Don't get me wrong. I LOVE tacos, but it wasn't until recently I had exposure to other authentic Mexican food.  Let me tell you, your taste buds have not lived until you've tried these items.

1. Carne en su jugo

The first time I tried this I originally ordered tacos and my boyfriend had ordered carne en su jugo. Once I tasted it I asked him to switch with me. This rich stew dish is accented by sweet and salty flavors of meat, beans, and salsas! It has a nice contrast with the crisp radishes. Perfect for a chilly day (or any day for that matter). Get yourself a hearty helping at Taqueria Los Comales, 1544 W 18th St.

2. Elote 

This comes in two traditional forms. On a stick or in a cup. It's corn with chile, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, and lime. Don't let this wild combination scare you because the flavors together are crazy good! The best place to find this gem is mainly street vendors which appear in Pilsen or outside the UIC Forum on Sundays during Summer. But you will find just as amazing elote in a cup at Chilango, 1437 W Taylor St. (be sure to ask them for an extra cup of lime!)

3. Camarones al mojo de ajo

Normally I'm not a big shrimp person but THIS is the exception. Camarones al mojo de ajo. The flavor is garlicky with a splash of citrus. Simple and simply perfect with a margarita! You can find camarones al ajo close to campus at Lalo's, 733 W. Maxwell St. 

4. Horchata 

This may look like milk, and tastes milk-like, but it's actually rice water with a light cinnamon flavor. It's incredibly refreshing and perfect with your carne en su jugo or just by itself! Find the best in Pilsen at Taqueria Los Comales or Antotonilco, 1637 S Blue Island Ave. If you want to stay closer to campus, head to Chilango for their amazing horchata!

5. Paletas 

Paletas are essentially popsicles. Some are milky and ice-cream-like and some are more fruity and light. They come in a variety of unique and amazing flavors from mango chile to blackberries with cheesecake. You can find an assortment of endless flavors and the best at La Michoacana in Pilsen, 1855 S Blue Island Ave