There's something about dining out at a restaurant that you know is a labor of love.

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To me, a lot of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants are just that, a place that doesn't make a ton of dough but is around because the owner loves to cook good food.

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Yelp
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The joint might not have the best ambiance and is usually the opposite of fine dining but there are times when you find those restaurants that are independently owned and still manage to nail all facets of the business.

So when I saw a list of the best mom-and-pop restaurants in America, on LoveFood I was pleasantly surprised to see Illinois represented so fantastically.

This unassuming spot in Chicago's Archer Heights district is a staple for in-the-know foodies. A true family business, it's run by husband-and-wife team John and Norma Zaragoza, while their son works as the executive chef. Birrieria Zaragoza specializes in one thing – goat, namely in the form of birria, a beautifully tender, slow-cooked Mexican stew. It's served in various guises, including in a bowl or in tacos, and customers say it's cooked to perfection.

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Yelp
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This is not the first time we talked about the goodness of Birreria Zaragoza either.

They were named among three other Illinois restaurants as the best birria joints in America in 2021.

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Yelp
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Around the same time, Birreria Zaragoza was also named one of the cheapest Michelin-approved restaurants in the U.S.

The praise is well earned too, garnering a 4.5 out of 5 on Yelp with positive reviews saying, "Wow wow wow. An instant favorite. Truly the GOAT of goat tacos (sorry)." Apology accepted.

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Yelp
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On the other hand, people say they've "had much better" and it's "overpriced for the quality."

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Yelp
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I say check it out for yourself. Birreria Zaragoza is located at 4852 South Pulaski Road in Chicago.

LOOK: Highest-rated cheap eats in Chicago, according to Tripadvisor

Stacker compiled a list of the highest rated cheap eats restaurants in Chicago from Tripadvisor.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

LOOK: Highest-rated restaurants in Chicago, according to Tripadvisor

Stacker compiled a list of the highest rated restaurants in Chicago from Tripadvisor.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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