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Actor Danny Trejo Brings His Tacos to a Chicago Ghost Kitchen

The “Machete” and “Spy Kids” star is expanding his culinary empire from LA to the Midwest

A burly man behind a bar smiling with a can of beer and glass of beer on the bar.
Danny Trejo has a culinary empire.
Trejo’s Cerveza/Larry Fink
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The pandemic suspension of indoor dining has allowed ghost kitchens with celebrity endorsers to haunt Chicago. Musicians and actors like Wiz Khalifa, Mario Lopez, and even the mayor of Flavortown himself — Guy Fieri — have used their names to sell chicken wings, rice bowls, and jalapeño poppers to Chicago residents. Another celebrity has entered the market: Actor Danny Trejo. Trejo, who opened a Mexican-American restaurant in 2016 in LA, has brought Trejo’s Tacos to a Loop ghost kitchen.

Trejo’s Tacos has also launched a ghost kitchen operation in Miami. Trejo, who has appeared in films like Spy Kids and Machete, has a taco cookbook, seven taquerias, a coffeeshop, a doughnut shop, and his own beer. He’s built a culinary empire selling the “LA lifestyle.” For Chicago customers, that means tacos, bowls, and burritos. Traditional steak and chicken fillings are available, but there’s also vegetarians options like jackfruit and cauliflower. There’s also a chicken tikka variety, further cementing the Indo-Mexican connection. Early risers may appreciate the breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, tater tots, and bean dip.

We’re bringing to the #midwest We’re so excited to announce our partnership with @kitchenunitedmix for the...

Posted by Trejo's Tacos on Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The actor’s restaurant is the latest addition to Kitchen United, the ghost kitchen inside a downtown space that formerly housed the Wells Street Market food hall. One of the kitchen’s draws is that customers can order from multiple vendors and get their food delivered all at once. Another new tenant is Camile Thai Kitchen, a chain from Irish businessman Brody Sweeney. The company is using ghost kitchens as its window to expansion in America. They brand themselves as “the fastest growing Thai restaurant chain in the U.K. & Ireland” while “taking great pride in being healthy with sustainability lens weaved through everything we do,” according to a news release. The menu is similar to many Thai restaurants that have been in America for decades with fried rice, noodles, and satay.

Chicago doesn’t have a shortage of chefs making Thai or Mexican food, so it’s curious to see Kitchen United look elsewhere to bring those cuisines under their roof. However, the new additions do provide balance to a lineup that includes puns like “Plant B” (vegetarian fast food) and “Bad Mutha Clucka” (fried chicken).

Trejo’s Tacos and Camile Thai are now open for pickup or delivery.

Trejo’s Tacos and Camile Thai Kitchen at Kitchen United, 205 W. Wacker Drive, order online for delivery or pickup.

Kitchen United

205 W Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606 Visit Website