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Nuevo Leon Restaurant

1515 W. 18th St.
Chicago  Illinois  60608
United States
(312) 421-1517
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Midwest Living Review

Kit Bernardi
Family-owned for 40 years, Nuevo Leon dishes up heaping platters of authentic Mexican food in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.

Locals and visitors have been lining up in droves to dine at the Gutierrez family-owned eatery since it opened in 1962 as a taqueria stand. A lot has been written about this Mexican restaurant through the years, but it’s still a fresh and fun experience. Maybe it’s the “cook’s whim” daily specials, hand-scrawled on signs taped to the wall. Or the constant chatter (in Spanish and English) among patrons seated at long communal tables in the casual front room and in the more formal, mural-decorated dining room. In any case, the authentic, reasonably priced Mexican food has kept Nuevo Leon busy for decades.

The menu is so huge that you might want to consider asking your table neighbors what they like to order. Most likely, they’ll point to the special listed in Spanish pasted on the wall next to the “cash only” sign. Still can’t decide? The heaping $6 combination platter covers several traditional Mexican favorites with a tostada, a tamale and an enchilada. Smiling, efficient servers make sure diners never run low on complimentary still-warm tortillas and chunky salsa, and soft drinks are only a dollar with free refills. The most expensive dishes on the menu are the beef and fajitas platters ($12 to $14). Our total lunch bill for two was just $20, making Nuevo Leon an affordable, delicious dining option.

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