Eat cheap at Abuelo’s

Abuelo's Mexican Grill | Chips & Guacamole

Fresh chips, but too much acid in the guac.

Abuelo’s Mexican Grill is conveniently located under the Damen-Cermak Pink Line stop, which was the biggest draw when I was on the hunt for a quick and cheap meal with friends. It’s a cute spot with walls covered by album and National Geographic covers, kitsch-y Christmas lights, and sun-faded caricature table toppers. Soccer matches play on two large, flat-screened TV’s, which are at least a decade newer than anything else in the place.

Abuelo's Tacos

Fresh ingredients, light on flavor.

We started with an order of guacamole. The basket arrived promptly and was overflowing with freshly made chips. The guacamole? It was equally fresh and plentiful, but was bland and tasted like someone had mixed in too many lemons in an attempt at zing. The guac went untouched after a couple of bites.

The tacos we ordered followed the same pattern — lots of fresh ingredients but no depth of flavor. After a disappointing taste of the bottled salsas, we decided to stick with the blandness. The shrimp burrito was a different story. It had evenly distributed cheese and beans, and every bite was a nice combination of crunch and shrimp. It was very tasty and the highlight of the meal.

Abuelo's Mexican Grill | Shrimp Burrito

Burritos are a better bet.

If you happen to be at that L stop and don’t feel like trekking over to 18th, Abuelo’s is decent. We paid less than $10 apiece for an ala carte meal that didn’t wow anyone but did manage to fill us up. The only over-priced items? The $1.50 Diet Cokes.

I’m always on the look-out for recommendations in Pilsen, so please leave a comment or send a message via Twitter if you have recommendations.

Abuelo's Abuelo’s Mexican Grill
2007 South Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60608-2624
(312) 733-0329

  1. Raul left a comment on January 21, 2011 at 7:08 am

    The best idea when going to Abuelo’s is to order tapas style. You get more variety by ordering an assortment of tacos, sopes, flautas, etc. They are all fresh and tasty. Fish tacos are the best!! You forgot to mention, IT’S BYOB!!

  2. Tammy left a comment on January 21, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Had the fish taco and thought it was bland. We ordered almost all the tacos here, so felt we gave those a fair try. Based on the burrito experience, I’m willing to order other things if it so happens I’m there.

  3. Mattsland left a comment on January 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    @ChicagoBites Abuelo’s is amazing. Chorizo tortas, shrimp tacos, dulce de leche mousse cups…

  4. ChicagoBites left a comment on January 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    @Mattsland Maybe we missed the amazing side of the menu @ Abuelo’s. The tacos were kinda bland, although the burrito was yummy.

  5. Mattsland left a comment on January 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    @ChicagoBites Shrimp, fish and al pastor tacos are best. Also, herb-infused waters and gigantasaurus tortas.

  6. Diana left a comment on January 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Bland? That’s a shame. I guess the name of the place is misleading as I was imagining a Mexican grandmother in the kitchen pouring in a lot of pride and love into her food. There’s definitely no pride (nor love) in bottled salsa!

  7. Tammy left a comment on January 21, 2011 at 9:14 am

    To be clear, the squeeze bottles were filled in-house so I think whoever is grandpa makes the salsa.

  8. Michelle_ReneeS left a comment on January 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    @ChicagoBites Have a favorite Chicago club? Bartender? Beer?Cocktail? Event? Tell me about it!

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