Chilam Balam

3023 N Broadway
Chicago, IL


There is nothing particularly convenient about this spirited little Mexican BYO. It’s tucked into a cramped basement, takes no weekend reservations. But its constantly evolving small-plate menu has pluck to spare, using seasonal ingredients to obliterate stereotypes. Scallops are served with a sweet-corn sauce dappled with jots of charred eggplant and knob onions, pork ribs are slathered in a honey-pasilla sauce, and the tamales—no matter the flavor of the day—are first-rate. Excellent service and fine homemade hot chocolate to boot. Cash only.


Dishes We Liked

Pan-roasted Cornish hen ($14.25), grilled cobia ($14.95), young greens with roasted poblano dressing and candied pepitas ($8.95), seared scallops with sweet-corn sauce ($16.95), short-rib tamal with ancho sauce ($13.95), hibiscus flan with vanilla-lime swirl ice cream ($7.50)

Related Stories

Best Mexican Restaurants in Chicago November 2010

Best New Restaurants 2010 May 2010

Additional Information

Price: $10-$19
Cuisine: Mexican
Neighborhood: Lake View
Noteworthy: BYO (up to $5 corkage)
Child friendly
High noise level
Hours: D Tue-Sat.