Restaurant Reco: Barcocina

One great thing about living in Chicago is that each neighborhood has its own flavor. Wicker Park is distinctly different from Lincoln Park which is distinctly different from Wrigleyville. The diversity within the Chicago landscape is what makes it such an awesome city to live in, and also gives people some great restaurant options. I reside in the Lakeview East neighborhood. We have some incredible restaurants along Broadway, anywhere from a micro-brewery to an authentic Chinese noodle shop.

One of my go-to taco and margarita places in the area is Barcocina. This specific block was in need of a non-bar restaurant, and Barcocina not only has delicious modern Mexican food, but also has a great ambience and a huge outdoor patio, equipped with fire pits, couches, and an outdoor bar. I have been to this restaurant upwards of 7 times since moving to Chicago, which I think says a lot about the food. Here’s a little recap of the plates and drinks from a recent experience at Barcocina.

mango habañero margarita | blue crab guacamole

Barcocina has an interesting array of appetizers and shared plates (and tacos of course). It really isn’t traditional Mexican food. I would call it “adopted” Mexican food- different types of food but prepared in a Mexican-esque style. They have a Thai quesadilla currently on the menu, among other interesting flavor combinations. Last time that I was there, my friends and I shared the Blue Crab Guacamole, which is their house guacamole topped with a mound of fresh blue crab & friseè. I actually prefer their normal guacamole because I think it has a little more flavor (it’s topped with a balsamic glaze), but this was a nice change-up. The Habeñero Marg was very spicy and delicious. I am a huge fan of spicy cocktails, and the sweet of the mango really balanced out the hot pepper kick.

tacos: ahi tuna | korean short rib | greek chicken

For tacos, they typically have 12 different options on the menu, all very unique and delicious. We enjoyed three types of tacos, all from different regions of the world. The ahi tuna tacos are in a crunchy rice shell, filled with freshly cut ahi tuna, spicy mayo, and avocado. It’s a really fun spin on Mexican-Asian fusion. The greek chicken tacos taste like a delicious gyro wrapped up in a tortilla. The salty feta and flavorful chicken are a perfect match for the soft flour tortilla. The korean short rib was super delicious. They pack a huge flavor punch of traditional Korean flavors (umami and all), and are topped with colorful carrots, daikon, and kimchi. I always urge myself to try a new dish when I go, because they’re always changing up the menu and keeping frequent goers like myself on their toes. Whats the most interesting taco you have tried?


P.S. For all of you foodies out there, what is the trick on taking good pictures of food in a dimly lit restaurant? Or good food pictures in general? I’m still learning the ropes of foodie photography, but I’m struggling to get it just right. Would love any and all advice from other peeps out there! 


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