1020
Don’t blink or you will miss the wooden door (adjacent to, but around the corner from Inovasi) to what can only be described as one of the best-kept secrets in Lake County tacos. Vinyl spins in the background while you select from a variety of handcrafted meats and sauces at this casual, counter-service eatery. Read more about The Other Door here.
16. Side Lot Brewery
110 Slocum Lake Rd., Wauconda | (847) 865-0281
Enjoy Chapos Tacos every Saturday night and Sunday afternoon with your beer. Mark your calendars and trust me, it’s worth the wait.
17. Taco & Burrito Express
410 E. Hawley St., Mundelein | (847) 949-8504
This place has a cult following among locals. The food here is authentic, consistently delicious, and affordable. With 11 different styles of tacos, you’ll have to try them all to name your favorite, but save some room for one of the six homemade Mexican soups.
18. Tacos El Norte – Highwood
118 Washington Ave., Highwood | (847) 432-1730
Enjoy 15 styles of tacos here. Feeling adventurous? Try the Torpedo Taco, a flour tortilla with grilled cheese, grilled onions, steak, an egg (served over easy) and rice.
19. Tacos El Norte – Round Lake Beach
906 E. Rollins Rd., Round Lake Beach | (847) 548-2367
Try the three taco dinner here with a side of chips and guacamole! You won’t be disappointed.
20. Tacos El Rey de Oro
864 Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | (847) 247-4433
322 W. Rollins Road, Round Lake Beach | (847) 740-2607
Enjoy six styles of delicious, authentic south of the border tacos here. And this restaurant earns bonus points for affordability and generous portions. Both locations are wonderful. Read Kari A’s review of the Round Lake Beach location here.
Bonus — Worth the Trip:
1390 S. Eastwood Dr., Suite B, Woodstock | (815) 334-8460
Not that I needed another reason to go visit Woodstock (read about my chocolate-coffee experience here), but fresh, authentic Mexican food is always a draw for me. I’m told it’s worth the trip, and Shelby suggests Mixteca as a great place for a date night in McHenry County.
22. The Patroons Mexican Restaurant
4005 Kane Ave., McHenry | (815) 322-2426
Don’t miss this family owned, gem of a Mexican restaurant. Come for the tacos, but stay longer to enjoy the homemade chips and fried ice cream.
Did we name your favorite taqueria? If not, let us know what yours is in the comments section.