Cafe El Tapatio - Glenview

4.6
169 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Top tags:
  • Casual
  • Authentic
  • Good for a Date
Cafe El Tapatio was established in 1974 becoming a Chicago Staple for Authentic Mexican Cuisine and Drinks. Brought to the North Shore in 2017, Cafe El Tapatio brings the heat to the suburbs in a hip and urban environment. Focusing on traditional Mexican flavors we go above and beyond the typical run of the mill Mexican restaurant bringing one entrees like Arrachera XX, Pollo en Mole de Reyna, Camarones al Tequila, and Salmón Citrico; alongside various other traditionally flavored dishes. In regards to our drinks, all our specialty cocktails are made with small batch boutique 100% Blue Agave Tequila.

We hope to see you soon! We're open for Lunch and Dinner during the week and Brunch and Dinner on weekends.

Find us on Instagram & Facebook: @cafeeltapatiogv
What 169 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.5
Service
4.4
Ambience
4.5
Value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KA
Chicago
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great service. Great food. The best margaritas in town! Thank you for making my birthday real special!

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FR
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Back dining area very loud. Food excellent.

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LM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food was so good! We had the elote and ceviche as appetizers. They were perfect! Drinks were on point. Not too sweet. We both had the steak entrees and the seasoning was excellent. Such a fun evening!

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JW
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

We had been to the sister restaurant in the city several times- it’s close to where our son and his family live- and always enjoyed it. Our daughter wanted Mexican food and we were in the suburbs. So we decided to try this location. The special margaritas were wonderful and the food was excellent too. We tried fajitas and a couple different skirt steak dishes. The owner came over to introduce himself and make sure that we were enjoying our food. Service was responsive and a little too quick at times. This is not a place to sit and talk. Nonetheless, we will be back.

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D
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on 5 May 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

They were not prepared for Cinco de Mayo. Understaffed. Food not up to usual standards

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MW
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on 3 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food is awesome and so are the margaritas. Will definitely go again.

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c
Chicago
74 reviews
Dined on 27 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My friends & I had fruity margaritas & delicious entrees. The service was attentive & thoughtful. We will definitely be returning. The noise level is rather loud, though.

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b
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on 20 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

All the food options were very good. Busy night and our waiter was there for every need. Ceviche was delicious, shrimp fajita was saltier than we would have liked, and desserts were fantastic.

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DB
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on 13 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

Busy Saturday night, the servers and owners are extremely friendly, servuce however was a bit slow. Overall, the food was excellent as were the drinks. Will definetly go back.

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j
New England
2 reviews
Dined on 13 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We celebrated my son’s 1st birthday here this weekend. The staff was so sweet. They brought out a little sombrero and dessert and sang. They even gave us a Polaroid of the moment. Very sweet!

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AS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 6 April 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 3Ambience 2

The restaurant was packed on Saturday which seems that many people do not share my negative opinion. Reasons for my less than a favorable review: We had to sit at the table right next to the kitchen door, which totally ruined the experience - make sure you explicitly state in your reservation that you do not want to sit there. The food tasted authentic, agreed, and fresh, yes, but in comparison to other places, even chains such as Uncle Julio's, absolutely sub-par for some reason, primarily the meat seemed to be not well cooked (we had Fajitas). Lastly, service was borderline good, I assume this was due the busy night.

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OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on 22 March 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 5

Food was good with the exception of the guacamole which we didn’t care for. Service was slow to start out, ambience was nice. Margaritas are on the smaller side but did taste good.

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JO
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on 22 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This is by far the most delicious Mexican restaurant in the area. Don't miss this one!

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TV
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on 16 March 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 1

It was very loud. When we asked them to turn down the music they either forgot or decided not to. Service was slow and sporadic. Guacamole is awful-do not order. I have a friend that frequents this restaurant and never orders the guacamole. I wish she had told me beforehand! Tacos are great.

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g
Chicago
25 reviews
Dined on 10 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Very DELICIOUS Mexican food, we were all WOWED!!!

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j
New England
2 reviews
Dined on 9 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This is my favorite local restaurant. Excellent authentic Mexican food with a great drink menu. Love the chicken mole and margaritas.

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D
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on 8 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food. Owner comes around to the tables to make sure your meal is good. Nice atmosphere!

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k
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on 8 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Authentic and diverse menu. Something for everyone. Amazing, freshly squeezed Margaritas! Attentive staff and food, cooked perfectly and fast. In the summer they have a neat patio area. The location is deceiving, one would think it is not as fun, and tasty as it is. This place is Great!

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AC
1 review
Dined on 1 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great food and great drinks. Would highly recommend. Only issue is the entire plaza is small so parking is a major headache during peak hours.

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MM
1 review
Dined on 1 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

ALWAYS a great time at El Tapatio. The service, food, atmosphere and welcome you get from Joe and Monica are always top notch. A really terrific restaurant!

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LS
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on 1 March 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

Great service!! Good specials from 4-6, especially the margarita!
We dined at 5. Filled up quickly!! Make reservations! I’ll go later next time.
Enjoyed the house salsa, the spicy one. Not the mild one so much.
Had the mushroom tacos. Very good. I’ll go back and try other original dishes.

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CT
Chicago
32 reviews
Dined on 23 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

As usual, El Tapatio exceeded expectations. Great food, fun ambiance, staff always willing to do what they can to make sure you're being treated right and with the food they serve, it's always on target.

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MJ
Chicago
30 reviews
Dined on 21 February 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 3

Though I've eaten here before and enjoy the food, this time our waiter wasn't very attentive. But worse than that, we were seated next to a table of about 20 very loud people. There were other tables available in a quieter part that they should have seated us at. Once we realized how loud they were, we didn't ask to be moved because they were already eating so we figured they would be leaving soon...but we were wrong. I will go back, but will certainly speak up next time.

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F
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on 16 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Delicious Mexican food. Lots of options for vegetarians and lovers of seafood. Everything is deliciously prepared.

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W
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on 10 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Very attentive. Great food and margaritas!

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OT
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on 1 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Best Mexican food around!

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on 26 January 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 4Ambience 3

We didn’t have the great experience that many have posted about. The place was quite busy, so clearly they are doing something right...The food just wasn’t...so good...My burrito was kind of creamy, beans were chilly...tortilla chips were meh. Waiters were very nice. Quite efficient. Maybe we ordered the wrong things...

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KB
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on 20 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Cafe El Tapatio is the best!! Food is excellent! Service is the best! And margaritas are delicious! Always a great time

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MH
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on 19 January 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

We got there, with an Open Table reservation, around 7:30 on a Saturday night. The only tables available, though, were pretty inconveniently placed -- right next to the door on a very cold night and partially in front of an exit door from the kitchen, which I discovered when the door was opened right into me. Overall, though, good food, good value. Just try to get there early.

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L
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on 12 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I love this place! The owner is on premise and works the floor with a keen involved way. The decor is really pleasing to me as I love Mexico DF. The cocktails are hand crafted and unusual. I had the sopa de poblano crema and it was phenomenal. I really appreciate them bringing this artisan, authentic restaurant to our area.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 4 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We dine here frequently. Great food and wonderful service. Excellent drinks as well! Great family spot.

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N
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on 31 December 2018
Overall 3Food 5Service 2Ambience 3

Food was wonderful. This was our second time there and the service was somewhat better than the first but they need to coordinate better. Took forever to get check.

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M
1 review
Dined on 30 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

This was a great Mexican restaurant. The food is outstanding and the guacamole is fantastic. They make a great margarita too. You can't beat the price either. The service was great! The servers and managers made sure that we were well taken care of. It is not a big restaurant so if you do not want to wait for a table it is best to go on the early side. We had a reservation for 5:15 on a Sunday and by the time we were done eating the place was practically at full capacity.

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J
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on 27 December 2018
Overall 3Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

Very disappointing. Owner/manager was very friendly, welcomed us and was very attentive. However, he was rushing so much that it was disconcerting. The food was not very good, salsa too hot, mild salsa was like tomato soup. We ordered flour tortillas and got two flour and two corn. Two of our party got sick after dinner. The restaurant was decorated nicely.

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V
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on 15 December 2018
Overall 2Food 4Service 3Ambience 1

excellent food. MUSIC WAS LOUD TO THE POINT OF UNPLEASANT

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c
Chicago
74 reviews
Dined on 15 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great Mexican dishes and perfect margaritas! The noise level rather high but the food is worth it.

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KH
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on 9 December 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had such a great time at this restaurant! We went with a party of 9 for my husband's birthday. We had never been here before. The service was fantastic and the food was delicious. It is a small, intimate space. I would highly recommend it. We had a fabulous time there!

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BP
1 review
Dined on 1 December 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

The food and margaritas are fantastic. They give you large enough portions that you usually have leftovers! We went on a Saturday evening. It quickly became crowded and folks were waiting for tables. We didn’t order dessert right after finishing our meal so the waiter brought us our check and said the manager had said we wanted our check. In other words, we want your table so leave.
Too bad they were so quick to boot us, we were going to order desserts and more drink$, ended up taking our bu$ine$$ elsewhere.
Overall a great place, but don’t expect to be treated like friends on a crowded night.

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t
Chicago
39 reviews
Dined on 17 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

food was really delicious and so many choices to pick from service was outstanding. food came quickly and was perfect temperature. cannot wait to go back again and try something else!

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K
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on 16 November 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Dinner for my sister’s birthday 🎂 very fun that they sing and celebrate. A happy festive dinner.

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