From the minds of Adolfo Garcia (Son of a Butcher, Pearl Tavern) and long-time restaurateur, Phil Stefani, comes Broken English taco pub.
Located on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street in Chicago, Broken English is steps away from Millennium Park, and in the center of the new vibrant hotel and residential area.
On the name, Garcia says, “I speak English with my friends, and I often find myself mixing in Spanish words because there are some phrases that simply don’t translate to English. This happens in many other languages and cultures, but that is what makes the name ‘Broken English’ fun—it is part of our daily slang.”
Inside, you’ll find friendly faces and the welcoming atmosphere that embodies Stefani’s iconic brand. Combined with Garcia’s design and casual approach, the space is Mexico City chic. The retro dive ambience has cemented and tile flooring, distressed walls filled with custom photos, and mid-century modern furniture. Garcia invited Latino street artist directly from Mexico City, Juan Carlos Torres, who painted in the same style as iconic Mexican self-portrait artist Frida Kahlo. The space also showcases a large mural created by Chicago graffiti master, JC Riviera.
As guests peruse the menu, which includes a mix of traditional and specialty tacos, they’ll notice a street cart taco façade (similar to Mexico’s beloved street taco stands) that looks directly into the kitchen. The open windows let you catch a glimpse of chef Frank Valdez in action.
Garcia and Valdez were inspired by the cuisine and culture of Mexico City’s street tacos, which are influenced by Spanish and Middle Eastern flavors. For example, the “taco al pastor” features pork shoulder marinated in a blend of spices, slow roasted on a spit, combined with handmade corn tortillas, cilantro and onions, and finished with a hint of pineapple and fresh lime. With that, you will need something to drink. Adding to the pub culture at Broken English is a Mexican beer program and a cocktail program that focuses on mezcal, a spirit made from the maguey plant native to Mexico, and tequila. The smokiness from the mezcal is used to create their signature “chilango old fashion” cocktail. They will also offer a tequila based “horchata colada” which is a Mexican cinnamon rice water.
Broken English seats up to 90 and has outdoor seating for 40. It is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a special brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday.