The 8 Best Nachos In Chicago
If America is a melting pot then nachos are uniquely American, combining the foundation of Mexican cuisine with a little Texas twist and a lot of American gluttony. No wonder nachos are a fixture at sports bar, upscale gastropubs, neighborhood diners and even your occasional taqueria. With only a foundation of totopos, you can add anything atop them and feed an army. (Or a couple large men wearing tight-fitting football jerseys.)
We love a good pile of nachos as much as anyone and these eight were culled from both staff and reader suggestions on the Chicagoist Facebook page. As always, we encourage discussion with these lists; leave your picks in the comments here, on Twitter and Facebook.
This West Town tavern has an amazing food menu that perfectly complements their extensive cocktail, beer and spirits lists. The Brazilian Nachos are a study in gluttony with slow-roasted pork shoulder, Brazilian black beans, aged white cheddar and Chihuahua cheeses, pico de gallo, onion confit, jalapenos, avocado puree and a chipotle-lime sauce stacked atop a bed of tortilla chips and lettuce. —Chuck Sudo
Old Fifth is located at 1027 W. Madison St.
Helmet Nachos at US Cellular Field
Are there any nachos better than stadium nachos? The answer is no. Come for the sports, stay for the nachos with that bright orange creamy cheese that you know isn’t real cheese but don’t care because it is delicious. At the home of the White Sox, though, you can get your nachos in a full size helmet with your pick of meat (beef barbacoa, pork barbacoa or chicken carnitas). Then load it up with your choice of tomatoes, lettuce, shredded cheese, onions, black olives, jalapenos, sour cream and guac. These nachos are so outstanding, they even have their own Yelp page. — Michelle Meywes
Helmet nachos are available at the Tex Mex stands inside US Cellular Field in sections 111, 124, 153, 524, 533 and 544. (333 W 35th St.)
Little Goat Diner's Machos Nachos. (Photo via Little Goat Diner's Facebook page.)
Machos Nachos at Little Goat
I’ll be honest. I don’t usually eat nachos unless I’m at a baseball game. I was convinced to order Little Goat’s Machos Nachos after a strong recommendation from a foodie friend and at the urging of our waiter. What my table got was the best version of this sports bar staple I’ve ever had. They’re not made with particularly unique fixings; they’re just assembled with fresh house made ingredients that most yellow-cheese nachos lack. Barbeque pulled pork, pickled peppers, fresh avocado and sour cream top a huge pile of addictive house-made chips. And while the size of this appetizer makes it necessary to share, you’ll probably fight over who gets that last, fully loaded chip. — Gina Provenzano
Little Goat Diner is located at 820 W. Randolph St.
Fear not, vegetarians and vegans! Native Foods is here to make sure you don’t have to go nacho-less just because you abstain from meat and dairy. A long-time staple on the menu at all Native Foods locations, the Native Nachos appetizer starts with a bed of crunchy corn tortilla chips made right in house. The chips are then piled high with whole black beans, fresh guacamole, salsa fresca, vegan taco meat and cheese (both optional), roasted corn, and jalapeno peppers. Oh, and let’s not forget the wildly addicting chipotle mayo. Vegans and non-vegans alike go nuts for this stuff, so it’s lucky that the generous portions make sharing easy. — Carrie Laski
Native Foods Cafe has five locations in Chicago.
Pork Nacho Pizza at Dimo’s
You know those days when you can’t decide how to get cheesed-beyond-your-means? You know you have a craving for the queso, but you’re unsure which carbohydrate shall be your vehicle to paradise. On one hand, you have tortilla chips smothered to stupidity in melted cheese in nacho land then you have pizza, another American-bastardized version of ethnic cuisine. Put those two together and opt for both. Aside from their equally carb-coma-inducing mac n’ cheese pizza, this is the star slice of the pizza-making deviants over at Dimo’s. Their crisp and chewy crust is piled with tortilla chips, pico de gallo, cheddar, seasonal salsa roja and pulled pork. It’s always a prime slice. (A little advice from a Dimo’s regular: the nacho pizza is best eaten in house, as it doesn’t stand up well to delivery. Also, I strongly believe that the Wrigleyville Dimo’s is slinging better pies.) — Erika Kubick
Dimo’s Pizza is located at 3463 N. Clark St. and 1615 N. Damen Ave.
Pot roast nachos from DItka's. (Photo via Ditka's Chicagoland Facebook page.)
Ditka’s Pot Roast Nachos
Love him or hate him, “Da Coach” knows how to enjoy his food. As a restaurateur, Mike Ditka has been making a mint off Bears fans for nearly 30 years at his restaurants with a caveman diet of pork chops, steaks, burgers and anything that can be killed and grilled. The pot roast nachos at his restaurants are always a popular menu item and worth ordering. If you don’t want to give Ditka any of your money, you can always recreate his pot roast nachos at home with the recipe here. —Chuck Sudo
Ditka’s is located at 100 E. Chestnut, with suburban locations in Arlington Heights and Oakbrook Terrace.
Nachos con Carne at Taqueria Moran
I feel a little guilty ordering something so "Tex-Mex" at an authentic Mexican taqueria, but authentic ingredients lead to great nachos. The Nachos con Carne with carne asada include fresh, crispy tortilla chips, diced grilled carne asada—same as you'd get in their standout tacos—along with refried beans, diced tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, melted Mexican cheese, and crema. Douse the plate with their spicy tomatillo salsa and dig in! — Benjy Lipsman
Taqueria Moran is located at 2226 N. California Ave.
Four Moon Tavern
The nachos at this Roscoe Village joint are worth the indigestion that may ensue after eating them. Chips are topped with veggie chili, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, cilantro and jalapenos. If you want some added heft to the mountainous order, add chicken or steak. These nachos come in small and large servings but the small should be enough for two people, unless you’re a stunt eater. —Chuck Sudo
Four Moon Tavern is located at 1847 W. Roscoe St.