Taqueria La Oaxaquena

The red snapper looked good, but it wasn't.

The red snapper looked good, but it wasn't.

Tammy and I had a hankering for Mexican food last week, so we joined friends for dinner at Taqueria La Oaxaquena.

Heavy plastic covers the bright fabric tablecloths there and the chairs have seen better days, but overall the space is pleasant. The dining room is bigger than many local restaurants and that makes for easier access, which I like. The staff (most of whom are native Spanish speakers) was attentive, and our waitress knew the menu well. Unfortunately, the food wasn’t very good.

Taqueria La Oaxaquena is supposedly known for its mole sauce, and Tammy’s Enchiladas Oaxaquenas en Mole were the best thing on the table. That dish overshadowed the other entrees, a trio of homemade salsas, and my favorite standby –- the guacamole. Still, that’s not saying much. There are certainly better places in town for mole. Mixtexo Grill comes readily to mind — the food there is roughly the same price and three-times the quality.

The other entree worth mentioning is the Huachinango Con Mariscos – an entire red snapper, complete with head and tail fins. A striking dish that drew “ooos” and “ahhs” from diners at neighboring tables, it too fell woefully short on taste. It was bland, overcooked, and disappointing like the rest of the meal. I was especially disappointed because I’d read rave reviews of this place on the Web. Were we eating at the wrong restaurant? Perhaps this is a recent fall from grace? I wonder.

Taqueria La Oaxaquena did exceed expectations when it was time for dessert. The tres leches cake was one of the best I’ve tried this summer. And I would know since I’ve recently had tres leches at Mixteco Grill and Cafe Selmarie.

I’d go back to La Oaxaquena only if I happened to be in the neighborhood. I wouldn’t make a point of it.

Taqueria La Oaxaquena
3382 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 545-8585
Get directions

Bridget’s Taqueria La Oaxaquena Ratings Tammy’s Taqueria La Oaxaquena Ratings
Food Quality 2 2
Value 2 2
Service 3 2
Ambiance 2 3
Overall 3 4

Average price per person: $25

We had two orders of guacamole.

We had two orders of guacamole.