Folks who are east-west bound in Berwyn are rarely unfamiliar with 26th St. Quieter than its Cermak Road counterpart, the thoroughfare feels more residential and pedestrian friendly. Over the past several months we have noticed several welcoming Mexican restaurants tucked on 26th Street. We just could not resist checking out a quartet of these quaint establishments.

We were enchanted with the Caldo de Cameron offered by Tacos Y Salsa, 6346 W. 26th St., when we visited the restaurant in September and have been thinking about that shrimp soup ever since — it was love at first spoonful. No exploration of Mexican fare on 26th St. would be complete without a return visit to the unassuming restaurant helmed by Ms. Laura Guerrero, a fierce and inspirational woman.

Tacos y Salsa is a local favorite for authentic Mexican fare and their piping hot Flautas de pollo came four to an order with rice, beans, guacamole, and sour cream. Our taster emphatically dubbed them the “best flautas” he had ever tasted. From there we moved on to chicken soup. Served with warm corn tortillas, it features three pieces of bone-in chicken in a broth brimming with chunks of zucchini and carrot. Assorted garnishes, including onion, cilantro, rice, dried red chilies, and limes make the soup memorable and customizable.

The tiny and mighty, Nuevo Poncitlan,  6322 W. 26th St., was the busiest stop of the bunch when we dropped by during lunch. The restaurant drew a diverse crowd including police officers and families to their carryout counter. Reviewers recommend their burritos as the best in the area. We snagged a chicken burrito with a side of rice and beans and a steak torta for good measure. The burrito boasted a flavorful shredded chicken in a fresh flour tortilla with lettuce, tomato and cheese. The straightforward offering is exactly what burrito lovers crave.

We headed to Los Corrales, 6713 W. 26th St., in search of a street food inspired taco. Any proper Mexican food exploration would be incomplete without a taste of tacos al pastor. Inspired by the spit-roasted shawarma dishes that influenced Mexican cuisine in the early 1900’s, “the shepherd’s taco” is a beloved Mexican-Lebanese fusion dish. Charred bits are the best part of the flavorful marinated orange-hued pork that stars in Los Corrales tacos al pastor.

And just when we thought we’d had our fill, we discovered gorditas and fajitas and tacos (oh my) at Torres Fresh Market, 6227 W. 26th St. We never would have known about the tiny taqueria tucked into a grocery store had we not been tipped off by Berwyn resident and realtor, Patrick Washington while picking up from another 26th St. location.

In addition to snagging several tacos at Washington’s suggestion, we also selected the chicken fajita plate, a steak torta and house-made beef gorditas. Every dish remained piping hot while we traveled home and the fajita plate may have looked unassuming, but the boldly flavored meat was a 26th St. standout. Each taco was more satisfying than the next and the gordita — a thick corn tortilla pocket filled with beef — proved to be a filling and tasty lunch selection. Torres Fresh Market is a notable place to source a memorable meal and you can do some grocery shopping, too.

*All dishes were ordered for carryout and plated at home.

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