Top 6 Ethnic Restaurants in Pilsen, Chicago

Rich in culture and history with Eastern European and Mexican roots, Pilsen is home to vibrant arts and culinary scenes. The Lower West Side neighborhood has no shortage of bright, stunning murals and award-winning restaurants. Today, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite ethnic restaurants in Pilsen that will make your mouth water.

Azul 18

1236 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

This spot offers New American cuisine with a Latin American twist, open for brunch through dinner. Treat your taste buds to Home Made Beignets for a sweet wake-up call or Chilaquiles for a savory start to the day. For lunch, take a bite out of the Cochinita Pibiltorta, a slow-roasted pork sandwich.


Azul 18’s dinner menu has something for everyone, including pasta, tacos, burgers, and entrees. Try the Tequila Pasta with shrimp, mixed bell peppers, jalapenos, parmesan cheese, lime tequila cream sauce.

La Luna

1726 S Racine Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

La Luna puts an artsy spin on traditional Mexican fare, mirroring the Pilsen spirit to a T. With indoor and outdoor spaces, an open kitchen, and living walls of greenery, a staple in hospitality decor, this ethnic restaurant is as aesthetically pleasing to look at as the food is to eat.


Chicago-made chef Marco Colin grew up in the kitchen and has worked at various critically-acclaimed restaurants, including The Publican, Alinea, and Soho House. 

La Luna sources its premium ingredients from local vendors. The traditional menu features tacos, unique small plates, and entrees. Try the Chef’s Special, roasted cauliflower tacos with cauliflower, romesco sauce, cotija cheese, pickled onions, pistachio, and microgreens.


HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen

1800 S Carpenter St, Chicago, IL 60608

From the culinary genius of chef Thai Dang, HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen is nominated by James Beard and awarded with Michelin Bib Gourmet. In other words, it’s nationally acclaimed and amongst the Best Vietnamese Restaurants in the country.

HaiSous has a Grand Tasting Menu that runs through November. The multi-course menu at this ethnic restaurant celebrates French-Vietnamese cuisine and is $65 per person. There’s also a Family Tasting Menu and menu items à la carte. Try Chef Thai’s signature dish, the Cá Chiên Giòn, a whole fried fluke, lettuce and herbs with nước mắm tỏi (fish sauce).

Cantón Regio

1510 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

This family-owned and operated BYOB cash-only spot specializes in modern Mexican cuisine in a cozy setting. The Gutiérrez family created a menu that pays tribute to their roots and culinary traditions of Monterrey, the capital city of the state of Nuevo León.

Cantón Regio uses fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The menu features fajitas, tacos, and other specialty selections. Try one of the restaurant’s brochetas, or skewers—choose from shrimp, chicken, or vegetarian.

Del Toro

2133 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608

Del Toro is a high-end tequila bar that serves freshly made modern Mexican comfort food. The owners Everardo and Andres Garcia have roots in Pilsen and were raised in a strong traditional Mexican family. Del Toro is the result of their desire to bring their favorite comfort foods and drinks to their neighborhood.

Come thirsty—there’s no shortage of drinks here. From signature margaritas to Latin Classics like the Vampire and Paloma mixers, Del Toro has you covered. There’s also a selection of wines and local and imported beers. As a well-loved tequila bar, you can count on Del Toro for premium mezcal and extra-aged and reserve tequilas.

The food menu at this ethnic restaurant includes tacos, burritos, and tortas, all with your choice of meat. For something a little different, try the Del Toro Burger, which has Black Angus beef patties stuffed with chihuahua cheese.

La Vaca Margarita Bar

1160 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

La Vaca has been serving kickass tacos and margaritas in Pilsen for over 50 years. The family-owned spot has clubby vibes complete with Latin music pumping through the speakers daring you to dance. Just don’t spill one of their signature margaritas—it’d be like the adult equivalent of dropping your ice cream cone.

The menu features tacos, fajitas, and other savory and sweet treats, like churros complete with a side of chocolate dipping sauce. 

Start the party with Mango Chile Shots (tequila, mango, Chamoy Tajin) and keep it going with one or all of their margarita flavors, from classic lime, strawberry, or mango to something different like spicy mango or strawberry jalapeño.

Featured Image Credit: La Luna