Carnitas Uruapan is a wonderful, family-run establishment providing outstanding food to patrons for over 41 years. One of the original restaurants on 18th street in Pilsen, queues form out the door and down the block every weekend for a taste of the family’s carnitas…
Owner Marcos left the financial world of Chicago to take over his father’s business a few years ago and hasn’t looked back since. His family has been feeding the mouths of not only Pilsen, but all of Chicagoland for decades. When I arrived just after 1:00 pm on a Saturday, the line was long with people waiting for the next fresh batch of carnitas. To perfect the meat, the pork roasts for over 2 hours to ensure a golden brown color and crispiness. And, it’s worth it!
I started out with fresh made guacamole and chips and the ensalada de nopales, or cactus. I’ve eaten cactus many times before, but this was the winner. The nopales are dusted in queso fresco with hints of lime and jalapenos for the right amount of spice.
But the real standout is the carnitas. You can order by the taco or by the pound. If you dine in, each table has cilantro, white onion, limes and salsas to create a taco to your liking. The house made salsas flawlessly complement the pork and the corn tortillas made from the factory just around the corner are the perfect vessel for consumption. And they are gluten-free, of course! The refried beans were a great side dish – I even added a little to my taco. The evidence is clear why Carnitas Uruapan was voted second best taco in America by the Food Network.
Check out Carnitas Uruapan the next time you’re in Pilsen, or make it your next gluten-free dining destination. Get extras and you’ll thank me later. I’ll be back, again and again!