Big Star

Bars, Mezcalerias Wicker Park
Recommended
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
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 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
1/6
Photograph: Martha Williams

Big Star

 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
2/6
Photograph: Martha Williams
The taco de papas con rajas at Big Star is one of the best tacos in Chicago.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
3/6
Photograph: Martha Williams

Big Star

4/6

 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
5/6
Photograph: Martha Williams

Big Star Mezcal margarita

Readers' choice: Best new bar
6/6
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

Posted:

Venue name: Big Star
Contact:
Address: 1531 N Damen Ave
Chicago
60622
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

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|13
1 person listening
Sadie Rose
tastemaker

Love this spot! Personally, I'd only go on a really nice day to eat outside but be prepared for a bit of a wait. It's pretty inexpensive (as a lot of the neighboring restaurants are not) A great date spot or happy hour with friends. It is a loud atmosphere but fun and lively. 

Aimee F.
tastemaker

The perfect patio to see and be seen! When the temperature in Chicago hits roughly 50 degrees, you can guarantee that this place will be packed. And for good reason -- awesome tacos and an extensive drink menu of Mexican themed cocktails along with an impressive list of Tequila, Mezcal, and whiskey. We waited 2 hours for a table on the patio but that didn't stop us from standing at the bar and downing a pitcher of their signature Big Star margaritas (which they have on draft). Overall, worth the wait! The chips and guac and fundido were the perfect snacks while waiting for our tacos to come out!

Charlie Jungwirth
Tastemaker

I love this spot! I was just there last night on a first date and per usual had a great time and had delicious food and drinks. This is a fun  casual spot to go on a date, after dinner drinks or just to gorge on tacos.  l am obsessed with the pickled vegetables; I always order multiple portions. I have tried every single taco there and often order different ones each time I go; haven't had a bad one yet. They have really good mixed drinks and beer selection; really compliments the food. Fun atmosphere and friendly staff. My only complaint would be that this place is always popular and there is usually a wait...that doesn't stop me from coming often though.

Karen R
Tastemaker

The outdoor patio alone is one of the best spots in the summer around the Wicker Park neighborhood. Grab a pitcher of margarita and an array of tacos and you are golden! A bit on the pricy side for tacos, but they're packed with a lot of flavor so its worth it. My favor ones are the fish tacos and taco in bag that includes Fritos chips. They also have a late night to-go window which was a godsend to me when I used to work around the area and got off around 10pm. 

AlessandraC
tastemaker

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. 

Juke
tastemaker

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
tastemaker

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
Tastemaker

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!

MLPaprzyca
tastemaker

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
moderator

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.