Big Star

Bars, Mezcalerias Wicker Park
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(9user reviews)
81 Love It
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 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha Williams

Big Star

 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha Williams
The taco de papas con rajas at Big Star is one of the best tacos in Chicago.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha Williams

Big Star


 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha Williams

Big Star Mezcal margarita

Readers' choice: Best new bar
Big Star

This fun, honky tonk-style taqueria in the Windy City’s Wicker Park neighborhood couldn’t be more serious about its tacos, and it shows: its al pastor variety is a thing of pure beauty. Marinated pork shoulder is roasted to crackling on a spit, then carved into tortillas and topped with grilled pineapple and onions, plus plenty of fresh cilantro. 

By: Julia Kramer


Venue name: Big Star
Address: 1531 N Damen Ave
Cross street: between Wicker Park and Milwaukee Aves
Opening hours: Sun–Fri 11:30am–2am; Sat 11:30am–3am
Transport: El stop: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72.
Price: Average taco: $3
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Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening

If you are looking for a trendy place to eat delicious tacos and order a pitcher of margaritas on a beautiful day in Chicago, this is the place. There is consistently a long wait which in unfortunate. 


Big Star has delicious tacos, decent margaritas, cheap shots of whiskey, the best Michelada in Chicago, and an efficient staff. I love popping in here for a quick and easy meal with optimal chance to get good and lubricated. 

That being said, it is not worthy of the insane hype it gets. There is absolutely no reason to wait 2 hours to get a table here when plenty of worthy alternatives (Takito, Federales, Antique Tacos, off the top of my head) exist. Very good, but not great would be a good way to describe it. 

I envy the investors in Off One Hospitality group... Must be nice. 

Jennifer J

Every local's favorite spot. I like the ambience more than anything really. Great outdoor hang out for tacos and drinks. You can get the same good tacos somewhere else and probably for something cheaper, but you're really paying for the social atmosphere.

Kelsey H

Best tacos, margaritas and atmosphere in the area! Great music and place to socialize over drinks and soak up the neighborhood vibes.

Madeline N

Big Star is pretty well known to all Chicagoians and while they don't have my favorite tacos (they also have some pretty tough competition) They are super delicious and their patio cant be beat. Its often pretty crowded and can be somewhat hard to get a table, but they have an area where you can sit and wait which is always nice!


Growing up on the Southwest side I had my fair share of authentic Mexican tacos but Big Star is at the top. The best El Pastor I've ever had. Fish tacos that are flavorful and don't skimp on the fish. A new classic with the Walking Taco. The classic tasting Margaritas are perfect for a hot summer day. Fresh fried tortilla chips. Anything you get is done great.

I don't know why I hadn't gone here sooner but easily the best Mexican restaurant in Chicago. It's not expensive but I suggest getting at least 4 or 5 tacos because they are small.

Erin Delahanty
moderatorStaff Writer

There's no better patio for spending a summer afternoon (or the whole day) in Wicker Park. Sip on margaritas, and be sure to order the fish tacos. Thankfully this popular patio now takes credit cards!

Nick Kotecki

Big Star is and oldie, but too good to pass up on a balmy summer afternoon. Easily the most magical patio in the city.

Laura R

Big Star will never get old. You could sit on that patio for hours (many people do), and just people-watch and keep pouring the margaritas. I also love this place because you can get tacos of all kinds (tacos in bags! spicy potato tacos!), which is important to me as a somewhat picky vegetarian. Big Star also has a walk-up window on the other side, so you can grab and go.