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A bowl of red pozole surrounded by plates of toppings.
Pozole is the perfect dish for wintry Chicago days.
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Where to Eat Pozole in Chicago

Originally a celebratory soup, this Mexican dish is available around town for all Chicagoans

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Pozole is the perfect dish for wintry Chicago days.
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In his Historia General de las Cosas de la Nueva Españaor the Florentine Codex as the document is officially known — Franciscan missionary Fray Bernardino de Sagahún describes a ceremonial soup made with carefully selected corn that was precooked to then be simmered in light water with slaked lime which allowed for the corn to fracture.

The meal was prepared as an offering to the Mexica deity of life, death, and rebirth; the god of spring and young maize: Xipe Totéc. The nobility, the governing elites, and fighting warriors were the only ones allowed to partake.

The religious ritual for Xipe Totéc lasted for days and reflected the importance of the agricultural cycle in Mexica life. The celebration featured a central act of gladiatorial sacrifice, as Mexicas believed precious human life offerings would help perpetuate the universe.

Many anthropologists contend that this soup was originally made with the meat of fallen soldiers, typically enjoyed during the last day of the festivities. As a sign of respect and gratitude, Emperor Moctezuma was served what was considered the prime cut—a right thigh.

Five hundred years later, modern-day pozole is often prepared for birthdays, patriotic festivities (which coincide with the harvest season), Mexican Christmas parties (known as posadas) and even funerals. Fundamentally, pozole is a flavorful broth with hominy and meat, which obtains its color from ingredients like chilis, herbs, and seeds. And while the dish continues to retain its celebratory personality, its execution is obviously very different from that of its predecessor.

Today, the broth soars with a fleet of fixings including cilantro, chopped onion, pork rinds, sliced radishes, and oregano. Lettuce or cabbage usually accompany pozole, along with tostadas. And while usually, pozole is on the milder side, its plating and accompaniment allow for a personalized heat level and texture ratios from powdered to whole-roasted chilis and salsas.

With a strong representation from the state of Guerrero, the epicenter of pozole know-how, and the cradle of Mexico’s flag, green, white, and red pozole are widely available in Chicago year-round. Other pozole variations like the Guanajuato-style green pozole (made with chicken instead of pork and with jalapeños and tomatillos instead of pumpkin seeds); the Morelense style, topped with a boiled egg, and even the hyperlocal pozole Mixteco with mole from the Huajuapan de León region in Oaxaca, are some of the choices that Chicagoans are lucky to have for a meal perfect for colder temperatures.

As of August 20, the city has mandated that everyone wear facial coverings while indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tamales Lo Mejor De Guerrero

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7024 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 338-6450
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Serving the Rogers Park community since 2007, as “the best of Guerrero,” it seems fitting that this destination for freshly made tamales from different Mexican regions serves one of Guerrero’s most cherished plates. Available in the traditional green, white, and red versions, try the green’s flavorful broth made with ingredients including poblano chilis and pepita seeds. Pulled meat (with pork or chicken) is a perfect vehicle to sop it up. Onion, oregano, chilies, pork rinds, avocado, and tostadas come with the dish. You may order from a few ounces to a gallon (or two) for parties.  Pozole is available only on the weekends.

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2. Pueblo Nuevo

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4342 N Central Ave
Chicago, IL 60634
(773) 283-8058

Lulú Álvarez and her husband Joaquín Lara have spent the last 11 years catering to Portage Park with a selection of Mexican street food staples from tacos and tortas to gorditas and pambazos. With their warm hospitality, curated menu, and a little bit of showmanship, it is easy to understand why their clients are so loyal. According to Álvarez, their clients visit from as far as California when they are in town. Pueblo Nuevo is a nod to a small city in Guanajuato, where green pozole is prepared with chicken and tomatillos instead of the pumpkin seeds found in its Guerrerense counterpart. Pozole is usually mild, and heat is adjusted with the chilies that come as garnishes. Save room for a pambazo or a tongue taco.

3. Pozolería el Mexicano

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5037 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60639
(773) 417-7309
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This Belmont-Cragin BYOB establishment opened its doors in August. The restaurant’s offerings already creating buzz include a Guerrero-style pozole with pork meat in the traditional green, white, and red. Also on the menu is a Morelos-style version with a boiled egg. The headliner — pozole Mixteco or mole pozole — a complex, hyperlocal version of pozole from the Huajuapan de León region of Oaxaca. This variation features chicken and a mole sauce made with nearly 20 ingredients. Its preparation entails a very complex and lengthy process, which according to one of the co-owners, Karla Rodríguez, takes about nine hours to complete. This pozole is served with crispy tostadas and sour cream. Pozole Mixteco is a rare dish that is difficult to find even in Mexico.

4. Pozoleria Iguala

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3835 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 697-9245
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Guerrero natives are so serious about their pozole that they even have a day dedicated to it —Thursdays. There are a few stories about the reason behind this tradition. One of them attributes its origin to an effort to feed an entire community and avoid wasting corn, while another one highlights a patriotic episode in the history of Mexico. Both tales illustrate the importance of pozole as a dish of community and identity.  And it is always Thursday at Pozolería Iguala, where green, red, and white pozole are served year-round. Guerrerenses insist that this pozole reminds them of home. Here, pozole is made with pork only, and garnishes include cabbage, lime, avocado, pork rinds, onion, sliced radishes, and tostadas. Taquitos are also available for purchase. Pozolería Iguala opened a second restaurant in March on South Kedzie.

5. El Habanero

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3300 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 227-9225
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At this Logan Square eatery, patrons can enjoy Guanajuato-style pozole. Tomatillo and jalapeños give color, flavor, and consistency to a broth topped with chicken, lettuce, chopped onion, oregano, and chilies. According to co-owner Lorena Ramírez, some of her clients (who hail from as far away as Wisconsin and Indiana) have learned how to eat Guerrero-style pozole and bring pork rinds to add to their food. 

For added posada vibes, the eatery will toast its clients with a cup of the holiday fruit drink known as ponche on December 23rd. El Habanero is cash only, but they do accept Zelle.

6. Pozoleria San Juan

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1523 N Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60651
(773) 276-5825
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Craving pozole at all hours of the night? No problem! This Humboldt Park favorite is open until 1 a.m. on most nights and is open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays. The self-proclaimed “house of pozole” has some serious word of mouth and brings in crowds from Chicagoland and beyond. The team prides itself in the quality of the ingredients they use to prepare their Guerrero-style pozole (green, white, and red), which they make from scratch.

7. 5 Rabanitos Restaurante & Taqueria

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1758 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 285-2710
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From southern Guerrero, chef and owner Alfonso Sotelo features two pozoles on this Pilsen eatery’s menu: the traditional green pozole made with pumpkin seeds and topped with pork or chicken and a red pozole made with Morita chilies and shrimp. Both options showcase this Tompolobampo and Xoco alumn’s heart for his hometown and leverage longtime family recipes.

8. Rubi’s Tacos

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1316 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608

Hailing from Guerrero, Mexico, and following their home state tradition, the Ramírez family follows a family recipe to bring to life their green and white pozole on Thursdays. Patrons can choose from chicken or pork options, and the accouterments are generous. Complete your order with the mildly spicy potato-stuffed taquitos, which are a delicacy in their own right. Rubi’s team is active on social media, with up-to-date information on their schedule and offerings. Pozole can be ordered starting on Mondays.

9. La Casa De Samuel

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2834 W Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60623
(773) 376-7474
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An established destination for authentic regional Mexican plates and featuring an array of seasonal celebratory dishes available year-round, chef Arturo Linares at La Casa de Samuel features green pozole with chicken during the week and with pork only on the weekends.  Chef Linares pays special attention to the quality of the ingredients and makes everything from scratch, and he recommends pairing pozole with mezcal. There’s also a location in suburban Waukegan.

10. Peke’s Pozole

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4720 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60632
(773) 801-1136
Visit Website

Born as a modest underground operation in the Macedo family living room, this Archer Heights pozole destination is always busy. The green, white, and red Guerrero-style pozole — available by the plate or by the gallon — follows traditional cooking techniques, including the use of slaked lime to cook the corn, which gives the hominy a soft and chewy consistency. Served with generous portions of avocado, pork rinds, radishes, cabbage, and oregano, the meal is topped with pulled meat, with the perfect consistency to enjoy with the broth. Prompt service and warm hospitality are even more impressive when you learn that the owner is only 19. Other regional offerings include pigs’ feet (by themselves or on tostadas).

1. Tamales Lo Mejor De Guerrero

7024 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60626
Google

Serving the Rogers Park community since 2007, as “the best of Guerrero,” it seems fitting that this destination for freshly made tamales from different Mexican regions serves one of Guerrero’s most cherished plates. Available in the traditional green, white, and red versions, try the green’s flavorful broth made with ingredients including poblano chilis and pepita seeds. Pulled meat (with pork or chicken) is a perfect vehicle to sop it up. Onion, oregano, chilies, pork rinds, avocado, and tostadas come with the dish. You may order from a few ounces to a gallon (or two) for parties.  Pozole is available only on the weekends.

7024 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60626

2. Pueblo Nuevo

4342 N Central Ave, Chicago, IL 60634

Lulú Álvarez and her husband Joaquín Lara have spent the last 11 years catering to Portage Park with a selection of Mexican street food staples from tacos and tortas to gorditas and pambazos. With their warm hospitality, curated menu, and a little bit of showmanship, it is easy to understand why their clients are so loyal. According to Álvarez, their clients visit from as far as California when they are in town. Pueblo Nuevo is a nod to a small city in Guanajuato, where green pozole is prepared with chicken and tomatillos instead of the pumpkin seeds found in its Guerrerense counterpart. Pozole is usually mild, and heat is adjusted with the chilies that come as garnishes. Save room for a pambazo or a tongue taco.

4342 N Central Ave
Chicago, IL 60634

3. Pozolería el Mexicano

5037 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60639

This Belmont-Cragin BYOB establishment opened its doors in August. The restaurant’s offerings already creating buzz include a Guerrero-style pozole with pork meat in the traditional green, white, and red. Also on the menu is a Morelos-style version with a boiled egg. The headliner — pozole Mixteco or mole pozole — a complex, hyperlocal version of pozole from the Huajuapan de León region of Oaxaca. This variation features chicken and a mole sauce made with nearly 20 ingredients. Its preparation entails a very complex and lengthy process, which according to one of the co-owners, Karla Rodríguez, takes about nine hours to complete. This pozole is served with crispy tostadas and sour cream. Pozole Mixteco is a rare dish that is difficult to find even in Mexico.

5037 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60639

4. Pozoleria Iguala

3835 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Guerrero natives are so serious about their pozole that they even have a day dedicated to it —Thursdays. There are a few stories about the reason behind this tradition. One of them attributes its origin to an effort to feed an entire community and avoid wasting corn, while another one highlights a patriotic episode in the history of Mexico. Both tales illustrate the importance of pozole as a dish of community and identity.  And it is always Thursday at Pozolería Iguala, where green, red, and white pozole are served year-round. Guerrerenses insist that this pozole reminds them of home. Here, pozole is made with pork only, and garnishes include cabbage, lime, avocado, pork rinds, onion, sliced radishes, and tostadas. Taquitos are also available for purchase. Pozolería Iguala opened a second restaurant in March on South Kedzie.

3835 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

5. El Habanero

3300 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

At this Logan Square eatery, patrons can enjoy Guanajuato-style pozole. Tomatillo and jalapeños give color, flavor, and consistency to a broth topped with chicken, lettuce, chopped onion, oregano, and chilies. According to co-owner Lorena Ramírez, some of her clients (who hail from as far away as Wisconsin and Indiana) have learned how to eat Guerrero-style pozole and bring pork rinds to add to their food. 

For added posada vibes, the eatery will toast its clients with a cup of the holiday fruit drink known as ponche on December 23rd. El Habanero is cash only, but they do accept Zelle.

3300 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

6. Pozoleria San Juan

1523 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60651

Craving pozole at all hours of the night? No problem! This Humboldt Park favorite is open until 1 a.m. on most nights and is open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays. The self-proclaimed “house of pozole” has some serious word of mouth and brings in crowds from Chicagoland and beyond. The team prides itself in the quality of the ingredients they use to prepare their Guerrero-style pozole (green, white, and red), which they make from scratch.

1523 N Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60651

7. 5 Rabanitos Restaurante & Taqueria

1758 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

From southern Guerrero, chef and owner Alfonso Sotelo features two pozoles on this Pilsen eatery’s menu: the traditional green pozole made with pumpkin seeds and topped with pork or chicken and a red pozole made with Morita chilies and shrimp. Both options showcase this Tompolobampo and Xoco alumn’s heart for his hometown and leverage longtime family recipes.

1758 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608

8. Rubi’s Tacos

1316 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Hailing from Guerrero, Mexico, and following their home state tradition, the Ramírez family follows a family recipe to bring to life their green and white pozole on Thursdays. Patrons can choose from chicken or pork options, and the accouterments are generous. Complete your order with the mildly spicy potato-stuffed taquitos, which are a delicacy in their own right. Rubi’s team is active on social media, with up-to-date information on their schedule and offerings. Pozole can be ordered starting on Mondays.

1316 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608

9. La Casa De Samuel

2834 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60623

An established destination for authentic regional Mexican plates and featuring an array of seasonal celebratory dishes available year-round, chef Arturo Linares at La Casa de Samuel features green pozole with chicken during the week and with pork only on the weekends.  Chef Linares pays special attention to the quality of the ingredients and makes everything from scratch, and he recommends pairing pozole with mezcal. There’s also a location in suburban Waukegan.

2834 W Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60623

10. Peke’s Pozole

4720 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60632

Born as a modest underground operation in the Macedo family living room, this Archer Heights pozole destination is always busy. The green, white, and red Guerrero-style pozole — available by the plate or by the gallon — follows traditional cooking techniques, including the use of slaked lime to cook the corn, which gives the hominy a soft and chewy consistency. Served with generous portions of avocado, pork rinds, radishes, cabbage, and oregano, the meal is topped with pulled meat, with the perfect consistency to enjoy with the broth. Prompt service and warm hospitality are even more impressive when you learn that the owner is only 19. Other regional offerings include pigs’ feet (by themselves or on tostadas).

4720 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60632

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