Mercadito great for Chicago date nights

I have never liked guacamole. I’m pretty vocal about my distaste for the stuff and had written it off entirely as a tasteless chip dip.

If you go


But after a visit to Mercadito, I have to eat my words because I literally ate all of the guacamole.

Mercadito, an upscale Mexican restaurant in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, is actually known for its mango guacamole, my favorite from the night, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by my change of heart.

Mercadito has an impressive list of cocktails, as well as wine and beer, and I decided to venture away from a standard margarita to try something new. I chose the Los Hermanos, which has a completely unique, smoky flavor.

Eager to try all the tempting dishes on the menu, we enjoyed a few fresh ceviches as a starter. I recommend the dorado, made with mahi mahi and grilled Asian pear.

The menu boasts a wide variety of taco choices, which are a must during a Mercadito visit. There’s truly something for everyone, including more than one option for vegetarians. There also are plenty of tasty sides to choose from.

We loved the atmosphere at Mercadito. The restaurant is small but has simple and unique decor, which keeps it feeling cozy instead of cramped. Dining at Mercadito definitely felt more upscale than the check reflected, which always makes for a nice experience.

After dinner, head downstairs to Double A lounge for a cocktail or two. Having a second destination in the same building as dinner is a brilliant idea for our unpredictable Chicago weather.

Mercadito also offers monthly cooking demos that would make a great date night for parents. These multi-course demonstrations are hosted by the restaurant’s own Chef Patricio Sandoval.

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