Mercadito Chicago

30s / 40s / Affluent / Bachelorette Parties / Bar / Brunch / Chic / Couples / DJ / EDM / Dancing / Dinner / Finance Types / Hip-Hop / Laid back / Locals / Lounge / Lunch / Margaritas / Mexican Food / Mexican Restaurant / Mid 20s / Regulars / Salsa Dancing / Specialty Cocktails / Tequila / Top 40 / Trendy Crowd / Upscale
Mercadito Chicago Located in upscale River North, the Chicago outpost of the Mercadito chain is a top spot with affluent locals and trendy couples in the mood for intricate Mexican fare and more than one hundred varieties of tequila. Chicago United States 41.88926 -87.631593
3.95 8
Mercadito Chicago - Bar | Lounge | Mexican Restaurant in Chicago.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Located in upscale River North, the Chicago outpost of the Mercadito chain is a top spot with affluent locals and trendy couples in the mood for intricate Mexican fare and more than one hundred varieties of tequila. Well... ... read full review

  • Train:

    Brown, Purple Express Lines: Merchandise Mart; Red Line: Grand

  • Phone:

    312-329-9555

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Brunch: Sa 11:30am–3pm, Su 11:30am–4pm
    Lunch: M–F 11:30am–3pm
    Dinner: Su–M 5pm–midnight, Tu–Th 5pm–1am, F 5pm–2am, Sa 5pm–3am

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Mercadito Chicago Review

The Scene

Located in upscale River North, the Chicago outpost of the Mercadito chain is a top spot with affluent locals and trendy couples in the mood for intricate Mexican fare and more than one hundred varieties of tequila.

Located in upscale River North, the Chicago outpost of the Mercadito chain is a top spot with affluent locals and trendy couples in the mood for intricate Mexican fare and more than one hundred varieties of tequila.

Well-dressed finance types and chic party girls stop in to chill out over a relaxed meal and a shot of Don Julio at both lunch and dinner, or settle in for a full night of fresh fruit margaritas and a festive atmosphere.

Sweeping Aztec murals, colorful wall hangings, and hand-woven basket shades create a south-of-the-border backdrop for weekday patrons sipping mixed drinks at the bar or digging into their tacos in the booths, while bachelorettes and girlfriends take over a small elevated area to lounge on cushions and indulge in a private cocktail party.

The scene changes a bit after 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, when DJs spinning Top 40, salsa, dance, and hip-hop turn the restaurant into a hopping lounge where quieter conversation gives way to a cacophony of music and clinking glasses.

The name means "flea market" in Spanish, but there's no need to scrounge for hidden treasures here; with its pretty patrons, upscale eats, and tequila-fueled energy, Mercadito makes sure everyone finds exactly what they're looking for.

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Tip from Adriana:

After dinner, head to Double A, an intimate, 60 person lounge located directly below Mercadito. The lounge is based on an open concept, where bartenders interact with patrons and mix drinks right by your table. Because of its size, however, reservations are strongly recommended.

  • Crowd

    Party girls, wealthy finance types, bachelorettes, local residents, young hip couples, and groups of trendy girlfriends, mid-20s to 40s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    DJ spins Friday and Saturday nights after 10pm and during Saturday brunch.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Sharable plates of Mexican fare including tacos, ceviche, guacamole, and salsa. Cooking demos once a month; call venue for schedule. Delivery available.

  • Prices

    Brunch menu $12–$15, tacos, ceviche, and small plates $9.50–$15.50, entrées $22.50–$34, all-you-can-eat taco special $23 after 10/11pm. Cooking demo dinners $55/person.

    Beer $5–$6, wine $8–$14/glass or $27–$64/bottle, tequila $7–$65, specialty margaritas and cocktails $7–$14, build-your-own Bloody Mary and mimosa bottles $80–$500.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Smart casual to dressy: suits, slacks, collared shirts, button-downs, nice skirts, blouses, short black cocktail dresses.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Fridays and Saturdays for the late-night dinner scene, though reservations are strongly encouraged.

  • Close By

    Crimson Lounge (333 North Dearborn Street) offers upscale cocktails and a lavish décor.

Mercadito Chicago User Reviews

Average rating:
Fun and open environment for friends
Terrence C. Apr 8, 2013
In a meats and potatoes kind of town, Mercadito complements Chicago’s restaurant scene with its fresh and tasty take on tacos. From the usual suspects of steak and chicken tacos to the more untraditional of beer battered mahi mahi and octopus tacos, Mercadito certainly appeals to the more adventurous of palates. Waiters seem to be taco aficionados, so feel free to take a risk and take their suggestions. At $15.50 per an order tacos are served in four per, so if you’re dining with friends, be sure to order different tacos, so you can all share and taste test the others. Entrees are on average $15 to $20. Of course, Mercadito sports an impressive tequila bar and menu, so tap off your meal with a tequila cocktail. I recommend the restaurant’s traditional tequila margarita. It’s a classic choice that will get the job done. With an open floor plan of seating, Mercadito is not the best choice for a date night or if you’re seeking a more intimate dining experience. However, the space is great for a girl’s night out or dinner with friends. Be sure to stop by the restaurant’s downstairs tequila bar, Double A, which features a host of signature tequila custom cocktails as well as live Dj sets. And it’s free to get in, which is always a plus.
Fancy/traditional tapas
Craig B. Dec 10, 2012
Mercadito manages to toe the line between upscale tapas and traditional Latin fare, and it's tough. The plates don't come cheap and the specialty drinks range considerably. But even if you stay on the lower end, your taste buds are guaranteed to dance in excitement. A single taco can be spicy and sweet at the same time, and when you wash it down with own of their custom margaritas you'll find that you're at once satisfied and ready for the next bite. So that's the good. On the flip side of the coin, you're going to be surrounded by party girls and the music, though quite loud, isn't enough to drown them out. But if you're able to save up enough for a night to splurge, this is a great destination. Just bring some ear plugs or have a few drinks elsewhere to make the cackling of the drama queens bearable.
Really great food but quite pricey
Christina W. Dec 9, 2012
I really enjoyed this place, but unfortunately it's not somewhere I will visit very often. The prices are just more than I can handle on a regular basis. That being said, the food is really delicious. I didn't try the ceviche (a mistake I won't make next time), but the variety of guacamoles and salsas was delectable, the tacos were to die for, and even the side of beans was better than I've had at any Mexican restaurant. Oftentimes, upscale Mexican restaurants with prices like these are not actually as authentic as they sound, but this place certainly had the authenticity down. They don't skimp on the spice, and that's how it should be. The margaritas here are also great. There are at least 20 kind so margaritas and tons of tequilas. I had a cucumber margarita that blew my mind. So if you're looking for a fancy night out, this is definitely a place to go.
Excellent food, good people, great vibes.
Jaime S. Oct 9, 2012
The key to a perfect night out in Chicago is to start the night with a perfect dinner. Recently, I had what i consider to be a very successful night out in Chicago. Heading to West Kinzie street, I knew right where i was going. Strolling up to the restaurant you see a relaxed outdoor setting with quiet and intimate seating. The perfect location for a romantic dinner for two. However, this particular night I was with a group of five great friends. Translation: good company always means a good night out but five girls in a quiet setting is not going to work. Knowing outdoor seating would not work on this night, we headed inside. The outdoor vibe as different from the indoor vibe as peanut butter is from jelly but nonetheless going together perfectly, we knew we came to the right place. With music bumping (but not to loudly), dim lighting (but not to dark), and a vibrant group of people, the inside has a club like vibe that is made for dining before a night on the town. With bar seating, high seating, and low seating, you are given your fair number of choices on what kind of table and seating you want for your dinner. We chose low seating right next to the large windows overlooking Kinzie Street. Already feeling like my night was a hit, I had no idea it was about to get ten times better once the food arrived. With six different guacamole to chose from, we went with the traditional, the mango, and the elote. All three were guacamole heaven and so various that my taste buds were on overload. I went with the quesadilla and the pollo tacos for my main course and have never tasted Mexican food so fresh it melts in your mouth and gives you goosebumps. For an amazing Mexican meal, this restaurant is a must. i am, of course, talking about Mercaditos where you can also wash down the delicious food with an equally delicious margarita. With a perfect dinner out of the way, it was now time to find a place where we could talk, dance, and meet new people. We didn't have to look far. Located right below Mercaditos is Double A. With a chic lounge vibe, the setting is intimate and thrilling. Your drinks are mixed right next to you in a way that makes you believe you have every say in how it is concocted and WOW are they delicious. Overall, it is a dining and party experience that is delicious and highly entertaining. I would highly recommend a night out (or fifty) at this location!
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