Note: Nuevo León burned down in December 2015. The restaurant plans to reopen in 2017.
I’ve been to a lot of Mexican restaurants in Chicago during my life. In my opinion, Nuevo León in the Pilsen neighborhood is the standard for Mexican food in Chicago. This one is always among the restaurants recommended by my Mexican friends. Besides, when you’re in a Mexican restaurant in Chicago and you’re at one of the only tables not speaking Spanish, you’re in the right place.
Nuevo León has been in business since 1962. For three generations, the owners have used the same family recipes, including homemade tortillas, since the restaurant was opened.
I took my cousins and a couple others to Nuevo León for an authentic Mexican meal during my trip home to Chicago. They were excited from the moment they saw the colorful building.
When we walked in, the place was so packed we had to wait a few minutes for a table. Our server, who spoke very little English, asked us to follow her and wait as they cleared off our table. We sat down and within seconds we had chips and salsa, water, and a small appetizer.
The menu has lots of traditional home cooked Mexican foods as well as familiar “comfort” foods like tacos and flautas, which is what the majority of us ordered. We also had appetizers of guacamole and an order of queso con chorizo (melted cheese with chorizo) which was incredible.
For the main meal, my cousins had flautas and I had a combination plate. Everyone was very happy with the food.
The best part, when we got the bill, it was less than US$60 – for six people! Can’t complain about that at all. The only warning – they accept cash only.
I will continue to go back to Nuevo León whenever I find myself in Chicago and will always recommend it over other Mexican restaurants in town.