By Anthony Todd

Move over, Rick Bayless—there’s some new Michelin-starred Mexican food in town. Mexique, helmed by Chef Carlos Gaytan, has been getting rave reviews since it opened in 2008. It was named one of Chicago Magazine’s best new restaurants that year, and it just keeps getting better and better. Finally, in 2012, it won its first Michelin star. In this quiet storefront on West Chicago, diners experience some of the best the city has to offer, with dishes like hibiscus-braised pork belly, stuffed poblano chiles with tomato fondue, and coffee braised lamb shoulder. The restaurant combines classic French techniques with Mexican flavors and ingredients, but this isn’t tired “fusion”—it’s the best of both worlds.

the crowd

Neighborhood regulars, couples on romantic dates, and groups of foodies looking for a new discovery all mingle together—there’s something for everyone here.

... on the side

imperial cuisine
So what keeps Mexisque from being just some boring modern fusion restaurant? Remember, France occupied large parts of Mexico in the mid-19th century, and their cooking techniques had a lasting influence. Chef Gaytan was inspired by the combination of cultures when he creates his menu.

on the stereo
The perfect mix of American jazz and Mexican tunes keeps the atmosphere romantic and classy while reminding diners that this isn’t any old neighborhood bistro.



lunch: Tue–Fri 11AM–3 PM
dinner: Tue–Thu 5 PM–10 PM; Fri–Sat 5 PM–11 PM; Sun 5 PM–9 PM
brunch: Sat 10 AM–3 PM; Sun 9 AM–3 PM
Closed Monday

price range

$6.95 (French onion soup) to $28.95 (pato al tamarindo)