With unique wooden cutouts lining the ceiling and orange brick-colored walls, this colorfully authentic diner gives off a friendly, warm vibe. Whether you grab a seat in one of the five puffy red booths located on the western wall or in one of the two half-booths on the eastern wall, you're guaranteed an unobstructed view of the kitchen, where you can watch your order get placed, prepped, cooked and arranged on the plate.
Despite offering plate-size burritos for only $4.25 ($4.75 for steak) and seafood dishes for under $8, this place doesn't skimp on quality or flavor. For such a small venue, the menu is fairly elaborate. Using both staple ingredients (chicken, spicy pork, steak, poblano peppers) and slightly less-common ones (cactus, pork skins, tongue, chitterlings) to prepare gorditas, pambaso (sort of Mexican sloppy joes), huaraches (sandal-shaped tortillas stuffed with beans and topped with salsa and meat), tacos, tortas, burritos or tlacoyos (fried, stuffed masa cakes) and a number of other dishes, diners certainly won't be complaining over a lack of options.
Though there are more than enough taquerias lining both the north and south sides of Lawrence Avenue in Albany Park, El Huarachin Huarachon easily offers the most dinner for your dinero. Though most meals feature some type of meat, there are also numerous vegetarian options, including the hefty vegetales a la Oriental dinner plate, which features cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, beans, rice and tortillas.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Zach Freeman