5 places for Mexican breakfast dishes

Yeah, you could go to Taco Bell. But you could also start your day with tacos, burritos and tortas that are actually good.

1/5
Photograph: Martha Williams

Chorizo el Soldado breakfast tacos at Estrella Negra

2/5
Photograph: Martha Williams

Pulled pork tacos at Flo

3/5
Photograph: Martha Williams

Breakfast burrito at Lula Cafe

4/5
Photograph: Martha Williams

Chorizo and egg breakfast torta at XOCO

5/5
Photograph: Martha Williams

Chorizo, potato and egg, and steak and egg breakfast tacos at Los Olivos

Taco Bell is rolling out its much-hyped new breakfast menu on Thursday, complete with waffle tacos, breakfast burritos and something called an A.M. Crunchwrap™. With Mexican brunch going mainstream, we’ve tracked down some places across the city to score morning burritos, tacos and tortas that won't taste like regret.

Estrella Negra

Hidden on a desolate stretch of Fullerton, this small and vibrant BYOB Mexican restaurant serves up a cozy weekend brunch, including three types of breakfast tacos ($6). The bacon tacos are topped with scrambled egg and pickled jalapenos before being drizzled with sour cream. The smoky meat stands out against the onion and egg in the chorizo tacos, served on corn tortillas. Our favorite is the vegetarian-friendly black bean taco, topped with cheddar cheese, black beans, scrambled eggs, tomato and cilantro, with a tiny bit of goat cheese crumbled over the top.

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Bucktown

Flo

Critics' pick

This bustling cafe in Noble Square features updated versions of classic Mexican dishes. There are two tacos on the menu, portobello ($8) and pulled pork ($9). Skip the portobello tacos, which feature strangely vinegary mushrooms, and opt instead for the pulled pork. Corn tortillas are covered in pepper jack cheese and rich slow-cooked pork, then dotted with onion, tomatoes and pickled jalapenos. Perched on top is a wobbly poached egg to break open and mix in. Don’t even attempt to eat the resulting mess with your hands—you’ll need your knife, fork and plenty of napkins.

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East Village

Los Olivos

Tucked away in the Little Village is a tiny taqueria serving some of the best tacos in the city, breakfast or otherwise. The morning menu has numerous choices, but the standout (and superb hangover cure) is the huevos con chorizo ($8.50). Chorizo, eggs and potatoes are cooked to order on the flat-top grill and scrambled together. For vegetarians, the huevos con nopales ($8) are not to be missed, with eggs and tender sautéed cactus. Both are served alongside rice and beans, so you can heap the mixture into fresh, warm corn tortillas and douse them in salsa.

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Little Village

Lula Cafe

Critics' pick

Ordered as-is off the menu, the breakfast burrito ($9) at this Logan Square institution couldn’t be more simple and straightforward—scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheddar cheese and avocado are stuffed into a large flour tortilla. Liven up the dish by adding bacon and a generous dollop of the accompanying sour cream. But it’s the addition of Lula’s housemade hot sauce, a thick, vibrantly red concoction that’s slightly sweet and delivers a burn of heat that really makes this dish work.

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Logan Square

XOCO

Critics' pick

As far as grab-and-go breakfast is concerned, you can’t beat the selection and quality at Rick Bayless’s XOCO. We have a long-standing crush on the breakfast tortas, pressed and griddled sandwiches filled with eggs and more. Our go-to is the chorizo and egg torta ($8), composed of scrambled eggs, chorizo, roasted poblano peppers, cheese and avocado. Coming in a close second, the zucchini, egg and poblano torta ($7.50) has scrambled eggs, roasted zucchini, poblano peppers, cheese, and a cilantro-laced sauce stuffed into a toasty split roll.

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Magnificent Mile

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