If you haven’t found your favorite neighborhood authentic Mexican eatery, it’s because you haven’t yet been to Kokopelli’s. Nestled on Milwaukee Avenue, Kokopelli’s is welcoming – semi-casual and unassuming. From their beginnings in Tijuana as a thriving food truck business, they chose Chicago as their first North American location, fitting well into Wicker Park with its varied ambience, art and menu options. The creative lighting manages to highlight the giant, original chalkboard murals and the beautiful hardwood floors throughout…not to mention the vast tequila bar serving over 40 high-end tequilas plus whiskeys, bourbons and creative signature drinks.
They have much more to offer and tacos is just the beginning – Everything is made in-house with local ingredients – from the tortillas to the salsas, guacs and chips, the freshness makes all the difference! Going with the recommendations of our most-helpful waitress, we started with the Sun-Lime Ceviche as an app along with what was easily one of the best margaritas I have ever had: The Pepina Picante! The perfect blend of spice and fruit coupled with enough chile-infused tequila is guaranteed to turn even the worst day into “el dia del partido!”
Choosing three tacos was not easy as each of the dozen or so options carry their own unique appeal. The “Jicama Shrimp” with grilled pineapple and espuma de mar salsa was the perfect blend of spice and sweet. Kokopelli’s signature taco, “Kraken,” combines grilled octopus marinated in a Mexican pesto with pickled onions and castigo Azteca salsa…an intermingling of tastes that my palette had never before experienced…but will again, for sure! Lastly, I went for my personal favorite, “Steak a las Brasas,” which contains grilled rib-eye marinated in cilantro chimichurri topped with a salsa verde….Kokopelli’s manages to put their own distinctive brand on everything they serve so the cactus-leaf salad was a unique change which, coupled with the high-grade beef, definitely made this more than your average steak taco.
Kokopelli’s stays true to their Baja roots offering great quality Mexican food. It’s nothing fancy – all authentic therefore, even if it wasn’t near my favorite local Wicker Park bars, I’d still make the trip to visit Kokopelli’s again… “Una mas Pepina Picante, por favor!”