Photo by Luz Magdaleno Flores

Another place where the wait is worth it! 

La Haciendita’s thematic colors are red and yellow, as is typical of many Mexican restaurants. The colors really catch the attention of people as the restaurant sits unassumingly on 51st and Kedzie. The outstanding food, however, is what really has caught my attention and why I return any chance I get.

The tacos al pastor are prepared with pineapple juice. When you walk in, the al pastor meat is immediately visible on the vertical rotisserie. A large pineapple sits on the pork meat marinating it for hours with sweet, sweet pineapple juice. When the cook prepares the al pastor taco, they slice the meat off along with some of the pineapple. I won’t judge if you close off this article now and run to La Haciendita.

Other favorites are nopales (cactus salad) tacos with frijoles de la olla

A major bonus is that this restaurant has a parking lot. In Chicago, parking spots are a thing! Gage Park has not yet been plagued by the pay-to-park-only spots, but it is getting there, and 47th and Kedzie can get busy, so the first time I noticed the parking lot “only for La Haciendita visitors” sign, I had to pull over. 

I’ve had countless meals at La Haciendita over the years. It is always packed with families or individuals needing some “self-care” and tacos. I have waited embarrassing amounts of time to be seated at this restaurant. I have witnessed grown people stomp away after being told the wait would be over two hours.

Taqueria La Haciendita, 5151 S. Kedzie Ave. 8am–12am. (773) 434-3864.

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