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Little Goat's "Machos Nachos"
Little Goat's "Machos Nachos"
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17 of the Best Nachos in Chicago, Mapped

Don't settle for boring and soggy chips and cheese

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Little Goat's "Machos Nachos"
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Anyone who doesn't love nachos is probably "nacho" friend. And perhaps anyone that doesn't love cheesy jokes is in the same boat — maybe. Often reserved as an appetizer to hold you and your friends over until the main attraction arrives, nachos have grown into an attraction of their own.

Chefs and restaurateurs alike have taken notice of the rising popularity of this shareable and very social dish. Chips, cheese, and jalapenos were often the mainstay of this well-liked platter for ages, but as popularity grew, so has an interest in some more unique toppings. So grab some friends and check these places out, which are presented in alphabetical order.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Benchmark

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Head over to Old Town for some slightly different flavors when it comes to nachos. The bar's signature barbacoa – slow cooked beef – nachos are dressed with pico de gallo, fresh Chihuahua cheese and salsa rojo. It’s a great way to start your meal with your friends if you plan to share a laugh at the nearby Second City.

Courtesy of Benchmark

Bridgeport Yogurt & Café

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Minimalists rejoice. In true South Side fashion, nachos at this Bridgeport favorite are simple, very simple. Bulk, unbranded tortilla chips are slathered in jalapeno-flavored nacho cheese and topped with – you guessed it – pickled jalapenos. These are the safest, most basic nachos on either side of the city, but a true favorite and a friendly reminder of the nachos you may have grown up with.

Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe

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After spending many years under Chicago culinary titan Rick Bayless, chef Chuck Pines expanded his knowledge and skill into southern comfort barbecue in the southwest suburb of Burbank. Hand-cut tortilla chips are not only covered in jack and cheddar cheeses, but also drenched in homemade BBQ sauce and topped with his famous smoked pulled pork. It’s a nice sample of what the restaurant has to offer, and definitely a meal in itself.

Diamante Azul

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This Andersonville favorite serves up true Mexican-style nachos. A popular place among the locals, Diamante Azul keeps it simple and delicious without the need of fancy ingredients. Almost in the style of a deconstructed taco – you get tostada chips topped with pico de gallo, beans, sour cream, guacamole and lettuce, along with your choice meat.

Ditka's

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Da Coach knows what’s up downtown. Though Ditka’s is mostly known for its steaks and chops, people have taken notice of the pot roast nachos, which have been surging in popularity. Tortilla chips are covered with cheddar-jack cheese and pork pot roast, and then finished off in the oven. A hefty meal fit for any lineman.

El Taco Azteca

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Little Village is arguably Chicago's mecca of Mexican food. Not only that, it’s where you can let your imagination with nachos run wild. At El Taco Azteca, they will make your nachos any way you want it. There are no rules or guidelines to follow. Whatever they have, whatever you want – just dump it all on. The only boundary is your creativity.

Federales

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Fulton Market is usually reserved for haute cuisine, which Federales isn't. But the Mexican-themed party bar elevates its nachos with green chili brisket. Along with what the name suggests, your nachos are also greeted with pickled onions, sour cream and guacamole. A real treat for the nacho enthusiast.

Guaranteed Rate Field (Formerly U.S. Cellular Field)

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Yes, a bit unconventional suggesting you head over to The Rate this coming season to enjoy some nachos — but you’ll be glad you did. Formally known as U.S. Cellular Field, the home of the White Sox has a longstanding reputation of providing the fans with some of the best and most unique food of any ballpark in the U.S. You build your own nachos, fill them up in a plastic replica Sox helmet, and enjoy.

Half Acre Beer Company

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Head over to Half Acre’s bustling taproom in North Center for not only some of the best beer in town, but also some of the best nachos in the city. Half Acre takes the unique route and goes with chorizo and pickled carrots — along with its signature "science" cheese — on its uber-popular nachos.

Little Goat Diner

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Stephanie Izard has her hand in a lot of things, and nachos are no exception. Her Randolph Row diner has a variety of dishes worth talking about, including the "Macho Nachos." Barbecue pork, house-made chips, pickled peppers, and the list goes on and on as it’s all piled on and waiting for you and your friends to dive in.

Seoul Taco

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These are probably the most daring nachos on the list, coming from a St. Louis-imported fusion spot in River North. What makes them so daring you ask? It's the kimchi and roasted sesame seeds — somewhat off the grid in the land of nachos — plus queso blanco and green onion.

The Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen

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The Scout, the South Loop sports bar, is doing many things right with nachos. You get your choice of pulled chicken or short rib on top of a pile of nachos classically dressed with cheese, salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Fit for the hungriest fan.

Smoke Daddy

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Satisfy a barbecue nacho craving fix in Wicker Park at Smoke Daddy. Like many places, you take what you do really well, in this case smoked meats, and toss them onto some tortilla chips with all the fixings. It’s a great way to get a preview of the main courses to come.

Taquería Moran

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Great Mexican-style nachos are plentiful in Logan Square, but Taqueria Moran may be the most popular. Chopped, char-grilled steak top off its nachos, alongside guacamole and tomatoes. Part salad, part nachos, but all delicious. Get a small for one or a large to share with friends.

Timothy O'Toole's Chicago

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This River East Irish bar is the place for some of the best chili nachos around. Upgrade to pulled pork nachos that feature their signature beer cheese fondue, or ask for the nachos “Irish-style,” in which you get nacho-style fries instead of chips.

Twisted Spoke

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Get some of Chicago's most unique nachos at the biker-themed bar and eatery near the United Center. Sriracha aioli, cilantro, barbecue pork, fried onion strings and gooey, melted gouda cheese encompass the Spoke's version.

Zacatacos

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This South Side legendary taco joint is famous for its tacos that you can smell as you pull up. But if you’re not in the mood for tacos, its nachos are a perfect alternative. It’s the classic Mexican-style nachos – chips, cheese, grilled steak, refried beans and whatever else you’d like on top. Order it as is, or channel your inner chef and create something unique.

Benchmark

Courtesy of Benchmark

Head over to Old Town for some slightly different flavors when it comes to nachos. The bar's signature barbacoa – slow cooked beef – nachos are dressed with pico de gallo, fresh Chihuahua cheese and salsa rojo. It’s a great way to start your meal with your friends if you plan to share a laugh at the nearby Second City.

Courtesy of Benchmark

Bridgeport Yogurt & Café

Minimalists rejoice. In true South Side fashion, nachos at this Bridgeport favorite are simple, very simple. Bulk, unbranded tortilla chips are slathered in jalapeno-flavored nacho cheese and topped with – you guessed it – pickled jalapenos. These are the safest, most basic nachos on either side of the city, but a true favorite and a friendly reminder of the nachos you may have grown up with.

Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe

After spending many years under Chicago culinary titan Rick Bayless, chef Chuck Pines expanded his knowledge and skill into southern comfort barbecue in the southwest suburb of Burbank. Hand-cut tortilla chips are not only covered in jack and cheddar cheeses, but also drenched in homemade BBQ sauce and topped with his famous smoked pulled pork. It’s a nice sample of what the restaurant has to offer, and definitely a meal in itself.

Diamante Azul

This Andersonville favorite serves up true Mexican-style nachos. A popular place among the locals, Diamante Azul keeps it simple and delicious without the need of fancy ingredients. Almost in the style of a deconstructed taco – you get tostada chips topped with pico de gallo, beans, sour cream, guacamole and lettuce, along with your choice meat.

Ditka's

Da Coach knows what’s up downtown. Though Ditka’s is mostly known for its steaks and chops, people have taken notice of the pot roast nachos, which have been surging in popularity. Tortilla chips are covered with cheddar-jack cheese and pork pot roast, and then finished off in the oven. A hefty meal fit for any lineman.

El Taco Azteca

Little Village is arguably Chicago's mecca of Mexican food. Not only that, it’s where you can let your imagination with nachos run wild. At El Taco Azteca, they will make your nachos any way you want it. There are no rules or guidelines to follow. Whatever they have, whatever you want – just dump it all on. The only boundary is your creativity.

Federales

Fulton Market is usually reserved for haute cuisine, which Federales isn't. But the Mexican-themed party bar elevates its nachos with green chili brisket. Along with what the name suggests, your nachos are also greeted with pickled onions, sour cream and guacamole. A real treat for the nacho enthusiast.

Guaranteed Rate Field (Formerly U.S. Cellular Field)

Yes, a bit unconventional suggesting you head over to The Rate this coming season to enjoy some nachos — but you’ll be glad you did. Formally known as U.S. Cellular Field, the home of the White Sox has a longstanding reputation of providing the fans with some of the best and most unique food of any ballpark in the U.S. You build your own nachos, fill them up in a plastic replica Sox helmet, and enjoy.

Half Acre Beer Company

Head over to Half Acre’s bustling taproom in North Center for not only some of the best beer in town, but also some of the best nachos in the city. Half Acre takes the unique route and goes with chorizo and pickled carrots — along with its signature "science" cheese — on its uber-popular nachos.

Little Goat Diner

Stephanie Izard has her hand in a lot of things, and nachos are no exception. Her Randolph Row diner has a variety of dishes worth talking about, including the "Macho Nachos." Barbecue pork, house-made chips, pickled peppers, and the list goes on and on as it’s all piled on and waiting for you and your friends to dive in.

Seoul Taco

These are probably the most daring nachos on the list, coming from a St. Louis-imported fusion spot in River North. What makes them so daring you ask? It's the kimchi and roasted sesame seeds — somewhat off the grid in the land of nachos — plus queso blanco and green onion.